Being a parent is hard work, and the idea of becoming a parent for the first time can be stressful. If you are a new adoptive dad, don’t worry. Here are five great tips to help make you dad of the year.
1. Be a Good Example
It is your responsibility to be the best example you can be. If not a newborn, your newly adopted child may not have been exposed to positive and productive male role models before. Don’t get frustrated when your child acts out in selfish or negative ways. Instead, work hard to demonstrate the character traits you value, and your child will admire and emulate you.
2. Be Patient
The newest addition to your family may not immediately acclimate to their new home. If a newborn, that goes without saying. Newborns go through a variety of changes and adjustments, from getting used to sleep and eating schedules to being held by different people. If an older child, they might be shy and reserved, or they might act out in frustration. Be patient, and give them time to get to know you and get comfortable. It might not happen overnight, but with patience, love and understanding it will happen.
3. Be Reliable
Know what your child needs and be ready to provide it. Don’t wait until your child has grown out of their clothes before buying new ones. Don’t wait until he or she is starving before warming a bottle or making dinner. Anticipating your child’s needs will let them know that they are safe and well provided for. Make sure you’re on time and always there so your child will know they are your number one priority.
4. Have Fun
Nothing will help your child grow more comfortable than having fun with them. Make time for play and activities on a regular basis, even if you are busy. If your child knows they can look forward to playtime with dad, they will become more trusting. Don’t be afraid to be silly and have a good time. Seeing you enjoy yourself will let your kid know that it’s okay for them to enjoy themselves too. Laugh a lot, jump around, and of course…
5. Tell Dad Jokes
Everyone appreciates a good dad joke. It is pretty much a rite of passage as a dad to tell a few good dad jokes. As your child grows older, age-appropriate humor may change, but for example, you may be inclined to tell these embarrassingly, cheesy wisecracks:
The rotation of earth really makes my day.
I thought about going on an all-almond diet. But that’s just nuts.
You get the idea. But in all seriousness, having a sense of humor can really help in life. When things are not going the way you imagined, it helps to be able to laugh about it and pass that outlook (and gift) onto your child.
Take a deep breath and get ready for the most rewarding experience of your life. Adopting a child is a brave and beautiful choice. You’ve got this! You’re already well on your way to the Dad Hall of Fame.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.