Today we have a special treat for all of you! Our Cubby Dads have written down their perspectives on why having a focus in parenthood is so important! Having a focus anchors you for when you child is doing really well or really poorly so that you can give them the help they need to reach their abilities and surpass them, as well as correct their behaviors in a kind and loving way. It gives you the means to move forward with patience and confidence that you are doing the right thing! Our Cubby Dads are great at what they do, so grab a snack, sit on down, and have a listen!
When it comes to parenting, I want my children to learn how to fly.
My wife Angie and I both have backgrounds in education, and we love seeing the excitement of learning and freedom in our children's eyes that comes from seeing the universe and the people in it as we believe God sees it - loaded with potential. We've found that the challenges that they (and we) face are often just tailwinds of opportunity; that these help us transform discouragement into a change of our point of view; and then with that new point of view, we can envision the potential that lies beyond that challenge. We feel like there is a joy on the other side of a challenge that cannot be felt when we lie down and surrender to negativity. Never let a challenge keep you from spreading your wings and soaring through the sky.
As a soon to be medical student, life can get pretty hectic. Add the responsibilities of a wife and then fatherhood and most people would say I am a mental breakdown waiting to happen.
Fatherhood however, is the greatest blessing I could have asked for. To ensure I always maintain this perspective, I make sure to always keep things as simple as possible. I do this by never sweating the small things and appreciating even the smallest milestones.
Spilled juice or the always convenient dirty diaper, I see only as the small cost I pay to be able to witness my son’s first steps or the addicting smile I receive as I walk through the door after a long day. This perspective makes everything worth it.
My focus as a father is trying to see things from my child's perspective.
It is too easy to be caught up in your own life and all the stresses and frustrations that might come with the struggles that marriage and parenthood might bring. Recently my cute little daughter, the age of 3, has repeatedly smeared both Vaseline and Desitin all over her face and furniture such as her bed sheets and the couch. The first two times this occurred I tried to be patient and tried to instruct her as to why she shouldn't do what she just did. Come the third time I grew impatient and quickly scolded and reprimanded her. After she calmed down, because it breaks her heart to disappoint daddy, I asked her why she kept doing this thing that I had asked her not to do multiple times. She simply responded that she was putting beautiful make-up on just like her mommy.
She thought she was being pretty like her mommy and now that I knew where she was coming from I was able to instruct her in a manner that she understood - that those items were not make-up and that she had to ask mommy to help her with her desire to be like her. Now, we got her to stop smearing the Vaseline and Desitin but she has now started making messes with mommy's actual make up. But hey, she is 3 and kids are going to be kids. Parenting is a great way to be constantly reminded of the need to learn patience.
Before my daughter was born, I always thought that being a father would be really simple and a really fun thing to do. Well, the last part came true really quickly with our daughter being able to roll all the way over at a little over 4 months old and being able to walk at 8 ½ months. Her early age of mobility has definitely complicated some things that I once thought wouldn’t have been an issue before having a child.
My wife and I often stay up late at night for hours trying to clean things and make the house ready to go for the next day. We go to bed feeling like we got a lot accomplished in the house and that the mess will never come back. However, almost every day I come home and wonder if we still own carpet because it is nowhere to be seen from the disaster our little bundle of joy has created.
Did I mention she is at the baby sitters house for half the day? As soon as she arrives home it is her sworn duty to redecorate the house to her liking. Although it is extremely important to both my wife and I to have a clean home, and are working with her even at a young age to try and pick up her toys, we have realized that there are more important things to being a parent than having a clean house all the time. My focus each day when I come home is to give my daughter as much time as I can spare to play with her and read her all of books she brings to me.
We have noticed that giving our time to her has really helped her to develop at a much faster pace, which has made her so much fun, despite not being able to find the carpet. My wife and I were talking recently about what our daughters first words were, and we have finally settled on them being “go away.” No, she isn’t telling us to go away. She is asking us to read her favorite book called Go Away, Big Green Monster! So, at the end of the day I don’t judge how well I am doing as a father by what I accomplished that day, but rather by doing my best to sacrifice some of my time to build a relationship with my daughter, even if it is only a few minutes!
Thank you, Cubby Dads for your insights! What do you focus on in your parenting? How has that helped you be a better parent?