Fatherhood in 200 Words #10 - Dave

This is part of our fatherhood in 200 words series where we asked dads to share a little about themselves, their most prominent memory of their first year of fatherhood, the best parenting advice they have received and a message for dads-to-be. Each answer was limited to 50 words and you find them here unedited and as given.


My name’s Dave Steell, I'm the leader of a community called One Church Brighton and I’m engaged in lots of transformational projects that serve the city.  I’m also dad to Jake who’s 15 and laughs at stuff as though he was 6, and Reya who is 12 but behaves like she’s 23, and I struggle every day with the wonderful task of trying to be a good parent.

Prominent memory from first year of fatherhood:

The first year of parenting seems like a distant memory and I know it must have contained sleepless nights, messy nappies and all that stuff, but I remember very little of it, other than wishing I could have it all over again!

Best fatherhood advice received:

Easily the best advice I have ever received about being a good dad happened on a long walk, where all best advice is given in my experience, and it was from a friend who didn’t have any kids at the time but she turned out to be spot on.  She told me that even with the best intentions you cannot decide what you want your children to become, you can only create the atmosphere for them to flourish in and allow them to become who they already are.

Message for men expecting their first baby:

If you’re about to become a new dad I’m very envious of you!  My encouragement to you would be to make sure that you don’t wish any of the time away, even and especially the tough stuff because that’s where your character and the ties of relationship with your child will be most deepened.  It’s the oldest cliche in the book but time will fly and when these days are gone, they’re gone.