by Ryan Crawley for Dadspadblog.com
The age of technology is upon us, and for millennial fathers, it could not have arrived at a better time. Remember before the internet when if we didn’t know something, we either winged it or asked the person in closest proximity to us for advice? It didn’t matter if it was for fixing a car or parenting advice, we would literally believe in what a perfect stranger would tell us.
How do you teach your kid not to be afraid of water? Just because a person on the street that we never met happened to be passing by us at that exact moment, we took their advice of just throwing the kid in the pool or the lake over and over again until they began liking it. We trusted everyone’s instinct except our own.
But now we have enough information and advice on any topic available to us online that millennial fathers can now feel like experts for all subjects. I am sure that you remember why your own parents did certain things in raising you. They told you they did it because their parents before them did the exact same thing. Parents in the past did not know any better, so they just repeated the same actions. However, through technology, millennial fathers can now feel more secure in their decisions and actions.
According to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of millennial fathers look for parenting information online through their smartphones. As a father, Googling for parenting information through a smartphone means that they are in the thick of something with their kids and need an answer immediately. You realize if a father had more time to research parenting information, they would be doing it at their computer. I can only imagine what topics they are searching. “My child just swallowed ____________. How quickly should I bring them to the emergency room?” “How do you get a baby to stop crying?” “How can I tell if my child is allergic to ____________?”
There Is an App for That
There is literally an app for everything nowadays, so it should come as no surprise that there are hundreds of parenting apps available. For millennial fathers, this makes the task of raising children seem so much easier than having to call your own father and asking him questions.
Saving Information in Your Phone
My parents had nine children, and my father still does not know any of our birthdays. Or even our middle names. Possibly not our first names either. He was a high school basketball coach, but he has been retired for about 20 years from it all. Still, it is amazing when he runs into some of his old players for the first time in 30 years and he is able to remember their first and last names and the best game they ever played.
Now millennial fathers have an ever-present cheat sheet permanently attached to their hip. First off, you can set alarms and notices in your calendar for anything. Those forgotten birthdays are a thing of the past. Need to know in a hurry what blood type your child is after an unsupervised attempt at skateboarding? All that information can be stored in your phone! Need to plan feedings every four hours? Set the alarm on your phone as a reminder. It’s like having your own personal nanny helping you.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Technology has been a game changer in raising a family. You are welcome, millennials. The basics can be learned from YouTube videos alone. Want to know how to diaper and swaddle a baby? You no longer have to pay attention to the nurse demonstrating it in the hospital after the birth. YouTube it. Want to figure out how to properly hold a baby without the kid having the bobblehead effect or a permanently bad neck? Google will be your best friend.
Hopefully, as a young millennial father, you have already started planning your baby’s future. It is simple to open up a savings account for your child as long as your name is on it as well. Thanks to the automatic deposit, money will immediately be taken out of your paycheck and added into the savings account for your child. Putting $10 a week in it until the child turns 21 will leave the kid with close to $20,000 if interest rates are reasonable. Eventually this could be a nice down payment on their own house someday.
Because as difficult as it is, the toughest part of parenting is often seeing them leave the nest and start out on their own. By then, you should be able to have a good feeling that you did the best you could as a father. We will just keep the role technology played in it a secret between you and me.
Ryan Crawley is a writer and educator from Washington, Illinois. He enjoys using humor in all of his writing. You can find articles by him on several top Education, Parenting, and Fitness sites. To contact him, check out his LinkedIn profile. www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-crawley-b854bb146