Whether you’re an expectant dad or a veteran, you’ll feel me when I say, “we have no idea what we’re doing.” That wide-eyed, panicked look and that unsettling pit in your stomach? Yeah, it never really goes away. But we can learn to co-exist with it. I’m a proud father of two freakin’ amazing kids, I’m so lucky that I get to work from home and watch them grow up. But being around them so much has also put me on the fast track to what I call “Dad Wisdom”. Now, Dad Wisdom doesn’t work for everyone, it won’t apply to every type of dad because we’re all different, right? But, this list of dad tips certainly helps keep me grounded and makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
1) Walk a Little Slower
Never forget that you take big steps in life and there’s a tiny person trailing behind, trying desperately to keep up. Slow down and let them catch up with you. When you’re a kid, it’s so easy to get left behind and us adults often forget that. Stop, take the time to explain things in ways they understand. Remember to enjoy the journey that his fatherhood.
2) More Than Just ‘Dad’
At the end of every day, being a dad is extremely rewarding, but can leave you out of breath at times. (literally and metaphorically) Remember that you’re more than just a father. Don’t neglect your other passions in life. It’s okay to take a break and enjoy some personal time once in a while and not feel guilty about it. Whether it’s running out for that tee time, jumping down to your favorite fishing hole, or grabbing some wings at the local pub. Make sure Dad gets some personal time. As soon as this article is done, I’m grabbing my guitar.
3) Share Something You’re Deeply Passionate About
We all have one. That obsession we drift off too when someone’s babbling on too long. That app or favorite site (ahem…DadStuff) we flip open on our phone, first thing when we sit down on the can. Whether it’s hockey, cars, music, or even the weather, you just love it! And well…that’s great! Make sure to share that passion with your kids. Not only will they see how important it is to you, but they’ll work towards finding their own.
I remember my dad always spent a lot of time in the woodshed, building, and tinkering. He was a man of very few words (or grunts), but I could see his love and passion in the woodwork he did. It’s because of those moments that I’m also passionate about woodworking and, heck, I’m actually pretty darn good. I was lucky because I had someone who truly cared about what he was doing and he let me watch and learn.
4) Act, Don’t React
The little guys learn right and wrong from us. YOU may know when they’re being a little turd, but they probably don’t. So when your kid does something out of line, breaks your PlayStation controller, or spills their juice…don’t react. Just calmly chat with them, treat them like a human being and not a naive kid. Ask them questions about why they think that certain thing happened and what they could have done to prevent it. Get their little minds thinking and help them to formulate solutions for themselves rather than just tell them they did something wrong. I guess, to sum up, treat them they way you would want to be treated.
5) Have That Signature Dad Recipe
You may not be a Master Chef, but you can be Cheffy Dad. Find that one ridiculously easy and equally delicious meal, nail it, and be well known around the house for your signature dad recipe.
It’s not much, but this modest list of parenting tips has kept me humble and grounded. I think my kids are better for it, I know I am. Comment and share your Dad Tips! We love hearing about that stuff, and we can always do a revised list; Words of Wisdom: Dad Tips 2.0.
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