Thu | Aug 17, 2017

What Fatherhood Taught Me

Published:Sunday | June 19, 2016 | 6:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Damian Shaw and his daughter.
Carlton Barrows
Jeffrey Campbell, father of three.
Windward Lawrence Jr and his son Sam.
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Whether you're 'Daddy's little girl' or the son he always wanted, there's no denying that when it comes to unconditional love, the chosen paternal few consider the title not only a privilege but an honour to take on this role.So, for Father's Day, Outlook decided to ask some fathers, "What has fatherhood taught you?" The answers will surprise you! Here's what they had to say:

Fatherhood has taught me how to communicate more effectively. When dealing with a toddler, you have to be clear and concise, as they are just attaining mastery of the language, and they are quite literal in their understanding. And at times you have to repeat yourself until you get your point across.

- Windward Lawrence Jr, father of one.

Fatherhood has taught me that every day you have to learn more about how to be a father it's never a done deal. I try to remember that my duty as a father is to make my children the best version of themselves, rather than imposing what I may want on them. I've leant that I have to allow them to develop and maximise their own potential - my duty is to facilitate and to guide.

- Jeffrey Campbell, father of three.

Fatherhood has taught me how is to understand my purpose and to parent with a strong sense of that purpose. I'm blessed to have a princess and with that came the purpose of being the first man she loves and the first man to show her how to be loved. And most important, to reinforce the fact that she is beautiful and worthy of the best possible treatment.

Once I learnt my role in her life, I have been able to parent her accordingly. So living a purpose-driven life has been my biggest lesson as a father.

- Damian Shaw, father of one

Fatherhood has taught me a lot. August 4, last year, was a turning point in my life, when I had to make the choice between family and school. It was hard to look at things that way being a young father who was raised by a single mother. So the first thing I learnt was that my priority is always my family, no matter what. I now balance scheduled family time with school, a part-time job, plus a few sports that I love. I am also a more loving and caring person.

Additionally, I appreciate family more than before, and value their time and teaching. Ultimately, I have learnt to be more responsible, knowing that my actions will no longer affect just me but also someone whom I love.

Carlton Barrows, father of one