We share real life experiences by fathers from across the globe and what they consider as must have qualities for good parenting
Becoming a parent is always a learning experience and no matter how may blogs and books out there that you have devoured, there will be curve balls that you will have to face. As nature preserves life and gives us tools to carry it forward, similarly the lessons learn from our elders is still one of the least explored resources for guidance. Yes there are all types of experts out there, some qualified more then the other, but let the pointers below supplement your knowledge and add another perspective to parenting and fatherhood.
Be there, as much as possible
DO not get carried away with responsibilities of work and deadlines for there always will be another. What will not be there when you finish those deadlines will be the moments that you have missed or being part of your kids journey to adolescence. Jeff, 46 admits that “Being part of their small experiences and achievement is so precious that nothing matters in front of it. I was always there for them , but now wish may be if I could have been there more. That also explains why we see grandparents being so doting to their grandkids as it comes as an encore to what they missed or want to relive the second time.
Kids will have phases as the grow up, be considerate
As kids grow up, the body goes through upheaval and with that the hormones fire up all the varied phases in kids. They will whine, cry , be violent and also recluse. All these phases are temporary and if you have done your job, your kids will come out of it. Tom, 56 points out that ” Your kid will go in and out of things when he’s ready, and you just have to be accepting. “
Accept their Interests
As kids grow up their are exposed to lot of varied experiences through life. Some of these interests will be unorthodox to the prevalent custom and career choices of your house hold. Do not stress your self or the kid over this. As John, 51 points out that his older son went after music and photography much to his dislike. o his amazement, in few years he was accepted in five colleges and also plays regularly at a music academy. He just wishes he was more relaxed when his kid was finding his own path.
Kids Are Resilient
Kids growing up are tough and they can really tolerate significant amount of pain which they endure in their regular stunts. Jerry, a 39-year-old dad from Denver told us. “This is easier said than done for a lot of dads — and Brian was one of them. His son broke his arm in karate class and, as he explained, he probably cried more than he did. “I had to watch my son, my baby — even though he was, like, eight — get put in an ambulance, go to the hospital, go into surgery, and all that. Even through his tears, he was like, ‘Dad, I’ll be fine.’ I don’t regret the way I reacted – well, maybe a little – but I definitely should’ve reminded myself that those things happen, and that he was a tough kid.”
Follow your instincts
This is commonly seen in fathers as they blindly try and mimic the fathering style of their fathers. As fathers, no one is perfect and you are bound to make some mistakes. The trick is to not to repeat those mistakes as you pick the good practices from the seniors. Chris, 39 points out that “my parents were great but they had their strong opinions on telling us how to raise our kids. Eventually me and my wife decided to follow are own path and we ended up with some wonderful kids. As new parents you can welcome the inputs but in the end its your fatherly instincts that guide you”
Get involved in your kids Activities/Hobbies
Getting involved is getting bonded. We often come across fathers who missed participating in small activities and hobbies which kids pick up as they grow. In our daily life these things on first look will appear frivolous to us. But from a kid’es perspective these small things mean the world. Bret, a 45 year old dad states that “My little girl was majorly into Barbie when she was about 10,” he told us. “ And she was so excited to share it with anyone who would listen. I was very ‘lukewarm’ about it. I really missed a chance there. I didn’t need to become a Barbie expert, but sometimes I think of the way my girl’s face would’ve lit up if I asked her to tel me more about her , or explain the different characters in her life. but there were parts of it that could’ve been our thing, too, if I’d been a little more proactive.”
Teach Kids bout money, the right way
Given that the world runs on finance and being successful in life also rests on how you manage your money, Financial understanding and literacy for kids becomes even more vital when our education system is totally oblivious to teaching it and consider to offer something only once our kids are at college level. Its onto Fathers to teach our kids about being wise in monetary affairs. Calum, 45 points out that. “We were never poor or anything, but I was always so frugal. And, looking back, the way I phrased things – saying, ‘We can’t afford that’, instead of ‘That’s pretty expensive.’ – planted seeds. You always hear to be careful about what you say around your kids, but you never consider subtle things like that. It’s fine, just something I would’ve done differently.”
The hate and love of being a parent
Being a parent is hard and like any journey you took upon for the first time, it has its ups and downs, There will be moments when the downs will outweigh the up, but that is perfectly normal. Jordan , 45 tell us “he doesn’t think there’s anything particularly enjoyable about the actual parenting part of having kids. “What’s fun – those moments that you’ll blink and miss – come as a result from all the grueling, hard work you put in on those nights you just want to wave the white flag. It really messed with my psyche when I’d start to resent my kid for shitting his diaper three times in two hours instead of taking a fond mental picture and storing it away in my heart.”
You wish you were in better shape
“Its often every parents wonder that how do kids manage to have so much of energy, all through the day. I mean talk about a super charge bunny that can go all through the day wrecking stuff and banging into things” Sarb, 36 points out. He further adds “Even when our daughter wasn’t super active, I was struggling to stay awake, and to sleep, and to keep up with the hectic schedule of caring for her. It was physically demanding, and much more exhausting than it should have been,” he told us. Additionally you also feel the urge to set up a good example by being fit and active as your kid sees you and forms a mental picture to emulate.“
Pick Your Battles
Like anything in life, not all battles are to be fought and to be won. This also applies when dealing with someone half your size and with still developing mental and cognitive thinking. Jeff, 39 tell us “I wish I knew how to pick my battles. For some reason, I thought I had to ‘win’ every argument with my daughter when she was young,” I had to be my own iron regime, or my kid would start taking advantage of my weakness, exposing my flaws, blah, blah, blah. The truth is, it absolutely did not matter if she ate all of her vegetables or stayed up an extra 20 minutes. In fact, lightening up and not arguing with her about every little thing probably would’ve saved me a few wrinkles.”