I’ll never forget the first time my husband had to travel with one of our babies—a child under one year old—on his own. He asked me a million questions; panic was written all over his face; he wanted details on things I just did instinctively. But you know what? He did it, and survived it. I really appreciated his effort, and I believe getting my husband involved with our children during their baby stage has helped him bond with them even more. When men spend time with their children it helps them figure out how to be a good dad.
When men spend time with their children it helps them figure out how to be a good dad.
Here are some tips to help your husband feel confident and comfortable about caring for your kids.
1. Don’t Assume.
Don’t assume that he knows how often—or even how—to check for a dirty diaper. Don’t assume he knows how to find the Band-Aids™ if someone scrapes a knee. Don’t assume he knows what goes in their lunch when you go away on a work trip. You don’t want to overload him with information he already knows, but you do want give him the basics so he can feel in control.
2. Put it in Writing.
If you’re leaving your kids with your husband, don’t rattle off a list of instructions as you’re walking out the door. Leave him some notes that guide him through the process (without insulting his intelligence). To help him even more, get out some of the things he’ll need to get the job done—diapers, wipes, food for lunch.
3. Correct Carefully.
So, your husband wants to dress the kids in a nice combination of stripes, solids, and prints. That’s okay! Men often complain that when they try to help their wives, all they get in return are corrections. So, unless it’s a safety issue, let your husband take his own approach to child care. And for everything he does right take notice and give him glowing compliments. Most fathers want to do a good job, and are looking for ways to learn how to be a good dad.
Bonus Tip! Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help.
Sometimes guys feel like it’s easier not to do certain things, because they don’t know what to do and moms can seem to have it all together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and give him some instructions. Afterwards, be sure to let him know how much you appreciate him, and that his efforts were a support to you. He will feel good about being able to help and support you; you will be glad that you asked him, and he might offer freely next time before you even ask for help. (Here are a few more ways to help your husband be a better dad.)
How do you help your husband learn how to be a good dad?