I’ve been having a very amusing email conversation with Neil Sinclair, the author of the new book “Commando Dad”, and thought you too would enjoy this book, especially if you’re just getting into the parenting world with a new baby. I’ll let him speak for himself, though, by simply sharing the intro to his book:
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Introduction TO ALL DADS AND CARERS (henceforth known as ‘Commando Dads’)
This book has been written for YOU.
I have been a Royal Engineer Commando, a Physical Education teacher, a security guard at the UK Mission to the UN in New York, a stay-at-home dad and a registered childminder, and I can honestly tell you that there have been few times in my life as daunting as bringing my first son back from the hospital.
All the parenting books and classes were geared towards the birth, and then suddenly you and your partner find yourselves back at home with the baby. In charge.
I found myself thinking how much easier life would be if I had been issued with a basic training manual for my little baby trooper (henceforth referred to as BT), like the manual you get when you join the army. Any soldier will tell you that one of the greatest weapons in their armoury is Basic Battle Skills: a ‘How To’ training manual handed to them on day one as a soldier. It covers everything from how to shave to how to accurately estimate the distance to a target, and provides the foundation to all the practical skills needed to become a first-rate soldier.
I did try and find such a manual, but the books available for new dads were either novelty books (and believe me, gentlemen, if your parenting is a laugh a minute, you’re doing it wrong) or, even worse, books that were too wordy to be practical. At 0-silly-hundred-hours, with a screaming BT in your arms, 700 pages of someone telling you about their emotions isn’t the answer.
I decided that what I needed was an accessible basic training manual for parents and, more specifically, dads.
Gentlemen, in your hands you are holding that manual.
Emotions are important. But within seconds of the birth of your trooper you will know how you feel. I felt love, fear, confusion, frustration and awe, and that was within the first hour. This book is intended to help you know what to do.
As a basic training manual, Commando Dad can only take you so far though. The rest is up to you. To be an effective dad you need to supplement this manual with a lot of practical experience. You need to step up, get out there and do it. This brings me to the first rule of being a Commando Dad:
It won’t feel like it now, but you have an unbelievably short time with your troopers. There aren’t even 2,000 days between birth and age five, when your trooper starts school. In less than 7,000 days from the day they’re born, your trooper will be 18.
You may not be the full-time carer for your trooper, you may see them only at weekends or in the evenings, you may not be their biological dad, but none of that matters. What matters is that you make the time you spend together really count. And the best way to do that is to apply military precision to your parenting.
￼Take pride in your unit. Reduce unnecessary stress and worry by gaining confidence in your own skills. Be prepared. Act in a way befitting your Commando Dad status. You may not find it easy – but then nothing worth doing is ever easy.
To a child, a dad has many roles, often falling somewhere between Hero, Role Model and Protector. You are now stepping into those shoes. You owe it to yourself – and your troopers – to be the best dad that you can be. Right now. Let training commence!