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The Fatherhood Thread

Can’t like this enough

I’m the same with my wee girl.

I struggle to discipline her and leave it to her mum who has a firm hand when it comes to that business

Maybe it’s a dad thing. How can I give the cutest wee thing into trouble :joy:

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Wife was at work tonight, so me and the little monkey were the only ones around for dinner. Our dining room faces our backyard, and the evening light reflecting off our silver poplar and the rest of the yard was an incredible sight. Combined with my son resting his head on my shoulder for half of dinner and his smile, my heart was full.

That said, I need to reach out to the fatherhood brotherhood. My kid is really smacky lately. When he gets upset, smack. Overly happy, suddenly turns upset and smack. Randomly walk up to me, smack. I have no idea how to deal with this, and it’s starting to get frustrating.

He’s also smacky, to a lesser degree, with strangers in his personal space. I don’t like the behaviour, but in that scenario, I can at least understand it.

The main issue is him directing his smacking onto me or my wife in the former scenarios. Sometimes he actively seeks us out in those moments solely to hit us.

Have any of you dealt with something like this? Just repeating “no” over and over doesn’t seem to be helping, and I’m worried it might be getting too demoralizing. Is it an attention thing? Should I pull a page from the dog training book and ignore/remove myself from his presence, to show him that behaviour makes people he likes go away?

He’s 2 correct? If so, he doesn’t know how to vocalize emotion and is smacking to simply show he is feeling something.
What seemed to work with my kids was trying to catch the smack and then giving hugs and trying to talk through why they feel that way. It takes awhile, but eventually they learn to recognize emotions and the words you use become their words.

Again, no guarantee this will work, but helped with my girls.


I did. I would stop what was happening (playing, what ever) and do a short time out, like 2 min. To do that, I would explain why what he did was wrong, then have him repeat it back to me. Then tell him to think about why for the time out.

When the time out was over, I’d ask him about his thought, then we’d resume what ever it was we were doing.

It took a few rounds, but he steadily stopped.

I think it was important to respond quickly, and consistently, and when it was over, it was over, period. No delay or protracted elements, like “if you do that again, you loose your Thomas train” because the smacking and a couple of other behaviors are almost purely impulse. There’s no abstract thinking or consideration of risk involved.

Disclaimer: I’ve said before, my kid is like a golden child. His behavior and desire to do good is amazing, and far exceeds my abilities as a parent.


I like this. I’ll give it a try for for a while and see how it goes.

I think this will be a good idea when he’s a bit older and can communicate more. Right now he’s not talking (well, talking in a way we can understand), so having a dialogue will be a bit difficult.

I like the point about returning to what you were doing before once the time out is over.

Thanks, gents!

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I’ve just seen this tread at 00.35 so I’m not reading it all back. I’m going to bed.
I’m just hear to say I have 2 boys. And they are my reason for being alive. Honestly - they are my everything. I could not wish for better kids.


This post might be better suited for another thread, but… I confess that as much as I love watching my 8 y/o son turn into a little man—e.g., fist bumps, high fives, and jokes about bodily functions are becoming more common interactions—I still love that he gets excited to snuggle into bed and have me read to him at night.

My own father expressed his love for me very differently, even at a young age—partly from his own upbringing, partly from life circumstances. And while I have no doubts in how my dad feels about me—both then and now—I honestly hope my son doesn’t outgrow certain expressions of love for me, his mother, or his sister.

I think tenderness is an amazing show of strength, albeit one very different from the kind on which we tend to focus here.


I have a question to all you dads out there. Do you ever experience burnout from trying to balance hobbies, being a dad, and work? Then again there is obviously something that makes all of the hassle worth it, correct?

I ain’t even close to being a dad but trying to balance all of that sounds kinda scary.

Burnout is definitely a thing. Finding the right balance is a constant task and shifts as the kids’ needs change. And, like anything, you get used to it.
It’s all worth it when you get a hug from one of them at the end of the day.


You pretty much learn to live in a burnt out state. But you also learn how to put on a not burnt out face in front of the kiddo.

And you develop an encyclopedic knowledge of energy drinks.


When there’s too much on your plate you can always drop your hobbies for awhile.


And appreciation for why coffee is the nectar of the gods.


What’s so funny about that too is how perspective of time shifts. You might put off a hobby for a few YEARS, and in that time you kid grows exponentially to the point that they’re a LOT more autonomous so you CAN go off and do your own thing, but meanwhile you haven’t changed much in that time.


That really makes me ponder. Can being in a burnout state all the time change a dad? For example a dad becoming alcoholic and abusive from all the stress he’s taken in throughout the day.

I would say that simply demonstrates someone with poor coping mechanisms.


Monitoring one’s mental health becomes a high priority after becoming a father. It’s easy to miss some of the signs of burnout or excess/stress.

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I didn’t see “spend time with partner” in that list, but that actually goes a long way to managing, if not avoiding, burnout. Even better (and easier) when there are hobbies that the two of you share.


I’ve currently changing my whole profession to not burn out so hard. But is it worth it? Yes.
But it is when you get the real “thank yous” off of them. The ones where they really mean it. It really makes the whole thing worth while.

My first kid was born and spent 13 night in hospital. On night 11 or 12 a new dad joined the ward. I was showing him around (as we had access to the kitchen, a baby food store, shower ETC). First point of call was the store of cheap energy drinks.
Along with a list of local supermarkets, prices and opening times.

Both my sons LOVE a snuggle. As in they will come home from school, rugby or just halfway through the day will go - “lets go up stairs for a snuggle”. And they will get into bed just because.

We are a very close family like this. And I dread losing this. I get that my 22 year old son wont want to jump into bed for a cuddle. But I’m hopping we get to 21 before they stop lol.


Everyone else gave superb answers. The only thing I’d add is that you also very quickly learn what of your hobbies are actually important and uplifting for you, and end up axing those that aren’t.

Fatherhood has done a great job of streamlining me as a person, and I’m very happy about that