Guest Post by #lightscameradad
As I sat watching my kids splash around and navigate the endless political intrigues that a day at the pool involves, I caught myself thinking about Father’s Day and the things I’ve learned about being a Dad and Stepdad.
I realized I’m actually still discovering daily, that I don’t know what I’m doing. That I really make it all up as I bump along each day and deal with whatever issues arise. And boy, do they arise.
There are four kids in our blended family and a wide swath of ages to help create more drama whenever we need it. We have a 16-year-old who’s in no hurry to get a license (this is completely foreign to me), a 14-year-old who would crash a car to save a squirrel (also in no hurry to drive, thank goodness), an almost 12-year-old who is growing up waaaaaay too fast (and already wants to drive), and a 9-year-old who is thankfully, unabashedly, still a kid.
We’ve been a blended family for almost five years now and just when I think I am getting a handle on how to parent, the kids enter a different developmental stage and the whole process begins all over again. I have, however, learned a few things about being a dad that haven’t changed and may be useful as you navigate the murky depths of fatherhood.
The kids also need hugs on the regular. Even if your family isn’t that touchy-feely, a hug to a kid who is frustrated or upset about the indignities of the world might help them feel just a little better and let them know that you get it. That yes, the world does suck sometimes. Lastly, and this is a biggie- hugs do not require words. Heck, sometimes words can completely spoil the hug. Oh, one more secret for you dads out there is that a surprise hug from you can disarm a wife better than any lame sub-par argument you might try to make. Even if you’re right.
We also try to randomly show up at the kid’s activities or special moments and completely call attention to them. The last day of school for the kids was super worthy of embarrassment. We rolled up to get them with the minivan DECKED OUT in paint, streamers, lights, balloons and that 1970’s song “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper blasting from the speakers. They were completely mortified and made instant rock stars by their classmates and teachers in one fell swoop. They loved it……and hated it….but mostly they loved it.
There it is, gents. The things I’ve learned so far as a Dad and Stepdad. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to crack a well-earned cold one and celebrate myself this Father’s Day. Here’s to all the many lessons that are still to be learned!
Happy Father’s Day to All Dads and Stepdads!
Can you relate to any of these tips? Have you learned a few yourself you want to share? Let’s chat in the comments below.