We often find ourselves excluding the dads from the nitty-gritty of raising kids because we don’t want the extra ‘admin’ of explaining how it’s supposed to be done. We would rather just go ahead and do it ourselves!
However, it is extremely important to get dad invovled in raising your kids as it adds an extra element of balance to your children’s lives.
Sometimes mom needs to let go and allow dad to be dad
Fathers bring something altogether different to parenting than we do – they wrestle, throw in the air, kick balls and generally make our hearts leap into our throats – but they are an extremely valuable part of our children’s healthy development.
Instead of shouting “stop”, “slow down”, “not so high” and in the voice of doom “someone is going to get hurt”, maybe now and then we should walk away and go have a cup of coffee while we do a crossword.
Involving dad has a lot to do with allowing dad to be involved
Let’s face it, your partner just isn’t going to have that unique pregnancy experience with baby growing and moving inside, or have those warm, glowing minutes of baby latched on to breast, making eye contact and smiling serenely.
Making him as much a part of those experiences from day one is very important, but we have to realise that his special moments and bonding with the kids aren’t going to follow the same pattern as ours.
We need to adjust our expectations accordingly and allow him to do his dad thing without constant interference and corrections from our corner.
Even if he does brush their teeth from right to left instead of left to right and comb their hair up instead of down or make a mess when feeding, just breathe deeply and let it go.
Constant criticism leads to lack of involvement
In most households if dad feels he is constantly being criticised for the way he does things he’ll most probably be more than happy to sit back, relax, and allow you to do the running around you seem to do so well.
He will probably then feel totally confused when you become so worn out you finally explode and, amongst other choice accusations, accuse him of not helping out more.
Because we are such fierce protectors and carers for our children, we need to be conscious about how much time dad is spending with the kids and create situations where we force ourselves to step back and allow him to interact with them. Believe me, they won’t die or be hospitalised, their lives will be greatly enriched by it!
Fathers are just as important as mothers
Fathers play an immensely important role in building children’s confidence and self-esteem, disciplining, and preparing them for the world.
Daughters either consciously or subconsciously measure every man that comes their way against their father and boys learn manhood from watching and interacting with their dad. I always tell men with daughters that if they want to ensure that their daughters marry the best man possible, they need to be the best dad possible – only the best should be able to measure up against ‘my dad’.
So never underestimate your partner’s role in the lives of your children and really do make a conscious effort to create opportunities for dad to be dad.