Prince Harry’s life changed forever on May 6, when he and Duchess Meghan welcomed little Archie Harrison into the world. Since then, the new dad has gushed to the media and his friends about how thrilled he is to be a father.
“It’s been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined,” he told a press conference outside Windsor Castle on May 6. “I’m so incredibly proud of my wife. As every father and parent would ever say, your baby is absolutely amazing, But this little thing is absolutely to die for. So I’m just over the moon.”
Harry is set to spend his first ever Father’s Day with Archie on Sunday (June 16), and his first month with his son has likely been a bit of a blur! Of course, being a new dad is about learning as you go and isn’t easy, but it is rewarding.
HELLO! Canada reached out to four Canadian celebrity dads – Scott McGillivray, Kim’s Convenience star Andrew Phung, former Olympic figure skater and Battle of the Blades judge Kurt Browning and ET Canada’s Carlos Bustamante – for their fatherly advice for Harry. Here’s what they had to say…
Scott McGillivray: “Mistakes... help us grow”
The HGTV star and host of Income Property and his wife Sabrina McGillivray have two daughters together, Myah and Layla. They took a recent trip to Disney World together, and Scott says his kids have already changed him and taught him so much.
“As a dad you learn a lot from your children,” he told HELLO! Canada . “You learn how to be patient, you learn a whole new way to love somebody. But recently, I learned something new from my daughter when she came home from kindergarten.
“She said, ‘Dad, mistakes are good, they help us grow. They teach us what we need to know. So if you make a mistake, don’t cry. You’ll get better if you try.’ And I thought that was some of the best advice I’d ever received from a kindergartener.”
Scott had some very important advice for Harry, recommending he get involved with Archie’s life right away and spend time with him every day, no matter what.
“Pick something that you and your son can do together consistently every single day,” he said. “Something that’s just for you and him – could be bath time, could be reading a book, could be singing songs. But start with one thing, and hopefully it will lead to many.”
Andrew Phung: Listen to your partner and nurture your child’s curiousity
Raising kids is (usually) not a one-person job. Mom and dad, mom and mom or dad and dad have to work together as a team to ensure their child thrives. As with any type of hard but rewarding work, parenting can often cause stress.
Calgary-born Andrew knows a lot about the importance of listening to your other half when raising kids, since he has two sons – Nico and Mateo – with his wife, Tamara Sharpe.
“Just be a good partner, just listen,” Andrew said of his advice to Harry. “Your partner is gonna come to you, having a bad day, they just wanna vent and for you, just listen. Don’t try to solve the problem, don’t try to make it better, just be there for them. Listen to how they feel and give them a hug.
“For me, just that acknowledgement that bad days can happen between my partner and I made it so much better because she listened to me and I always try to listen to her, and honestly, listening usually makes the problem better.”
As for the moments of joy Andrew has experienced as a dad, the two-time Canadian Screen Award winner says it’s the little things that consistently stand out to him the most – and they happen when he isn’t expecting them. He told HELLO! Canada it’s been very important for him to nurture his children’s curiousity.
“I think my favourite moments with my kids are when I don’t plan anything, I don’t have any technology around and I just literally just hang out with them and for both my kids, it was literally just like following them around the house,” he said. “I want my kids to be curious. I want them to explore. So honestly, just like following them around the house, letting them play, those are some of my favourite memories. You see the look on their face of discovery and honestly, that makes dad life the best.”
Kurt Browning: Get and give as many hugs as you can
Affection is important for any parent and child, but that’s also the case between fathers and sons. Figure skating Kurt Browning, who was a four-time World Champion and Canadian national champion during his amateur career, told HELLO! Canada that Harry should hug Archie as much as possible.
“I remember when I was a kid, I didn’t get a lot of opportunity to get big hugs from my dad so when you fell asleep in the car and they carried you in when you were asleep but you weren’t really asleep, but you pretended to be asleep because you didn’t wanna spoil the moment?” he said. “Well now that I’m dad, and when my kids were younger and they were sleepy and they were so heavy and they were cuddly but didn’t really know what was going on, ah that’s my favourite moments.”
Kurt also joked that his sons Gabriel and Dillon, who he shares with wife Sonia Rodriguez, have helped him learn that cleaning is useless.
“They’ve taught me that it’s absolutely unnecessary to put the toothpaste cap on top or to put the toothbrush back into the toothbrush holder or close the seat on the toilet – don’t even get me started on the toilet thing,” he said. “That it’s unnecessary to put your boots on the rack or to close the door or to turn off lights. All that stuff – you don’t have to do that!”
Carlos Bustamante: “Enjoy it, soak it all up”
Philippines-born, Canada-raised ET Canada host Carlos Bustamante and his wife Rachel have a six-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, and his kids have taught him lots over the years. His advice for Harry? Cherish this time.
“Spend as much time with your beautiful newborn and your beautiful wife as you can, the three of you,” he said. “Every moment is brand new and you’ll never get any of those moments back ever again, so just enjoy it.”
Carlos said his children have also taught him about the importance of being present – both in his own life, and with them as their dad. He says some of his favourite moments with his children have been when they discover something for the first time.
“It can be something spectacular or something mundane, but when their minds are blown, you kind of see it again for the first time through their eyes and it gives you a whole new perspective and a whole new appreciation for the everyday moments, the exceptional moments and everything in between,” he said.
“I’d say the most important lesson that I’ve learned from my kids so far is that the best way to approach life is with curiousity and a full heart,” he continued, before joking: “And also that sometimes you’re gonna pick up poop, like with your hand, your bare hand, you’ll be – you know. I mean I don’t expect that you’ll ever be doing that, per se, but I’ve got stories if you ever wanna talk about it.”