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How To Become Superdad!

If you’re a dad, going to become one or just going for the title of Best Uncle, here are some fail-proof tips, directly from moms.

 

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Let’s face it, becoming a father gives every guy the jitters, whether he admits it or not. And, while it may be one of the best feelings in the world, the rigours of everyday parenting can be tough. Especially if you’re single.

 

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We get it. And that’s why we’re here to help. Handling the kids by yourself, all the time or just some of the time, can get overwhelming. And sometimes, unsolicited advice - - from strangers - -can be just what the doctor ordered. It’s objective, and that’s why it works. If you’re not a dad yet, it’s still a good idea to understand what you’re getting into, and how you can ace it.

 

Be The Child & The Adult

 

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 “For a toddler or a small kid, I think all you need is to relate to them, so bring out the child in yourself and be in your element; that’s what kids remember, that they played with their dads like no tomorrow. For teenagers, you need to be that support system or a wall they can lean on—a rock solid wall to help them stand up when they fall.” Mausumi Barooah, Sydney

 

 “Apart from following the holy grail of having them well fed, rested, and clean, avoid the convenience of screen time. Keep screen time for emergencies and when you have no other option (read office con call), get them to join you for errands, give them tasks, and you’d be surprised how simple chores like putting on a washing machine can turn into a fun activity. You are already their Hero... you just have to live up to it. And all they really want is your time and attention.” Vanita Singh Fernandes, Mumbai

 

 “Pay special attention to diet and nutrition; ensure sleep hygiene and regular exercise. I feel respect for your body and discipline takes care of your mental health, energising your brain and regulating your mood. It’s absolutely essential for everyone, more so for teenagers!” Simran Garewal, Chandigarh

 

Get Involved

 

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 “Be truly involved in a child’s life. You should create opportunities to do things together, especially when it’s a girl as I feel dads find it easier to bond with boys.” Shikha Singh*, Kolkata

 

 “Be hands-on. Do stuff together. Listen to music, take a badminton class. Connect in a way that gives you an opportunity to explore the child’s personality—her tastes, likes, preferences. And, of course, talk. A lot. And listen even more.” Prachi Guron, Bengaluru

 

 “Make sure your child reads a lot. Inculcate the habit of reading every night at bedtime, on weekends, while travelling, and especially on holidays. Encourage your child to read storybooks, comics, classics, junior version newspapers, and the whole gamut of printed media. It is the best gift you can give your child.” Gitikka Ganju Dhar, Mumbai

 

 “Your child curled up in your lap with a book being shared can often ease out the most difficult day, for both the child and you.” Natasha Sharma, Mumbai

 

Look After Yourself

 

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“Dads should have a life outside the school run, play dates, and homework. There is no guilt in having a date. Single parenthood is especially demanding and to discharge this responsibility, you need to be in the best of spirits. So have a bit of fun. You will come back refreshed and infused with new energy.” Anjoo Mohun, Kolkata

 

 “Creating a balance between your own life as an adult and a parent can be difficult, but it’s possible. Schedule some kid-free time for yourself from time to time. It can get very overwhelming to fulfil your daily duties at home, work, and cater to your child’s needs.
So, when you are happy and relaxed you can keep your kids happy and cater to their needs.”
Mayuri Singh, Pune

 

 “Choose one activity that you love the most and do it irrespective of anything else happening around you. Single parents especially  need to be happy with themselves before they can give happiness to their children.” Aprajita Singh, Connecticut, USA

 

 “If you’re seeing the child only partially, ensure you maintain a connection at all times, even when the child is not with you, because it’s very easy to lose touch in this busy world. Use regular channels and social media, if the child has an account.” Aesha Ahsan, Siliguri

 

Think Out Of The Parenting Box

 “You should step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to face situations you’d shy away from. Educate and empower yourself in matters you’d otherwise leave to the mom. Forge new friendships (with other moms) and increase your knowledge.”
Divya Mehta, Ahmedabad

 

