If you can learn to appreciate your teenager’s environment, such as his tastes in clothes, as well as his music, it will be a good start. It is very important to avoid driving a wedge between you and your child particularly at this stage of his life. Although you may not approve of some of his friends, while you can tell him discreetly about your concerns, you have to let him make his own decisions. He will discover on his own later on, whether he has made good decisions or not. If you can do this, it will keep you much closer to him when problems arise.
Keeping relevant, means making a real effort to keep up with your teenagers’ technology, his games and his music. You should learn to play his computer games with him and get him to teach and explain things to you. He will love the fact that he can teach you things as well, and it is not always the other way round. By having this approach, you will always stay an integral part of his life, as he evolves through his teenage years. Although on many occasions it won’t feel like it at all and it won’t stop the arguments and disagreements, he will definitely respect you for trying to do this. Try to empathise with his lifestyle and the things he enjoys doing as much as possible. And be careful not to condemn and be disrespectful to his personal tastes just because you don’t happen to like them yourself.
Whatever your child is up to, positive feedback about what he is doing will always be well received by him. Even if you actually disagree with what he is doing. During this period of your child’s life he will be full of self-doubt and will be trying to find his way, so if you can find a positive slant on things, he will always respond better to that than if you are always critical of him. But it can be very difficult to do this at times. Make sure you are sincere about what you say, as children are quite perceptive and can very easily see through their parents if you aren’t. There will of course be many periods of anxiety and doubt as a teenager, so your positive and constructive comments will help keep his confidence levels as high as possible.
A Father is a vital component in the family and such an important daily point of reference for his children. A truly involved Dad will have such a positive impact on his children’s well being and contributes so much to their lives, it can never be over played.
In my book ‘Help I’m a Father’ I have really focused on things that a Father can do to improve the quality of his relationship with his children and offered tips and advice which can certainly get him out of some tricky day to day situations. It can offer him options when he most needs inspiration. But don’t believe me, below are some of the 5 star customer reviews it has received on Amazon.
“Brilliant book! So many useful tips and bits of advice to keep you going through the tough times of being a parent. Suitable to all parents from those with young children all the way to those with adult children. Plus it has some really good ideas of things to do to keep your children amused on long journeys! Would recommend to anyone needing a bit of help with parenting, especially those couples that are first time pregnant and want a little heads up with what’s about to come!”
“Perceptive, clever and sharply written. Hearn tackles the most important and least-written-about area of a man’s life. This book is a must for fathers, fathers-to-be — and mothers who want to understand the particular challenges their partners face”
“This is a really useful, enjoyable, amusing and long overdue book which gives an excellent perspective, for any Dad or Dad-to-be, on what it takes to be a better parent.”
“Great read! Well written and gives fantastic advice on all the areas of family and fatherhood!”
Any feedback or comments you can give me are very welcome, so please don’t hesitate.
The book is available through Amazon in paperback or an e-book. It would make a very useful and practical Christmas present for any Father, and would certainly be appreciated hugely. The link is below
When you tuck your Toddler in at night, always kiss him ‘good night’, and when you go and greet him the next day, kiss him ‘good morning’ as well. If you do this from birth, it will become second nature to you both. It is yet another little brick in the castle of emotional ties that you are building up with your child, which will stay with both of you for the rest of your lives. Even if your child is asleep when you do this, subconsciously he will know and sense you have done it. It will also allow you both to close off the old day, and start an exciting new one together, the next morning.
This habit will last all the way through to adulthood, and if you happen to forget one night, you can be sure your child will remind you. I once had an embarrassing episode with my daughter, while I was taking an evening phone call from a potential new employer. I had answered the call before I had kissed her goodnight. She was 3 years old at the time.
I was downstairs trying to sell myself for this particular new job that I wanted and she was standing at the gate to her bedroom shouting “kiss me goodnight Daddy”. I could hear her very clearly, but was trying to remain focussed on the call. Eventually having been distracted for about 15 minutes, the call was about to end and the person interviewing me said “next time you should say goodnight to your child before you do a phone call like this”. I was shocked as I thought she couldn’t hear my Toddler. I then stumbled out some lame excuse, about why I hadn’t said goodnight to my daughter yet, before saying goodbye to my interviewer. I didn’t get the job by the way, so be warned…..
This and many more anecdotes and tips are in my Book Help I’m a Father, by Mark Hearn, which is available through Amazon
If your baby has a temperature and is a little under the weather, the temptation is to ensure that he doesn’t get cold sweats and keep him well wrapped up. If you do this, his temperature will keep rising. Wrapping him up will make him even hotter and make matters a lot worse.
