Men are called upon to spend more time and participate in the direct care of their kids. And, they often find themselves emotionally overwhelmed trying to balance work, relationship and family demands. This article provides 5 things Dads can do to raise emotionally healthy children. Following these guidelines can help men overcome the limitations of traditional “male code” and better navigate the complicated pathways of modern fatherhood.
From the Huffington Post article:
As psychiatrists and family therapists, we spend a great deal of time working with men on issues of fatherhood… They yearn for their children to be happy and successful, yet they often lack the skills and ability to model a way to help them accomplish this.
The problem is that many men continue to operate under the rules of Male Code, a rigid set of social guidelines, both spoken and unspoken, that equates masculinity with stoicism, silence, and strength. These “rules of the road” have been in place in the US for nearly 200 years.
Here are some guidelines from the article that can help you better navigate the modern fatherhood.
1. Be Emotionally Available and Vulnerable
As a dad, it’s good to get involved from the start in day-to-day parenting activities. That’s how you get to know your kids from “the ground floor up.”
2. Listen and Empathize
Good parenting often requires listening without having an answer.
3. Show Physical Affection
Dads, it’s okay to hug and kiss your boys and girls as much as you want, for as long as you want – as long as they enjoy it.
4. Learn to Let Go of Control
You can have a continued mentoring role with your adult kids as they go through this period of separation as a caring father who respectfully checks in and is interested in sharing his feelings and finding out about his children’s lives. Believe it or not, your children really appreciate this kind of “post-graduate” relationship. It opens the door for your having a mature friendship with them over time.
5. Finally, Honor Your Partner
Your children will absorb this and will appreciate this attitude of respect and carry it with them as they develop into healthy adults.
To learn more about the things Dads can do to raise emotionally healthy children, read the article by Dr. Ascher and Dr. Robert Garfield on the Huffington Post.Please share this post!