When we look at the fanfare for Mother’s Day and compare it to Father’s Day, the disparity is quite clear. It was reported that average spending on Mother’s Day is 43% more than that of Father’s Day in the US! It is possibly the same here in Singapore.
The role that men play as fathers is not small by any measure, but it can be overshadowed by the efforts that mothers put in to caring and nurturing for the family.
On a regular basis and not just on Father’s Day, here’s how we can support our husbands to build stronger relationships with our children.
Give a shout-out for dad, especially the quiet ones
It's easy to mistake the stoic father for being indifferent. Not all fathers are blessed with the ability to express themselves well or are comfortable with displays of affection.
Help our children identify their fathers’ quiet acts of love, like faithfully waking up to send them to school, or turning down a promotion because it meant more business trips and therefore less time with the family. These acts of sacrificial love often go underappreciated or unnoticed.
As mothers, we can take the initiative to speak up for our husbands, and share with our children what Dad has done for the family, especially on things that the children might be too young or too busy to pick up on.
Talk about the things that you appreciate about him to your children – like how he’d wake up in the middle of the night to satisfy your pregnancy cravings, or how he would take over from you to put them to bed at the end of a long day – all these and more show our children how much the family means to their father.
Talk about the things that you appreciate about your husband to your children.
Kids will increasingly learn to appreciate the loving side of their father, especially the less vocally and physically expressive ones.
Embrace the differences in the way dads parent
Resist the urge to check how our husbands do things around the house for the family, but find every opportunity to show appreciation for all that is done.
We need to understand that different people do things differently and if Dad’s idea of suitable fashion for your 5-year-old girl is a mismatched skirt and t-shirt combination of purple and green polka dots with a shocking pink headband, we need to bite our tongues and let it go.
If our husbands choose to let the children get involved in certain chores that he should be doing instead, seek to understand his new parenting style before criticising it.
Lavish words of affirmation
Just as mothers appreciate being validated, it works wonders for fathers too. A hug of gratitude and words of encouragement can go a long way in giving a father greater confidence in his parenting abilities.
When your husband shows his love and care for you by holding the door open for you and the children, or by serving you food at a meal, make it a point to also express your appreciation in front of the children. These are little things, but these also add to our marriages and to the greater family bond.
A hug of gratitude and words of encouragement can go far in giving a father greater confidence in his parenting abilities.
So mothers, let’s lead the way in encouraging our children to show appreciation to their fathers this Father’s Day, and any other day for that matter. Men need as much assurance as we do that they are invaluable to the family.
This article was first published on MindChamps and was republished with permission.
© 2018 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
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Stevenson, D. (2015). Mother's Day vs Father's Day: Which parent do we love more? Retrieved May 24, 2017.