For Fathers: Understanding Your Role As A Parent
In the previous article, we have talked about how you, the dad, needs to become more involved in caring for your bundle of joy. However, with baby care being predominantly a motherly task, you might be asking yourself what your role is in the whole task. In this article, you will learn more about that role and how you will be able to better perform at it for your family.
Parental roles: the changing times
One of the most important things that you must understand when it comes to parenting roles is that the times are changing. Whereas before, where women are expected to be strictly a homebody taking care of the kids and doing the household chores, many women of today now maintain their own professional careers, taking them away from their homes for long periods of times.
To fill in the vacuum left by working moms, the dads in these families have now taken the role of “house husbands”, doing all the tasks usually associated with mothers, including taking care of the kids. And while most still maintain their own income-generating careers, there are also those who choose to completely dedicate themselves to the role. In fact, according to statistics, around 7% of fathers in the United States are now stay-at-home dads.
Another important development in the matter of changing parent roles is the emergence of single dads. According to the data provided by the Pew Research Center, single fathers now make up about 24% of the total single parent population, which is a significant increase from just 14% during the 1960’s. The biggest challenge for such dads is that they now have to completely fill in the role of mother to their kids while still doing their fatherly duties.
However, despite all these changing roles, you as a father still has certain roles in child care that you alone can fulfill.
Your role as your family’s guardian and protector
Being the head of the family, this is your primary role. However, protecting them from physical harm is not your only task in this role. As have been mentioned in the previous article, the bond between your baby and his mom is important for his healthy development. Thus, it is your duty to also protect that bond.
But how are you going to do that? Here, even simple things like answering the door for her when someone knocks, or politely turning visitors away when she and the little one are not in the mood will help a lot. The idea is to give both of them the alone time they need to bond. You can also accomplish that by doing some of the house chores give your wife the time off.
Also, with social media becoming more integrated into people’s daily lives, this is another are where you want to protect your wife and child’s bond. While you might be excited to share their latest photos together on Facebook or Instagram, you have to first consider whether you are sharing too much. Instead of sharing the photos publicly, use a more private method, such as sending via email or simply giving a traditional photo, to share it only to those you want to share it with.
You as the role model
While you might not be aware of it at times, your work as a role model for your little one starts as early as when he is a newborn. Being more involved in caring for him will help teach him about the values that he need to develop later. As for little girls, being showered with fatherly love early will help them be more discerning when interacting with members of the opposite sex later on.
How you interact with your wife is also essential in becoming a good role model for your child. Breastfeeding, for instance, is a very tedious task for your wife, By helping whenever she needs assistance, you will also make your presence felt more by your baby. This will give him the warmth of a family that will contribute greatly to his later development.
Of course, this is just the tip of your work as a father. As your child grows, you will also go through different changes in roles to support him.