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
Bedtime can be a stressful time for you, but you don’t really need to worry, as once you have got your Toddler into bed, if he is tired, he will go to sleep. You don’t need to close his door either. Many children can be afraid of the dark for no reason at all. Therefore, it will be reassuring for him if he wakes up in the middle of the night and doesn’t feel cut off from the rest of the family. Pitch blackness can be very intimidating and scary for a young child.
In any case, most young children do not need complete darkness or silence to sleep. When they are tired, they will sleep anywhere, even in bright sunlight in a noisy store or park. How many times have you seen a small child fast asleep in his parent’s arms or a pram, in the middle of the day? Leaving his door open can also be a good discipline for later on in life. It may well help keep your child with an ‘open’ attitude to you and others as he grows older. It should help avoid him trying to always close himself off in his bedroom when he is a teenager and distancing himself or becoming aloof from the rest of the family. It’s amazing how something as simple and unscientific as this, can help promote good habits, later on in life. And these habits die very hard in later years.
Children don’t need silence to sleep. Young children sleep if they are tired, and if they are not, then they won’t go to sleep. It can be reassuring for your Toddler to hear normal family background noise when he goes to sleep, so he does not feel cut off at bed time. It also means that your family can continue its normal household (sometimes noisy) routines in the evening. It is very important for your child’s development that he is raised in as normal household environment as possible. It goes without saying that normality is relative and based on your particular religion and culture. You will also feel less stressed as you will not be trying to keep other children quiet or keeping the general level of noise down.
A little night light in the background, particularly when your child is very young, will also help prevent him becoming afraid of the dark. Because he has this light on, as he grows older, darkness should never become an issue for him.
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.
This is always a challenge for young parents when you have Toddlers in the household, but a little extra effort can reap dividends for you both. Even if you are exhausted when you arrive home from work, and you feel you don’t have enough energy to have a little playtime with your child, force yourself to make that extra special effort.
Always say hello to your child, wherever he is in the house and listen attentively to what he has to say to you about his day. It will be time very well spent. He will always want to greet you when you have been away, even if only for a few hours and he will remember the effort you have made for him for many years to come.
It will also give your partner a break, which she will really appreciate and recognise the effort you have made. Even though she knows you are very tired from being out all day, the fact that you have made that special effort to relieve her, will help improve your relationship together. It will give her instant relief from the pressure of children, and it will definitely improve your sex life.
This may seem like a wild claim, but as she will be far more relaxed when she goes to bed, it will definitely be more rewarding than if she is exhausted. It’s a bit like knocking over a set of dominoes. You relieve the pressure on her, she spends time on herself, she relaxes, you get tired from playing with your Toddler, you need relaxing, she spends time on you, you feel better, she feels better……it’s a win/win situation……
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.
One of the most intimate and moving moments of your life will be the arrival of your baby into this world. The sheer magic and awe at being present at the dawning of this new miracle of human life will stay with you for the rest of your life. It will be the most meaningful and emotionally charged event you have ever experienced and yet it will seem to go by ‘in the blink of an eye’.
Before the birth you may have lots of qualms about seeing blood, or seeing your partner in pain and being there in such a highly charged emotional situation, so you may be hesitant initially. The significance of the occasion once your partner goes into labour will make you forget about all those concerns. The more you realise that this is something so life changing and so profound, the more you will want to be there. It will be even more meaningful for you, as you will have been communicating with your baby and touching him through his mother’s tummy for the last six months.
Therefore, I would strongly recommend that you, as a father to be, do everything to make sure that you are there at the birth of your child and witness his arrival into this world.
Hold him as soon as he is born and you will see and feel immediately the intimate and unique bond between you. When you first look into his eyes as his father and reflect that this little being is part of you, it will start immediately. You will never ever forget that moment. It will remain as vivid in your mind for many years into the future, as the day he was born.
Your child’s bedroom must always be his special place where he has good sentiments and feels totally secure. In other words his personal sanctuary and it is your responsibility to make sure this is the case throughout his whole childhood. There will be times while he grows up when he will need a place where he can gather his thoughts and think how he can manage the challenges life has thrown at him.
You always need to keep this in mind when you punish him for doing something naughty. Avoid at all costs sending your child to his bedroom during the day as a punishment, as this will make his room become synonymous with a negative experience and a place he is banished to when he is in trouble. As an alternative, you can always send him to bed early, as this is different, because the punishment is going to bed early, and not being sent to his room.
You must also make sure the punishment fits the crime. If your child steals something from somebody else, he should be punished strongly by withdrawing privileges. This could be no TV or video games for a week. You must however ensure the punishment is appropriate for the misdemeanour. If administered correctly to your child, it will teach him a very firm lesson, namely never to steal again. He also needs to understand that certain behaviour is totally unacceptable at any time.
If you get it wrong however, it may result in a completely different message coming across to your child. It is therefore very important to teach your child that there are always consequences for unacceptable behaviour and that the severity of the punishment will always fit the crime.
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.