When a father takes care of his newborn, the assumption is that he is responsible for nurturing his baby and facilitating their development. In reality, growth goes both ways. While infants benefit from the love and attention that they're getting from their dads, fathers also undergo a transformation. With every time spent with their kids, fathers begin to understand what it truly means to be a dad.
Researchers from Yale University conducted a study that shows how a dad's brain changes as they grow into the role of fathering their infants. Some of the most evident changes in their behavior include being better at multitasking, which comes in handy especially when they have to juggle work and home duties. Fathers also become more emotionally responsive, which will help them connect on a deeper level with their kids. Lastly, dads become more sensitive towards their baby's needs, allowing them to adequately provide for their children.
The journey to becoming the best dad for your kids is an everyday adventure. As you head into this phase in your life, prepare by developing these characteristics that should serve you well as you grow into fatherhood:
- An unwavering commitment to your children. As a father, your family's needs come before your own. Accepting and embracing the responsibility of being a dad to your kids means that you should be ready to make some sacrifices in the face of difficult circumstances for their welfare. This involves being able to make adjustments where your life and career may be concerned if it means having more opportunities to be by your children's side.
- An ability to think long-term. Fathers are mature individuals, and this doesn't just speak about their biological age. Dads shouldn't act on impulse; instead of doling out punishments, they are able to step back and think about how their actions would impact their kids beyond that one moment in time. Discipline is an important aspect in raising children, but this should be done in a thoughtful manner.
- Strong support system. Even though fathers are inherently strong, they still need sources of inspiration and motivation to keep going. Look to your spouse, friends, and community for strength and advice when you need guidance. Seek credible sources online or offline for additional knowledge that can further enrich your experience as a fledgling dad.
Growing into the fatherhood role takes commitment, but you can do it. You can be an outstanding Father. You have to clearly define your priorities and commit to them, develop a long-term perspective, strengthen your ‘Ten Tools of Fatherhood” (please see www.BeABetterDadToday.com) and keep a strong support system of family, friends and a faith community to help you along the way. With these powerful assets and your strong personal commitment, you will achieve your goal: To be the father that your kids need, deserve, love and look up to.