All A-Bother About Fathers!

June 17, 2012


My parents made a little mistake when I was a kid: at some point, early on, they each – independently of each other – told me that “Father’s Day/Mother’s Day isn’t a big deal to me.” I, being little, thought “okey dokey” and paid the holidays no mind.

Father’s Day during my childhood… in the house next door. My house is the one with my dad looking over at their house and sighing.

Then after a couple of years, they had to come and say, “Your mom would really like it if you did a little something for her on Mother’s Day.” And I, being stubborn, thought, “No, she wouldn’t.  She told me so.”  Gradually, of course, the existence of the grand old “oh, no, no – don’t pay any attention to little old me” maneuver sank in and I got it.  But it took a while.

I can be headstrong.

This is why, of course, after Kidneybean is born, I intend to impress upon her that Father’s Day is the biggest holiday of the year. That, typically, you set aside 3 months salary/allowance for a gift. That you write songs and fly flags. Sure, eventually she’ll wise-up and resent me, but I think I can get a few good years out of it before then..

And fathers, of course, come in all shapes, sizes and quality. I got pretty lucky, but they have a massive impact on our lives, regardless of how they achieve it.

And so, with fatherhood on the brain,  I thought it might be fun to think about, for this week’s Weekly Question of the Week: what advice would you give to dads?  Specifically, someone who’s about to be a dad? 

It can be from your own experiences as parent or child, dads you’ve seen aroundanything!

Lastly, of course: Happy Father’s Day to the real Byronic Dad. Definitely worth making a fuss over.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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65 Comments on “All A-Bother About Fathers!”

  1. marbles Says:

    To all the dads-to-be out there: offer to do the 10.30pm feed so your wife can have a few hours sleep. To her, you will be a GOD.


  2. Six Glasses of Water Says:

    Advice to dads: Be nice to your children’s moms, especially if you got girls. (Personal experience).


  3. T.L. Gibson Says:

    Show respect toward your child’s mother. Both of my sons grew up in the household with just mom. However, their dad still had a huge impact on helping me raise them from a distance. If he her them talk back to me, he would quickly set them straight. You’d be surprised at how much that helped in molding them. A Father’s role in his child life is equally as important as mom’s role.

    Oh, I always say… You can tell a good man by the way he treats his mother. IJS…


  4. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

    “Fathers be good to your daughters. They learn to love like you do. Girls become lovers who turn into mothers. So fathers be good to your daughters, too.”

    Can you even believe how profound that is? I should turn it into a song. What? You say John Mayer already wrote that song. How can that be? I mean I just thought of it. Wow, there really is no new material out there. 😉


  5. Ape No. 1 Says:

    Get some sleep.


  6. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Well, Ape stole mine.

    Another great piece of advice for dads-to-be: No matter what your kids ask you, always answer with: Go ask your mother. You’ll avoid so much trouble.


  7. Rinth Says:

    As my experiences with my father are mostly negative, my advice is for fathers-to-be is to be always be around and teach them all the things that maybe their mother can’t. A child learns a lot by observing their parents, so if one doesn’t do his/her job properly it puts a mark on the child for the rest of its life :-/.


  8. Richard Wiseman Says:

    Get to like chocolate, socks, ties and humorous mugs… that’s staple gift ideas for Dads.


  9. 1pointperspective Says:

    Make sure to tell grandios, glorious lies about yourself. Your child should believe you to be nearly epic in your grandeur. When they figure out that you’re full of crap, they’ll be disillusioned, but …oh wait, that’s advice on how to be a Grand father. Nevermind.


  10. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    Be there for your kids just be there…
    BM you are going to be a great father 🙂


  11. k8edid Says:

    It won’t matter which material things you give them, your children will remember the time you spent with them most of all.


    • pegoleg Says:

      As Katy said, your kids remember the time you spent with them, but especially the times you spent giving them really cool, expensive gifts like gaming systems and sports cars.


  12. prttynpnk Says:

    Clothing rebellion is the least of your battles to fight- except for rampant sleazery of course. but a kid with a tutu and cowboy boots will outgrow it and not become an adult with a tutu and cowboy boots.
    Apologies to all involved in any Maverick Boleshoi productions….


  13. crying in the bathroom Says:

    Always help them with their homework, make it so they are never afraid to ask… Even if that means hoping on the Internet to learn it yourself first!


  14. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Don’t tell your children how to live, let them watch you do it. You are going to do just fine as a father.


  15. Michelle Gillies Says:

    “The best gift you can give a child is to love and cherish their Mother”. A Daddy is always gong to be the hero of the piece for his daughter. Relish in it.


  16. Rog Says:

    You kid will never turn out like you think they will… for good or for bad… just ask my parents…


  17. Duane Says:

    Read Leadership and Self Deception. Great advice.


  18. seapunk2 Says:

    Fathers and Fathers to be – NEVER deny your children the benefit of your love or the value of your attention, no matter what your circumstance or consequence.


