For mothers, it seems as if motherhood kicks in naturally, but for fathers, it is a bit different. While there is a definite connection between father and child, fathers don’t carry the child for 9 months prior to the birth and may sometimes feel as if being a good father just doesn’t come naturally to them. As a wife and mother, what can you do to help your husband be the best father he can possibly be?
You married your husband for a reason, and he obviously has it in him to be a great dad. All you need to do is give him a little help to realize his true dad potential. Below, we’ll take a look at several ways to help your man with fatherhood.
16 ways to help your husband ease into being a great dad:
1. Trust him.
A mother’s instincts will often leave her feeling as if she cannot trust anyone with her child. This can come across as a lack of trust, especially to a father who wants to be involved. Show your husband a bit of trust by letting him manage the children alone. Don’t micromanage him, and don’t treat him as if you are nervous something bad is going to happen. If you show that you trust him to take good care of the children, his confidence will be boosted.
2. Provide him with specific ways that he can be there for the children.
A husband might not just know what he can do to be there for his children, so you might need to provide a bit of guidance. For instance, you can encourage him to take the kids to the park on the weekend or help him have a fun dinner-making night with the kids. A little guidance goes a long way.
3. Have his back with the kids.
Your husband undoubtedly doesn’t want to disappoint the children. If the kids want him to go play outside or do something energetic when he has just got home and is exhausted from work, have his back. Step in before he has to disappoint them and explain that daddy needs a bit of a rest. Having his back like this will make him feel as if you are a real team, and that can boost togetherness and confidence.
4. Start the bonding process between him and your child before birth.
When you are pregnant, you are in the perfect position to start the bonding process between your husband and your unborn baby. Allow him to feel the baby move in the belly. Encourage him to talk to the baby in your belly and help him to create a connection. This will be a great build-up to actually meeting his child.
5. Give him some space and freedom.
No man wants to feel as if he is being pressured into doing things. If your husband is willing to be a good dad, allow him the opportunity to go out and simply be a man too. Encourage time spent with his close friends and ensure that he has enough time for himself and his hobbies. By encouraging this, he will be able to unwind and blow off steam, which in turn will enable him to be the best possible dad when he is with the kids.
6. Be patient with him and prepare to be repetitive.
Being a father is a whole new ball game for the average man. Remember to be patient as a lot of the parenting isn’t built-in like it is for a woman. If you have to show him how to do something more than once, do it with a smile – he will appreciate it. He will appreciate just how patient and gentle you are, which will inspire him to be better at being a dad and husband.
7. Talk him up and show him off.
When you’re around family and friends with him, make sure that you mention what an awesome dad he is being and just how good he is at everything he gets involved in. New dads need cheerleaders just as much as new moms do.
8. Set up a dad’s bonding trip with him, his father, and his father-in-law.
If your husband needs a bit of advice and guidance, there’s no one better to get it from than his own dad and yours. Ask both men to provide a guiding light for your hubby. Send them on a weekend away together or set up a barbecue. It will really boost his morale.
9. Get him involved in all the processes (gently does it).
Being a dad can be overwhelming when you realize just how much there is to do on top of your regular daily activities. While your hands are already full, try to take it one step at a time with him. Show him how to change nappy, leave instructions on how to make a bottle, and slowly introduce him to each of the baby care tasks that you have to take care of yourself. By doing this, he will realize how busy it is looking after kids and will undoubtedly want to help you and the kids.
10. Familiarize him with a few dad-inspired YouTube videos.
Loads of dads post inspiring and supportive videos on YouTube aimed at new dads or dads in need of some guidance. Find a few of these videos and share them with him.
11. Make it really easy for him to spend time with the children.
If you make it simple for your husband to spend time with the kids, he will do it more naturally. For instance, don’t leave him to wonder about what to do to entertain the kids. Instead, set up games or prepare activities for them to do together. All he has to do is show up and get involved.
12. Form a united front with him when it comes to discipline.
It’s never fun having to discipline a naughty child, and while you might want to sweep an issue under the rug, don’t undermine your husband in front of the kids. Rather show the children that their father’s discipline is important and they should heed it.
13. Build the man up in front of the kids.
When the kids are around, talk about how wonderful their dad is and how fun he is too. Encourage them to form a positive image of their father. He will love the effort you put in and will also want to live up to the image being portrayed to the children.
14. Don’t overwhelm him with every gory detail.
Being a parent is filled with moments that are rather gory. Be selective about what you tell him. If it’s unnecessary or doesn’t have a funny or meaningful ending, don’t share it. Of course, you want to share some of the experience, but don’t overwhelm him.
15. Keep the romance alive.
Now that your husband is a father, you might fall into the trap of forgetting that he is a lover and a partner. If your partner becomes just a co-parent to you, it might not seem like a very attractive thing for him. Show your partner that you value him as both a partner and a father.
16. Let him make some of the decisions.
As a mom, you might feel as if the decisions all need to be made by you, but they don’t. Let your husband take the reins from time to time. He will feel as if he is a valued member of the family and that his presence is of importance to the children.
These are just a few ways in which you can provide your husband with the tools and space he needs to become the type of father he is made to be. While your husband doesn’t need you to prompt him at every turn, a little encouragement and support can really go a long way towards providing him with the confidence he needs to succeed in fatherhood.
Helping your husband to be a better father requires just a little time, love, and attention. Show him how much he is valued, and he will be spurred on to parenting success.