Important Life Lessons Any Tough, Single Dad Needs To Know About Parenthood

You never expected to be in this situation, but you’re a single dad raising a kid, and you feel overwhelmed. That’s understandable, especially depending on how much experience you have with children. As a rough-and-ready kind of guy, you’ve always focused more on your car and your work projects. Thankfully, there are a few simple lessons that you can keep in mind to make this process easier to handle. They’re the kind of things that we wish our parents had told us when we started having kids.

Understand That Being A Great Dad Is As Manly As It Gets

Have you ever watched one of those corny comedies about fatherhood that tries to make dads seem wimpy? Unfortunately, there’s a cultural misunderstanding about fatherhood that often equates it with weakness or makes men seem incapable of being a parent. Don’t fall victim to that cliché! There’s nothing more manly than being a father, particularly if you approach it from a more modern perspective.

Just think about your experience with your father. You probably learned all your manly skills from spending time with him. For example, who taught you how to rotate your tires or change your oil? While many mothers understand these skills now, it typically still falls to the dads to teach their children (both their sons and their daughters). As a result, you can pass on your abilities in this way and help your children learn and grow.

Just as importantly, taking on responsibility for your children is incredibly manly. You’re helping others to survive and become better people. That’s about as Alpha Male as it gets! It’s also gratifying for a father who takes his time with his children seriously. It will activate your paternal instincts and help you feel like an even more complete man. It doesn’t get much better than that.

They Want Structure And Discipline

There’s a movement in parenting towards giving children much more leeway and far less discipline than you likely received as a kid. We fully support not getting after kids for minor mistakes. Physical punishment has mostly lost its appeal and is now considered too difficult for many children. However, that doesn’t mean that children shouldn’t have structure or discipline.

Children thrive on structure because they look to you as their most important teacher. Structure, such as chores and specific behavioral rules, helps to teach children responsibility and how to behave in society. That doesn’t mean you have to be strict with them or mean about mistakes. Instead, it would help if you taught them how to behave and help them become better people.

Enforcing this structure and discipline will be tough when they’re young. That’s the period many fathers struggle with the most. You’ll probably want to reason with them and appeal to their better side. That’s a mistake. Children struggle to look past their own needs and won’t be reasonable enough to listen. Instead, you must be firm and decisive and tell them that “no” means “no.” It won’t be easy, but it gets easier with time.

Let Them Make Decisions Sometimes

That last section probably makes it sound like you can’t have any fun with your kids. Nothing could be further from the truth! You can play with your children and be as silly as you want to entertain them and yourself. As importantly, you can let them make decisions about their lives and yours. Doing so is a great way to teach them about what truly matters.

For instance, you can let them pick where you eat from a list you select. A guided selection can help them make better choices and reinforce good behaviors. You can even let them choose which direction you go in your hike, help them cook food on a roaring campfire while camping, or pick what kind of repairs you do to your bike when it needs a few simple maintenance steps.

Accept Them With Patience And Kindness

The most challenging part about raising children is watching them develop interests that differ from yours. For example, your son may be more interested in video games than he is in hunting or fishing and talk about wanting to become a writer when he grows up (personal experience). Should you try to change their mind if you’re disappointed? No. Instead, you should be patient and kind and encourage them whenever possible.

Encourage them to share their interests with you, even if you don’t care about ballet or the latest kid-friendly show. Your children want to share their life with you and feel better if you show excitement and interest. Yes, you may have to watch My Little Pony or Spongebob Squarepants or shows about princesses. So swallow your pride and have a bit of kid-friendly fun once in a while. It might even be good for you!

Always Be Prepared

The best fathers are always ready for whatever life throws at them. Raising kids is an adventure, and treating it that way can make it much more fun. For example, you can get into it by choosing man-friendly baby gear that works well for your kids but makes you feel more manly. For example, a MOD Backpack with a baby carrier helps you take your kid wherever you go.

However, it also looks super cool and has multiple pockets that you can use to carry diapers, food, your wallet, and even a baby-changing mat. With Molle mesh that holds up under repeated use and a streamlined and attractive look, such bags are essential for dads. You might even turn heads when shopping for formula, taking your baby to the doctor, or even hiking with your baby.

Do The Best With What You Got 

Even if you never planned to be a father and certainly didn’t expect to do it alone, raising children can be the kind of experience you’ll treasure for your whole life. It can also add to your manliness, not detract from it, and give you a fuller and happier life. Those are the kinds of benefits that make being a father more than worth it.

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