With Father’s Day right around the corner we felt a blog on dads was, well, appropriate!
In the spirit of Father’s Day and fatherhood, we asked dads whose children have grown up to give new dads their best advice, because there’s no shortage of good tips on raising children. As the saying goes . . . one of the greatest gifts one generation can give to another is the wisdom one has gained from experience. Here are 10 inspiring tips to new dads from the wise veterans:
1. “Let them make more and more of their own decisions as they grow. They’ll be making 100% of them when they leave home.” Father of 26, 29
2. “Instill family loyalty in your kids. Our number one rule was always “Take care of your brother and sister”. There is nothing more important than the support and love of family.” Father of ages 20, 23 and 25
3. “Get involved in your child’s activities! When coaching children’s sports teams, be a positive and encouraging coach and give all team members equal playing time and attention.” Father of ages 24, 28 and 30
4. “Parenting is a lifelong process. When your children are young you nurture and encourage them. They will always be close to your heart, so it is important to always have a place close to your heart for them. When they are visited by troubles, let it be the place of comfort. When they are happy, the place to share their joy. This is what the place close to your heart is for. Make it a big place because their lives, like yours, will have its share of trouble and joy. Be assured they will fill it”. Father of ages 24, 28
5. “Plan family vacations no matter how simple when your child/children are young, so you can be together as a family without competing friends or interests.” Father of 28, 30, and 33.
6. “As your child gets into their teens, have a system for bailing them out without comment. We had a code phrase which translated to “please come get me now”. We promised to always pick them up, and not ask questions about why.” Father of 19, 21 and 24
7. “If you patiently listen without judging, your children will come back again and again.” Father of ages 22, 26, and 28
8. “Let them know that you don’t have all the answers and that everyone makes mistakes. It is how you handle your mistakes that matters.” Father of ages 17, 20, 23, and 25
9. “Make their friends feel welcome in your home. Keep lots of snacks around, and don’t try to join in. If they hang out there, then you know where they are.” Father of ages 21 and 24
10. “You only get one chance to do it right, so be there every time your child needs you, be proactive in helping your wife raise your children, and teach them the leadership skills that they will need to raise their own children, particularly as it relates to their Faith.” Father of age 31
For new dads there are sure to be changes in lifestyle, priorities, work, and everything in between. On top of the near-certain lack of sleep clouding your focus and the difficulties of juggling this new home life with your personal and professional goals, the whole thing can become fairly overwhelming. It’s a unique, learn-on-the-go experience that can take a lot out of you, but is without question one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences a man can have. A little advice always helps!
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