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It Starts Now

Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 51
Something my wife always says to me when I get angry or upset, and I show that emotion and we're in front of our baby girl, is that I have to be careful not to let her see that. I don't always pay attention to it. And sometimes, I don't even feel that agree with my wife when she gets on me about blowing up in front of the baby. But lately I've been thinking about my actions, I've been thinking about the kind of father I am and the kind of father I want to be. And I'm beginning to feel that my wife is true in warning me about how I act in front of the baby.

If anything, we have to begin better habits when our children are born. I think we justify some of our poor actions that we do in front of them and say that they're too young to know that we're upset, or they don't speak words so they don't know that the ones we are using are inappropriate.

I think another habit that is easy for me, and maybe for most men in general, is to allow a baby to sit in their bouncy seats or other play things while we sit and watch TV or sit on a computer. It's a part of life that we have other things going on and as long as our baby isn't crying, we easily justify letting them sit their alone while we get some work done, or some relaxing. I often have to guard myself from this way of thinking. I worry that I'm already getting into a bad habit of neglecting my daughter by doing stuff like that.

I think to be a loving father, it has to start now. And that's why I think I need to cuddle her and hold her near me, because that way, my daughter will grow up knowing she's loved and cared for. I think even though she babbles and can't speak real words, I should still talk to her as if she does. I need to get in the habit of speaking with her. I don't want to be the kind of father that comes home from work and doesn't have conversations with his children, and therefore has no clue what's going in their life. I think it's good give her my attention, even though she can't comprehend what that means to neglecting the attention I could be giving to work or to my own leisure.

I think when we become parents, as much as we shouldn't be too touchy feely with our children to where they are too spoiled or too nurtured, we should give them ENOUGH spoiling and nurturing that is necessary for them to grow up knowing that they are loved and that they are part of a family that cares about their well-being. Every child should grow up being known and loved by their parents. And it's going to be hard for that to happen if we don't start now to form those habits of speaking love to them each day, to showing them affection with our actions. They need us to form those habits even when they are little babies who don't yet understand it. It's all for them that we should start now to form these habits.

Are you forming good habits?
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Comment by yinglink

Joined: 7/15/2011
Posts: 10
Wow. You are already on your way to being a great dad just by even considering the fact that you could be doing better. It's all a matter of balance. You should show your emotion in front of your children, but not if they are out of control. Kids need to see you have various emotions, then need to see how you get beyond them if they are negative. If you are feeling out of control, or inappropriate, and you would be really upset if you saw your kids modeling the same behavior - it's a sign you should deal with the emotions out of view, but come back later and explain how you worked it out.
Regarding conversation, some dads aren't good at talking, but reading books or singing along with music is another way to share conversation.
Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2011 1:28:19 AM
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Comment by jasoncaleb

Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 51
Thanks for sharing these ideas and pointing them out to me. I like that view that we shouldn't be afraid to let them see our various emotions. I forget that they will learn how we deal with things. And one thing I know I don't want to do is to shelter my daughter as she grows to where she won't have any awareness of the reality of the world until she moves out of the house one day. I'd rather her see the imperfections and the reality while she's in my care.
Posted: Monday, September 12, 2011 1:18:56 PM
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Comment by mcoly618

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
CONGRATS! I just wanted to let you know that we featured your essay on the Stage of Life Facebook page today. If you would like to check it, out go to

Feel free to share the news with your friends and family. You're famous! :)
Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2011 1:42:36 PM
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Comment by Guest

Joined: 10/30/2008
Posts: 2,760
Deadly accurate answer. You've hit the bullysee!
Posted: Saturday, December 31, 2011 12:36:07 PM
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