As a father, you want the best for your children. One way to help them live a more fulfilling and successful life is to make sure that they are aware of all the opportunities that are available to them. You want your child's world to be a large one. It can be tough to pull them away from screens, and you don't want to try so hard that you have the opposite effect and end up pulling them away from exploring the world. The key is to find ways to engage them and make them passionate about the many possibilities that are out there.
Travel with Them
Traveling with your children is an excellent way to expand their sense of the world, but as with everything, it's important to let them lead the way. However, you can guide them as well, providing them with movies, books and other media that get them excited about seeing new places. If you can take your kids abroad, it's a wonderful opportunity for them to experience other cultures, but if you can't afford it in time or money, a visit to another part of the country or even a local state park can be as stimulating. The key is to get them involved, whether it's playing a game identifying flora and fauna at the local park, trying to recognize words in a foreign language or doing some of the trip planning.
Prepare Them for College
College is a necessity for many different types of careers, and even for those where this isn't the case, it can be an important time for learning, personal growth, and relationship building. Talking to your children about going to college as though it's a given from the time that they are very young helps them envision it as a possibility. There are plenty of practical things you can do as well. You may be eligible to open a Coverdell Education Savings Account, or you could look into a 529 plan. These are both tools to help you save for educational expenses with tax breaks.
In the final years of high school, you can help your kid research schools, scholarships, and financial aid. Unfortunately, even with this assistance and your savings, there still may not be enough money to cover the full cost of tuition and other expenses. Your child may need to take out a private student loan. This can be difficult for teens who do not have much or anything in the way of a credit record, and a cosigner may be required. As the parent, you might naturally assume that you need to cosign, but this is a big financial obligation, and you shouldn't take it on without knowing exactly what you are agreeing to. You can review a guide that goes over the pros and cons to help you decide.
Take Tips from Unschooling
Unschooling is an approach to educating a child that allows that education to be led by the child's interests. You don't have to be a homeschooling parent to take a tip from this approach and help your child follow their interests wherever they lead. This doesn't have to mean spending a huge amount of money if you're on a budget. If your kid is into art, you could sink a great deal into supplies and classes only for them to move on to a new interest six months later. A better approach would be to start small with a few inexpensive tools.
As your child's interest and skill grows, you could look to investing more into what they love. This also has the benefit of allowing them to try different things without feeling obligated to stick with something because of sunk costs. At the same time, if you notice that their interest quickly flags over and over, you might want to talk to them about sticking with projects through challenges and help them build their resilience.
Supporting Their Independence
Fostering independence in your kids is critical. This gives them the skill and resilience they need to fearlessly explore the world and take on the challenges that they find there. As a dad, you can lead by example and give your child increasing amounts of responsibility and independence. Without this, kids can start to feel as though their own lives do not belong to them but to the whims and direction of adults. Encourage them to solve problems and do things on their own while also providing the age-appropriate support that they need.