This is a long overdue post but still very timely!
Fathers take on a major and active role during baby-making, but most take a backseat in parenting! Coach Pia explains that we cannot expect men to be what they are not. They can’t be expected to have instincts that are not natural to them, and that includes taking care of children. Moreso when the father is the primary breadwinner for the family. Coach Pia points out that the energy for earning money is different from the energy in taking care of children. But this shouldn’t be a reason to put down fathers. We just have to accept that men are wired differently than women.
So… how do we encourage daddies to take a more active role in parenting?! Coach Pia shares concrete ways to do so:
1. Be deliberate about co-parenting.
Assign tasks to your husband which will play up his strengths as a parent. Don’t make him feed your toddler if he has no patience for a picky eater.
2. Focus on the well-being of the child.
Speak to each other in private, especially during arguments. It is not wise to put down a parent because it devalues the child. Remember that the welfare of the child is more important than the emotional ties of the parents.
3. Give Dad a chance.
How you will give the baby a bath may differ from the way your husband will go about it. Three words: LET IT GO. Focus on the over-all picture. Your husband will do the best he can in the tasks assigned to him. Blaming is not an option as it will just worsen the situation.
4. Include him.
This was a light-bulb moment for me because I was always assuming that my husband was too busy to join us in our daily activities and I was beginning to resent him. Well, all I needed was ASK! This is why family meetings are important to check schedules and priorities.
5. Stay positive.
Yes, bawal maging NEGATRON. Don’t focus on faults when communicating with your husband. Praise him for the things he did really well and offer (nicely!) ways on how he could’ve done better on a task.
6. Expect resistance.
Men will be men. And as far as I know, men only like being told what to do during sexy time.
7. Time is your friend.
Don’t expect your husband to be a doting hands-on daddy overnight. Allow things to take time.
This is really timely to reflect on since we’re expecting Baby Number 2 by early next year. Handling a toddler and a newborn is a daunting task for us but I know my husband will do his best to help me!