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Give your best advice to an expecting father

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by gdl203, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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    wear comfortable clothes with lots of pockets - you may be in them for a while, and the rooms can go from hot to cold quickly.

    Ha, what I always tell friends who are about to become dads is "buy some cargo shorts". You will get handed more sh**t (sometimes literally, athough that's not what I meant) in the next two years than in the previous twenty. Sometimes by your wife, sometimes by the kids. Not all of it is stuff you'll want to keep in your hands. Pockets, preferably big ones and lots of them, are key.

    But mostly, just trust your instincts and enjoy the experience. Common sense, hard-wired instinct, patience (lots and lots of that) and love will be of much more help in the joys and challenges ahead than anything you can read. Congratulations, good luck, and have fun.
     
  2. Dewey

    Dewey Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations.

    The best advice I heard and followed is, sleep when they sleep. Do not attempt to get things done while they are napping -- nap yourself. You can do it, and the first year will be much, much easier if you do.
     
  3. spertia

    spertia Well-Known Member

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    Ha, what I always tell friends who are about to become dads is "buy some cargo shorts".

    But that's terrible advice on style forum! [​IMG]
     
  4. gdl203

    gdl203 Well-Known Member

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    The best advice I heard and followed is, sleep when they sleep. Do not attempt to get things done while they are napping -- nap yourself. You can do it, and the first year will be much, much easier if you do.

    Interesting - that's one I never heard before !
     
  5. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Well-Known Member

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    But that's terrible advice on style forum! [​IMG]

    Sorry, bespeak some cargo shorts. [​IMG]
     
  6. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    Interesting - that's one I never heard before !

    no expecting father actually grasps the issue of how sleep deprevation will change your life. you will be willing to do things that you never thought you would to allow your wife to get a few minutes sleep in the hope that maybe you'll get some if she isn't so tired. you will make calculations, many times a week, if you think that letting her sleep more will get you any, or if you should just hog the sleep yourself.


    have fun!!
     
  7. Pundit

    Pundit Well-Known Member

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    I tried the idea of imprinting with my daughter -- the first thing she heard from me after birth was -- "obey this voice". Thus far (13years) it hasn't seemed to taken, but I am still hopeful. This may sound silly but in the end all you have is hope and prayers .....
     
  8. Mr T

    Mr T Well-Known Member

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    But mostly, just trust your instincts and enjoy the experience. Common sense, hard-wired instinct, patience (lots and lots of that) and love will be of much more help in the joys and challenges ahead than anything you can read. Congratulations, good luck, and have fun.

    Perfect advice. You already know how to parent. You don't need books or courses. Just give yourself time and space to let your natural parenting skills come out.

    Congratulations. There is nothing comparable to fatherhood.
     
  9. EL72

    EL72 Well-Known Member

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    G,

    I don't have any twin-specific advice but I do have three little kids and perhaps the most important piece of advice I can give you (and your wife) is to just listen to your gut and your instincts when it comes to parenting. As humans we are hard-wired for this and when you first become a parent, everyone has an opinion and will share their advice on what you should or should not do. Although they usually mean well, I've found that you need to rely on this innate sense we all have of what seems right or wrong. It sometimes takes a little longer as a dad to bond with your child but once you do, you'll know when something doesn't feel right or is wrong with your child or conversely, when they are fine, despite what anyone else says.

    Talk to your children all the time - en Francais! It doesn't matter that they can't understand the words - just talk! And no gaga goo goo baby talk either. Sing, read books to them, the NYT, the WSJ... whatever. English is the easiest language to learn and they'll have no choice but to learn it. OTOH, if you can teach them other languages as infants, they will never again be able to learn as easily as in the first few years of their life.

    Do anything you can to make life easier for your wife. Take care of everything else so she can focus on the babies and not worry about other stuff. Be understanding and don't flinch even if (or I should say when) she goes batshit crazy from all the hormones flowing through her, the sleep deprivation...

    I agree with the recommendation not to buy into all the baby gadgets. It's a huge industry that preys on our insecurities as parents. All you need is a crib, a good stroller and a car seat (if you have a car), and those Baby Einstein DVDs are actually pretty good at entertaining babies for 20-30 min. All the rest just takes up space and is used only for a few weeks (though for one of our kids, the baby swing was a lifesaver for a little while).

    During the first 3-4 months of their life, there is no such thing as spoiling a baby or training them to behave certain ways. All you should worry about is trying to ease the transition from their comfortable womb to this bright and noisy world by making them feel safe and snug and being there to attend to all their needs. They are totally helpless and need to know you are there for them.

    Finally, try to enjoy yourself. The first few months can be brutal (I can't even imagine how it's like with twins) but they are also filled with lots of joy and there is something very special about those moments with your first child(ren) that are not the same with your subsequent kids because of how new it is to you as parents.

    Mazaltov et meilleurs voeux!

    EL
     
  10. gdl203

    gdl203 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks EL - a lot of this advice about trusting natural parental instincts is quite in line with this book I'm reading now ("BÃ[​IMG][​IMG], dis-moi qui tu es"). Language will be quite a challenge for us as neither of us is a native English speaker so we'll speak two languages to them at home - and neither will be English !
     
  11. West24

    West24 Well-Known Member

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    im no parent but i know from everyone around me and how i was raised, dont be that parent that is too much of a bitch to take their kids outside and scream at them or be very firm with them. i hate those parents that let their kids go nuts and run around causing crap and dont do anything about it. i dont mind if the kid is going nuts and the parents is doing something to try and stop it etc. but if they do nothing it pisses me off to no end.
     
