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Skills, Ability and Knowledge

Not sure about other dads but I entered the world of fatherhood completely unprepared.  I didn’t realise how demanding it was going to be, I think women have a better advantage.  Women group together and talk about parenting, share stories and experiences far more than we ever would.  So it is probably no surprise that their skills, ability and knowledge are more fine tuned when children arrive on the scene.

Us blokes stand on the sidelines and talk about footy and the MotoGP whilst we cook the BBQ.  I have never been out with a group of guys discussing parenting skills.  Traditionally we just left it up to our partners, I don’t think it is hard-wired into our DNA.  BUT, it is a skill we can learn, for some it does not come naturally, it just needs some practice.  Once we do it solo a few times “whaaala” we become experts, I think, it really is that easy to become competent …and of course you need the “want” to do it.

I remember I organized a breakfast for the “new dads” (dads of the mothers group) and their babies once a month.  I booked a table of 10 in a local cafe.  It was a great sight, 10 dads and their babies, everyone in the cafe were looking and saying well done boys 🙂 We had dads feeding bottles to their babies, changing nappies and nursing their new babies all while trying to eat our bacon and eggs and catch up LOL.  It was a great morning but each month that past we lost half the dads, so after 3 months it ended.

There are challenges and trying times amongst dads when it comes to parenting, but we know that the outcome of trying is well worth the effort and the results are proof.

Not wanting to attend a fathers breakfast has nothing to do with commitment to fathering, they were all protective of their role as a father and would not allow anything that seriously interfered with it, they were all great guys and were all married at that time, I don’t see any of them any more.  The way they felt about fathering would be exactly the way I/we feel about it today, it makes no difference whether we are married or not when it comes to our approach and commitment to fathering.

In the book Divorced Dads Survival Guide there is an article on just that topic. It talks about… Beyond working hard for their families, fathers say their role also includes teaching their kids about life, being a moral role model, and being a good model for adult relationships.  Divorced fathers feel that they have important information to impart about women and relationships.  If the father sought the divorce, he may feel it is necessary for his children to know that a good marital relationship is important and that divorced people don’t lack commitment  in their character, but rather may not want to settle for a bad marriage.  If the father was left by his former spouse, he can emphasize to his children that life has no guarantees and that to adjust to any hand dealt is a challenge that must be accepted.

Either way, the father feels his “lessons of life” are important for his children.  Most parents do.  Of course we should not expect our children to be interested in learning what we have to teach. Many children, in fact, will resist parental teachings in favor of learning it on their own.

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  1. Brad says:

    Yes, can’t imagine my mates sitting around taking about parenting either, I think this article is right. You just have to keep trying and we get better at whatever we put our minds to, I was a fish out of water when i started on my own but now all is good.. When it comes to being a good role model, you can do your best but children are so judgmental they will form their own opinion of you regardless of how hard you try. Thanks good story!