  19. paulaacton Says:

    remember at some point they will scream i hate you…this means you are doing a good job and laying down appropriate boundaries and rules and just because so-and-so’s mum/dad lets them you know what is best for your child even if they don’t realise it at the time


  20. every record tells a story Says:

    The best advice for fathers is on the last page of Roald Dahl’s Danny The Champion of The World. It says:
    “when you grow up and have children of your kendo please remember something important.
    A stodgy parent is no fun at all.
    What a child wants and deserves is a parent who is


  21. sj Says:

    Be there for scraped knees and broken hearts (they happen at young ages [for boys and girls], really).

    If you have a girl, have tea parties or Barbie beauty parlour sessions with her, but make sure to spend time teaching her to love Kung Fu Theatre, Monty Python and Star Wars.

    Read to them every night. Make sure that story time is something they know they can count on.

    If you eventually have a second child, make time to spend with each of them individually.

    Most importantly: Let your child know that they will always be the most important person in your life and back those words up with your actions.


  22. usinglight Says:

    Advice to all dads out there: Never forget that your children will move out one day and your wife will stay. So be very nice to her.


  23. sharingmyview Says:

    It’s the little things that matter most… Kids pay attention all the time and pick up every little thing you do so make every second you spend with them as loving as possible. With age our memories fade but not the feelings we had when we experienced them.

    Congratulations and good luck 🙂


  24. tomwisk Says:

    Best advice: Convince the kids at an early age that if they want to honor Father’s/Mother’s Day by saving all their birthday money and using it for a down payment for a nice retirement place in Florida for Dad and Mom.


  25. Sandy Sue Says:

    I wish my dad had been patient enough to teach me some of the things he knew how to do.


  26. musingsoftheamusingmuse Says:

    Teach your children to live life by example – living YOURS. Don’t be a jackass or a bitchy whiner; don’t come home from work and yell at them because they are there and you had a bad day. Show up to their games and concerts. TALK to you kids, be able to have a conversation with them. Listen to them when they talk, and if they are girls – don’t try to “fix” anything unless they specifically ask you how to fix/remedy a situation.

    Teach the boys to do “girl” things like cooking, cleaning, laundry and ironing.

    Teach the girls to do “boy” things like changing a tire, changing the oil, starting a fire and about sports.

    And, once they are older, realize that when you…
    -spent all their formative years coming home from work yelling at them because you had a bad day and they are in front of you…
    -that you never once made an effort to have a conversation with them despite their trying to have one with you because you were glued to the TV…
    -that you didn’t make any effort to be present other than you lived in the same house…

    …that your kids won’t respect you and really won’t care whether or not you’re in their life at all and that your wife, their mother, deserved a lot better and you’re damn lucky to have her.


  27. The 3rd Coyote Says:

    Remember that there’s no such thing and a professional parent … OK, OK, you’ve heard that one before I’m sure, but also, in that same regard, there’s no such thing as a professional kid either!


  28. Elyse Says:

    Enjoy your time with them and they will enjoy theirs with you. Except when they are teenagers.


  29. linneann Says:

    I hate to be negative but I guess we take from our own experiences so my advice would be: Don’t ever think it’s okay to abandon your children.


  30. Marie Says:

    Advice to dads: no matter how often your teenaged kid changes his or her mind about a chosen career path – always say “Awesome! You’d be great at that” because, it doesn’t matter in the end. Tomorrow will bring a new career choice, what matters is the fatherly support. Thanks to my dad I still believe I can be anything I would ever want to be. If only I could make up my mind on what I’ll be…


  31. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    You’re in luck, I had the best dad EVER. & how did he do it? He & my mom believed it was their job to raise us to not need them anymore. Nothing was handed to us, we had to contribute. & My dad was always there on the sidelines or waiting somewhere to support &/or pick me up while I was out doing my thing….(I was one of those kids that came home with things like “Can I join a rock-climbing group, pleeease” and my mom’s fav: “Did you know they have a pistol team…..”).
    Happy Fathers Day !


  32. Eagle-Eyed Editor Says:

    Be supportive, let your kids make their own mistakes sometimes and teach your children well by example. That would be my advice.


  33. thesinglecell Says:

    Be what you want your daughter to find for herself someday. Not perfect, because that’s unbearable and impossible to live up to. Don’t even try to be perfect. Don’t *try* to fabricate the adage that daughters look for their fathers. But if you show her what to expect from a partner, that’s what she’ll expect, for better or worse. If you and her mother show her what to expect from a relationship, that’s what she’ll expect, for better or worse. It’s not about overshooting the goal; it’s about realistic understandings of what is right and good in a man and a partnership. It’s one of the most valuable lessons my father ever taught me, and he did it only by example. But at the same time, empower her to be on her own by teaching her what she needs to know. Cars, sports, finances, work ethic, and the less tangible stuff like confidence, common sense and values.

    Don’t panic. You can probably do it. 😉



  34. liberalcynic Says:

    Dads are kick-ass. They don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve. I’m sure you’ll do great.


