I’m sure when you found out you were going to be a father, you said to yourself: I got this. I know everything there is to know about being a dad. It’s easy. Dealing with a baby, my wife, work, family, I got it all handled. Ok, reality is that being a new dad is awesome but most likely you are trying to figure out what you need to know. So in this video, we are going over 6 skills every new dad needs to master.
When you are a new dad and you are learning what fatherhood is all about, you may have a tendency to focus on skills like how to change the baby’s diaper or how to hold a baby. While sure it’s important to know those things, does it really matter if you have the best wiping technique or you hold your baby in that special position. I can tell you from experience, it doesn’t. The skills I’m talking about are ones that will impact your life and your child’s life. These are the essentials skills for new dads:
#1 Managing Expectations – We all come up with scenarios and things in our head. Be careful of this. When you are a new dad, you may have expectations of how your child should be, what they should do, or even how you should feel. Really you are just shoulding all over yourself. Manage the expectations you have for those around you and for yourself. Ideally it’s best to not have expectations because then you will not be disappointed.
#2 Patience – Being a new parent requires patience. One example is that everything you do takes longer when you have a baby. So if you are someone who likes to be on time, give yourself a lot more cushion to get ready. Your patience will be tested. Whether it’s the baby crying for an extended period of time, or you changing a dirty diaper and immediately upon changing the diaper, your child goes to the bathroom again. For some people those kind of things won’t make them lose your patience, but something will, I promise.
#3 Gratitude – It is impossible to feel down and depressed if you are feeling grateful. We have a previous video somewhere up here in which I explain that the secret to happiness is being grateful. You can actually practice gratitude as a new dad and I would highly suggested it. There are tons of reasons to be grateful. Our other video talks about a gratitude journal and other ways you can develop your gratitude muscle.
#4 – Being Present – A lot of people talk about being present but what does it mean as a new father? To me it is two things: 1) not being distracted while I’m trying to experience something with my child. That can be as simple as putting your phone away when you are engaging with your child. The second part of being present is to notice things while they are happening. For example, if you are sitting down holding your child, notice their face, look at it. Notice the surroundings you are in. The colors you see. The sounds you hear. It’s the idea of us not being on autopilot. That is being present
#5 Unconditional Love – Parenting if often filled with situations of conditional love. You don’t want that. What you need to do is love your child regardless of what they do, how they act, what they achieve, or who they become. Every child deserves to be loved unconditionally. If you can master the skill of loving unconditionally, your child will be better off and your relationship with them will be stronger.
#6 – Empathy – The grand daddy of all new father skills. Learning empathy is the single most important thing as a new dad. Empathy is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s being able to see things from someone else’s perspective. Imagine seeing a situation from your newborn’s perspective….it totally changes the way you handle things.
All 6 of these skills are so important for new dads. When you are a new father and you are in the middle of it, sometimes it can be hard to keep perspective on what is really important. We get lost in the small details and the daily grind of living our lives. You may just be trying to get some sleep. I promise that if you can master these 6 skills as a new dad….you know what, you don’t even need to master them, just practice them. You, your child, and those around you are going to be so much better off.
I’d love to hear from you. What is a skill you think other new dads need to know? Leave your feedback in the comments below.