The saying goes that you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. Same holds true for getting our husbands to be better fathers. If you correct him at every turn, that’s the vinegar approach. If you praise him when he is doing a good job—or even something approximating a good job—that’s the honey approach.
And, as parenting expert Dr. Meg Meeker says, you are your children’s connection to their father. The better you can make your husband look, and the stronger you can make the father and child bond, the better it is for your children. Dr. Meeker gives this advice to moms: “…in situations where a father is a good man clearly trying to do a good job, we help him do a better job when we choose to focus on his positive attributes rather than the negative ones.”
You can make your husband a bigger and better part of his children’s lives by doing these 5 things.
1. Believe in him.
If your husband really feels like you believe that he’s trying to be a good dad, he’s more likely to live up to your expectations. On the other hand, if he thinks you have him pegged as a bad dad, he might feel defeated and unmotivated to even try. Overwhelm him with your belief in him by adoring him, yes, adoring him. Here are 7 ways to adore your husband.
2. Co-star with him.
When you’re both with the kids, let him be the star. Instead of piping in with directions and ideas for him and the children, let him guide the moment. As you give your husband opportunities to prove himself, he’ll feel more confident as a man and as a father. Here are 5 ways to let your husband shine.
3. Praise him.
Talk him up in front of the kids, in front of the in-laws, in front of his friends. Again, if he knows you’re out there bragging on him, he won’t want to let you down. You can also praise him directly with these 10 compliments for your husband.
4. Protect him.
Don’t set your husband up for failure. Let’s say your son really wants Dad to throw the ball around on Saturday morning, but you know your husband is exhausted from a tough week at work. Protect your husband from looking like the bad guy by explaining to your son why Dad needs to sleep a bit longer before he heads outside.
5. Free him.
In other words, don’t guilt trip him. If you do a heavy, “you should, why don’t you, you never” tirade, he might buck up and not make time for the kids just to spite you. He might not know how to be a good dad, but you can help him. Let him take care of the kids more on his own, without micromanaging him. Here’s why you might want to give that a try soon!
How do you help your husband with being a better dad?