More mums should just let dad do it!
Mothers frequently complain to me that their partners — the fathers of their children — are not as involved as much as they would like.
Some of the more common complaints are …
“My partner will make dinner if I tell him what to cook, but how hard is it to show some initiative?”
“Every Sunday has to be planned because, if I leave it up to John, the kids will fritter away the day.”
“When Martin puts Alissa to bed, he is always late, so I am forced to do it myself if I want her to have a routine.”
Women today feel very sure of themselves and believe that the way they are running their home, or bringing up the children, is the best way possible.
While this is empowering, it can exclude dad and his way of doing things. If you would like more cooperation, then you need to change your thinking and apply sound psychological principles.
- Know that men and women are different in countless ways and that this is a good thing for your children. Children of each gender will benefit from experiencing the world from both female and male perspectives.
- Truly value what your man has to offer and see it as different but equal. Unless of course he is an incompetent, abusive male – in which case you should ask yourself what you are doing with him in the first place.
- Cope with the feeling of not always having it your way. Loosen up and your whole house will loosen up.
- Trust that your partner is intelligent and competent (as he is at work) and stop micromanaging. After a few tries he will take initiative, and I promise you that your child will not starve or suffer along the way.
- Remember that your child suffers more when you fight over the ten minutes he was late taking her to bed, than from the extra ten minutes.
In short, all people live up to how you see them. As long as you see your partner as an inadequate child in your home, he will live up to that. As long as you devalue him and his ways of doing things, he will fulfil your expectations.
Conversely, the more you love his maleness and his unique ways of doing things, the more he will want to participate and make a meaningful contribution.
Mothers who have followed this advice now tell me:
“When I came home and found my two children standing on the dining room table pretending to be in a band, I nearly lost it. Then I thought about what you said and realised that my children were having harmless fun with their dad. What’s more, I humbly admitted to myself that they were having more fun than they ever had with me. I was glad for them that they have a dad who can give them that.”
“George is an accountant, so when he makes dinner he does it totally differently to the way I do. He involves our children from the beginning, showing how fractions and maths at school help with recipes. The experience is slower and messier than when I do it, but it gives me extra time and teaches the kids different skills.”
“Growing up in an all-girls home, I am not used to rough and tumble play. I get very nervous when my husband rolls on the grass with Jimmy. I used to tell them to stop and, after a while, I realised my husband had withdrawn and Jimmy was sad. I lectured my husband to read to Jimmy, but it is not his way. Eventually, I decided to stand back and let boys be boys. I block my ears so I do not hear the shouts and focus on the fact they are bonding. Who knows? It may even help Jimmy on the playground.”
Fathers are able to take care of their children as well as mothers. When you see single fathers raising children, it becomes obvious. What squashes their drive and enthusiasm is being devalued, put down and squeezed into a box.
Mothers today believe that equality means persuading their partners to think the way they do: the female way. Equality, in my book, is recognising that the value of what is offered is the same, even if the delivery is different.
Enjoy your man and allow your children to enjoy him, too!