David's Blog

On being a dad

March 31, 2019

5 min read

Today will be a non-tech post. I’m an advocate of developing soft skills for developers, and I will show you an unexpected way to do so. It requires some investment on your part. 🤣 Also no GIFs, but the kids’ “art” instead, enjoy!

Since 2013, our family has grown and my wife and I became parents. It has been a revolution in our lives. Being responsible for the life of other human beings, based on your own mix of DNA, is not the same as having a cat or a dog! They made us change. In my case, the prospect of becoming a dad was an opportunity for change, and hopefully for the better: I wanted my kids to look at me as an awesome dad.

It happened again in 2015.

And a third time in 2016.

We have now reached our maximum capacity with the last little one because he is so exhausting — on the contrary, our 2 first kids were so easy to parent! So, “changing for better” was the original intent from 2013, and as things continue to evolve, it has become more like “do what you can with the 3 little monsters!”

PS: I love them ❤️

2 kids

So during those 6 last years, they made me adopt these roles/postures:

  • An awesome dad
  • An arbiter
  • A mediator
  • A manager talking to people that don’t understand anything, don’t listen to anything and trying in return to understand them while they don’t know yet how to speak.
  • A teacher that transmit knowledge, know how,
  • A dictator sometimes when using the imperative tone.
  • A mad scientist that creates devil plans to trap them
  • A cooking chef
  • The laundryman
  • The repairman
  • The car chauffeur
  • The life coach

And they keep surprising us every day and forcing us to adopt new strategies.

All in all, I have been and am still being transformed by all this.
And I still hope, it is in a better version of myself — even though with 3 kids I have lowered the bar that I set initially with the first kid in 2013. At least I have a palette of reactions, roles, and postures to choose from, which might indicate some kind of adaptation 🤔🤓.

Transfer

Why am I telling you all this? What’s the link with this blog? Well, this leads me to the mighty power of transfer.

some drawing with green and red with arrows

What is transfer???

There is a whole lot of research on the subject, but I interpret it like this:

  • in context A, learn to XXX
  • in context B, XXX improves the way you YYY or just enable you to XXX

A = home and parenting
B = work and soft skills

Or, A can be “practicing sports”, then XXX can be “endurance” or “refereeing”, and be applied in B.

The awesome part is that this can multiply: you can have context A = work, B = parenting, C = sports, D = music, etc. and a lot of the skills/benefits will transfer to the other contexts!

For example, being a dad with the “mediator” role, transferred in a work context made me hone my mediator skills and apply them.

Playground

So assuming all these roles daily and switching between them, made it feel so much easier talking to other people, mediating, transmitting knowledge, etc.! Because training for these roles with the kids was hard, afterward with reasoning adults it seems easier. At worse, with unreasoning adults, it feels the same 🤣.

When I’m talking to adults, communication feels simpler because they can fully understand and express their ideas… compared to a 3-year old!

So in a way, they are training me to be a manager capable of handling the worst cases. They are coaching me - without knowing - to better my soft skills.

And also, it alleviates the pain when talking to people whom I used to think they were not capable of communicating clearly or are of a different culture. At any time I can remind myself, “but it is always easier than juggling with my 3 kids”.

New phase

Their ages are 6, 4 and 3 this year. Interactions are starting to quiet down. More and more, they are able to play silently, almost share their toys between them without crying or shouting. The little 3-year old still has some issues when he can’t have something he desperately wants, but still, I can leave them to find their own solutions to solve communication issues and keep an eye in the background instead of being actively separating and “managing” them.

I know they are preparing something, and I’ll need to react quickly to their evil plans! 🤣

Really, I don’t think about all this when I’m with them, but I have become conscious of the side effects on my job.

Gift

As a gift to you, my dear reader, I will from now on, share their beautiful drawings as art for this blog. You can already see my Twitter banner that displays a zoomed in part of a colorful scrawl from the littlest one of the family. They deserve a better place than the fridge or a dusty box in the attic. I will try not to make your eyes bleed. Promise 🤞!

caca

Thank you, kids!
With love, daddy.

Conclusion

In this post, I wanted to reflect on how skill transfers and how being a dad transformed me 🤣!

I hope that I piqued your curiosity.

Thanks for reading this blog, If you have any questions, please use the Github Repository’s Issues to start a conversation, or use Twitter: my DMs are open.

👋


David Lacourt

Written by David Lacourt who lives in Senlis 🦌, and works in Paris 🇫🇷, and 🧡 building things with code.