We often hear from people who are already parents that you can never get to the place where you feel completely ready to be a father or mother. Whether or not you choose to be involved much in the life of your child, fatherhood is a privilege and a noble responsibility.
Increasingly, single-parent households are the rule, not the exception. Perhaps you have been raised by a single mom or dad yourself. Nevertheless, your child will need a father, whether you are married to the mother or not.
Consider what kind of father you want to be
- Write down the things that your dad did that were admirable and that positively influenced your life.
- Write down the things you want to change when you are a father.
- If other men have been role models or surrogate fathers to you, write down the things they did that you want to imitate.
- If you have never had a father-figure, we encourage you to look in your community for an older man you respect to mentor you.
Even if you are still in your teens, you can begin to learn how to be a good father. Talk to other men who are fathers, read books and online material about parenting, attend a free parenting class at LivingWell, and surround yourself with supportive people.
You may not be prepared to be the perfect father. Reality is that you will never be perfect, but you can make a start by doing what you know now, and working towards gaining the skills to be a loving and influential father. Do not make the mistake of doing nothing. As Edmund Burke said, “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”