I love being a dad. As a wise person once said, “Parenting is the toughest job you’ll ever love,” and that couldn’t be more true. When my oldest son, Trey, was born, I honestly had no idea what to expect and had no idea what I was doing. But I loved him like crazy and figured it out. I guess in a way, he taught me how to be a dad. He and my younger son, Trevor, have taught me a lot over the years. But it hasn’t always been easy.
To make it a little easier on the new dads out there, I asked some fellow dads what advice they would share with new dads. Here’s what we all came up with. As you can see, these dads are pretty wise, so we’ve all come a long way, and you will, too! I hope it helps all you new dads on the amazing, wild ride that is fatherhood.
- Hold your kids as much as you can. They grow up so fast.
- Respond to bad behavior instead of reacting to it.
- Never teach them to talk (kidding!).
- Learn how to swaddle your baby.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps.
- You can’t prepare yourself for this, but know that it hurts so much when they hurt. Not just the physical pain but the emotional pain, too.
- Keep them active.
- When your child runs up to you with something to say, always stop what you are doing and listen. Regardless of what it is, in the moment it is the most important thing in the world to them and they are trying to share it with you.
- Stay flexible.
- Be involved in whatever activities they choose.
- Let them be who they are.
- Wet wipes are golden.
- Try to see the world through their eyes to understand them.
- It’s OK to let them cry. They’re finding their voice.
- You will do things you never thought you’d do, like doing your little girl’s hair.
- You will teach your sons how to aim in the toilet. And you’ll teach them again. And they will miss. They will miss again. This will go on for years.
- Take pictures. I wish I had taken more pictures.
- Money takes on a different meaning when you have kids. Enjoy your current wardrobe because you’ll buy your kids new clothes (and everything else) long before you’ll buy yourself anything.
- React less and talk more. Yell less.
- As they get older, let them be their own person and live their own lives more and more.
- Expect the unexpected.
- Hug them every day.
- Your kids will teach you as much as you will teach them.
- The best feeling of fatherhood is seeing your kids succeed on their own.
- Enjoy every moment of them growing up. It really does fly by.
What advice would you share with new dads?
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