Sunday, January 27, 2008

What is a Good Father?

I visited a friend of mine this weekend (himself a newdaddy with an eight-week-old), and it came out that I have this blog (it's not the first thing I tell people and, believe it or not, a good number of my friends have no idea I do this). When I told him it was about parenting, he was surprised, as he assumed it was a blog about how to be a good parent (and I, having only done this for about sixteen months, am in no position to be giving anyone parenting advice). I quickly explained that it was more a "blog-u-mentry" about my experiences as a new father, but it got me thinking: am I a good father? And, if so, or if not, what is a good father?

And here's my answer: I have no idea. But, let me take a crack at it anyway. (After all, I do have the audacity to call some people bad parents.)

A good father simply needs two qualities: first, they have to care about being a father; they have to care about their child and want to be a good father. Because, obviously, if you don't care about your child or your role in their life, you're never going to be good at parenting. Second, you need to have good judgment. No parent knows what they are's all guesswork. For example, at three weeks, when the baby is crying at 2am and they won't stop, do you give them a binky? Some say yes, as it soothes them and encourages a regular sleep pattern. Some say no, as it will get them addicted and screw up their teeth. I've got a view on the subject; but neither answer is correct. But, to be a good parent, you need to consider the issue and come to a decision based on what you think will ultimately be better for your child. And that really is the best you can do.

Of course, what do I know, I've only been doing this for sixteen months. And, believe me, I'm not saying I'm a good parent...I'd like to think I am, as I know I have the first quality, and think I have the second.

But, then again, this is coming from a guy who lets Bud watch an Elmo DVD regularly...and we all know what doctors say about watching TV before age 2!

P.S. New quote on the sidebar. Also, check out "Life After People" on the History Channel.

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