The 10 commandments of daddyhood
How to be a good (single male) parent.
(Robyn Abrahams)
I was wondering, as I often do about my role and responsibilities as a parent, more specifically as single father. I think there is an underlying drive inherent in the DNA of all fathers to provide for and to protect their offspring. It’s a deep sense of pride and duty to be a good father to your kids. Or at least that’s how it should be in my opinion. So it got me to thinking what would be the most important guidelines for being a good (single male) parent.

1.    Be a part of the process, from conception through birth and beyond. Even if you are at odds with the mother, do your damndest.
2.    Try your very best (it’s not impossible) not to feel anger or resentment towards the mother. Lots of single dads feel powerless with regards to various decisions which are the domain of the mother, from the choice to have the baby, to something as seemingly trivial as deciding if the kid should have a haircut or not.
3.    Refer back to number two. Seriously, lose the anger; it doesn’t help anyone, least of all the baby.
4.    Open yourself up to the utter and complete love, joy and amazement that your child will bring you. Close the door to your kak and drama when you’re with your kid. He or she will be your best teacher of unconditional love, but only if you’re open to it.
5.    Fight to be a part of their lives. Go to every school event, take them to their friend’s birthday parties and sit there with the other parents for hours… Do it, you’ll discover good things about yourself you probably never knew you had in you.
6.    Forget about material things when the kids are young. A R400 Christmas present for a 1-year-old is just stupid and only makes you feel better. The kid will probably have more fun with a R20 toy from the local Chinese shop down the road.
7.    There is no substitute for being there in the flesh: gifts, flowers, and phone calls just don’t cut it.
8.    Try to understand and to visualise the fact that your kid does not care about who you are, what your achievements are and have been, or what a dick you’ve been to its mother, as far as the kid is concerned, you are a god! So behave like one.
9.    Be nice to the mommy, always and forever, always! Suck it up when you get kakked on for not paying the maintenance on time, or missing a visit because of work commitments (which you need to pay the maintenance, etc). Suck it up and smile, and blow her mind, by buying her flowers next time you visit.
10.    Work towards leaving a legacy for your children. They are your one real shot at immortality. Your deeds will live on forever through their tales of you when you’re gone. It goes without saying that this legacy should be solid and lasting. Basically what you’re looking for is something similar to what Royalty have, long lines of descendants who are known and respected and are still being talked about.

Has Marlon hit the nail on the head, or are there other fundamentals you would add?

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