(Stew Smith/Military.com/Public Domain)

Basic Training in the Army is defined as "the program of physical and mental training required in order for an individual to become a soldier in the United States Army." It is designed to be highly intense and challenging. We have All Pro Dad Basic Training with a similar intent: challenge you to become a better dad for your kids. We have 12 months of challenges; however, you can work on them over the course of 12 weeks if you prefer. When done consistently, it will help you become the best dad you can be and push you toward that All Pro Dad status.

Once you have completed Basic Training, you are now ready and fit for fatherhood.

All Pro Dad Basic Training

January: Huddle Up. At least once per day, huddle up with your kids and have one of All Pro Dad's Huddle Up discussions. This can be in the morning or at night before bed.

February: Study Fatherhood. Take time to learn from other dads by reading books. Read at least one book on fatherhood.

March: Spend One-on-One Time with Your Kids. Make regular one-on-one time with each child a priority. Determine the time, mark it in your calendar and tell your kids.

April: Pray With and for Them. Make prayer a daily habit. Pray in your own quiet time and take time to pray with your kids in addition to blessing your food and praying before bed.

May: Get Fit. Do at least one thing each day that will benefit your health. Do something physically active for 30 minutes and eat something healthy. Adding a leafy green vegetable (salad) or beverage juiced from raw fruits and veggies is a great start.

June: Pump 'Em Up. Find something encouraging to say to your kids, and say it each day. One suggestion is to find something good about them, write it on a note or piece of paper and stick it on their bathroom mirror.

July: Do Their Favorite Thing. What do your children like to do? Whatever it is, do it with them. If they love bike riding, then ride together. If they love swimming, then splash with them.

August: Have a Real Talk with Your Kids. Sometimes it's easy to avoid the tough conversations with your kids. Tough conversations are relative to your kids' age. It could be the "birds and the bees" or dealing with the mean kid at school. Have one real talk with each of your kids.

September: Show Affection to Your Kids. Dads are less likely than moms to show affection to our kids, although they need it from us. Each day, show some sort of affection to your kids. A hug, a kiss or hold hands with your daughter. Show affection daily.

October: Have Family Dinner at Home. In our busy society, it is the norm for many families to not have meals together or to have them at a restaurant every night. Settle down and have some meals together with your kids at home.

November: Thank Them. Show your kids how thankful you are to be their dad. Let them know how special they are by telling them and showing them. You can even write a list of all the things you are thankful for as a dad and share it with them each day.

December: Serve Someone. Many kids are focused on what they get this time of year. Help your kids to learn how to give and serve others. Do a service project or give gifts to those who are less fortunate.

What would you add to this list?

Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger and speaker, but first and foremost a husband and father of three who helps men better lead and love the ones who matter most.

This article originally appeared at allprodad.com.

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