years. Pretty amazing. You might not be number one on her priority list now, so get used to that, and don’t take it personally. You have, as a couple, just morphed from a pair into a “team” with a purpose. Get on board fast. This won’t stop changing either. When you are the dad of pre-teens, your kids will learn, almost instinctively, to divide and conquer. Your partner might side with your kids. Take it in stride. 4. Your kids will seem smarter than you, especially in this day and age, when each successive generation ingests more knowledge than the previous. Your kids will learn faster, and won’t learn some things you have always thought very important. My girls have not really spent a great deal of time perfecting their penmanship. In school, this became a priority for me after a few teachers told me they had problems reading my work. My girls are much better on a keyboard than me however, and can type without ever having taken a formal lesson. I tried to broach the subject of penmanship improvement a couple of times. I don’t any more. My daughters read faster, and are worldlier. Sure, they don’t have a certain wisdom that can only come with age, but they are smart. It is something to be proud of, after you get over the feeling of being outsmarted by a six-year-old. 5. They will test you in ways you never imagined—they are reflections of you. You will see yourself in them, and they will amplify fears that you have. You will watch them grow, and you will be horrified that they pick up your worst habits. Don’t worry. Children, for the most part, pick up all of their parents habits. This is not so bad. In a world where the role of the father is changing so rapidly, and at times questioned, you will question your role. You will question your ability to be a dad, and you will question your own upbringing. You will be tested emotionally in ways you thought a man is never tested. These tests will sneak up on you. I don’t think they stop. I am sure I am the test for my own father, just like you are for yours. Frank O’Brien is an entrepreneur and writer, currently finishing a book on the restaurant and finance industries, and on learning how to succeed. He is happily married with two daughters, and enjoys writing about the adventure that is fatherhood.
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