Dads: What You Can Learn From Your Child’s Third Grader
Dads, if you are finding it hard to relate to your children or find teaching them vital parenting skills hard, you might have good company – you might be seeing a doctor.
When it comes to the role of “caring” fathers in the parenting model, there is some truth to the notion that men simply aren’t as well equipped as moms are to be a resource. According to a recent survey by ONI International, when asked about how well they feel able to help with their children, 82% of women and 89% of men feel their children need the help of the “outside caregiver” (read: Mom). But the same could not be said about how men feel about helping their children. Only 36% of men said they felt equipped to be a resource, while 39% felt like they are doing all they can for their kids and only 5% felt like they are doing “too much.”
Get this: The majority of dads (65%) feel the “outside caregiver” is spending a lot or more time with their children (helicopter Dads, maybe).
However, you can’t teach kids anything else but their “worth.” So, if dads are an integral part of the family health system – a doctor visit is a good time to talk to them about these skills and what will help in the long run. The following ideas will help your child communicate properly and feel as if they are an active participant in activities.
It’s embarrassing if they’re not quiet
Children should be quiet when interacting with their friends, and they should know how to say no to conversations and things that they don’t want to do. Be a role model and model for your child to listen to their voice, rather than listening to your own to playfully poke fun at them, or to discuss the conversation as they watch the kids from across the room. This would be a good time to teach your child to listen and not to interrupt when they’re told to.
When your child talks, remember to keep it short and focus on your child’s ideas and feelings, not yours. If you give attention to a child’s thoughts, they will feel very satisfied with themselves. If you give attention to whatever their problems are at that moment – your child feels very anxious and frustrated.
Don’t let them dictate what you should do
When kids are very young, they will always have to take orders. So don’t blame yourself when you aren’t getting everything done right. Your child’s wants and their needs need to be honored. Always listen to them, and be interested in their ideas, since kids are individuals with their own styles and interests. Make them feel important and special. When your child’s parents are a closed system, they don’t communicate with each other about priorities and options, so this is a perfect opportunity to get a lot of one-on-one time. In order to make their family healthy, it is also important to look at your responsibilities and evaluate them all.
Make your child feel loved
Guidelines and routines should always be followed, and that can mean putting dishes in the dishwasher right after lunch, not before, or taking shoes off at the end of the day instead of the beginning. Keep things consistent and offer consistency that will make a difference to your child. Appreciate their behavior. Take the time to understand what they’re thinking and feeling. That can go a long way. Make sure there is a big smile on their face when they’re with you!