Family Relationships

3 Ways to Let Your Husband Help More with the Kids

I’ll never forget the first time my husband had to travel with one of our babies (yes, 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 it and I believe getting my husband involved with our children during their baby stage, has helped him bond with them even more.
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.  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 baby 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!

Lauren Dungy is an early childhood education specialist, a bestselling author, a devoted wife and mother of nine children.

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