  12. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

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    Vinyl gloves are your best friend.

    - B
     
  13. EL72

    EL72 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks EL - a lot of this advice about trusting natural parental instincts is quite in line with this book I'm reading now ("BÃ[​IMG][​IMG], dis-moi qui tu es"). Language will be quite a challenge for us as neither of us is a native English speaker so we'll speak two languages to them at home - and neither will be English !

    I haven't read that book but it reminds me that "J'eleve mon enfant", in case you don't have it, is a good reference for looking things up concerning all aspects of child rearing.

    As for languages, that is definitely the way to go. It's more difficult when both parents don't speak the language but if you stick to it, they will grow up trilingual and have a richer life more connected to their ancestral cultures.
     
  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks EL - a lot of this advice about trusting natural parental instincts is quite in line with this book I'm reading now ("BÃ[​IMG][​IMG], dis-moi qui tu es"). Language will be quite a challenge for us as neither of us is a native English speaker so we'll speak two languages to them at home - and neither will be English !

    don't panic if they aren't speaking on schedule - adding languages can make it harder to speak, but they will make up for lost time once they start
     
  15. GusW

    GusW Well-Known Member

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    The early memories will be a joy for the rest of your life. Congratulations and my very best wishes to your new family! I have a son who is 22.

    A few random thoughts come to mind:

    -We started traveling and flying with him from 5 weeks old. Just take them everywhere you normally go and they seem to get comfortable with the routine.

    -Get a masculine bag. No girlie floral lavender diaper bags for me! I had an English Brady Bag fishing creel made from khaki canvas and lined in rubber. (I still have it) It was very practical for diapers and bottles. Best of all it was cool.

    - Your dry cleaner is going to love you. I tended to rotate my khakis and grey pants into the cleaners 2x a week due to spilled milk and other such stinky things.

    -I traveled a lot so I made a commitment to myself that I would put my son to bed and read to him every single night I was home. If we had guests over, I would excuse myself and my wife would take over while I read. It was so much fun to have him fall asleep on me. And, as he got older we got to read so many interesting books.

    -When he was about one, I started drawing with him. I carried a zip lock bag with colored pencils and pads of paper. At night when I got home or when ever we went out, at dinner or in a plane, we would draw. When he was small I would ask them what he wanted me to draw. As he got older he would draw. I bet I drew a million sharks!

    -Don't underestimate how much they take in. What you say and especially how you act really makes a difference.

    - I would rather have a child be a little spoiled than neurotic. I don't think there is such a thing as too much attention.

    -Be prepared that no matter how cool and stylish their father might be, the kids may have their own style. And, that's OK!

    We look forward to new parent updates soon.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. acidboy

    acidboy Well-Known Member

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    This won't come into play for you for awhile, but always kneel down and get on an eye-to-eye level with your kids while you are talking to them.

    +1 and make sure that they look you in the eye when you are talking to them. run a tight ship.

    Damn great advise!

    D day is approaching fast and I'm looking for words of wisdom for some of you who've been there, beyond the usual parenting/baby book stuff.

    What are your top pieces of advice?

    Special bonus points for fathers of twins giving specific twin advice [​IMG]


    Hey congratulations GDL! I don't have twins but right now we're raising 2 girls- a 5 year old and a 6 month old. Here are some old but true cliches I can share:

    - enjoy every moment with them. time DOES go fast, and children do grow up fast.
    - make sure you and the wife have time alone together as much as you can
    - don't believe in all those parenting hype and new age crap on how to raise kids
    - don't spoil them or make them think they're entitled to anything
    - talk to them (agree with straight talking- not the googoogaga thing) and show interest in what they're doing or what they did while you're away
    - if your extended family is around make sure they get to know their relatives, grandparents, cousins, etc.. unless of course they're creepy.
    - doing things together doesn't mean doing what they want all the time
    - expect nothing less than good behavior all the time
    - best way to raise kids is by example- specially how you and your wife communicate to each other
    - don't buy expensive and hyped baby products like those Bugaboo strollers and designer baby clothes.

    Keep us posted when the twins come out GDL. Good luck and congratulations to the wife too!
     
  17. flashkobalt

    flashkobalt Well-Known Member

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    Sleep now, and forever miss your peace...

    Congrats [​IMG]
     
  18. Schnurretiger

    Schnurretiger Well-Known Member

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    Most has been said. But don't buy drums or trumpets, when they are a little older.
     
  19. Milhouse

    Milhouse Well-Known Member

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    Thanks EL - a lot of this advice about trusting natural parental instincts is quite in line with this book I'm reading now ("BÃ[​IMG][​IMG], dis-moi qui tu es"). Language will be quite a challenge for us as neither of us is a native English speaker so we'll speak two languages to them at home - and neither will be English !

    Not a challenge. An opportunity. All the research shows children are incredibly able to grasp language very well. As they get older it gets more and more difficult. After a certain age (I think 16) it is very unlikely to learn a language and not have your native accent show through, etc.
     
  20. Concordia

    Concordia Well-Known Member

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    If you have the resources, get at least a part-time housekeeper or a nanny so that you do not both go insane.

    In any case, DO NOT turn down offers of help, especially if it is the kind that allows you and your wife to go out alone once in a while.
     

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