Last month, I’ve interviewed Bruce Sallan, founder of #DadChat, and one of the question was “What do you suppose a wife can help her Spouse to Be a Better Dad?”
Bruce’s reply was: This question made me smile. I will first answer simply of my wife and myself. Personally, I need validation. When my wife praises me, it reinforces my good behavior. When I’m doing a good job, I want to know that those around me – especially my wife – not only notice, but appreciate it. So, verbal affirmation is very important for me.
That said, just as we often say that what we parents “model” is what our kids will learn, I think a wife modeling good parenting will rub off on her husband. But, men tend to be dense and sometimes we men need to be hit over the head to get a point. So, this is where communication comes to bear. Sit down with your husband and talk. Never assume he will simply know what to do – or what YOU want him to do.
And I’ve got hooked on finding out from more Dads what they think, because frankly, parents with eczema child (“ME”) do need help and reminders, esp. when sometimes eczema consume my mind, instead of supporting my spouse or parenting.
So here are some tweet wisdom from Dads:
Mocha Dad: The main thing spouses can do is understand that dads do things differently and accept that his way is okay.
Harley Rotbart MD: Take over your partner’s chores a couple times a week so he or she can spend more time with kids.
Scott Wild: Coaching legend John Wooden once said the most important thing a Dad can do for his kids is LOVE their mother!
Jim Martin: It’s also important to provide a safe space for dads to discuss approaches that are different from the moms.
GeekDad248: Always take time to listen
Tony Leachon MD: We fail to be better dads if there’s no clarity of thoughts to motivate them. Wives should remind busy dads. A good chat before bedtime and periodic trips together can be bonding time to discuss steps to enhance role as dad.
I then decided to ask the ladies, and here are their tweet wisdom:
Marion Ross PhD: Lead by example, communicate better, drop judgment and be compassionate
Dr Vicki Panaccione: Give positive reinforcement to anything he does that makes him a good parent ie “I love it when you _______ with the kids!”
Crystal Marcos: Reinforcing what the other says. Making sure that one parent isn’t contradicting the other.
Emily Knight: Love it when my hubby takes the time to tell me I’m a good parent. It makes me feel noticed and appreciated.
Heidi Murkoff: The way I see it, there is nothing that a mom can do that a dad can’t do just as well if not better given the chance. The problem is, often moms (&media) don’t give dads a chance – there are too many expectations that moms do a better job, but not so.
Deborah Gilboa, MD: Explore common goals (for the child’s life and parenting outcome)
Naomi Richards: My thing is you need to parent together and use same rules etc.. Get some time just the 2 of you to discuss how to parent. Be difficult to support spouse if don’t agree with parenting skills. Be collaborative and discuss first.
I think many men and women are different when parenting – depends on who has children – if separate or together. I think back him up if you think he is doing the right thing. If not – discuss away from the children how you see things differently
Anne Parris: I try not to contradict him when he’s parenting the children. It’s hard!
Christy Garrett: Agree to disagree when comes to compromising on a disciplining solution. And plan parent kid date nights.
RaiseSavvyKids: Empathy, even if it means one partner taking a back seat, goes a long way. It’s like leading from behind. And there are many smart women who know how to adapt depending on the situation.
Lisa Sunbury: My best advice is to model, resist criticizing & allow spouse to develop their own relationship with child.
Alicia Gonzalez: We have to stop thinking “our” way is the only right way. When spouse wants to engage in parenting..support it, don’t criticize it.
When your husband does a loving act for your child say aloud, “Did daddy do that for you?” Follow that with, “You have a great dad.”
Respect your husband as your child’s father. Never cut your husband down in front of the kids. Eye rolling, or shushing your husband are passive aggressive forms of disrespect. Kids know what they mean.
Understand time pressures and give him a break. Helping him make one day of the week his with the kids is good for everyone.
Dawn Lantero: Read a parenting book together and discuss it. Set a calendar with couple time, family time and individual time.
Kelli Smithgall: My thoughts on this are to not criticize, extend grace, and prayer.