10 Tips on How to Be a Good Stay at Home Dad (Keep Yourself Sane)
Why are stay-at-home dads so popular nowadays? Numerous studies found that father-child interactions, during early stages of life, are correlated with positive outcomes on the infant’s cognitive development.
Also, other theories show how infants react better when lift up by their fathers instead of their mothers.
Here are 10 tips, from experience fathers, on “How to Be a Good Stay at Home Dad” and contribute positively to your infant’s emotional and physical wealth.
Perhaps for too long, the society functioned on a universal principle that the father’s role is to provide the family with financial support, while the mother has, exclusively, the role of raising and educating children. How harmful and limiting is this gender distribution?
Many families manage to do well in the absence of a father or in cases where the father does not involve enough in raising children, however, while this “doing well” is seen on the surface, on the long-term, these issues have powerful negative impacts on children, leading to serious illnesses like:
- Damaged emotional security
- Behavioral disorders characterized by the incapacity of establishing durable interpersonal-relationships
- A decrease in overall quality of life, engaging in bad entourages
- Increased stress causing health problems like cardiovascular illnesses and even cancer
Raising an infant is a vital and, in the same time, a difficult task, with major effects on both children and parents’ life; therefore, it is desirable to have both parents equally involved in the raising process.
10 Tips on How to Be a Good Stay at Home Dad
1. Discuss with Your Partner
Deciding to become a stay at home dad is a big deal. Besides the effort of raising your child, the emotional stress might appear to be overwhelming, in some cases. Discuss with your partner when you are dealing with insecurities or when you are trapped and do not know what to do anymore.
Another fact you should consider is that you will not be the one bringing home “the bucks”. Make sure you feel comfortable with this new status.
2. Embrace a New Career
Being a stay at home dad is not a part-time or full-time job, is more of a “24 hours, 7 days a week” kind of job.
Your breaks will be limited to non-existent and you might want to start with a training period in terms of housekeeping and cooking. But it is worth it, as nothing can be more delightful than seeing your child grow.
3. Become a Professional Stay at Home Dad
If this “stay at home dad” thing is scary, gain some parenting skills confidence by taking specialized courses. The internet is a great, at hand source of free information on parenting matters, so, grab a coffee and let’s see how to change a nappy like a pro.
4. Remember “Me” Time
Whether you are a brand new or experienced daddy, raising a child is overwhelming no matter how many times you’ve done it before. The little one is a real energy bomb, so make sure you take regular breaks in order to channel his energy in a positive manner.
5. Join Dad Groups
It is vital to find veterans going through the same “hell”, as they are the living proof that you can also do it. Sharing experiences, with other comrades, might be funny, de-stressing and, also, productive, because you can learn effective tips and tricks on how to improve your parenting abilities.
6. Take Regular Walks
Going for a walk is beneficial for both the father and the child. Of course, you should avoid crowded places, like stores or malls, as you will expose your infant to an army of viruses. Instead, if the weather allows you, take a walk in the park and enjoy some fresh air.
Feed your baby with some natural vitamin D offered by shy sunbeams. Just remember to keep the little one away from direct, long sun exposure.
7. Cook Together
If your child’s age is appropriate for cooking experiences, start preparing together small meals or snack breaks. Transform the boring cooking into a fun teambuilding activity. It’s a great and exciting way to give, the little one, some sense of responsibility. Do not forget to reward him.
8.Alternate Penalties and Rewards
All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but more to set reasonable limits. Remember, it’s a new world for them and you’re their first guidance into this unknown.
Remind them of the consequences of their actions, with gentle penalties, and try to reward them for proper behavior. Try to keep a balance between penalties and rewards. Dads who are calm and fair, patiently demonstrate love for their children.
9. Make some Room for Reading
In a world where the television dominates the life of kids, it is very important to get your toddler accustomed to reading. In the early ages of his life, begin reading him children’s books to contribute positively to his mind and practice his imagination. Later on, make sure you keep alive the passion for reading.
10. Become a Superhero
Summer is a great season to escape into an adventure and make memories together. Start with treasure hunts or explore new places. Even though you’re a stay at home dad, it does not mean you have to literally stay at home.
Your child will be extremely happy to look back and remember the wonderful and exciting moments spent together, during summer vacations.
The father plays an equally important role in the child’s life. If the mothers have a natural instinct on how to raise their toddlers, for most fathers this experience is new and challenging. Remember you are no Mister Perfect and mistakes are allowed. Whenever trapped or insecure, just ask for some help.
Being a stay at home dad is about enjoying the precious gift of seeing your infant grow; therefore, try to ignore what other people might say.