Nelson's 5 Tips for Embracing Modern Fatherhood
Being a modern dad is a combination of nature and nurture. When I say 'Modern Dads' I mean participating, engaged, and present fathers. We develop our morals (how to be or not to be and what behaviours are acceptable) from watching our parents. Being a dad is a choice, and actively raising your kids should be why you had them in the first place.
1. Put in the time – no excuses. No substitutes.
When your future child is in the oven, your job is to help ease the pregnancy. A relaxed and happy mom makes for a relaxed and happy baby.
You can sing or talk to the fetus in utero. They will remember your voice and the songs you recite with it. This comes in handy when you try to calm them or put them to sleep.
Participate in caring for them. Get up at night, change diapers, feed them, burp them, give baths, and read to them. This is all part of bonding process. They will learn your scent and remember how you made them feel, and you will forever be a source of comfort and security to them!
Be there as they grow. From the playground to the doctor; from school plays and projects to movies; from ball games and practises to playdates. Closeness is built over shared experiences.
2. Lead By Example. "Be the man you want your son to be and your daughter to be with."
You are the man. Own it. Be the rock of the family. Stable, consistent, accepting, and always human and imperfect. Show the kids that mistakes are natural part of life. We learn from them and become stronger, better and more resilient.
Success is who you are, not what you do or how much you earn. Follow your dreams, regardless of how you make a living, and be the best at what you do. That is the best gift that you can give your children.
Happiness comes from relationships and passion. Your kids need you, your time and your attention! Not just material, "stuff."
Humour is your best tool to comfort and defuse drama but of course taking their concerns and issues seriously.
3. Be true to your Principles
Share your convictions and beliefs. We are sentimental beings in depth and thought and spirituality.
Some things are worth fighting for. Fight for justice, equality, fairness and happiness.
Somethings are worth fighting against. Fight against discrimination, abuse, ignorance, and hatred.
Engage your kids and discuss politics, spirituality, humanity and social issues. Explore the simple truth that we are not the centre of the universe but simply travellers passing through.
4. Accept and support your kids for who they are, not who you think they should be.
Love with all your heart and without conditions and be very generous with hugs and kisses. Convince your kids that there's nothing they can do to lose your love.
Don't make your kids live your dreams, and don't live through them. Do what you can to help them achieve their own dreams.
Don't judge. Like, ever. Listen and hear what they have to say. You can guide and propose solutions when appropriate. Be there for them if they want to vent and don't try and fix it, unless they ask.
5. Remember the Golden Rule of Fatherhood
The golden rule and there is only one and it's the same for everyone regardless of age, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation: "you get up in the morning, look in the mirror and see a good person."