Do you know where your kid’s socks are? Do you read to your child? Do you play soccer with your kid? Do you make your kid do his homework? Do you know you kid’s time table? Do you attend your kid’s PTA meetings? Do you make and feed your kids breakfast?
Even if you do a few of the above, there’s good news for you. You’re a darn good hands-on daddy.
Let’s first put things in perspective. We dads can never be as hands-on as moms are. If you think you are, you are definitely an exception.
However busy she may be, how many ever tasks she may juggle through the day, she has a computer dedicated to kid’s schedules in her mind which you may never be able to compare with. In a way, it’s a previlege that she loves to enjoy even though she may crib about it to you and to her friends.
Working moms and Mompreneurs
Where the woman of the house has a full-time job, dads have little choice but to take control of all things to do with their kids. In a lot of Indian households however, where the stay-at-home mothers are turning to entrepreneurship like never before, it is even more important for the dads to become hands-on. Besides actually being required to contribute, it is a huge motivator and ego-booster for the wife who is trying to find her own footing in the world.
Relationship with your child
Being hands-on is a great tool for improving your relationship with your child. One Monday evening that I went to play football with my kids got them so excited that they would keep asking me each subsequent Monday why did I not go play football with them and their friends. Its another thing that I tripped over the football and broke my thumb. It however gives me so much joy when my kids ask me ‘Papa, you should have come and played with us today.’
As a practice, I attend my kids’ PTA once a quarter as my wife invariably works on Saturday mornings and I don’t. Do I do great justice to the job of dicsussing with the teachers at length about my kids’ performance in their respective classes? By no means! As a matter of fact, the other moms who come to the PTA on a mission and competition of spending as much time as possible asking as many questions as possible to the teachers, laugh at me. They know that this dad will come, talk, nod, and be done in less than five minutes. However, the process of attending the kids’ PTA gives me a sense of being in the know of what my kids do in school, what their classes look like, what they have done in school, etc. They look forward to the pictures I take while I was in their classes and it makes for great stories. Though my wife gets her dope of happenings in class on moms’ Whatsapp groups even before I can narrate, she always looks forward to the feedback I bring back home, however little it is. The feedback might be little, but by no means it is of little consequence.
Play the Second fiddle
In conclusion, you may ask ‘How hands-on is hands-on?’ My advice from my own not-so-stellar experience and having seens lots of dads with kids my kids’ age, I can say that playing second fiddle diligently is as good as it can get. Let her take control, let her be in charge, let her call the shots, let her be the one who knows the best about kids. If you just make the kids do Math homework while she takes care of other subjects, if you just sharpen the pencils while she decides which books should go in the bag for the next day, if you just get down to play your favourite game once in a week while she drives them to classes all week long, it puts you in well in charge and the family on a very happy track!
- Saurabh Shah
- February 1, 2017
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