Special Daddy Times
Another idea to encourage your husband in his parenting is setting aside time for special daddy “dates”. This can be for both genders but can be especially important for dads and daughters. Growing up both my brother and I got to have breakfast with dad once a week on alternating weeks. Then as I got older once a month dad would take me out on a daddy date. This was where we would go out to dinner sometimes even to a nice place. He would always model for me how I should expect to be treated by guys by opening doors and getting my chair. These were always fun times that helped to set my expectations for the future.
There were several other times that worked well for his busy schedule where he could spend time with us. One time that worked was at bedtime. Some nights he would sit on the edge of our beds and just talk. He would make a point to do this to spend time with us especially if one of us had gotten in trouble earlier. It would restore relationship and communicate that we were important to him.
Another time that worked for our family growing up was dad would take us or pick us up from school a couple days a week. It was always a highlight the days we would see his car in the carpool line. He choose to make those times special and memorable by doing things like having a pizza waiting for us in the car on a hard day or sometimes we would stop for slushies.
Find what fits with your families schedule but make sure that you take the time to fit in those special daddy times with the children. Be assured it will impact them into adulthood!
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Drawing Dad in as The Children Grow Up
It’s never too late for dad to get more involved in their children’s lives. One easy place for dad to have an influence is spiritually. There are many ways that dad can be the spiritual leader in the home. A great way for dad to lead is by doing family devotions in the morning. This may sound like a daunting task but it can be as simple as reading a few Bible verses as a family and then praying together at the end of breakfast before everyone goes out the door. There are even devotionals that can be read which take a verse and explain it age appropriately. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a small sermon everyday just something simple.
What mom can do is constantly encourage her husband. Never underestimate the power of a “thanks for doing that” or a small encouraging word. Many times we as women spend more time nitpicking what our husband don’t do then encourage them when they step out and do something for us. Choose to be an encourager!
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Engage Him Early In The Child’s Life
One of the ways that we as moms help our husbands get involved in the parenting process is by getting them involved early. If a man can be involved in the birth process and very involved in the first few days at home, it will help him feel more and more competent with an infant. Even for first time moms who have prepared themselves those first few days home with a new baby can feel overwhelming. Choose to partner with your husband and learn together. This is where you may need to set boundaries up with other family members and friends as you learn through this. As a mom is recovering it is wonderful when family steps up to help. Set up guidelines for this time where a new daddy can bond with the baby as mom is resting. Maybe other family members can help with meals, laundry, cleaning and older children giving dad this time with baby as well.
Moms sometimes unintentionally sabotage their spouses efforts when they try to do everything. Even though they may feel they are more competent, moms need to allow their husband to be involved and give him a chance to learn as well. Some may need to take it a step further and invite their husband to be involved. Ask him to help with a diaper change or bath. Allowing him to enjoy these early days helps set the stage for involvement later on.
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Why Do Dads Do Less Parenting Then Moms?
Many moms may wonder why there is a disconnect between their husbands and their kids. Even from birth some dads are uncomfortable with babies but for good reason, they haven’t ever really been around one. Now all of a sudden they are a parent and have one of their own. We are going to spend this week talking about how to help your husband engage in parenting.
There are many reasons why moms tend to do more of the parenting. With dolls and playing house most girls even from a young age are groomed from their imaginary play to be a mom. Then they have nine months bonding with the child growing with in them, feeling every movement and hiccup. Even through the birth process a hormone is released to help them bond even more with their child. For all of these reasons moms may have an easier time parenting even from the beginning. There are many dads who want to be just as involved but may not have that “maternal instinct” in knowing exactly what to do. This is where we not only need to allow our husband the chance to bond with their child but coach them with affirmation especially early on. Check back tomorrow for more on encouraging your husband in this process.
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Preparing During the High School Years
If we look at the high school and college years as an internship for adulthood and we are the supervisor, it may help us keep perspective as parents. These years it is tempting to be one of two ways, stifling because we are beginning to grieve their exit from our home or too hands off thinking they are old enough to make their own decisions. It is a careful balance of allowing them to make decisions but being there to debrief and help guide wrong decisions. This is key for training them through the dating years.
Growing up in our house first dates were always at our home. It was a little weird when someone asked me out to try to explain that, yes the rumor was true, they did have to come over and meet my dad. But the guys who were “worth it” came. (and yes Dad, I am very grateful. So Thank You!! It did always make me feel special, protected and loved.)
I would recommend this approach for parents of both sons and daughters. It will help you keep your finger on the pulse of who your children are interested in and dating. Then you can take the time to debrief to discuss the evening and pull out the spouse list to help your teen compare. This should help to guide your child in what they should do when you are not always around, i.e. college years. For the college years, make sure that you still take the time to communicate with your child, if they are away from home. You can still be there to be a listening ear and a comfort through the lonely times.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on positively impacting your child’s future marriage, through the high school and college years.