Advice for new dads, just in time for Father's Day

·3 min read
Omair Imtiaz of Charlottetown and his daughter, who is two years old.  (Kara McPeak - image credit)
Omair Imtiaz of Charlottetown and his daughter, who is two years old. (Kara McPeak - image credit)

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, as well as single parents pulling double duty.

Parenting can be tough and everyone needs help from time to time. We asked you, our readers, to share your best advice on fathering for all the new dads out there, via Facebook.

(Please note that usernames are not necessarily the names of commenters. Some comments have been altered to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style.)

"Treat their mother/other parent like gold as much as possible," suggests Donovan McNeely of Charlottetown. "Let them see what strong relationships actually look like (it's not like TV).

"Let them be part of discussions and choices that involve them, to give them a sense of self responsibility," McNeely adds. "Show them the value of hard work and praise them at every opportunity. Especially for young boys, let them know it's ok to cry and show emotion."

Haleigh Vincent/Joleigh Photography
Haleigh Vincent/Joleigh Photography

"Be present, be involved, listen, care about their interests and don't push your own on them," says Kendall Docherty of Hazelbrook, who is in the midst of raising five sons with his wife, Denise.

"Teach your children about anything and everything from fixing bikes, to cars, to home repairs. Little helpers one day will need to know how to fix things on their own, be willing to let them learn," he says.

Spend as much time as you can with them and be grateful for every second. — Chris Milligan

The Docherty boys always had dirt bikes and Kendall always had a bucket of tools they could grab. If something broke, he encouraged them to try to fix it themselves, "but they knew I was there to help if they couldn't figure it out."

Robert Benoit of Montague advises fathers to answer children "as soon as they say your name instead of having to repeat themselves over and over," so they don't feel neglected. "And teach them manners and to respect their elders."

Submitted by Stephen Guy-McGrath
Submitted by Stephen Guy-McGrath

"Do dangerous and scary things with your kids," is summer resident Stephen Guy-McGrath's advice. "It will help them feel strong and confident in the world."

The actor and construction contractor shared several photos of one of his daughters learning how to use power saws and a blow torch, holding a live lobster, climbing scaffolding and balancing on one of his hands when she was a toddler.

Jim Taylor
Jim Taylor

"Try to partake in every bit of their young lives," advises Marco Thorne of Cornwall.

"From changing diapers to their first word spoken. From late-night colds to glorious mornings. From after-school arts and dance classes, to early morning hockey practices. Some days, you won't feel like playing with them after work but those five minutes of a little ball hockey in the basement is such a godsend. They really grow up too fast so my advice to all fathers out there is don't miss out."

Chris Milligan of St. Nicholas says time is flying by with his two children, who are six and nine years old.

"Spend as much time as you can with them and be grateful for every second. I'm already realizing how quick the years go by!" he says.

"If you have more than one kid, don't expect them to be the same personalities or temperament," says Romeo Paul Gallant of Rennies Road.

Omair Imtiaz
Omair Imtiaz

Omair Imtiaz of Charlottetown and his wife Kara had a baby girl almost three years ago. He has three top tips for new dads.

"Take the time off ... Use this time for lots of daddy and baby one-on-ones," Imtiaz said. "This will create a strong bond as well as give mamma a much-deserved break.

Second, "get involved with with diaper changes, feeding and master the art of burping a baby. Also hone your dad skills of comforting the baby when they are crying."

And finally Imtiaz advises getting outside with the baby "for lots of adventures like cycling, running, hiking, walks and grocery shopping. Yes, even buying groceries becomes an adventure."

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