The days are long gone when Dad was the one who went to work, came home and watched TV until Mum said supper was ready. 

Women and men compete equally at work, so it makes sense that they should be equal partners in parenting.

Multi-tasking is expected of mums but people will still ask if a husband is a “hands-on dad”. By that they mean some rare male who will change nappies, pack school lunches, or babysit while his wife goes to gym.

What makes a hands-on dad? Don’t be too hard on the man who doesn’t know. Many grew up with fathers who were providers and little else. “Our fathers’ generation included a few great dads, but most men in those days proved their love by working, not by playing, cuddling, talking or teaching – the things that kids really love,” writes family therapist Steve Biddulph in his book Raising Boys.

Being there for your kids is the key. Don’t wait for quality time to happen by itself. Set aside a day each weekend and plan around it. Dedicate at least some of your evenings to the children. You may play a video game together, wrestle, watch TV or read a book, as long as the child has your undivided attention. Try doing it every day and don’t cancel it to punish bad behaviour.

Look at the school calendar and think of ways to participate in projects, events and teacher meetings.

Try to remember what mattered most to you as a young child – and keep in mind that your kids are developing rapidly. Their likes and dislikes, as well as what’s important to them, can change by the day.

Be approachable. When your kids make a mistake, they shouldn’t be afraid to confess or ask for advice. Helping them work through problems, including being bad, gives you a chance to teach them about choices, consequences, solutions and learning from mistakes.

Being a good dad starts with being a good husband. You’re not as crucial to a baby as its mum, but you can make life easier for her so she can catch her breath or get some sleep. As the kid gets older, you’ll have a bigger role. Meanwhile, make baby feel loved with hugs and kisses. Physical contact is a big part of how humans bond and convey their feelings.

Partners in parenting divide the homework and the chores equally. But take turns and swap tasks so you don’t become numbed by routine. You’ll also be showing your kids that life isn't divided into man things and woman things. Mum can kick around a soccer ball with her future Banyana star and Dad can actually make supper on the stove, not just on a braai fire.

Since disciplining duties are also shared now, take extra care to be consistent. Boundaries are clearer to kids if they see parents agree on what goes and what doesn’t.

Being a hands-on dad pays dividends. Lots of research has proven that.

A review by the Father Involvement Research Alliance , for instance, showed that girls with involved fathers have higher self-esteem and boys show less aggression, less impulsivity and more self-direction.

So do what you can. You don’t have to be a superdad – as long as you’re there when you’re needed.


HOW TO BE A HANDS-ON DAD HOW TO BE A HANDS-ON DAD Reviewed by Jet Club on June 12, 2019 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.