Rookie Dad Diaries: Q&A with Sean Francois

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

posted by Romy (@daddontlie)

Rookie Dad Diaries

A Dad Q&A with Sean Francois


Part of being a rookie dad includes gathering stories, thoughts and advice from other dads.  So I decided to reach out to my hoops blogging and podcast brother, Sean Francois (@seanfrancois) for my first installment of the Rookie Dad Diaries.  We've been friends for many years and we both blog together about the Raptors/NBA on one of our sites Hoop Heads North and is a co-host on our RAPS TALK podcast.  As a father of two girls, Sean has been in the dad game for almost eight years now and has tons of first hand dad experience.

Romy (Dad Don't Lie): Tell me a little about your rookie season as a father. What are some of the misconceptions about being a new dad? 

Sean: I don't know that I had any preconceived notions about what fatherhood was going to be all about. I just went into it with open eyes & ears - especially leading up to it with baby classes. I was surprised at how natural many things were about being a parent. So many things regarding caring for your child just seemed to be second nature. You just kind of jump into it all, and you're doing it without any 'training'...kind of funny, since being a parent is the most important job anyone can have. I guess life helps prepares you along the way.

Romy (Dad Don't Lie): At what moment did it hit you, when you said “Oh snap, I’m actually a dad now”? 

Sean: When I held my daughter for the first time not long after she was born...that made everything REAL! She's here now. Life changing, no hyperbole there. It was truly a new beginning.

Romy (Dad Don't Lie): What’s the best piece of dad advice you have ever received?

Sean: I can't say I have a single piece of advice that I've received that is more poignant than an other, but...one thing that stands out is that your actions as a parent are equally important, if not more important, than what you tell them. I suspect this will become increasingly true as my children get older. The way you act & example you set is what your children are more apt to follow and emulate in the long run.

Romy (Dad Don't Lie): One day, you’ll be an old man arguing with your kids on who the best NBA player of all-time is vs. an NBA athlete in your kids' future. Which guy from your era would you say it is? 

Sean: Both of my children play organized sports, including basketball, which my oldest plays. Thanks to the movie 'Space Jam' & the classic NBA video 'Michael Jordan's Playground', Michael Jordan has been her favourite basketball player for years now. She also enjoys watching NBA Inside Stuff, so she gets exposed to today's rising stars and some of the game's legends as well. Having her share my admiration for Michael Jordan's accomplishments and impact on the game of basketball & beyond, just happened from talking about Jordan and showing her just some of the historic and incredible things he's done on the court. Having a 'Space Jam' Jordan wall hanging in her room I'm sure have helped with that too! *laughing*


Romy (Dad Don't Lie): Same goes for music, you’ll be an old man saying “You don’t know what good music is!” to your kids. So, from your personal preference, what would be some of your top musicians/albums of your era that you’ll be making your kids listen to? 

Sean: Both of my children LOVE Michael Jackson's music, he's their favourite musician hands down. Everything from 'Off The Wall' to 'Invincible', with some Jackson 5 classics thrown in the mix. As a fan of Hip Hop music since I was in late elementary school (mid-late 80's), in my opinion, it's all about what's age appropriate - so a lot of hip hop from the 70's, 80's, and 90's are full of artists who put out music and particular songs that kids can freely enjoy today. Also, guest verses on r&b songs and remixes is a great way to introduce my kids to music that I like without worrying too much about content. Once they become teenagers, that's when I'll really start exposing them to music I started to listen to around the same age. I feel it would be completely hypocritical of me to disallow my kids from listening to music that I listened to at that same age. I think that will give chances for open dialogue about the music itself, the history behind it, and what the songs are truly discussing. Those are the types of conversations I look forward to having with my children.

For me, in general, it's all about exposing your kids on to your favourite food, sports, music, tv shows & movies (when age appropriate) so that they experience, see, and hear it all first hand in the context of just growing up and it being something they can enjoy with you as a Dad or parent, and eventually those experiences can become things that they also become passionate about or enjoy themselves. Of course, it's all good if they don't end up liking everything you do. You want your children to have their own passions and hobbies, but there tends to be culture and family traditions built into a lot of what you share with your children, so that's an important aspect as well. For example, my oldest daughter (7 years old, almost 8) enjoys a lot of the same cuisine and food that I do, especially international cuisine, some of which are dishes that I grew up on as a kid who's father was from St. Vincent and The Grenadines and my mother who's an African-Canadian whose roots and family have been here in Nova Scotia for several generations.

Shoutouts to Sean for taking the time to share some of his thoughts on being a dad.  Follow Sean on Twitter (@seanfrancois) and read his NBA/Raptors writing at Hoop Heads North.



Romy is a dad, husband and blogger based out of Halifax.  He also writes about hoops too at HipHoopJunkies.com.  For dirty diaper stories,  follow him on Twitter @DadDontLie and for hoops talk, follow @RomyAquino