When you think of fathers, the first thing that comes to mind is their goof-ups. Women do tend to get the larger end of the stick when it comes to appreciation of good parenting. Fathers however, are left with the stories of how they messed up parenting.
So let’s take some time out and think of all the times our husbands did in fact, nail parenting.
1. Spending time with the kids
Since husbands in most cases tend to be out a lot and hence get lesser time with their kids, they try to make the most of the time they do get with them. We know this mostly plays out as a good cop-bad cop situation where the mom has to bear the brunt and tantrums of taking care of the kids while the dad gets to be the fun parent when he’s back home. However, think about it this way, since your husband tries to spend more time with the kids, he is in fact taking them off your hands, giving you some time to yourself.
2. Being aloof
Despite this sounding like the opposite of a good parent, your husband is indeed encouraging your child to be independent. This is something I learnt from my neighbour when I watched his kid struggle while taking out his bicycle from the garage. The father despite much hue and cry from the kid refused to go over and help him get it out. As tempted as I was to go and help the kid, I watched as he cleared the path by himself and managed to take out his cycle. Resisting the urge to help your kids does in fact encourage them to become more independent and enable them to think of solutions on their own.
3. Not giving into tantrums
Another helpful parenting tip can be drawn. Most mothers tend to give in to their child’s fits and cries to make them stop. However, refusing them of this attention makes the child aware of his actions, allows him to “self-soothe” and realise an important point that he cannot always get what he wants by simply throwing a fit. The child will eventually do one of the two things, he would either come to you and explain why he wants what he wants or sulk in anger, when you can embrace him and explain to him how it is not okay to behave in such a manner. Fathers tend to take ‘self soothe’ route which indeed helps the child, grasp an important lesson. We hope however, that the dad avoids doing this in public as far as possible unless he wants some horrified glares headed towards him.
4. Shoulder to shoulder parenting
Dads tend to work alongside their kids rather than watching over. They engage in activities like playing video games together, playing a sport or watching a movie. This helps the children believe that parents can in fact operate at their level which decreases the communicative barriers.
5. Do your own thing
When you’re a parent most people expect this to be a 24/7 job. Most mothers put their kids first and neglect their own needs. This is a good thing, however, take a closer look at how your husband plays this out. Do you see your kids disturbing him when he is busy in front of his laptop or while he is watching some sport? Maybe, but not often. This is because your child has been conditioned to not disturb him during certain times. Following this suit allows you to engage in some time for yourself. Letting your children know that mommy shouldn’t be disturbed while reading a book or while gardening, conditions your kids to in fact behave accordingly and give you your time.
6. No-Judgements parenting
Have you ever heard of fathers talk about how another father is doing parenting wrong? I doubt it. You however constantly hear of mothers comparing the parenting styles of other mothers and passing judgements accordingly. This is a habit we, mothers have to change and learn from our husbands. Fathers tend to share stories of their goof-ups which is probably more educational than sharing tips on good parenting. When you hear of another person’s mistakes, you will invariably make sure you avoid that mistake as you now know what that could result in.
7. Being unaware
Have you ever overheard your child telling your husband, “Mom does it like this” or “this is what mom does” when he is unaware of how to work certain things, your child’s observational skills come into play. When the child is convinced daddy doesn’t know how to go about something but has seen mummy do it, he will try to recreate what in most cases the mom does and do it himself. This is yet another way your husband has in fact taught your child “learning through modelling” and being independent.
8. Don’t baby them
Your husband most likely isn’t the one making your children’s bed or packing their bags. They expect the children to do it themselves and so should you. As mothers, we tend to think that we need to make life easier for our child in every which way possible. However, we don’t tend to realise the downside of this. By doing this we in fact make our children lazy and spoilt. Husbands on the other hand are more likely to get the children to do their own chores.
9. Letting hunger persist
Women tend to constantly feed their kids snacks every time he or she utters the phrase, “I’m hungry”. However, most times the children are probably not even hungry but just bored and want something to munch on. Dads on the other hand are more often than not, not aware of what snacks to give them or aren’t willing to quickly whip up something for them. They probably tell the kids to “Wait for dinner!”, which is in fact a good way to build up the child’s appetite and get him to eat and appreciate more of the healthy meals.
10. Saying NO
This is probably one of the most underrated yet helpful tips you could pick up from your husband. When your children put forward an unreasonable request, you tend to make up excuse as to why they can’t have that however, sometimes just a simple no would do. I have seen dads persistently saying no to every one of the child’s unreasonable requests without any further explanations. Ultimately, the child got sick of the dad and gave up asking, no questions asked, no questions answered. It was as simple as that.