Our top 10 tips for brand new dads, that may be parenting alone or co-parenting. So, you’re a dad! You are about to set off on a wonderful voyage of discovery. It can be exciting. It can be frightening. And it can be fun.
- You are not born with parenting skills- they‘re learned on the job, through experience. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort you’ll be able to have a great relationship with your child. The key is patience, unlimited patience.
- Having a close relationship with your child helps build your child’s confidence and self esteem.
- If you take an interest in your child’s life this tells your child that you care about her/him and that s/he is important. The more time you spend with your child the more capable you’ll feel as a parent.
- The earlier you and your baby start getting to know one another the closer and better your relationship will be. For instance, when your baby is very small, bath-time can be very special. Learn how to give your baby a massage.
- Try not to hand your baby over to the nearest woman when your baby is crying or fretting. Have her tell you what to do instead of doing it for you. Don’t be afraid to make a few decisions- and a few mistakes- on your own.
- Carry your baby around and listen to music together. Talk to her/him. Read to your baby. Is doesn’t really matter what you read- s/he won’t understand you yet anyway. The point is to get her/him used to hearing your voice, which will make her/him feel comfortable and secure with you.
- You do not have to entertain your child every waking moment. Like adults, young children need down-time.
- Things are going to go wrong no matter how hard you try, and you have two choices: get stressed and uptight, or roll with it and laugh.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.
- Remember that unmarried dads do not have automatic guardianship rights to their children. Having your name on the birth cert does not give you guardianship rights.
Produced by TREOIR, The National Information Service for Unmarried Parents, visit www.treoir.ie for more information.