[W]hile you might have developed a cool attitude when you were a young adult, your sense of being cool can change dramatically when you have children. Your mindset changes and your perceptions of life don’t compare to the ones you had as a young man. Indeed, being a father is a full-time job – you never stop being a Dad, even when your kids move out. But your father duty doesn’t take over your whole personality or your needs as a person. Being cool, ultimately, is a something everyone aspires to. Not because it makes you popular, but because it means that you are moving with the current trends and that you are integrated into your community and your family. And being cool, as a Dad, is one of the hardest things you’ll have to do.
Cool Dude to Cool Dad – One Rule: Choose Your Fight Wisely
Okay, let’s not lie about it. When you become a Dad, you visibly feel yourself getting older. That’s the weight of responsibilities. One word of warning: it never leaves you! However, while you become wiser and less inclined to waste time in purposeless parties – as you would have when you were young and childless – it doesn’t mean that you have to become boring. On the contrary, now is the best time to make a conscious effort to maintain your social circle. While you want to be available for your family, you also need to make time for yourself. A parent who is disconnected from the community is of no use to their kids. Not only are you uncool but you are also isolated.
Young Children Find it Cool When You Understand Their Interests
Babies and toddlers have no concept of being cool because they have no way of inviting you into their world. But young children begin to develop interests that they want to share with you. A cool Dad is a Dad who follows the trend – as set by your child – to bond over these interests. You can also encourage your child to develop new interests. But ultimately, the more you learn about what they like, the easier it is to maintain your relationship.
Cool Dude to Cool Dad – Accept It: Teens Won’t Find You Cool
Teenagers are going through a lot of physical and emotional transformations. While some might confine in their parents, most choose to distance themselves. Your teen won’t find you cool, even if you actively choose to copy their choices to encourage a bond – from buying the same men’s Christmas sweaters to watching the same TV shows, it’s a fight you can’t win. Also, you’ll get some points by embracing a more casual approach to clothes and conversations – aka the Christmas jumper is a good thing!
Creating a different sense of coolness with grown-up children
Your relationship changes dramatically when your children move out. You can finally bond over common interests and family values. They might rely on your wisdom when they become parents themselves! And when they do, tell them that staying cool is as much about parenting than bonding.
Are you a cool Dad? It’s a question you should ask yourself. A cool Dad is someone who understands and embraces the social situation in which children grow up. The more you interest their interests, values, and challenges, the better you’ll be at helping them.
Contributed post. Feature image via Pixabay.