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Becoming a father…3 things I learned from my kids

By Bruce Linton

Becoming a father was certainly the most life changing event I have ever experienced. How prepared was I?  I had recently studied to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. My wife was a nursery RN. I thought I was prepared…

I had gone to a lot of prenatal classes. The birth was amazing!!! But I was not prepared for how the entire rest of my life would change. My book “Becoming a Dad, how fatherhood changes men” shares my story and many of the dads whom have shared their journey’s along the way in my Fathers’ Forum Program.

But in those early years I found the best path was to let my kids teach me what I needed to know. I also found in my Father’s Groups really helped too.  Although us dads were all doing things a little different; we were all having to go through the same struggles. And what I was learning from my kids they were learning from theirs too! And together we all learned to be better students!!!

Becoming a father is the most profound developmental stage in our adult development. Becoming a father makes us into the men like no other experience we have.  Becoming a father matures us and brings out the best of who we are. Sometimes we do make mistakes and embarrass ourselves and sometimes have very bad behavior and unthoughtful actions that we need to improve on.  Here are three things I learned while becoming a father that my kids made me aware of. 

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The 5 Myths of Fatherhood

If you’re like most new or expectant dads, you’re probably carrying around some silent assumptions about what it means to be a father. Those ideas are rooted in your experiences with your own father and in what you believe society expects of a male parent. Unfortunately, few resources exist to help men address these issues or put common myths to the test. Yet the more you examine and understand your unspoken expectations of fatherhood, the better chance you have of becoming the parent you want to be.

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Fear and Fatherhood

by Bruce Linton

The HUGE life change of becoming a father is the greatest challenge we face as men. Nothing can make us feel so overwhelmed and yet also so satisfied as being a dad. Having “peak experiences” like hiking in the Himalayas, traveling penniless through Europe, living on a Greek island, attending the Monterey Pop Festival, meeting Frank Zappa, studying with Chogam Trungpa Rinpoche, all were enlightening.  But now in my late 60’s I can see that being a father was more profound and I learned more about myself than any of these wonderful adventures taught me.

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Zen and Fatherhood

by Bruce Linton

When I became a lay Buddhist monk 37 years ago I never imagined becoming a father or that I my children would teach me the life truths I had been trying to understand through meditation and dharma study.

There is a story about a Zen monk who wants to become an archer. He seeks out the finest Zen archery teacher in all of Japan. He asks to become his student and how long his training will last. The teacher says, “It will take your whole life.” The monk says “What if I really apply myself very diligently?” The teacher says, “Then it will take you only 30 years.” But says the monk, “What if I double my efforts, how long would it take me then?”  The teacher says, “Then it will take you 70 years.” But says the monk  “How could it take me 70 years if I am redoubling my efforts!” The teacher says “Because you are so impatient, it will take you longer.”

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