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Be the Dad 12. Get ‘Daducated'. Get wisdom on how to be the Dad.

You don’t know what you don’t know. What you don’t know could vastly improve your life.

Learning and gaining wisdom in parenting and relationships will give you some of your greatest life gains. Forget University for this, put the learning keys below into practice and your family will hand you your diploma.

The educated man who needed education

I sat on a flight from Wellington to Christchurch next to a highly educated young father. He was an important part of planning for the infrastructure of New Zealand’s future. He shared his plans and how it would benefit the country. A really smart guy. We then started talking about relationships, parenting and mental health. He opened up about how he was struggling in each area. It was great, I got to talk to him about great ways to help each area, to build the infrastructure of his personal life. I walked down the ramp and onto the tarmac excited for him but worried that our education is primarily towards our jobs, but we leave a massive hole in our personal lives.

Two areas to learn about that will give you the greatest reward

Its amazing, we get a university education or intensive on the job training to learn to do our jobs, but with parenting and relationships we just hope to instinctively know what to do. If there are two areas in our lives that can bring us the greatest reward and heartbreak it would be these two.

you don’t know what you don’t know

12 Keys to Learning and getting 'Daducated'

Realising that learning will give you benefit straight away

As soon as you have learned a parenting principle it will start giving you benefit in your day to day life. I remember the day when my Father in Law asked me ‘ how many times do you want to ask her to come before she comes’. This made me think and logically ‘once’ was the answer. This was with my first child at three, I now have four kids and I can’t imagine how much time and frustration this has saved over all these years.

Someone has already blazed the trail for you, better to learn from someone else’s mistakes

I love this, you can either learn from your mistakes or from other people’s mistakes and victories. It can take a lot of time and effort to figure out a parenting plan of action and how to put it into effect in your kids life. Picking up the tips of people who have gone before you is very smart.

Study gives you a picture of how good life can be

When you read other people’s stories it can open your eyes to the fact that:

Kids can come the first time

Kids can help around the house

Kids can be nice to each other

You can have amazing friendship and fun times in your family.

Just knowing that there is a better life and possibility for your family gives you hope and the dream of reaching that place. Realisation is the start of the journey of change.

Set aside time to be educated

When you see value in something, you invest your time into it. Your relationship with your partner and the future of your family depends on your input into them. I encourage you to set aside time to add parenting books into your reading or listening. Follow people with great parenting advice on instagram. Listen in your car on your way into work. Subscribe to the parenting place emails.

Your future you, thanks you for it.

Parenting education helps you understand and form the culture/ethos of your parenting.

Establish what kind of dad and parent that you want to be and then look at how you will try to achieve that. When you start parenting, you have an idea of what kind of parent you want to be. It's usually a blend of how you were or weren’t raised plus ideals of what you would like your family to be like. However when life starts getting busy and you have less time and energy, you have to decide what is important and what principles or ideals that you hold onto or let go of. Reading other peoples principles and the things important to them gives you a great idea of what works and what is important to learn about and fight for.

Spot the gaps: what am I struggling with = study that

When you have a struggle in parenting, it is a gift. This insight shows you the area that you need to work on and gain education in. Google is amazing for helping in this area, check out this link on how to get kids to listen to you:

Education prepares you in advance

If you have filled up on parenting advice, when a new situation arises you are likely to be much more prepared to handle it as you have created a ‘bank’ of knowledge and advice.

Learn together as a couple

It is so important to be on the same page with your partner in parenting, there is much more power in a combined approach. Read and learn together, discuss the principles, how you feel about them, how you will put them into effect.

Learn from mistakes

Wins and lessons. If a situation doesn’t work out right, do what every good sporting team does, go away as a couple and review what happened and what could have worked better. Look at your approach, go back to a favourite parenting audio book and try again.

It gets easier as you build a parenting knowledge base

At the start, it can feel like you don’t know much but you have time on your side, thankfully when you wife gives birth, its not to a 15 year old, yikes! When you build a foundation of parenting principles, the lessons and principles start overlapping and creating a core of behaviour: listening, respect, love, kindness. Your older kids will help educating your younger kids ‘in our family we do this’.

Find great parenting role models

It's great learning from reading and listening but it's hard to beat learning from watching.

Find a family that has respect for each other, whose kids listen, where you can see love in effect between the family members and hang around them. Ask them questions, ask for advice.

Find mentors - ask your parents questions, talk to older parents in your community who have good relationships with their kids.

Great Methods to learn:

Read: books, facebook feed, instagram feed, email subscriptions.

Listen: Podcasts, audio books.

Watch: Youtube video’s, other parents

Experience: Wins and lessons, what worked, what didn’t

Great resources:

  • Danny Silk, loving your kids on purpose.

  • Ian and Mary Grant books - The Parenting Place.

  • Nigel Latta.

Click here to get the links:

So Dad’s go for it, learn, observe and be the ‘Daducated Dad’

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