by Building Families Together
When it comes to parenting, any man can become a father, but it takes someone special to be one. Breaking away from parenting stereotypes, the father, not just the mother, should play a significant role in parenting a child. Fatherhood sounds like too much work, but it isn’t – it’s just like being a manager in a small company. There are so many parenting articles out there that educate us on how mothers should be solely responsible for raising a child, but not enough articles are written for giving proper advice to the male counterparts of that which are fathers. We have to admit, some men may be clueless about raising a child, because men are supposed to do the bread-winning. These days, the mother can be the sole financial supporter of the family, resulting in a dedicated father when it comes to parenting.
We’ve all heard of the story of the teenager, who abused illegal substances and participated in promiscuous activities, and the reasons for many of these teenagers are the same – they never knew what it was like to have a father. Studies show that a child brought up by both the mother and the father result in the child’s better and balanced decisions later: the mother provides the gentleness and compassion while the father provides the discipline and a solid foundation of dignity and pride.
There are already too many father stereotypes that should be put down, like how fathers care more about having fun than parenting. First, it is never good to assume that fathers are incapable of providing the love and care a mother provides. If it were the case, then most fathers would not be supporting their children at all. Second, fun can and should always be incorporated into parenting.
That’s why we have the BatDad and The DadLab, fathers who found a way to make child-rearing fun. And no, a stay-at-home dad is not a sign of declined masculinity. Fathers who choose to stay and raise their child are more likely to be considered macho than those who avoid fatherhood. Props to all the dads out there who chose the poop-wiping, bath-battling club! So, if you are a father, and you choose to hand-raise your child, pat yourself on the back because not all men choose this line of work, and believe me, it is rewarding.
Mothers have a built-in or instinctual method when it comes to parenting. Fathers have a slightly different way of doing things, and not all motherly methods can or should be applied by the dads. Here are some parenting tips for all you brave fathers out there, because we know, it sure ain’t a walk in the park:
- Make every activity fun. From changing diapers, to bathing, to feeding your kids, make sure to add some fun factors – pretend a used nappy is a basketball and shoot it in the bin, join the bath and pretend you’re pirates, or occasionally order some pizza when mommy’s not around.
- Discipline need not be enforced with sternness. You can always make learning a fun objective. If your child needs to learn how to put their toys away after using them, make it another game! Get a kitchen timer, set it to 60 seconds, and then see how fast your kid can pack up.
- Don’t forget the rewards! If you set the kids to a task, make sure to reward them in a small way. You don’t have to buy expensive toys to do this. A reward can be like a visit to the park or simply giving them their favorite snack.
- A little organization always helps. If you’re at home 24/7, set a schedule for things you need to be done. Involve the kids in tasks that they can manage. Also remember to set time for naps so you can rest too. Watching the kids is not only physically draining, but psychologically as well.
- Always be the example. Your child hates or complains about cleaning up. In most cases, this is what the child observes from people around him. Lazily doing the dishes, or frowning while cleaning up a mess is something that we don’t always notice, but the child does. If you want your child to grow up to be disciplined, you have to be, too.
- Don’t forget the wife. Raising kids isn’t the easiest of tasks, but you have to give time to your wife too. Another important parenting tip is to always involve everyone in the family when it comes to activities done at home. At dinner, talk to your wife. Tell her you love her. Play some outdoor games or have a grill on the weekends. Don’t be ashamed to embrace. Your child will surely grow up to be a kind person, seeing how you value each and every one in the family.
Let’s take away all those misconceptions about being a hands-on father.
It won’t be easy at first, but it sure will be once you get the hang of it. Compared to mothers, fathers are always the parents who are more fun (sorry mommies!) And let us not forget those fathers who raise their kids solely. It is one thing to be raising a child on their own because the mommy goes to work, but it is another thing to be a single parent. Whether it be a mother or a father, being a single parent is tough.
How To Help
If you know a single father (or mother), lend a hand whenever you can. If you’re really supportive, you can donate to Building Families Together, or other non-profits websites that aid single parents all around the world. As much as single mothers need help, you’ll never know when a single father might need some too.