Guides to Being a Dad
One of my objectives in writing this blog is to help other men become better dads. As I learn new lessons on my journey as a dad I write them up as guides and tips for other dads. Together we can learn and grow, challenge stereotypes of bumbling, uninvolved parents and become the engaged dads our kids want us to be.
Becoming a parent – especially the first time can be overwhelming and disorienting. Everything changes, or at least it seems like it does. Men don’t typically get the same opportunities to learn how to look after kids and parent. The stereotypical expectations are that dads don’t make competent parents.
That is not true. Parenting is a learned skill and it is a constant journey of learning.
New Dad Guides
These guides for new dads are a great starting point to help with some of the basics of the lead up to becoming a parent and the first year. More guides will be added over time.
This is a good lead-in post to start with. It includes links to most of the below posts and some additional tips that are not yet or don’t need to be full guides of their own.
There is always lots of thought and discussion about what mums-to-be ought to take with them to the hospital / birthing centre and limited suggestions for dads-to-be. This guide will give you some tips of the kinds of things that are useful for dads whose partners will be giving birth when at the hospital or birthing centre.
Parental leave in Canada is not as good as it could be, but it does offer the prospect for dads to take leave. Not many dads take it. Sometimes because dads or employers don’t know it is there. Sometimes it because the other partner wants to take it all and sometimes dads don’t take it because they are made to feel that they will be somehow less manly for being at home taking care of their kid instead of being at work. Take the leave. It is important for your development as a parent and your relationship with you kid now and in the future.
Parenting isn’t easy, especially in the first weeks and months when you are trying to just get your feet under you, deal with the sleep deprivation and the fact that you are now responsible for keeping another human alive. Other people know what this is like and they want to help. Let them do it, ask for more help if you need it.
This is primarily for you if you are in a heterosexual relationship and your partner gave birth. In spite of that, if you are in a relationship with your co-parent – support them. You both need support to figure this thing out and respond to the needs of your new child.
If you’ve never had the chance to change a diaper before, the prospect could be daunting. This is an essential skill to have as a dad. You will change thousands of diapers before you get through to the other side of potty training. This guide shows you step-by-step how to change a diaper and provide some useful tips for changing boys or girls.
Life is busy. It can be a challenge to focus on your kids amongst all of our competing priorities.
We often try to get kids moving on our timetable and they don’t always move at the pace we would prefer – and by don’t always, I mean hardly ever. Pushing them out the door more often than not causes us stress and frustration. What if there was another way?
School mornings are often stressful as we try to get everyone ready and out the door on time for school and work. My kids and I developed a routine together that means time for everyone to get ready as well as time for them to play or read before they need to leave for school. It has made a world of difference.
Other than just trying to keep our kids alive, our main responsibility as parents is to raise our kids to be decent human beings who can interact with others. There will be many opportunities for them to challenge us and themselves along the way. Part of the learning process involves making decisions and dealing with the consequences. It is important that we help them on this journey of discovery and learning by establishing certain behavioral expectations. Setting specific positive and negative consequences for specific behaviours will help our kids to make better decisions as they grow – and have the bonus effect of eliminating or reducing those actions that cause challenges in our families.
The holy grail for parents of young kids. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not. These tips will help you through the adventure and into the land of the diaper-free!
You’ve earned it. After all that potty training and school morning sorting, you deserve to take a break. Seriously, we all need to take a break from our job as parents, refresh and come back to parenting with more energy and patience.
Have you heard – once you have kids you will never sleep again… It turns out that sleep is pretty good for you. You should get some more of it. I should get some more of it. Maybe I ought to stop writing so many blog posts late at night and go to bed instead…
Send your kid away from home – it is good for them. The first few times they may experience homesickness. Most kids will get through it ok. Some will not. Tips you can use to help them manage.
Every kid wants to be able to ride. Tips and options to help your kids learn how to ride a bike.
Riding a bike is awesome. Help your kids learn to ride and set them free!
Vital Life Skills
This is a crucial skill for every dad. If you aren’t a pun warrior yet, this guide will help you on your way. It even includes some free jokes to get you started.
Everyone is a critic, especially when it comes to observers of your parenting skills. How you manage the criticism is key.
One of those facts of life that we all have to deal with and along the way we need to help our kids learn how to cope.
I suck at remembering song lyrics and tunes. I have a very limited repertoire. If you are like me and struggle to find songs to sing to your kids at bedtime, here are some that you can learn relatively easily – lyrics and videos included to help you on your way.
We all lie on occasion. Sometimes we suspect our kids are lying and sometimes it is hard to be sure. This guide contains tips on how to tell and how to reduce the likelihood of your kids lying to you.
Nobody wants to be the first parent to cave and get up in the middle of the night to deal with a crying kid. This guide will help you recognize when your partner is trying to fake sleep and help you up your fake sleeping game.
Some day it is going to happen. You are going to be sitting minding your own business when suddenly you are going to be sent to pick up some stockings because your favourite woman has discovered a hole or a run in her stockings and needs a replacement. It is going to be a more complicated adventure than you first expected. Read up and make sure you ask the right questions ahead of time.
Talking With Your Kids About Sex and Sexual Health
This is a topic that many parents are poorly prepared for and in many cases are afraid to discuss with their kids. Fortunately for you, I am a former sexual health educator and I have put together some guides to help you through the process.
General tips on how to prepare for the sexual health conversation with your kids. Pro-tip – you can start as soon as they are learning to speak.
If you are a dad of daughters this series is for you.
Refresh yourself or learn about the biology of all the cool stuff women’s bodies can do so that you are prepared to explain it to your daughters.
A woman’s period is not just about the biology, it is also about the social expectations and norms that women, including your daughter will be subject to. Read up and adjust your perspective to help them prepare for their first period and how they might feel about it.
Just like finding the right pair of stockings is fraught with risk because of all the options and choices, helping your daughter pick the right products for her can be daunting. This guide provides details on all of the different menstrual pads and pantyliners.
This guide is part 2 of the products guide. This one covers tampons and menstrual cups.