It seems crazy now, but we did that with our oldest child and couldn’t understand why his temperature was getting higher and higher. The first time this happened, it was very stressful for us, as we just couldn’t reduce his temperature. Eventually we called the hospital in a panic and got some very sound advice which thankfully worked really well. We put it into practice immediately and the effect was almost instantaneous. Every time any of our children ever got a temperature from then onwards, we just followed this simple advice.
So, if your child has a temperature which is proving difficult to reduce, you can use a moist cloth or flannel to dab his forehead, neck and body. This will start to cool those parts of his body specifically and his body in general and will help bring it down. You can even use a fan if you have one, as a cool breeze will also help to reduce it. While doing this, leave him without any clothes on, apart from his nappy, so his whole body can benefit from the cooling down measures you are using. Of course, the strategic use of a children’s paracetamol medicine mixture should help as well.
However, sometimes it is more serious and all these measures fail and you make no progress in bringing it down. If this happens, then you should of course seek medical assistance immediately.
If your child asks a question, it is because he wants to know the answer. Of course depending on the age of your child, you respond appropriately, but never brush off their question as not being important. The fact that your child asks you a question, shows that he is curious. He has a desire to discover the world he is growing up in and a need to interact with you and you with him. The question is important to your child based upon his current points of reference, or he would not have asked it
He will value your undivided attention so much, which will become evident in later years, when you ask him a question, or need an answer. He will give it to you, because that has always been the way you have treated him. As his father, you lead by example.
It is at a very early age that you should set the ground rules for the quality of communication between you and your children. This will determine what happens throughout their whole childhood. If you get this right, at the start of their lives, it will reap immeasurable benefits for the quality of your relationship together in later years. This will be very evident during their teenage years, when the challenges are very different, and can sometimes seem insurmountable for both of you.
Think of the amount of times you have heard fathers say to their child “ask me later”, or “go and ask your mother”. By doing this, you are sending a subliminal message to your child. ‘I do not have time for you right now’, or ‘I’m not interested in what you want to know’, or even ‘it doesn’t concern me’. Potentially this can be the start of the construction of subconscious barriers to communication with your child, which as he gets older will be very hard to overcome and could lead to serious consequences in later years.
Recently I finally published my book on Fatherhood ‘Help I’m a Father’, which has taken one year for the whole project to become reality. I started writing the book last July and it is now available on Amazon as a paperback or on Kindle as an e-book.
Some of what I have been writing on my Blog is in the book, but there is also a lot of brand new material in it. I intend to keep my Blog going as so many of you have been Following it, but it can also serve as a forum for any feedback you may have on the book, which I hope you will all read. The Book and also this Blog are expressions of how important I feel Fathers are to the upbringing of their children, and if they can help just one dad become a better father to his children then my goal is achieved.
If you are thinking that I believe I am the perfect dad, nothing could be further from the truth. I have made many mistakes along the way, you only have to ask my children, but on that journey, I have learnt some strategies and tips which actually work and hopefully by sharing them, I can help another dad avoid the pitfalls and consequences which I had to deal with.
If you do like my book, and I hope you will, please spread the word to others, as my total belief is that it remains vital that fathers are as involved with their children as their mothers are, and I will never stop saying and believing this. A balanced child needs both parents involvement equally, as they both bring many different attributes to the dynamic.
Thank you for supporting my Blog over the last year and I look forward to many more years of Blogging on this subject.
I am pleased to advise you that my book ‘Help I’m a Father’ is now available in paperback version, as well as Kindle and e-book formats from Amazon. The links are below:
I hope you enjoy the read.
From next week my Blog will be back to normal with new posts. Thank you again for your support and if you do buy the book, I hope you enjoy the read and the many tips and anecdotes that are in it.
As you know, I have been writing a Blog for many months now and I will be continuing it. I really enjoy the interaction I have built up with you all as Followers and I really value the feedback that you give me. But I have also written a book of the same title ‘Help I’m a Father’, which I’m delighted to tell you has just been published.
I decided to self publish it, as I could not get a fair deal from a Publishing company. So it is now available to buy on Amazon Kindle as an e-book. It will be available as a paperback this coming week. If you have enjoyed reading my Blog, there are many more tips and anecdotes in my Book. In fact you can dip in and out of it depending on the specific situation you are in with your children and hopefully it can provide you with some options.
Like in my Blog, I do not claim to have all the answers, or not to have made mistakes along the way with my own children, but the importance of a Father to his children can never be underestimated. An involved and committed Father makes for well balanced and rounded children and that has to be the ultimate goal of all parents.