Brannan Family: Top 10 Tips for Dadhood


Ok dads, have you been making room in your closets for the ties? Clearing out your cabinets for more mugs? If you’re like me, the tackier the gift the better. And, honestly, tacky is fashionable* now, so take advantage of this hot dad fashion trend we’re riding right now, k?

*fashion advice from this dad is not advisable and should be considered pish posh

Jonathan Brannan and daughter
Credit: Jonathan Brannan Live/FB

Moving on! Father’s Day is one of the coolest days of the year, because let’s face it gents, we’re kinda getting away with a lot here. I mean, out of the 9 months of child bearing, how many of those months did you carry your baby? I’m gonna assume it was somewhere around… um… zero! 

We must acknowledge that moms physically do all the heavy lifting before the stork makes his delivery. And that goes for ALL the ways of bringing a baby into your family, including adoption.

We, as dads, typically don’t have a whole lot to do, physically, with the growing of a child. And that’s ok! I see it as a divine design, because God knew that if it were up to men to grow babies inside our bodies there would be no more people. Plain and simple. We couldn’t handle it.

So… now that we’ve established that women are tougher than men, let’s talk about where that puts us in the plan.

Because we all need a good look in the mirror sometimes, I decided to take a second to self-reflect.

“Who should I strive to be as a dad? What do I want to look back on my fatherhood and see? What do I want to steal from my own dad to incorporate into my dadhood?”

These questions led me to a little checklist that will constantly evolve over time, but for now, it’s a start! I present: 10 Non-Conclusive, Non-Comprehensive, Ever-Evolving Ways to Improve Your Dadhood from a Non-Expert (pretty catchy, huh?) for short:

Top 10 Tips for Dadhood


Jonathan Brannan 8
Credit: Jonathan Brannan Live/FB

We probably will never fully comprehend the positive psychological impact we have on our kids just by being present. This is a lesson it took me a long time to learn. I even changed jobs once I figured this one out. And I’m still learning on the subject.

I encourage you to evaluate your presence in your kids’ lives and try to increase it. I can almost guarantee you’ll never wish you hadn’t spent as much time with your kids. If that means taking a leap of faith, do it!


Jonathan Brannan 3
Credit: Jonathan Brannan Live/FB

Y’all, this world takes itself WAY too seriously. I think God gave us a sense of humor for a reason. I believe dads have a super power when it comes to being silly, and a lot of times that includes embarrassing your kids… and potentially your partner.

Go for it! Put on that silly hat in the store. Sing the silly songs as loud as you can. Pick up your kids from dance blasting Taylor Swift with the windows all the way down. Do it! You’ll make memories, and when you look back you’ll be glad you did.


Be the kind of person you would want your child to associate with. Show them the love you think they deserve. Show them the love you want them to expect from others. This will help them so much in life, in relationships, at home, at work, pretty much anytime they have a social interaction. They need to see what true love of people is, and that needs to come from you.


Jonathan Brannan 4
Credit: Jonathan Brannan Live/FB

Your kids are watching you. Just like how they’ll take a lesson from watching how you love and treat people. Be mindful of that. Think about what they’re seeing from their perspective. You are having an impact on them by the second. Try to fashion the way you live your life with that in mind. You are leaving a legacy imprinted on their psyche about what it means to be a human. That’s sobering!


You hear it all the time, but there’s a reason. People say “You never wish you had worked more when you’re on your deathbed.” I can definitely see that becoming truer every day I inch closer to that ol’ bed. We all work way too much. Try to adopt a work to live mentality, rather than a live to work mentality. I know that’s easier said than done, but trust me, it’s worth it.


Jonathan Brannan 5
Credit: Jonathan Brannan Live/FB

Your child learns so much from you by simply interacting through play. Put the phone down, and give them your attention. I’m bad about it. I hate to admit that I get to a point sometimes where I’m too busy and just say “not right now” or “wait just a few more minutes”.

You know what happens a lot of times when I put off playing? It doesn’t end up happening. That’s heartbreaking. And soon they will be asking to play less and less. So, don’t slack on the play! Keep it up.


Ok, this one’s sometimes tougher for dads for some reason, but don’t be afraid to talk. Moms tend to be the ones who get the most deep conversation, and that’s cool if that’s the case! But dads shouldn’t feel awkward or afraid to open a line of communication with their kids. Trust me, it will make a big difference to just talk about your kid’s day with them. Actually talk with them. Get a conversation going. It’s good for the soul.


Even the tough ones. Time is fleeting. You can’t get moments back. Treasure each second. You’ll look back and be glad you did.


Yeah, we’re humans. And we’re men, so that’s a double whammy. We’re definitely going to mess up, and the sooner we admit that the better. And the best thing to do when you mess up is admit it verbally. Make sure your kid knows that you messed up and that you’re going to do better. That shows them that it’s ok. Because…. we allllll know they’re going to mess up too! And when they do, it will be so cool to have your response as an example to live by.


Jonathan Brannan 7
Credit: Jonathan Brannan Live/FB

It’s a WILD ride. Enjoy it. Every minute. It gets better as it goes. The stories get better, the conversations get better, the fights, the arguments, the laughs, the cries, every emotion. It’s all a beautiful experience that YOU are blessed to participate in. It’s really kind of crazy when you think about it. So strap in, buckle up, and be a dad!

Happy Father’s Day! You’re an awesome dad! Keep rockin’ and rollin’!


Jonathan Brannan and baby 2
Credit: Jonathan Brannan Live/FB

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Click here to read more stories about the Brannan’s family journey to adoption.