Thoughtful Parenting: Superman Syndrome |

Thoughtful Parenting: Superman Syndrome

If you go

What: Nurturing Father’s Program

When: 6 to 8 p.m.Tuesdays, June 5 thru Aug. 28

Where: Hayden Town Hall, 178 W Jefferson Ave., Hayden

Cost: Free with childcare and dinner included

More information: Contact Tom Valand with the Fatherhood Program at 970-875-4229 or or visit

John was ecstatic about his son’s impending birth and was determined to make sure his wife, Mandy, was comfortable and had all of her needs met during labor. After being admitted to the hospital, he provided her with massages, fresh cups of crushed ice and non-stop emotional support. The labor progressed slowly but John’s energy remained high. He even had the chance to reply to work emails when he stepped out for restroom breaks.

As day to turned night and back to day again, John maintained a tired smile while providing encouragement to his wife and consulting with the ever present visiting medical staff. Suddenly, his vision became blurry and he stumbled to the floor. When he opened his eyes, he was lying in a cot with an IV in his arm. In the bed next to him, Mandy held their newborn son in her arms.

Unfortunately, during all the excitement surrounding the labor, John had forgotten to eat, drink and rest. By ignoring his own needs, John lost the ability to support his wife and newborn son during this precious time.

Superman Syndrome is when someone tries to be a one-person army, accomplishing as much as possible by him/herself, while constantly feeling the urge to help or save others.

As a parent, we play a lot of demanding rolls, giving our best to our friends, colleagues, employer, spouse and children. If we compound this by constantly sacrificing our physical, emotional and spiritual needs, we are destined to ultimately let down all of those who we’ve worked so hard to prop up.

Fathers, in particular, can struggle with setting aside the time to even identify their own needs, understand what they are, and whether or not those needs are being met. Over time, fatigue and frustration can grow without much of an understanding as to what to do about it.

Without knowing where to begin, or who to talk to, it can be easiest to push down these feelings and focus on other, seemingly more important things. Taking steps to just connect with other fathers can be tremendously impactful in a dad’s ability to be the superman he aspire to be.

This summer, the Fatherhood Program of Routt County will hold its next installment of the Nurturing Fathers Program, a class designed to teach self-care, parenting and nurturing skills to men. A number of topics will be covered in the class, including the following.

• How our experiences have shaped us

• Effective discipline

• Appreciating and modeling emotions

• Teamwork with spouse or partner

• Fathering sons versus fathering daughters

• Communication and problem solving

We invite you to join us Tuesdays to meet other dads from the community and build on your knowledge base as a father to keep up with the ever changing needs of your family. All Routt County fathers, current and expectant, are welcome.

Tom Valand is with Fatherhood Program of Routt County.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User