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How to prepare for fatherhood?

650 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  g_w
My wife and have recently discovered that she is pregnant. Barring any complications, this will be our first child. This was unexpected given reports from physicians and I am mostly ignorant when it comes to all things parenting. It is my preference not to suck at it. I suppose I'm beginning the knowledge accumulation phase. I'd like to sort what I need to learn in order to keep things efficient given the vast amount of conflicting info out there. I seek advice understanding that first-hand experience is probably a big part of it. Any guidance or anecdotes you can offer are appreciated. A few tidbits that may or may not be pertinent:

* We started a business about a year ago so income and losing growth momentum are concerns.
* My wife types as ENFP and seems to fit most characteristics on reputable profiles.
* Neither of us grew up with wealth or means. We have a negative bias toward individuals we deem to be spoiled or entitled.
* I'd like our children to have strong work ethic and not grow up with a sense of entitlement. I do not feel young adults should be reliant on their parents for financial support (assuming no circumstances beyond their control).
* I'd like them to be respectful toward others and decent human beings at their core.
* I'd like them to be independent thinkers and pursue whatever interests they choose.
* From my observations, it appears that many parents have difficulty striking the balance between too rigid in trying to instill values/responsibility (ignoring them as individuals) and too passive in allowing them to freedom to pursue their own paths (unintentionally spoiling them).

Where to begin?
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I have a 15yo and had similar objectives as you do. I am also a single mom.

Off the bat, I never made things seem like a big deal. If she hit her head it was like, "welp no blood, let's go!" Never ever babied her. Never spoke about myself like "well Mommy doesn't like when you ___" - it would be more like "that's a bad idea because [reason 1, 2, 3]." Basically I encouraged her to have an awareness of consequences of her actions, esp on others than be focused on pleasing me specifically (though that is of greater relevance in some circumstances).

When she was young, there was a lot of things like if she didn't like what I made for dinner, fine: you can make your own dinner. And not in a salty way. Just in a "if you don't like something, you have the ability to make things how you want it." She has gotten some nice things in life but now that she's older, she works for things. She likes to travel so we came up with a system of travel:grades/credits (she goes to independent study vs regular school.) I do not equate it to bribery - in real life, the things I want to do are tied to my perfomance at a job and earning potential.

We don't interact like the family with family dinners now that she's older and has friends. She is very independent and I encourage that. That said, when we are shopping at Target, we have very deep discussions about things where I will essentially just play devil's advocate to challenge her. I'm pretty sure the people at Target thing I am a huge racist/sexist/homophobe haha sometimes she has very strong opinions and sometimes she doesn't care at all about certain topics.

Obviously, your child's inherent personality will come into play. Mine is INxP, likely F, and there are times when my "why isn't this getting done" strikes a nerve I didn't know existed. So, you know... compromise is the lesson there haha

At the end of the day, I think you will be able to adapt to what your child presents and guide your children in the right direction. I've always been fairly hands off - guide is exactly how I see myself. She forms her own thoughts, even if they oppose mine, I am fine with that. The responsibility of a parent imo is to be more of an advisor than to expect a clone.
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