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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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Matt Duczeminski

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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