Be Prepared – A Good Motto For Dads, Not Just Scouts

Everyone knows the Boy Scouts’ famous motto: ‘Be Prepared’.  Whether you were a scout or not, it’s just one of those things that have entered society’s consciousness.  It’s a good motto, too, although one that should be extended to fathers all over the world, and not just kept for growing boys wearing funny ties.  When you are a dad, you need to be ready for everything (my grandmother always said that you should be prepared by always wearing nice underwear, you never know when you might get hit by a car and paramedics will see what you’re wearing) – and here are a few ideas that can help.




Once you become a parent, you will find that time starts to fly (or drag, depending upon how hard your kids make your life).  Your life before kids seems like centuries ago, and before you know it, your kids are almost as tall as you are (well, in my case, as tall as my wife – they’ll never be as tall as me ha ha ha).  The time you have with them as little children is short, however, and it is precious, so if you spend all those years working away from home, you will regret it.  So, the first thing to plan is your time…properly.  You can always earn over time or make money later on in life – but you won’t get those lost years back if you don’t make an effort and spend time with your family.  In Australia, the world of Fly-in Fly-out is quite large, but is this life worth missing out on first steps, first dances, presentation of certificates at school, sporting events?  Weigh it up.


You also need to plan a little housework into your agenda.  For those that know me, this sounds a little hypocritical because essentially, I hate housework.  Sure, you want to watch the big game at night when the little ones go to bed, but make sure you do your share of the chores first. It’s a simple case of planning, and like it or not, the traditional mum/dad split of duties is long gone – and unlikely to come back in the foreseeable future. If you don’t prepare for chores, you can start preparing for arguments, fights, and unnecessary tension. Either that or a completely shattered and exhausted wife. And don’t pull that ‘my work is so tiring’ business on me, either – running a home is the hardest job out there.


Like it or not, people get ill – sometimes extremely sick. And when you have a family, it’s important to plan for this just as much as you would plan for retirement. Look into your parents and grandparents health issues, and you might see a possible future. If cancer runs in your family, for example, then learn more about types of cancer treatment that are available – not just for you, but possibly for your kids, too. No one likes to think their children will get ill, but it could happen, no matter how small the odds. And if it does, you want to come at it from a position of strength and knowledge.


It’s impossible to raise children without getting frustrated, angry and losing your temper from time to time. It’s going to happen – but it’s how you control those emotions that will separate you from the rest.  Amazing fathers still get angry, but they know how to turn off the tap and don’t take it out on their kids. If you have any issues with anger, it’s a good idea to get prepared by getting help.  In the years to come, you will face a huge amount of stress, lack of sleep, and all kinds of other issues involved with raising emotional kids. It’s no place for someone with a short fuse – so look to get yours extended.


A final point – we live in a world where it’s likely our children will grow up less well off than us. If you don’t want that to happen to your kids, make sure you are putting money away for them in a savings account and are teaching them the value of money and the hard work involved to earn it. 

I like the idea of providing a loan to my kids (when they are old enough to want big ticket items and don’t have enough money) and make them pay me back with interest – if they miss a payment, I will repossess said big ticket item so they can learn the financial consequences.  Better that it happens while under my watchful eye than in the real world where this can have an impact on credit ratings and ongoing finances.


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