5 tips on how dads can be more involved in their child's life
Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles have three kids. Troy shares some tips on how fathers can be more involved in raising and disciplining children.
Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles are parents to three children in different age groups. Their eldest, Maurie—Aubrey’s son with former boyfriend JP Obligacion—is a teenager. Their second child, Hunter, is a pre-teen. And just last year, Aubrey gave birth to their daughter, Rocket.
When it comes to parenting and taking care of kids, Troy has had a lot of practice. He can even change diapers while wearing a blindfold! (He has proof that he can do it, too. Watch the video here.)
The Asian Parent recently met up with him for an exclusive interview after his Pampers live session for Lazada, during Pampers’ Super Brand Day. The handsome daddy shared stories and tips on how he is raising his brood.
Troy loves being a dad. From being one of the most eligible bachelors to family man, he says that his children make him “feel young again.”
“We didn’t set to out to do it,” Troy says about the big age gap between their kids. “What we did is, after one is born, we gave space and we enjoyed our time with our newborn baby. And then after some time, we wanted to travel. We wanted to do some stuff with or without the baby. So it’s almost like we’re having a single child.”
He adds that the advantage with having big age gaps between kids is that they are able to give their full attention to each kid while the child is growing up and while the older child is already busy with school.
“You get to spend a lot of time with one, while the other one is old enough na alam na that we need to take care of the baby and they can help out because they’re old enough to help out. So it works! And we kinda kept on doing that.”
Another advantage, he says, of having children from different age groups is having the time to reflect what works and what doesn’t when it comes to raising kids.
“I would hope that I’m wiser. And it’s funny because the thing that we learn along the way is basically having the time to reflect what we would do if we had the chance to do it again. Not because it happened right away, but because we had that much time to really figure it out and see what’s working.”
He adds that parents today are luckier because of the new inventions and innovations.
“When Hunter was born, we had an umbrella stroller. It was a nice, good brand stroller, but it folded up like a traditional stroller. Now, we have a stroller that folds up and fits in a backpack. Genius!”
Troy is also a huge fan of online shopping and hoarding—diapers, that is. He gets nappies in bulk to save time. He is quite knowledgeable too with what Rocket needs. “Pants for daytime; tape for night!”
Troy believes that fathers play an important role in their children’s lives—not only to provide for their needs, but to be involved in every aspect of raising the child. He gives tips on how to dads can be a bigger presence in their children’s lives.
Last year, Troy’s dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He immediately flew back to the U.S. with his family to spend time with his father. Aubrey was pregnant with Rocket at that time.
After a few weeks, his dad passed away.
“He wasn’t able to meet Rocket,” he says.
Troy has always been a health advocate, but this chapter in his life made him realize how fleeting everything is. He emphasizes the importance of “taking care of yourself,” so that you can have more time on this earth to literally see your child grow up.
“I have to make sure that I’m full of energy. I’m doing all sorts of things to support the baby. I don’t want to come home and say, ‘I’m so tired.’ That’s not fair for my family.”
“They grow up so fast,” he muses. “I bring my son [Hunter] to school. Before I drop him off, he kisses me. It hasn’t happened yet, but I know the day will come na he won’t kiss me anymore.”
Troy appreciates these little things and he wants to hold on to it for as long as he can.
With Maurie, Troy cherishes the fact that he can now go out and have a drink with his grown son. He makes it a point that they have a boys night out—even if Aubrey tries to crash the party.
With Hunter, they co-slept with him “for a very long time.” Their second-born was big already when he moved out of Troy and Aubrey’s bedroom.
With Rocket, he doesn’t skip the daddy duties. He feeds her, changes diapers, and brings her to the pedia. And he loves doing these things because he knows that Rocket won’t be a baby for a long time.
As much as possible, Troy does not use his phone when he is spending time with his kids.
“Dads get tired from work, but when I get home, I try to be present and in the moment. It can just be 10-15 minutes, but you have to give them your full attention. You can’t be distracted.”
“You have to be both,” he says. “One parent cannot always be the bad cop.”
Troy explains that both parents have to be able to discipline the child because if one parent is always the “fun parent,” the child will feel betrayed when that parent tries to correct the child’s behavior. He adds that both parents have to be on the same page when it comes to parenting the child.
“Whether it’s with your spouse or your child,” he says.
Troy believes that you shouldn’t carry the negativity when you go to sleep. It will weigh heavily on both of you, he explains. It’s better to settle things before the day ends.
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Some call us a modern family. Others, have even said unconventional. I’d just like to say, please meet my wonderful family. Beacause life doesn’t come with a manual. We live and we learn from each other. Most importantly, we love and support one another. You only have one life to live and I’m just so thankful to have you all in mine. You’re all the inspiration this Dad needs, I love you ❤️ @milesaubrey @sjohnmo @huntercodymiller @rocketmiller01 Thank you @smmen for featuring us for Father’s Day #SMFathersDay
When it comes to parenting, Troy tries to be “firm but fair.” And it’s something most parents aspire to be, too.