I’ve been a dad for almost 13 years and a grandpa for over 5. I know the math is funny but that’s what happens when you marry a cougar. I’ve changed thousands of diapers. I’ve been peed on, pooped on and puked on. No, I’m not one of those uninvolved dads. When my 4 year old has night terrors I spring from the bed. When my grand daughter needs a nap, papa to the rescue. In the process of learning to be a dad I’ve picked up some skills which I feel are essential to all dad’s. They are the Top 6 Awesome Dad Skills. I’ve ranked them from no particular order. I’ll let you decide.
Paper Airplane Construction
There are countless times when my kids and grand kids have asked me to make a paper airplane for them. I remember making them myself as a kid. I know that they’ll only play with them for a few fleeting minutes however I always succumb to their wishes. This is why building paper airplanes is an awesome dad skill.
Now I only know one way to make them. It’s the same way I’ve always made them. Fold the paper in half “hot dog” style. Then fold each side over in a triangular three time. It’s a boring model but they love it. It makes for fun on a rainy Sunday afternoon. If you’ve never made one then click on this link https://www.foldnfly.com/1.html and go for it.
If there’s one dad skill I’ve mastered it’s getting little crabby monsters to bed. From baby to preschooler I am the sandman with my kids. One of these most important tactics in this task is telling a story. Every kid loves a good story. It gets them quiet, focused and relaxed. This makes story telling another awesome dad skill.
Whether you’re reading a book, telling a story from memory or just winging it you have to make it interesting. I like to make up voices for the characters and sound effects for what’s going on. If you’re not as theatrical then just do your best. Kids are the least judgmental critics. Well until they get older anyways.
Another awesome dad skill is toy repair. At some point every child comes crying that their Ninja Turtle’s arm fell off or their tricycle tire popped. I know that most toys are cheap junk and many are impossible to fix but if it’s a special toy then you just gotta try. Fortunately the internet is a great resource.
Instead of duct taping that ninja turtle arm on, like we did as kids, you can go to https://www.wikihow.com/Glue-Plastic and learn how to properly glue different types of plastic. There are thousands of online repair instructions and videos. I’ve become a cycle repair pro thanks to YouTube. Practice makes perfect as they say.
Before my youngest was born my wife and I enrolled in an infant CPR class. Our birthing teacher suggested we enroll. She also taught the course. Thankfully we’ve never had to put our CPR skills to the test though. However, we have had to help dislodge some food from our son’s throat. That was scary but thankfully we had that training. That’s why I’ve selected first aid knowledge as an awesome dad skill.
It’s good to be prepared. Knowing what to do in the right situation can help ease suffering and discomfort. It can mean faster healing or reduced symptoms. In some cases it can be life and death. As a parent, not just a father, our number one job is to protect our children. Knowledge is the best way we can do that. In fact, as I write this, I’m considering taking a CPR refresher course.
Be a Hero
When we were children we saw our future selves in the adults that we knew. Every adult represents a possible future. This is why we must always work to better ourselves. To err is human and our children should see our failures but they should see how we deal with those failures.
Being a hero to your child doesn’t mean that you’re a Dwayne Johnson character jumping into a fiery skyscraper to save your family from terrorists. It means doing your best with what you have. Envision who you want your child to be when they grow up and try to be that yourself. This is an awesome dad skill.
I hate that expression “Man Up”. Most of the people that I have ever heard say it were not people I considered good examples of a man. It’s OK to be a different kind of man than TV says you should be. I confess that although I loved playing sports in school I hate watching sports on TV. It’s boring to me. I’d rather watch Game of Thrones. I’m a little different but no less masculine.
I will say “Dad Up” though because that’s an awesome dad skill . Even to this day there are many men who won’t change diapers or get up late at night. I have bonded with both of my sons when they were very small by being the mid night cuddler. Working all day meant being absent for 8 – 10 hours. The middle of the night was my time. I’ve gotten pretty good at working off little sleep.
I know that the dad trend is changing. I see other caring dads out there and I’ve seen plenty of dysfunctional moms. I was with one once. So kudos to all the fellow dads out there who take the time and do right by their babies. They don’t stay small for long.
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