First of all, let me come out and say this – I love being a Daddy. I love it all. Yes, even the crappy parts. Sometimes literally, but that’s another story.
But if there is one thing that I have truly learned during these years of Fatherhood, it is this: Kids will always be Kids. A perpetually curious child who is fervent in his or her lust of discovery. Case in point - I have the wardrobe drawer open and the then-two-year-old Ale happily walks up to it, starts taking out every single piece of the clothes and litters the floor with them. The funny thing is, I know she is going to do it because she does it EVERY time I open the drawer. And I get mad at her. But why do I get aggravated when my daughter does something I KNOW she’s going to do?
The fact is, she’s a kid. And, because being a Dad can make me lose even my head sometimes.
Being a Dad is hard work.
Not being a father. ANYONE can be a father. Darth Vader was Luke’s FATHER. He never said, “Luke, I am your Dad.” Reason being, he wasn’t a Dad. No siree, being a Dad is scratching your nose and smelling poop because you forgot to wash your hands after the last diaper change.
The point of the whole story is that Parenthood is one heck of a job whether you are a Dad or a Mummy. And we all learn on the job as we go along. Nobody said it was ever going to be smooth-sailing and there are days when I find myself getting a lot of reminders about what is ‘wrong’ with them be it too much rough playing, reluctance in learning spelling or being plain rude. And trust me, those days are A LOT.
And I am guilty as charged for coming down hard on them, and reminding them of these wrongs. But as my wife reminded me, by focusing on their ‘wrongs’, it merely sets the stage for them as they get older to go find ways to feel loved and appreciated and to do things to gain attention, affection, acceptance, and appreciation instead of just being themselves.
So remember, every diaper you change, every booboo you kiss, every piggyback ride, every hug, every act of kindness is teaching them something. Sure, chastise them for the blatant wrong-doings. Just make sure you back it up with all those silent I love you’s along the way too.
This article first appeared on www.maybebaby.sg/blog/, as part of my regular monthly contribution to the website.