In my excitement to see my children after a day at work, I almost always forgot to ask whether they had been winded after their evening feed. In my enthusiasm for a cuddle it caused many accidents, many of which were totally unexpected.
One Friday evening I came home after a day at work and picked up our daughter. As usual, I didn’t ask my wife any questions, put her on my shoulder, where she promptly vomited all down the back of my jacket. It was Friday, so I was pretty relaxed and just changed it. My wife and I were going to neighbours for drinks, the babysitter had arrived and with a new jacket on, off we went.
After 45 minutes of hugs and hellos we were chatting to a group of friends when suddenly one said, “Mark, what the heck’s that on your trousers?” You guessed it, my little princess had puked right down my trouser legs too and I hadn’t noticed. At that moment everyone worked out what the unusual smell had been (I think the parents of babies become immune to the scent of milky vomit) and a bit of ribbing and exaggerated gagging ensued for the rest of the evening.
It’s a fact, babies will be sick on you. Of course, this may mean you have to take your stuff to the dry cleaners, but who cares. Your child didn’t do it on purpose, even if she is smiling at you and has that unspoken look on her face ‘caught you out there dad didn’t I?’ She certainly didn’t have any ulterior motives for doing it, so don’t blow it out of perspective.
It’s not worth getting upset or annoyed when this happens. It will happen to you many times, but in the end, it is always worthwhile when you see your child’s little smile after she has got rid of the wind in her tummy.
Hi to all my Followers, I hope you are enjoying my Blog, I love writing about my experiences with Fatherhood, and hopefully you like hearing about them. I am inspired that so many of you care about the importance of a truly involved Dad.
Since I started my Blog, I have been writing a book which will be called the same title, ‘Help I’m a Father’ and recently I finally finished the manuscript. I am now pitching it to Publishers, and some of them have been very positive about it, and have asked that I try to get my Blog Followers and Viewers up before they agree to publish it.
So I would like to ask you all a favour. Could you please let all your contacts online know about my Blog and encourage them to Follow it and view my posts. I know it may seem like a strange request, but it really would help me to get my book published. If you could share it on your social media pages, it would also really be appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Can your child really teach you anything as he grows up, or should it always be the other way round? When we first have children and decide to become parents, we are complete novices at it. We have no experience of handling our own baby, and make no mistake, it is completely different from dealing with other peoples children. So really we know nothing, and we are starting with a blank piece of paper!
So the moment your child is born is where you start the learning process. Even as you do the first feed, you baby will be teaching you what he likes, and the best way to feed him. This extends to bath time, and many other daily routines, and how he communicates to you the best way of playing with him.
Then as he gets a bit older, he will often be subliminally teaching you, and in fact will teach you a major life skill which will help you for the rest of your life. Your child will teach you to keep everything in life in perspective.
It doesn’t matter how stressful or tiring your day has been, when you walk into your house, and he jumps into your arms with that adoring smile and cheeky look in his eyes, you will realise that there is much more to life than just working, or chasing the money.
Maybe you have a question you are looking for an answer to, and you haven’t been able to find a satisfactory outcome. So please ask me, whether you are a mother or father, or a parent to be.
The purpose of this Blog is to share ideas, and offer tips and advice on day to day situations that arise, specifically for a Father. Handling the relationship with your children and helping to improve its quality is vital, and time which is very well spent.
I don’t claim to know all the answers, but what I can offer is a different perspective perhaps, and a possible solution to a situation which troubles you. So please contact me and suggest topics to write about, or ask me very specific questions.
I guarantee I will answer every one that I receive. I also hope you are enjoying reading my Blog. Any feedback that you would like to give me is very welcome. Thank you.
How often have you had a battle with your child over bedtime? “Can I just finish that TV program?” or “I’ve nearly finished my game” are just a couple of delaying tactics. By starting young, and creating a non negotiable routine, bedtime can be permanently enjoyable for you and your child, and not a source of disagreements.
Start when your child is about 4 years old, when he starts to go to nursery school, and introduce the ‘rule’ of going to bed at 7.00 pm. Once you have done this, make sure you always give about 15 minutes notice before bedtime. This will allow your child to finish what he is doing, whether it is a game he is playing or a TV program he is watching.
Once you have started regular bedtimes, you can introduce a later bedtime for every birthday that is reached. Each year the time goes back 15 minutes, so at age 10, it is 8.30 pm, then it continues up to the age of 16 when it becomes 10.00 pm. After this age, your child will go to bed when he wants, although you should try to keep a routine during term time.
If you introduce this routine very early on in your child’s life, it will never become an issue. It will also ensure that you and your partner get some quality relaxation time together in the evening, once the children are in bed, when you can really focus on each other.
Very often there are times when your baby just won’t settle. It could be that he is slightly under the weather, or has trapped wind, or is simply having a grouchy day. But you still need to be doing things around your home, and can’t afford to just to stop everything.
There is a way to continue getting things done and at the same time, calm your baby down. I discovered this purely by accident after a few months, and wished I had known about it earlier. Your baby will feel soothed if he is near you, and can feel your warmth and smell, and feels some gentle motion? How can you do this, you might ask, and still be getting things done?
Lie your baby along your forearm, it doesn’t matter which one. If you are right handed, he is better on your left one. His head should be towards your elbow, while he is lying face down along your forearm. You should then hold onto his upper leg quite firmly, but not too hard. Safe enough for him not to have any risk of you letting him go.
You are then ready to start doing things which need to be done. Your baby will be happy, as he is moving with you, feeling you, and can see what is going on. You will be happy, as you will be less stressed, and feel able to be getting on with things that need to be done.
Hopefully this will help you. Let me know if you try it.
No conversation is a bad conversation with your child. The discussion may not always be comfortable, and you may be embarrassed to use certain words in front of them. Nevertheless, the fact that you are talking so openly with each other, however awkward it feels, it is a good conversation to have.
Don’t be afraid to discuss with your children such topics as your daughters first period, or when they should start having sex. No subject should be taboo, particularly for a father. You are just as important to them as their mother, so it is right that everything can be discussed and spoken about with both of you.
Choose your moment to start the conversation, for example, at supper when you are all relaxed, or just chatting in the kitchen. Relate your own experiences to your child, as it will make you more normal and show her that you know what you are talking about.
By doing this, you will ensure that no barriers to communication are ever put up between you. This is very important, and you will see that during the teenage years, when there is so much self doubt going on in your child’s head, you become an even better Father to them.
The more open the communication between you and your children, the higher the quality of relationship you will have with them. It will then be even more enjoyable for you both. It will also give you more credibility with them, as they get older.
I’m sure that you have wondered about what happened today to your child. Why is he/she so quiet this evening? Why whenever you ask “how was your day?”, he/she says “fine”, and that’s the end of it! And it doesn’t matter what age your children are…….
I always thought this was a serious problem to solve, and I believe I have done this. It will definitely work for you with your children. This strategy helped me hugely when my children were younger, and it can help you. If you start right when your child is very young, it will continue to work for you as your child gets older and into the teenage years.
To start, you need to be very disciplined and encourage your child to participate. Every supper time when you all sit down together, play “Best and Worst”. This is when you all describe to the other family members the best part of your day and also the worst. Everyone is relaxed, so everyone is happy to do this, including you as their Dad.
While you all sit together, there is a captive audience, and you will be amazed at what you learn. I learnt about bullying at school, and my children learnt about what happened at my work. Your children are eager to know what you do, and love sharing with you what they do with you. Try it, and see what happens, and let me know what unexpected things you learn.