This one’s for all the dads out there…
Since we can’t send each and every one of you a homemade card or an awesome pair of socks, you’ll have to settle for this insightful blog post, written just for you. We asked our friends over at City Dads Group to share the most impactful advice they’ve gotten since becoming dads. Surprisingly, this advice came from all over — from books, friends and even strangers. So, read, share and take it to heart.
And most of all, have a happy Father’s Day.
What is the most impactful, unsolicited advice you’ve received about fatherhood?
Shane Sherman, Fresno Dads Group
I think the most impactful advice about fatherhood I received was from a book I read, by Devon Bandison, Fatherhood is Leadership. He mentions in one of his chapters how important it is to take care of yourself before taking care of others. Giving airplane oxygen masks as an example: Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. If you don’t you won’t be able to help.
Chris Brandenburg, Twin Cities Dads Group
At a mall when my daughter was 3, I had a security guard come up my daughter and me. Out of the blue, she said, “You keep on doing what you are doing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” And then struck up a conversation with my daughter. It turned out that the security guard had initially observed me solely because I was a man with a child. With no mother or woman around. After observing us interact for a few minutes, she felt the need to come apologize for her initial thoughts and concern. That taught me that even people who aren’t used to competent and engaged fathers, recognize that they should be. That’s changed from only a few years ago, and fatherhood is becoming more accepted in the world today.
Keith Nagel, Twin Cities Dads Group
The most impactful advice about fatherhood I’ve received is to really enjoy these young years where the “I love yous and hugs are plentiful and easily given. Too soon will these boys grow up and the hugs will be less often and, heaven forbid, the “I love you” gets replaced by teen angst.
Joël Lëoj, L.A. Dads Group
A non-parent once said something that has been incredibly impactful to me:
“Parenting is accepting that we may parent like our own parents. We will make the mistakes they made but in our own way. If we are aware of what we will do automatically we will be able to be ahead of ourselves. In being ahead our ourselves we are able to be so self-aware we are capable of being the parents our own children need us to be.”
Yes, I have made mistakes as a parent. This advice and insight always helps me overcome challenges or a natural habit. It helps discontinue that cycle. Every day I fight a battle against discouragement and fear. Every day my armor is on. I’m always at the ready.
I’m a calmer father. I’m the parent my children need me to be. I’m a happier husband. I’m capable of being present for each of my children. Parenting is a journey. Resources come from all parts of our lives. Utilize them.
Sterling Noelck, Dallas Dads Group
I think the best advice I received was to pause and take a minute to consider my children’s point of view and goals before reacting to something they have done. They usually have different goals than I do, but if I only react to what they have done I will never understand their intent enough to be able to assist them in completing their goals in a way that works for both of us.
Darrell Humphrey, Charlotte Dads Group
John Eldredge, in one of his podcasts about raising kids said, “Ask yourself what you missed from your parents growing up, because that’s what they need from you right now.” As a father to boys, my response was “time.” I missed a lot of time with my father growing up. As I look forward to Ethan, Owen and now Jackson, my time is critical with them.
Spending time with them individually as well as together is so vital for their development.