How To ‘Dad’

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May 24, 2010 by David Gillaspie

It begins with an understanding.  The ‘Dad’ candidate understands before having kids that he alone will function in the Dad role, that the man in the parental relationship assumes the gender specific role of Dad no matter how strong and direct the Mother figure tries to be.

Know, before the birth of your first child, that you will help with feeding, bathing, clothing.  You will go to parent-teacher meetings, games, plays. 

You will not excuse yourself with “I don’t have time.”  If you have enough time to make a kid, you’d better have enough time to raise them.

You will not beg off with “I’m the Dad, I don’t do that.”  Being the Dad means being the Man, and the Man isn’t afraid of the dirty end of the stick.  Just grab it.  The Man isn’t afraid to remind a kid too often to wear a coat to school because it’s raining. 

The Man allows conversation he isn’t comfortable with because as a Dad you have to find that comfort level.

A Dad helps their kid by teaching them how to swing a bat.  He throws softly until the kid gets up to speed, then breaks out the heater to show the kid how far they have to go to get a real hit.  Dad stays on the mound throwing soft.

Is a Dad expected to teach junior to swim by throwing them in a lake, or signing them up for swim lessons at the local pool and sitting in the stands with the rest of the parents?

Is a Dad given a pass for letting their kid watch R-rated movies instead of Disney Channel?  No, but if it happens the Dad needs to be an active participant in movie watching to give the kid proper context.

You might think you’re a Dad because you have a kid.  If that’s all it takes, why are so many kids confused about their role?  Why the out cry for a stronger male presence in a kid’s life? 

Only a Dad knows a father’s role.


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