Development Family

What Makes A Good Dad? 10 Characteristics Of A Good Father

Doting, kind, inspirational, these are a few of the words that are often used to describe a good father.

As the role of fatherhood has evolved to become more active and involved in recent decades, it’s natural for men to ask what exactly makes a good dad.

While the exact qualities of a good father will vary depending on your individual circumstances, there are some common characteristics that almost all good dads share.

These qualities can therefore be a helpful place to start if you’re looking to answer the question of whether or not you are a good father.

So to go with our article on what makes a good mother, let’s now take a look at 10 characteristics that good fathers are likely to possess.

Am I A Good Father?

Whatever age your child is, there will always be some things that can make you question your abilities and skills as a dad.

Being a “good” father can often be distilled to attributes like your attitude, mindset and of course actions, which as we all know speak louder than mere words.

If you ask 50 people to describe what a good father looks like, you’ll probably get 50 slightly different answers, particularly as our beliefs around what makes a good dad will be shaped by our own childhood, how we look after our own kids, and what society tells us a good father should be like.

For this reasons, the only person who can truly answer whether you are a good dad or not, is you.

Here’s a quick exercise that can help.

Take a few minutes to sit back and think about your child, your life and your individual circumstances.

Now, while being rational and realistic, paint a picture of what a good dad looks like, taking into account everything else in your life such as your job, finances, support network and of course your particular children.

If you are able to live up to these ideals and to the man you have pictured in your head, then you can be confident that you are indeed a good father!

And if you identify areas you could perhaps improve upon, at least you now know where to begin.

You see, you are probably a better father than you realize, and even though you don’t give yourself enough credit, you most likely you already demonstrate many of the characteristics of a good father.

Check out the following qualities that a good father may demonstrate, not so much because these are things you absolutely should be doing, but instead because these are characteristics you are probably already demonstrating on a daily basis without even realizing it.

10 Characteristics Of A Good Father

1. Present

One of the surest signs of a good dad is that he is there for his children.

We all live in the real world, and for most of us that means putting in a hard day’s work which naturally reduces the amount of time we can spent with our children during the week.

But a good dad will make sure he allocates enough time to his children – be it during the evening, weekends or on regular family vacations.

Just being there with your son or daughter, whether it be playing games, reading books or asking how their day was, are all part of what it takes to be a great dad.

2. Dependable

If you’re flaky or unreliable in any walk of life you’re unlikely to be successful, and this applies to parenting too.

The best fathers are ones who can be relied upon to stay true to their word and who hate letting their child down if they’ve already agreed to something.

If something is really important to a child and has been promised by their father, a good dad will do everything in his power ensure he doesn’t break his word.

3. Empathetic

Do you ever try to put yourself in your child’s shoes to better understand their point of view?

Trying to think like your son or daughter is another quality of a good father, and this skill helps with other characteristics like being generous and making sacrifices.

4. Good Role Model

Another sign of a good father is someone who can be considered a positive role model for their son or daughter.

From how a man treats and respects women (especially the mother of his children), to his work ethic, habits and beliefs, a good father can lead by example, especially when it comes to many of the other characteristics on this list.

5. Grateful

Another characteristic of a good father is a man who appreciates how lucky she is, and how rich his life is for having a son or daughter.

Don’t get us wrong, parenting can be extremely hard work at times, but a good dad appreciates how fortunate he is to have a child in the first place, and how much better his life is with children in it.

6. Generous

When we think of generosity our mind usually defaults to money or wealth.

But other things like time, knowledge, words, possessions or attention are all areas of generosity that the best fathers are happy to share with their children.

7. Take A Genuine Interest

It’s hard to be a great father if you don’t take a genuine and sincere interest in your child’s life.

Often a child’s interest isn’t aligned to what their father likes – for example his daughter might like tennis or his son might like soccer, but he’s a man who has no interest in sport.

No matter, the best fathers will become interested in these things because he knows that they are important to his child, and he’ll even take time away from his own interests in favor of watching or supporting his children in these areas.

8. Strong

We’re not talking about physical strength here, but rather the ability to take what life throws at us and fight back with courage and resilience.

Let’s face it, life can be tough at times, but a good dad will stay strong if only for the sake of their children who might need him most during those challenging periods.

9. Prepared To Make Sacrifices

A good dad is prepared to put the needs of their child first.

This is because he is unselfish and wants to do things that are in the best interests of his children, rather than simply going for the option that suits himself best.

It’s worth pointing out that this does not mean good dads never take time out for themselves, or never do anything for number one.

But just keep in mind that any time you do something for your child rather than for yourself, you are demonstrating on of the most important characteristics of a good father.

10. Unconditional Love

Last but by no means least, one of the most important qualities of a good father and a big sign that you are a good dad is that you love your child unconditionally.

Yes, you may get angry from time to time and perhaps say or do things in the heat of the moment that you don’t really mean.

But you have a deep, unshakable love for your son or daughter, and this truly proves just how much of a great parent you are.


We hope you found the list above useful in your answer to what makes a good dad and in your search for the common characteristics that the best fathers share.

To wrap up, you should know that by being here and reading this, you are most probably a very good father in your own right!

Why is that the case?

Because a bad father probably doesn’t care if they are doing a good job or not, and the last place you would find them is reading an article on what makes a good dad.

See Also: Navigating Your Child’s Early Development

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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