Monthly Archives: June 2011

Is your kid reading yet?

If your child is at least 5 years of age or older you will probably be answering yes to the title question. No big deal. However, more often than not I hear moms asking each other this question in playgrounds everywhere. Here is the stereotype: She will have some fancy huge sunglasses on, a Starbucks cup on one hand and her smartphone on the other. Sounds familiar?

I rarely see dads doing this. When I go to the park with my 3 year old I try to focus on watching him, playing with him or if he’s safe and interacting with the other kids I may or may not chat with some other parents.

Chatting with other dads is fun. We talk about how cool and how hard it is to raise kids, how much fun we have with our children, then we talk about sports, work, economy, etc… but when talking with moms you may come across the type I mention above. She will use any opportunity she can to let you know her 2-year old is a math genius because he knows how to count to 20 since he was 18 months old. That without saying that she believes her 4 year old daughter will become the next Shakespeare because she’s already reading full 30-page books and writing her own name. Wow!

As a dad I normally like to focus on who my child is as a person and not on what he can do. Yes, like every parent I also think my kid is a smart little boy but more importantly I like to tell how caring he is, how gentle he’s towards other kids and that he says “hi” and “thank you” to everyone he meets.

If you choose to put your kids through the school system they will eventually read, write, learn math, science and play sports but moral values such as being considerate, respectful, honest, polite and humble must be taught at home.

If you are a dad and you happen to be listening to one of these moms bragging about their kids try to think about the qualities your child has as a person. Or you can also bring to the picture some of the flaws of your child. That will disarm the bragger immediately. Imagine the conversation:

YOU: They grow so fast uh? Soon they will be going to school.

Bragging Mom: “I knoooooow… But I know my princess will be amazing in school, OMG my daughter is only 3 and a half and she’s already reading, can you believe that?”

YOU: “Wow, that’s great for her. My son has just turned 3 and he’s super clumsy. He can’t even kick a soccer ball without tripping on himself. But he’s very gentle and loves to give hugs.”

Bragging Mom: “… … … Crazy weather, uh?” 

Cheers,

~Gil

Hospitalized newborn

One of the scariest things for a parent is to have his child admitted to a hospital. When that happens right after the baby is born it’s ten times scarier. No matter the reason, when you see your child at the NICU with all those monitors connected to him and you can’t do anything to help you feel devastated. What can you do then, as a dad to make the situation less stressful?

Newborn at the NICU. Scary but stay positive, dad.

  • First of all give your child’s mom lots of support. It doesn’t matter if you’re married to her or not. This is the time when you leave all the differences aside and focus on helping each other through this tough moment.
  • Secondly, spend a lot of time with your baby. If the mom had a natural birth she will be able to be there too but if she had a c-section it might take a couple of days until she’s able to be wheeled to the NICU to spend time with her baby. So it’s your responsibility to be right next the little one to watch him/her, touch (if allowed), and talk about positive things. Try not to cry because your baby might pick up on that sad energy. If you feel like crying take a walk, breathe and wait until you calm down to come back to the NICU.

Whatever happens in the end you, as a dad, need to do your part. Stay positive until the very end. Listen to the doctors, ask questions and expect honest answers. If you don’t understand a doctors answer ask a direct question. If you’re a spiritual person you can and should pray. It’s not necessarily about the religious idea behind it but more about the positive energy and the hope boost that a prayer can bring.

If you’ve been through this situation feel free to share if you feel like it. If you’re aren’t a dad yet just relax for now. I hope you don’t have to go through anything like this. Just be ready to put your Super Dad pants on and take responsibility.

Cheers,

~Gil