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.
Providing good schools, participating in community and sports activities, having a computer, offering music lessons these are some of the ways we help to nurture our kids as they grow and develop. Every father wants his child to grow up to be an honest and caring person. But how does that happen?
If we reflect on our own parent’s marriage, what was it like? Did they treat each other with dignity and respect? Were they considerate and understanding with each other? How did they handle the inevitable anger and frustration that comes not just with parenting, but with life? Did they seem to enjoy being married? Why did they have children?
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.
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.