This book is for men who want to be better dads. It respects and honours a fathers importance to their childs well-being and is perfect for busy dads with children of all ages, and also useful for grandfathers and uncles!
Fathers are invited and encouraged to be active dads; to build on what they already know and be their childs first life coach. First Coach provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to enable their child to become a confident, independent, responsible adult with good self-esteem and strong core values.
It has been shown that effective fathering is a powerful, protective factor for children, improving their health, emotional well-being and educational achievement. It is never too late to learn and apply effective parenting skills.
D.M. Peyton has a Masters Degree in Health Promotion, a BA in Social Sciences, and lectures on Life Coaching and Parenting Sills.
A new book on fatherhood draws attention to the essential role of fathers. The book, First Coach, for Good Dads who Want to be a Great Dads by D.M. Peyton (Veritas Ôé¼ 7.95) considers in detail the responsibilities of fathers. There is a lot of good advice for dads on how best to love, raise the self-esteem of and communicate clearly with their children. There is also a lot of sensible guidance on being consistent, establishing definite boundaries around their own responsibilities and how best to discipline childrens challengin responses without jeopardising the relationships with the child or inducing the fear. The book also guides fathers on how to help children learn from the inevitable mistakes they make.
Tony Humphreys, Irish Examiner, 27 March 2009
I thought the other day, seeing images of young women moiling round the streets dead drunk, that it was not only sons that miss their fathers these days, but also girls. Here is a book aimed at helping fathers get those first steps right. And in fathers the author includes also grandfathers and uncles - the extended family that seems also to be disappearing these days.
The aim of rearing children is to make their way in this world (and the next), to find and follow their calling. Coaching might seem to imply playing to win in a very American way - but actually rearing children is persevering in showing them that perseverance itself is what really counts.
Nothing beats being true to yourself. It has been shown that effective fathering is a powerful, protective factor for children, improving their health, emotional well-being and educational achievement. It is never too late to learn and apply effective parenting skills rightly claims D. M. Peyton, who is professionally and academically qualified in this field.
- Peter Costello, The Irish Catholic, 26 March 2009
The information, ideas and suggestions contained in this guide have been compiled over many years and are based on what I learned through formal and informal education, research, and trial and error. I hold the firm belief that knowledge is power; so when I became a parent, I decided to read everything I could find on child development and parenting skills in order to become the best parent I could be. I knew that my role as parent was the most important role I could fill. As parents, we have choices about how we think and behave with our children; so I wanted to learn as much as I could in order to help my children become confident, independent, responsible people who would like themselves and have strong core values. I continue to be passionate about the subject of parenting skills; and I want to share what Ive learned.
Effective child guidance is based on a thorough knowledge of child and family development. I believe that the child guidance principles included in these pages can benefit any adult who interacts with children: be it a parent, guardian, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, neighbour, coach, etc. However, I have specifically targeted dads because their importance to the family unit and to a childs development is so often understated or even ignored, and they generally do not get enough credit for the positive impact they make on childrens lives. So, this guide is not just father-inclusive , it is father-focused.
First Coach does not attempt to cover all aspects of being a dad. It is, however, an attempt to respect and honour dads and to acknowledge their importance to their children. It invites dads to be active fathers and to build on what they already know and do right. These guidelines can be used with children of all ages. It is never too late to use positive parenting; however, it is much easier to begin early and to focus on the prevention of unwanted or anti-social behaviours.
As a parent, and especially as a father, you can have a major impact on shaping your childs future. It has been said that in writing, as in many things, simplicity is often close to genius. To write simply has been my aim. I have used he and she in alternate chapters for ease of reading; however, all the guidelines apply to both boys and girls.
Your Role as a Dad
MOST MEN SAY THEY ENJOY HAVING CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR CHILDREN. FATHERS FROM A DIVERSITY OF SOCIAL AND ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS SAY THAT FATHERING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THEIR LIVES.
As a dad, you matter and are irreplaceable. You can make a positive difference in the life of your child; and whether you like it or not, you are one of your childs first and most influential life coaches. Effective fathering has been proven to be a powerful, protective factor for children, and your child will benefit from all that you learn about being a dad. You have been given a gift , mind it well!
We are not necessarily born with the knowledge we need to be good parents. There are no rules for parenting, just guidelines, and in using these you must keep in mind that every child is unique, and what may be right for one child may not necessarily be right for another. Your own personality and style must also be taken into account in deciding which parenting methods you adopt.
Effective parenting practices are not always the easy ones, nor the ones our parents/guardians used with us. There is a need for a shift from reactive parenting to preventative parenting; and better parenting is all about making small changes to your old routines and behaviours and practising the new, more positive ones until they become new positive habits. You were raised in a certain way by your own parents/guardians, but now you can choose to learn from that experience and apply more positive parenting methods as necessary with your own family. The object is to be a better dad and to form positive parenting habits , not to become a perfect parent, because that is impossible.
There is some overlap between topics addressed in this guide because parenting is best approached from a holistic view as opposed to a compartmentalised one.
For the most formative years of our lives, two central forces guide our education: our parents/guardians, and our government. Our parents/guardians teach us more about life than anyone else ever will, while our government plays a critical role in providing the physical and societal framework in which our ongoing education will take place. That education will, hopefully, promote a culture in which lifelong learning is a natural, accessible and attractive option. As a dad, you should demand to be involved in your childs life, so make sure that your wife, partner, government, childs cr?¿che, social services or childs school knows that you want to be included in matters that affect your child.
How are you a first coach?
Life, just like sports, is about learning to deal with challenges and obstacles, and you are one of your childs first and most important life coaches.
The title coach is one of respect and affection. A good coach helps people to set and achieve their goals using encouragement rather than fear. The title father, likewise, should be one of respect and affection, not one to be feared. A father supports his children financially, physically, cognitively and emotionally. Just as a sports coach provides direction and instruction, teaching the skills, rules and tactics involved in a particular sport, a father teaches his children the skills, rules and tactics needed for life. Many sports coaches are former players themselves, just as all fathers were once children.
Research has shown that when fathers are allowed to maintain a positive presence in their childs life, the child benefits. Fathers who are involved with their children can improve their childrens health, emotional well-being and educational achievement. Parenting literature supports the use of positive parenting techniques in order to achieve optimum results. There is NOT just one way to deal with any issue, but there are many good and positive ways.
What about discipline?
The word discipline comes from disciple and means training intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviour. However, it has come to be known as something negative. Discipline should always be applied in a positive way and is much more productive when done so.
Self-discipline should be the goal for children and for parents. Learning and playing sports is one way to help to teach self-discipline, which is the ability to manage oneself and ones emotions. But dads can nurture self-discipline in their children by the way they interact with them.
Want to be a great dad?
We all want to be better at the things we do, and the goal of being a great dad can be achieved by applying similar principles to that of coaching:
- Becoming aware of what you are currently doing.
- Focusing on changing one thing at a time.
- Having a specific plan for what you are going to change and how best to change it to get the results you want.
- Practise, practise, practise.
Good and effective parenting requires a specific set of skills. By adopting the guidelines suggested in this book, you can acquire these skills.
Progress and change may seem slow at first, but learning any new skill takes time and practice. Hang in there! I know you care about your child and I know you can be a great dad. Whether you are young or older, the biological dad or the step-dad, whether you intended to be a father or not, your child deserves your best.