Dragon Ball Z can teach you a lot about being a Dad!
You can learn a lot from Goku - How to gain the willpower to train hard and achieve your goals, how to never give up in the face of a challenge, how to remain confident when all hope seems lost, and how to be a dad. As a new dad myself, that last one is very important and relevant. And so, as I'm re-reading the Dragon Ball manga and playing through Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (It came out today and it's pretty fun! Nice job, Bandai Namco! Buy it here!), I've been taking down notes of parenting from the famous Saiyan warrior.
So, if you're planning on becoming a parent any time soon, throw your copy of What To Expect When You're Expecting into the nearest trashcan and plug your ears whenever a family member tries to give you their "advice." All you need to learn about raising children, you can learn from Goku.
1. Naming your baby is crucial. Otherwise, you'll just end up calling them something like Baby 17. But picking the right name is hard. So think of someone important in your life that you'd like to honor, like an Uncle or a mentor or an adoptive grandfather that you once literally stomped to death when a full moon turned you into a raging monkey beast.
2. Kids are always gonna be interested in what their parents are doing, and you should foster that! It's a great learning experience and sometimes it's just fun to have a little buddy to do stuff with. So, when you're having the crap kicked out of you by your warlord space brother, and your actual four-year-old beats his way out of a ship to join in the fight, let him! Mimicry is often a crucial part of a child's developmental process.
3. You might be hesitant to let anyone watch your child while you're away. It's your precious little nugget of joy and you can't help but feel over-protective and scared to hand them off to anyone. But you gotta, as everyone needs a date night or time to themselves or a chance to die and train in the Underworld and come back stronger.
But who to choose? A family member seems like a good option. Or maybe even a close friend that you trust. And if the clock is ticking and you still haven't found a babysitter, consider the rival that you once beat in a martial arts tournament. Sure, you may have murdered his evil extraterrestrial father by literally punching your way through him, but when this guy takes your son into the wilderness to train by fighting dinosaurs for six months, you know he's only got the best intentions.
4. The world is scary for a toddler. There's a lot of bright lights and loud sounds and intergalactic conquerers and it can be overwhelming. But you still have to push them to do their best. So if you're in the middle of a life-or-death struggle, encourage them and make sure, as you find yourself being blasted through multiple mountains, to let them know that their contributions are necessary and welcomed.
5. You'll be surprised by how fast your little kid grows up! One minute, they're desperately trying to save you from the henchman of an arc's main villain and then, in no time, they're ridding the world of an anime filler-only threat all by themselves. So take time to notice and appreciate the little things, because they'll be gone before you know it.
6. When your child is a young adult, they'll be going through puberty and will inevitably want vengeance against those that have slaughtered their mentors. Their hormones are going out of control, so it's important that you keep a level head! Remind them that their mentor did not die in vain and that, if they do billions of push-ups, that they will be commemorating their memory.
7. Eventually, you will have to talk about something that no parent feels comfortable with - the topic of death. Remind them that sometimes living beings just get old or the Bio-Android that they're fighting just gets too Perfect and powerful and that death is a part of life. But what's important is that they keep the memory of their loved ones in their hearts, and that no matter what, that loved one will always be around to assist in a game-changing Kamehameha.
8. Your kid is gonna want to develop an identity of their own that's separate from you and that's okay! It's just a sign that they're growing up and getting ready to face the world on their own. So when they show up with their partner in a superhero outfit, wanting to fight crime, you gotta be cool with it.
Overall, you can learn a lot about being a Dad from Dragon Ball Z. So the next time you're feeling lost and don't know if you're doing anything right, just remember the one rule that always stays true: Anime is the best parent.
What other tips can you learn from Goku? Are there any other anime series that can teach you about raising a child properly? Let me know in the comments!
Daniel Dockery is a Senior Staff Writer for Crunchyroll. Follow him on Twitter!
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