Fatherhood: 10 Significant Ways Your Life Will Change Immediately

Fatherhood: 10 things to know beforehand

Vacations will never be the same

Remember when you and your spouse or significant other were dating or just married? The two of you would go away on a moment’s notice for the weekend and pack just enough of what you’ll need for your stay. Maybe a trip to a tropical location or a major city for a quick getaway? Those days are over my friend!

You’ll encounter a whole new slew of friends

Our circle of friends grew once we had children. Playdates now became important which meant that we had to hang around those parents. This is a game of chance hoping that you’ll get along well with the parents that your children play with. In our case, we got extremely lucky and met some people who we are still friends with to this day. You’ll also meet parents from whatever teams they might play on, dance schools they join and the classes they take in school.

Be a united front

You and your spouse or significant other are to be a team so all decisions that revolve around your children should be discussed. I know it’s easy to say “go ask your mother” but it’s not the right thing to do. The worst is when you and your spouse or significant other give differing answers to your child. Stand strong as a united front!

Television can be your best friend

The television is not a babysitter and you shouldn’t put your child in front of the television every minute of the day. On the other hand, a good movie or show can provide you some much-needed downtime or a chance to get some things done in the house.

You will need patience

Fatherhood and parenting can be difficult at times. It’s easy to lose your temper or get angry when you’re a parent but yelling and getting angry is not good for your child. Children sometimes don’t even know when they’ve done something they shouldn’t have. Instead of raising your voice, take a deep breath and let them know calmly how you’re feeling or perhaps if they did something wrong, what that was. Your child will be better off with this approach and so will you.

Enjoy your time with your children

I’ve written before about spending time with your children because time goes by very fast and before you know it they are going away to college or getting married and moving out. Try to spend as much time as possible with them and make the time you spend well spent. Being a good parent and practicing good fatherhood skills mean being present. Put your cell phone away and engage your children. Talk to your children and then listen to them. You might just learn something.

Let them be who they want to be

I often see the father living out his sports dreams through his son or daughter. The child is enrolled in every sport they liked as a kid, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, etc. When you dig deeper you realize the child doesn’t want to play all those sports but they do because their parents want them to. Don’t shape your child into something they aren’t. Let them be who they want to be.

Show them independence

Don’t cut your child’s food when they are old enough to do so on their own. Give them independence and let them learn how to do things even if you know it could take a long time to complete on their own. Let them learn from their mistakes and grow.

It’s OK to say “NO”

Set limits with your children and learn early on to say NO! It’s not easy to do sometimes when they’re looking at you with big sad eyes but they need to learn that they don’t get everything they ask for in life. That’s not how things work. It’s even better to explain to them why you said NO or YES so they are clear as to your reasoning.

It’s amazing

The best thing about fatherhood or parenting is that it can be the most amazing experience. It is also extremely rewarding. My girls are both older now and it’s great to see how they’ve developed into caring young women and how they use much of what we’ve taught them growing up in their daily lives.

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