I have a 5 year old and 1 year old daughter.
I’ve really tried the last couple of years to not look too far into the future with my life and just focus on being present in the moment. I know I should just enjoy every spare moment with them and let the rest take care of itself.
But when it comes to your kids, its hard not to think of what will become of them. My visualisation tendencies tend go back to my sporting days when we were taught to visualise events playing out in the future.
And there is a lot to think about.
Sex, drugs, underage pregnancy, heartache, exams, alcohol. It can all seem overwhelming, particularly when I’m of a different gender and realise that females have different challenges in life.
But I will do my best to understand.
Hopefully I can raise my daughters to become healthy, happy, and successful women who overcome challenges specific to girls.
When I think about my girls’ futures I think about being the best dad I can to help mould their lives, but I also think it’s important to let go and let them discover and learn on their own two feet.
If you baby them too much, they’ll never fully grow up and be able to deal with the tough times when you’re not around.
I would love my young girls to grow up to become strong independent women who don’t have to rely on any man for emotional or financial support.
Do I want my daughters to find the man of their dreams? Of course!
Do I want their furture husbands to support them emotionally and financially? Absolutely!
I just think it’s important that they have a level of independence that allows them self-confidence and assurance that everything will be ok no matter what, even if they are single.
For them to grow up happy
Happiness means different things to different people. And whatever definition happiness ends up meaning for them, I hope they find it.
Unfortunately I see many people going through life doing things they don’t like or are not passionate about, and living a generally un-happy life. They are merely existing, not living.
I know through my own experiences, as long as they are happy and fulfilled they will be fine.
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
- John Lennon
For them to remain healthy
This should probably be at the top of my list. Because in the end, as long as you have your health, you can be and do anything you want.
I’ve witnessed many disadvantaged children around the world through my travels who were born in poor health, and I’m extremely grateful that my two girls have started healthy lives.
I’ll do my very best to be a good role model so their health continues through good diet and exercise, and I hope they come to understand that it’s not something we can take for granted, and that our body is our temple and it’s the only one we have.
They build strong friendships
Having a strong network of friends is priceless. Every parent worries that their kids will meet good friends and be good friends themselves. And it’s not something we can have total control over.
Going to the best school doesn’t guarantee your child will fall in with the right group of people. Every school has its problems, and so does after school activities.
You only hope that you stack the odds enough in their favour and associate with the right people yourself as an adult who share similar values and beliefs.
I know what negative self-esteem can do to a person and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
With so many factors that can affect your self-esteem such as peer pressure, bullying, appearance, success in life, failed relationships etc, it’s never plain sailing.
But, if I can instill in them self-worth, self-integrity, self-respect and that it’s important to love yourself first then that would be a good start.
They find good role models
Technology has accelerated so fast, giving access to information and celebrities I didn’t have. Through social media and reality TV shows celebrities lives are thrown in your face constantly, which can be good and BAD.
I must say, I see a lot of female personalities I wouldn’t want my girls to idolise. Whatever their main interests and passions turn out to be, I hope my girls find inspirational role models who have class and maturity. More on this later!
Open their eyes through travel
Obviously travel plays a big role in my life and has helped shape who I am.
I have learnt more about the world, and myself, through travel and I hope I can continue to be able to provide my girls opportunities to explore and learn about the world and the people who live in it.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to travel abroad, but even just to travel in your own country can open you up to new ideas and lessons.
Find a nice man
At the moment Kalyra is without a doubt a “Daddy’s girl” and I have to admit I love that Whether it remains that way only time will tell.
As for Savannah, not so much at this stage but she is still too young to tell. Maybe she will be a mummy’s girl?
People always comment about the teenage years ahead and boys and how I may not be the favourite any more, and I won’t be the only man in their lives. Will be interesting for sure!
When they grow up to become a woman of course I want them to find a nice man who respects them and treats them right. He just can’t be nicer than me
Know that it’s ok to fail
You always hear about the surveys of aged people and that their main regret in life is that they didn’t take more risks. And it’s usually a fear of failurethat stops people from doing most things.
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
- Michael Jordan
I want my girls to know that it’s ok to fail. It’s how we learn and grow and become better people. As long as you learn something and don’t repeat your mistakes then it’s usually worth the lesson. But you don’t really fail in life, as Henry Ford puts it:
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”
I hope that I will have a good enough relationship with my girls that whatever the emotional problem, they can come and tell me. I think that if you keep the channels of communication open, then no problem is insurmountable, and you can get through it as a family.
I don’t just want to become the cool dad who acts like a teenager to “fit in” and hang out. And I don’t want to become the over strict dad who rules with an iron fist and lays down the law either.
Hopefully I can find the balance.
Be good people
At the end of the day, I hope that they grow up to become good people who care about others and the world around them and don’t judge.
I see a lot of people who feel the need to be nasty, judge and bring down others. It’s far easier and less draining to be nice and not evaluate the success of your life against others.
I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but unfortunately in Australia we have the “tall poppy syndrome” which pisses me off no end!
Basically it’s where people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers. I’m starting to see it already.
I hope they can ignore that and rise above it.
To be yourself in life is all that you can really be. I will love them for who they are no matter what and I hope they don’t change to suit the expectations of others.
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
― Judy Garland
I’m still fairly new at this dad thing. I definitely don’t know everything and will surely learn along the way as well.
Do you have any tips for me as a dad?
What do you wish for your kids?