 “Surround yourself with friends and family, and create a circle of a few people who can help and make your kids feel

loved and fulfilled—grandparents, relatives, friends.”
Diviya Gill, Gurugram

 “You have to be calm, patient, and take charge of a whole lot of things so don’t be shy of taking support from family or friends—it will be a boon to have them around.” Jyoti Narang Watchmaker, Dubai

 

Set Behaviour Goals… For Yourself  

 

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 “Dads should cultivate the patience to hear out the child. If they keep losing their cool because they don’t know how to deal with the situation, eventually the child loses confidence and
stops confiding.”
Mamta Sharma, Gurugram

 

 “Think, and react, and empathise with the child like a mother, so the child doesn’t miss having one. You must learn when to tap the bottom and when to tap the shoulder. That is a balance which is sometimes hard to strike. You have to be strong and resilient like a man and yet be compassionate, understanding, and forgiving like a woman.” Shomita Banerji, Gurugram

 

 “If you are divorced, always speak of your ex respectfully, no matter how much you hate her. It’s a cue your children will pick up and this will allow you to always be a part of your kid’s life, when she or he is not with you. They will also learn that one can disagree with someone, not even like them, and yet respect them.” Aneesha Wadhwa, New Delhi

 

 “Don’t equate love with overcompensating in a bid to overcome guilt. When love becomes pampering and indulgence without balance, it becomes harmful for the child.” Deepa Mehta, Dehradun

 

 “Be mindful that being a single parent is not the ideal situation and jointly arrive at a solution with the mother to ensure the kids are spared as much grief as possible and can grow up to be confident individuals. Never allow a situation where you are putting the other parent down, whatever the reason, as that is very painful for a child.” Monika Bhattacharyya, Mumbai

 

 “Don’t get manipulated by the child who says she or he is stuck between the parents. Empower the child but avoid the trap of giving in too easily to everything.” Samia Hasan, Lucknow

 

 “An amazing relationship is not one in which the child always does what the adult says. Unconditional love means learning to take a ‘no’ from the child. That means the child has the opportunity to make choices within the family, and if you accept that choice, then it’s a different level of acceptance.” Kavneet Chadha, Bengaluru

 

 “Be there for your kids, whenever they really need you. Even if they don’t ask.” Arti Rajgarhia, New Delhi

 

Revisit Your Timetable

 

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 “Spend your time judiciously with the child, where it matters. Like reading them a story to bed, being the first one they see when they wake up. These little things make them feel emotionally secure and provide them a comfortable setting to share their daily anecdotes.” Sunali Singh, Kolkata

 “Bed time routine or school pick-up. I think these are crucial points in a child’s life where they share their most important feelings, incidents or troubles with you. As a working parent it’s difficult to be around all the time, so choose a time when you can be there 100 percent and that hour is as good as spending the whole day with the child. Quality over quantity.” Avneet Thind-Gosal, UK

 

Let Them Talk

 

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 “Answer all your child’s questions as honestly as possible (keeping the age in mind), as the dynamics keep changing and questions keep coming up. The child needs all the help and support. Be open.” Mansi Bawa, Ludhiana

 

 “Don’t be afraid to show your feelings. Your child/children may be going through a lot and it’s important to acknowledge their grief and let them express it. It’s important to listen to what they say and also to what is unsaid.” Smriti Jha, London

 

 “Be honest with your child because there will be more questions for you than most dads have to face, if you’re a single dad. Patiently answer them, as it will help the child from Day 1 to adapt to situations without the mom, rather than living in a make-believe world.” Gunrasan Kohli, Dehradun

 

 “Ensure the kids continue to have some female role models (family or non-family) in their lives.” Sapna Khajuria, Gurugram

 

 “Don’t try to be both Mum and Dad; it’s hard to be both parents. Just being a good dad is good enough.” Ragini Singh, New Delhi

 

 “Kids learn by example. Set the right one.” Anuja Rustagi Nigam, Gurugram

 

While you’ll probably figure out the challenges and the hiccups over time, one message that these strong women and super moms—and some are single mums themselves—have is this: Squeeze out time for yourself. No one can be a caring, loving parent if they are neglecting their own happiness. Find something you love and get going. Join a whisky club, play a round of golf, train for a marathon, do a guys’ road trip. But do it without any guilt. 

By maxim