So. You’re a new dad. Or maybe an old dad. Or maybe not even a dad yet, but your wife told you to read this. Well, awesome. All are welcome, this is a judgement-free zone.
I wanted to talk a little about the shift in paradigm that fathers are going through.
Remember back in the day, like in the 50’s, dads would go to work all day, come home to a hot meal on the table, pat little Johnny on the head and tell him to run along and play? Or how dad would be the strict authoritarian of the house and serve up punishment when he felt it was due? Well those days are long, long gone.
Today, more and more dad’s have an active, positive role in their kids’ lives. Whether that being changing diapers, building a fort out of pillows and blankets, or even sharing their bed after a bad dream.
So what has changed over the years to get to this point? Well, I think dads have realized that kids are more a gift than an obligation. It may be remembering the things they didn’t like as a child that their dad did. Or it may just be they’ve given up on the machismo factor and have opened their hearts to the ones that are the most special to them.
I’m proud to say that I am a new school dad. I wear a kid on my back when we go on hikes. I still hold and carry around my almost 6 year olds. I read to them at night. I wrestle with them. A lot! I cook them food. I clean up their toys. I kiss them good night.
Being a new school dad isn’t easy. I struggle with it quite a bit. It would be so much easier to lay down the law and not take any back talk. Instead, being a new school dad means listening to your kids and respecting their opinions (well, I guess first, it means to realize they are human beings that actually have opinions!). I believe if they don’t want to go to bed right now because they are in the middle of something, I will listen to their plea and work with them on a compromise.
So what is the end goal of new school dads? Success is such as subjective measurement, especially in parenting, but one aspect of MY idea of being a successful dad is if my kids will want to hang out with me when they’re older. No, not the obligatory Sunday dinner, I mean calling me up and saying, “Hey dad, want to go play some golf?” or “Dad, you around? I want to stop by for a beer.”
If that’s the relationship I have with my kids when they are adults, I will consider myself a successful dad. And the crazy part about it is, to get to that point, it begins now.
It starts when they’re a baby. How often do you hold your new daughter? How often do you sing to her? Then when they’re toddlers. Have you jumped in and played Robin when your son has his Batman costume on? Then when they’re a bit older, did you download Minecraft on your phone or computer to join their world and see the incredible things they’ve built? The list goes on and on.
The point is to try to see things from their eyes and have them see you as an equal rather than some huge guy that tells them what to do all the time.
Kids are precious, man. And the thing about it is, they aren’t kids forever. It’s like a blink of an eye. Be one of the lucky ones and realize this fact before it’s too late.
Hopefully you’ve found some value in this, but most likely, you’re asking yourself why the heck is this on a travel blog? Well, I think travel has a lot to do with strengthening a family’s bond. You get to see new sights together, experience new things together, and most of the time you’re not working when you’re traveling, so other stressors are out of the picture.
From my family travel experiences, I don’t think there is a better way to bond and build your relationship with your kids than by traveling. Check out this post on 11 ways to travel more as a family , hopefully it will help you get out and see the world together!
So, join me as a new school dad and forge the relationship you have with your kids to last forever!
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