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15 Things A Father Wants His Kids To Always Remember

15 Things A Father Wants His Kids To Always Remember

When a man discovers he’s going to be a father, a million thoughts run through his head at once. “Am I ready for this? What if I don’t raise him right? Can we even afford to have a kid?” As time goes on, these panicky thoughts give way to the deeper questions, such as “What do I want my child to know?” We want our children to grow up to have the best life they possibly can.

There are many things fathers hope their children know by the time they leave the nest. These include:

1. Knowing how to speak up

Children should know how to stand up for what they believe in. However, this doesn’t mean they should learn to be obnoxious and only focused on getting their way. Fathers should teach their children to be calm and collected in their approach to arguments, as well as relentless in their pursuit of justice. Not only should children be taught to stand up for themselves, but they should also know to stand up for those who cannot fight for themselves.

2. Working hard in all you do

So many kids (and adults, for that matter) don’t understand the value of hard work. In a time in which instant gratification is so widespread, it’s important for fathers to show their children that dedication and hard work takes a while to pay off. But they should also lead their children to understand the satisfaction that is felt when a job has been done, and done well.

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3. Being persistent

Whether a child is speaking up or working toward completing a task, fathers should communicate the importance of sticking with their pursuits. Giving up is giving in, and admitting defeat. Fathers should teach children to see things through to completion. Giving less than their full effort is wasting the talents that were given to them.

4. Contributing to a clean environment

Fathers should show their children how important it is to keep their room clean, and focus on how it will improve their overall mood in the long run. Children should know how important it is for them to help out around the house, so their parents aren’t cleaning up after them day after day. And they should definitely understand the importance of keeping their community clean by not littering, picking up trash, and recycling.

5. Taking care of their body and health

Fathers should model the importance of keeping a healthy body through nutritious eating, exercise, and lifestyle choices. Fathers who overeat, laze around, and smoke and drink are more likely to raise children who follows in their footsteps. Even children who are seemingly healthy should learn how important it is to be active on a daily basis. If they grow up practicing unhealthy habits, it will be much harder to get healthy when they’re older.

6. Treating everyone with respect

Fathers should teach their children that every single person on Earth is important in some way, and deserves to be respected as a human being. This goes for the people serving you at restaurants, the people who collect your garbage, and the homeless people sitting outside the convenience store begging for change. Fathers should model compassion for everyone they meet, and their children will follow suit.

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7. Staying informed

At a time in which information is at our fingertips 24/7, ignorance is absolutely inexcusable. Fathers should communicate that staying current is incredibly important in order to continue being compassionate. Being informed about controversial issues will lead to children being able to understand the importance of assisting groups of people who have been shunned or otherwise slighted by society.

8. Being responsible

Perhaps one of the most important jobs a father has is to teach his child to take responsibility. When a child makes a mistake, he should feel comfortable admitting the truth, rather than hiding from it and digging himself deeper and deeper into despair. It’s always hard to admit when you’ve done wrong, but a father should instill in his children the idea that owning up to mistakes is the sign of a truly strong and mature person.

9. Putting family first

Your family should be the most important group of people in the world to you. They’re the ones who were around when you were born, and will be the only people who will love you unconditionally throughout your life. A great father will model this by always being there when his children need him, and dedicating himself to his family’s safety, security, and happiness. He should also teach his children the importance of spending time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, and brothers, and appreciating every experience you have with them.

10. Embracing their flaws

Nobody is perfect. Unfortunately, children are often incredibly insecure about their shortcomings, and fixate on imperfections. For example, young children often think they’re “not good at math” or “not a good reader.” This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it holds them back from truly trying to succeed. Fathers should teach their children that trying their best and persevering through adversity is is much more important than succeeding at everything they set out to do.

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11. Being comfortable with who they are

Fathers need to help children be comfortable in their own skin. As they grow into teenagers, children will often make a big deal about their appearance, finding little physical imperfections to obsess over. Fathers need to help their children get past this stage by showing them how to appreciate themselves as a person not defined by their physical appearance. When children are comfortable with who they are, they can be confident in themselves and their ability to succeed.

12. Not being afraid of failure

Many times, children are so afraid of failing that they don’t even get started on the path to success. Fathers need to be there to support their children when they’re feeling insecure or inadequate. They need to instill in them the idea that failure is not the end of a journey, but just a bump in the road. When children see failure not as a roadblock, but as a stepping stone, they’ll make the most out of every experience in their life, whether it be positive or negative.

13. Stepping out of their comfort zone

Fathers need to push their children to constantly expand their comfort zone. Staying where they’re comfortable is easy, but it’s also a surefire path to stagnation. Fathers should always be up for trying something new so their children see how much life has to offer. They’ll never see it if they spend their weekends holed up in their room or on their phones.

14. Not wasting their talents

All people have one or two things they’re just naturally good at. It’s important that fathers teach their children not to take these talents for granted. Talented children can sometimes become conceited and start to mistakenly believe they’ll be able to get by on their natural talents alone. That’s not the case. Fathers should push their children to push themselves further.

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15. Not letting life pass them by

Fathers should teach their children to never take life for granted, and to take advantage of every waking moment they’re given. Every moment lived is a chance to excel and experience something new. If fathers teach anything to their children, it should be to never waste the gift of life.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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