Hi, I have ten children aged 19 mo to 22 years and as a result I've built some opinions along the way and thought I'd share them. Now, these are just my opinions.
Disclaimer: don't do any of these things. I'm just an idiot. Don't sue me for whatever. Good grief. lol.
They really don't stay young for long. If they want to sit on your lap or to play with you, do it, because before you know it they're going to be past that age.
Spanking is almost (possibly never) needed. I find that just making eye contact and using a stern face and voice gets everything done that I need. Eye contact seems really important.
If you don't mean what you say in a normal tone of voice and resort to yelling in order to convey sincerity, then you will curse yourself to yelling for a decade.
Let them explore. They'll get into your stuff and make a mess but oh well. It's good for their minds.
Work with them. Actual physical labor like working in the yard. Sure they won't do it right but who cares, it's a bonding experience. You need it and they need it, too.
When assigning them chores, do some of the work with them. They will see you working beside them and respect you more for it.
Teach them things. How to read, how to bake, how to do carpentry, or even just how to beat a video game. It's good memories for both of you.
Don't get mad when they confess things because that will only teach them not to confess things to you
If you sing the same song to them at bed every night then that song will become a tool to soothe them with when they are hurt or frightened
Positive rewards are way more powerful than negative ones. Let them play video games in the morning after they're 100% ready for the day and stuff like that.
Be sure to know their friends. Bad friends are the fastest way to new behavior problems cropping up. If you find your kid is hanging out with some drug addict, stop them from hanging out immediately. If that means moving, then move.
Never let daylight shine through between your position and your spouses. Kids will spot it and drive a wedge between the two of you for their own purposes. Maybe your spouse has Rule XYZ and you think it sucks? You still have to enthusiastically enforce it. Talk to the spouse in private about it.
Brush those teeth. Almost nothing will make you feel worse than your 5 year old getting a crown.
Do what you say you'll do. Your word is your coin with your kids and you need them to believe what you say.
Patience - if they are young and you tell them to do something and a second or two passes without them doing it, wait. It takes little ones a few seconds to process what you just said.
From time to time take them on a date - just you and one child. Doesn't matter the age. Let them talk about whatever and engage with them rather than playing with a phone. It seems to be a big deal to them.
I'm sure I could think of more, but it's time to go home.
Hello! Some great advice there from an experienced dad. I have two kids, now 15 and 20. I would add to your list:
Remember that no matter how bad today is, there is always a new start for tomorrow. I used to tell my two that if they had had a tough day at school or wherever. All the best to your family, Fegans PSV