Advice For First Time Dads

Posted on December 14, 2011 
Filed Under Fathering, Focus on the Family Broadcast, Parenting, Personal

I’m very pleased that the Focus on the Family radio program about my book, First Time Dad, re-airs today as part of the “Best of 2011″ series. What a privilege to share from my own experiences with new fathers. Here’s a reflection on some early memories as we anticipated the arrival of our first child.

If you visit the Amtrak level of New York City’s Penn Station, you’ll notice a large schedule board that hangs from the ceiling. At rush hour, crowds gather there, sometimes several people deep, to await their train’s track assignment. People are eager to make a beeline for the train to get a good seat. Just prior to the boarding announcement, a voice bellows from the speakers: “Ready! Ready! Ready! Ready!” The passengers grab their bags and brace themselves for the sprint downstairs.

That’s a lot how we felt in those days leading up to Dakota’s arrival. We were ready. Our bags were packed, and we had one in each hand.

If having a child is akin to a college final, we were prepared to ace the exam. Within months we were set to take on the biggest responsibility we’d ever known, the most significant work a person can do. We knew that raising a child is a fearful and wonderful job, one that never really ends, but one for which we were as prepared as we could be.

Or so we thought.

Simply thinking, reading, and talking about our new roles of dad and mom wasn’t enough. Looking back, I realize just how little I really knew about being a dad when our firstborn entered the world.

If you’re feeling confident, or even if you have some reservations, about becoming a new parent, I’ll encourage you to listen to the conversation, download the free materials (over there on the right side of this page) and maybe even get a copy of my book.

And maybe you can share a story from your early parenting experiences here in the comments section? Thanks!