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that my tone matters more than anything when I speak to her.” Then there’s her gravitation toward “girly girl” toys and activities.“We paint nails,” he says, “and she gets to paint mine sometimes … Lana is aware that I don’t enjoy playing Barbies with Lana.” Ditto drawing or painting (“I’m not very artsy and crafty. ”) and girl talk (“I don’t do girl talk as well [as a woman would]. “It’s a moment where you get to be close,” he says.
“She can focus on something else, but I’m still getting what I consider intimate time with her.
“Being a single father has been an obstacle, I guess, to having a love life,” says Ian. I see being a dad as my number one priority, and so the rest of everything else falls into line when there’s space, which is kind of harsh …
[and] not what other people want to hear, but it is what it is.”Despite all the challenges, Ian insists, “I don’t ever wish that I wasn’t a parent.
“Most people don’t expect to be divorced, you know?
”(Photo: Yahoo Parenting)One of the biggest learning curves he’s experienced through raising a girl has been “the realization that she is sensitive or emotional in ways that I would not have expected.” Not a naturally gentle communicator, he explains, “I really had to take notice … He doesn’t share her passion for shopping, either, but when it comes to styling his daughter’s hair, this dad embraces every opportunity.
“Lana will never bring home a boy,” the protective papa jokes.
This week, families around the country are sharing their inspiring, funny, honest, and heartbreaking stories with Yahoo Parenting in an effort to spark conversations, a little compassion, and change in the way we think about parenting forever. Full-custody single dads are a growing group, with 24 percent of single-parent homes headed up by fathers — a ninefold increase since 1960, according to the Pew Research Center.But living that reality can still feel pretty lonely for the man managing everything for his family solo.To find out what it’s like to be a single father, Yahoo Parenting sat down with 42-year-old Ian.“But when it happens, you just kind of do a gut check: Saddle up, I’m all in.Easier said than done, but [she’s] my priority, and so that’s what I do.”STORY: What One Dad Got Right and Wrong When He Got Divorced Lana, now in third grade, was just 3 when Ian and his girlfriend split after seven years together. “She’s got a bond with her mom that nothing will ever break up,” he insists.
Don't be surprised — or rude — when she hasn't heard the latest from Beyoncé or seen any movies.