  35. Simon Says:

    Dear new or soon to be dads, when the baby is starting to wake up from a nap, treat them like a solar eclipse. Whatever you do, do not make direct eye contact.


  36. Ken Brown Says:

    Advice to fathers? Advice to prospective husbands more like! I would suggest not picking a wife whose birthday falls close to Father’s Day…yesterday’s birthday party found me toiling in the kitchen for the duration. 😦 .

    Never mind there’s always next year. 😀


  37. Go Jules Go Says:

    I like where you’re going with this. You might as well plan for what Kidneybean is going to talk to her therapist about, right?

    I’m still a little distracted by that awesome tie banner in the picture, but okay, advice for fathers: Your expectations are everything. My dad never had to TELL me to do well in school or to follow the Golden Rule. There was no choice in the matter. It was just what was expected of us.


  38. alittlepieceofh Says:

    Most importantly look after yourself because if you don’t look after you, then you sure as hell can’t look after anyone else…..coming from a girl who misses her Dad and at times is quite pissed off that he never realised these things. Also just be yourself and be honest, i’m sure you will be perfect.


  39. howtoonlinedate Says:

    your blog makes me smile so I have nominated you for an award. (hope it doesn’t take up too much of your time :o) ) more details here:


  40. Angie Z. Says:

    Happy (belated) first Father’s Day! Did your wife buy you something? Did you buy her something last month? My husband and I did this gift-exchange five years back as if our tiny womb-being really gave a lick about the whole pomp and circumstance. It’s finally getting fun now, with all the preschool glue-and-macaroni concoctions. Just you wait.

    My advice to soon-to-be dads would be — You will never know how scary a raisin can look until you see one on a white rug during Pantless Potty Training Week.

    I hate giving my kids raisins now because inevitably they end up on the floor and I always assume they’re something else entirely. Sometimes I not wrong.


  41. benzeknees Says:

    Show your child how to live by setting a good example. Listen to them when they want to talk or tell your their latest joke because when it becomes more important they’ll remember you were always there to listen to them. Encourage them, but don’t smother them or set unrealistic expectations. When all else fails, just love them (& give them a wink once in a while, it will really pick them up).


  42. Shannon Says:

    During the first week when you’re getting to know your precious, sweet newborn, your wife will ask you to order out from your favorite deli. You gobble down your sammich (’cause dads get hungry) and then you notice a tiny spot of mustard must have dropped on your forearm. Whatever you do, DON’T LICK IT! It might entirely be something else which requires the use of an unscented baby wipe.

    And sleep. As often as possible. You’ll never get enough.

    Happy Belated Father’s Day! It’s all downhill from here (no brakes, no helmet, no pads either).


  43. Archon's Den Says:

    ONLY three months’ allowance/salary? Quite reasonable. And here I was worried that you’d get silly, and go completely overboard. Advice??! Oh yeah. Be all that you can be, and your kids will be all that they can be, and make you proud.


  44. Leanova Designs Says:

    Stay involved and keep in mind that you are your son’s first hero and your daughter’s first love, they’re always looking up to you.


  45. whereimstaying Says:

    Holidays aren’t a favorite thing for me either, all just a bunch of hooplah to make us spend money.. Arg!


  46. artzent Says:

    Even though I was divorced and had four of this man’s children to raise alone on a daily basis when one of them would call him long distance and bitch about me he would say,” I understand how you feel but she is your mother and you will do as she says” So I would say having a father who cares even long distance and supports the mother is key.All of my kids are grown and doing well partly because he fulfilled his role as a father and really cared about his kids.


  47. Renee B-W Says:

    Make your hands into dinosaurs and have them fight with each other. Do crazy dances with her in the living room. Introduce her to cool music before she discovers Beiber. Wear with pride whatever she makes you dress up in and don’t be too proud to go to the shops wearing plastic clip-on earrings and nail polish. Don’t be afraid to break wind in front of her, but never pass the blame on to Mummy. Make her laugh and laugh with her. Enjoy it.


  48. Paul G. Eberlein Says:

    While a Mother teaches you how to deal with your emotions, a Father teaches you how to deal with the larger world. Together, they teach you how to be a good human being.


  49. they still let me vote Says:

    I think from the way you write about your parents – and the impending Kidneybean – you’re going to be fine. Even if you buy the cheapest kettle you can you’ll get a load of “Helpful” info like: “CAREFUL; Product gets hot in use”…Yet for the most important, precious things we can ever be trusted with – a brand new life – there can be no set rules, or instructions, because, being inherently human (This writer excepted) , we are all different. You’ll make mistakes…all parents do…it’s a question of wether your motives were good at the time….that’s what I said to the judge anyway… good luck and thanks again for (in my humble opinion) one of the best blogs out there…OK, OK THE best…..


  50. Anastasia Says:

    Advice for dads… Do your share. Don’t leave the parenting (loving and disciplining) to mom. And have actual conversations with your kids.


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