As a single dad with over 12 years of experience, two moms to communicate with, and two amazingly beautiful daughters, I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve been the custodial and the non-custodial parent. I’ve been married. I’ve been divorced. I’ve dated women who were horrible for my daughters to be around. I’ve been in loving relationships as well.
One thing that I’d like to do this Father’s Day is encourage young dads, especially the single ones. By that, here is a list of random thoughts to consider:
1) Don’t focus on your “rights” as a father; focus on your “relationship” with your child. You have an opportunity at a relationship, not a right.
2) Women who fight with you while you’re spending (sometimes limited) time with your children need to be booted out. It’s likely she is jealous of the relationship you have.
3) Hang out with other dads and families. They are almost impossible to find when you’re young, but they’re out there. Start hanging with business people, mentors, advisers. This will help boost your chances at a solid career and more stability.
4) Don’t let anyone get in between your realtionship with your children. It belongs to you. This includes attorneys, judges, family members, moms. If you’re a douchebag, expect an uphill battle.
5) Be who you are with them. Feel free to build, create, sing, be silly… you can pretty much get away with murder when you have kids around. Be creative.
6) Educate. Read. Learn. Don’t ever stop learning. Biggest mistake parents make is thinking they’re done with edjumacation. Keep going until you’re dead. This doesn’t mean you have to go to college. Read a book. Read another.
7) Encourage the relationship between your child and their mother. You may have disagreements, arguments, and want each other to rot in hell but it is your duty to never get in the way of their relationship. It’s theirs. Just like yours is yours. Respect the one-on-one.
8) When talking about your child’s mom and the child, always use the word “our”. Not “my” or “mine”. Kids pick up on that. Studies show that if parents are possessive, their child ends up possessed. Okay, not really, but practice using our.
9) Be your child’s superhero.
And have a Happy Father’s Day. The girls and I are off to Magic Mountain. Pictures of our day can be found at Full-Time Daddy on Facebook.