Monday, March 29, 2010

I dreamed about having a son, but I have a daughter. What do I do?

Do you remember when your wife was expecting? Remember all the times you were asked, “what are you having,” or, “what would you like to have?” Your response was, “a son.” Why? Because you envisioned playing catch, taking your son to his sports practices, having those ‘manly talks,’ and going fishing.

But now your wife has graced you with a beautiful daughter, and you have no idea what to do with her. Those dreams of playing with a son have faded away. You are the father of a daughter. Now what do you do?

You need to realize that if you had a son, you wouldn’t know what to do either. Your dreams about your son were probably about him when he was 5 years old or older. So you need to know that you are like any other parent at the birth of their child; they all have no idea what they are going to do when they bring a baby home. And just so you know, whether it is a baby girl, or baby boy, eating, sleeping, and changing diapers is the same.

Of course, that isn’t a satisfactory answer to “what do I do now?” You do need to mourn the loss of your dreams. However, you need to realize the great adventure you are going to have with your daughter. Think of all the things you will be able to do with her as she grows up!

Did nothing come to mind? That’s okay. I will help you out.

Think of the first time you will be able to put her in ponytails, and how cute she will be.

Think of the first time she says ‘Daddy’ and comes running to you instead of mom.

Think of how she is your little princess, and how you have now become the strongest man in her life.

Think of the first time she falls asleep in your arms, and you have to continue holding her, even though your arms are numb, so that she doesn’t wake up.

I am sure you are getting the image in your mind.

Now, every time you start thinking about that ‘son’, quickly recall those images that I have told you, or ones that you have made up yourself. That way you will be able to replace those old images with new images of your daughter.

Just remember, you are not alone in this experience. Just go ask another father who wanted a boy but got a girl ask them how they adapted.

Also, go have a listen to Carrie Underwood’s song, All-American Girl, and realize that that daughter of yours will become the centre of your world, and will have you wrapped around her fingers!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bullying, Your Daughter & Her Trust

There was a study done recently in the UK by Relate for Parents. It revealed that 17% percent of the time children go to their father for advice about bullying, compared to 59% to mom. To top it off, 74% of the children surveyed said they viewed mom as the role model, while only 58% viewed their dad as a role model.

Typically it is easier for a dad to talk to his son, or relate to his son. Men usually do physical activities together, like fishing and other sports. However, in general women like to do things emotionally together, such as talking and shopping. It is more difficult for dad to break this barrier of talking about bullying with his daughter, than it is with his son.

Here are some ways for you to have more success in developing a relationship of trust with your daughter, so that she will feel more comfortable going to you for advice.

(1) Listen to your daughter. Give her 100% of your attention when she is talking to you. Put your iPhone, Blackberry, and newspaper down, and turn off the TV or computer. Your daughter knows whether or not you are listening. If the topic is important to her, but you treat it lightly, and are distracted, chances are she won’t come back.

(2) Keep promises. If you say you will do something, do it! Daughters remember broken promises more than promises kept. So if you can’t keep the promise, don’t make it in the first place. This will help prevent a lot of hurt, heartache, and sorrow.

(3) Spend quantity time with your daughter. Quality time is important, but the quantity is just as important to your daughter. She will remember more of the little things that you did day-to-day together, than the big fancy 10-day trip to Disneyland. Make sure you invest time in her.

(4) Know where to look for answers when you don’t have the answers. It is okay to say to your daughter “I don’t know,” especially when you add the phrase, “but I will find out for you.” Know the people in your circle that you can talk to. Know web sources (like this one) that you can turn to.

(5) Make sure you let her know that you love her. Like that country song, ‘I loved her first’. You probably know how to say “I love you” in a way that you would like to receive it, but your daughter is different. She may respond differently to signals of “I love you”. She may want you to say it, she may want you to do something for her to show that you care, or she may just want a hug. Either way, you need to figure out the best way to say, “I love you” to your daughter.

Doing these things will help you gain the trust of your daughter. This will help her come to you for advice, and you can shine as a father!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our Mission

I have noticed that there is a dearth of parenting information, blogs, websites, etc. for fathers out there, and I believe that this is very sad. I mean, what is this saying about our society? Are dads really not involved? Are they just too busy to think about parenting? Or do they just not express their parenting in the same way as mothers do (e.g. on the internet)?

This blog is dedicated to providing fathers a place to go for fathering information. It is meant to be a place where fathers can gather and talk about their parenting issues, etc.

Because fathers are just as essential as mothers! Sure, children may have good outcomes when they have at least one loving adult in their life (gender doesn't matter), but I believe that the optimal family form is a heterosexual married couple who love each other, love their children, and do their very best to take care of their family. This is the only family form that will produce the optimal results (instead of only good results).

Disclaimer: I am not saying that single parents will fail, only that a two-parent family as described above is more optimal.

Thus, I am not negating the importance or influence of mothers. I am only saying that we need to stop marginalizing fathers in our society. Fathers are essential too.