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New Dad Show #1
"Dress Your Child Your Way"

 Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many podcasts geared toward the fathers of small children, and the motherís or co-parents that want to know where we as fathers are coming from.  What I am going to try to do is dig up some valuable fathering strategies from reputable sources, myself included, and encourage those of you that are already active in the lives of your children to continue to be, and those of you that arenít to start. 

Before we go any further I want you to be clear of one thing:  I am not a perfect father.  You will never confuse me with that guy from that TV show Full House.  I have a fridge filled with Budweiser and I avoid crap filled diapers whenever possible.  Iím not the most helpful father ever either, but I do have the intense desire to be a good dad. 

As the dad of a two year old, I often feel like a babysitter, and I regularly find myself on the sidelines not knowing when to jump in and do something.  I know how to do most things involved in the day-to-day operations of raising a child.  Then why donít I just do it?

This brings me to try to explore the question of:  Why are we afraid to do it our way? 

I think a big part of it has to do with us not always being able to live up to the precedents set by the mothers of our children.  When I give my son a bath, which Iíll admit doesnít happen often, I donít wash his hair.  When I pull him out of the tub and his hair is still dry and dull I get the why didnít you wash his hair? look from my wife.  Then I feel kind of bad that sheís not happy with the way I handled my baby chore.  She, being the mother, would have just done it and had the kidís hair smelling sweet and clean like bubblegum.  As I am sure many of you know itís very hard to impress a mother. 

Another example is clothes.  The outfits I pick out for him are replaced quick, fast and in a hurry with something that may fit a little better or coordinate a little more.  That kind of thing can be discouraging for someone thatís trying.  However I end up thinking, hey sheís the mother, she does this more often than me so she must be right. 

Maybe, herein lays the problem.  Maybe the problem is that we should be left alone to do whatever the job entails the crappy way because itís our way.  Or, maybe not.  Maybe there is a right way.  I donít know, however hereís my advice to you:  Do it your way.  If you are not reprimanded, itís all good.  If you are reprimanded, and by this I mean asked to do it another way, just find out what that way is and try to do it.  The key word is try.  If you forget how your co-parent showed you to do it, or you just disagree with his or her methods, then act like you forgot. Thatís fine too.  The reality is that if it doesnít compromise the safety or health of your child then itís ok.  So put on the purple shirt that shows your kids navel, even though itís not a halter top, pair it with the orange shorts with the pumpkin on the pocket and head for the park!  You and your kid arenít hurting anybody.  And to you mothers listening, support our efforts and know when to pick your battles especially when you know we are trying.

If you have any questions, comments or stories you want to share you can email me at keith@malecare.com.

Remember itís not 1952 any longer and your doctor is not going to come knocking at your door for a house call.  Make an appointment to have your annual physical today if you are past due and plan for one if you know itís looming.  If you donít want to do it for yourself, do it for your family.  Iím sure they want to keep you around a little while longer.

I hope youíll join me again next time.
last modified August 2005

New Dad Show #1
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