Lately I've caught myself watching my husband interact with our girls. I know I should be spending time on my own activities, but I just can't seem to tear myself away. How blessed they are, I think to myself, to have a daddy who loves spending time with them. How blessed I am to have a husband who comes home every night to a slightly messy, often chaotic household with 4 women vying for his attention! If you grew up in a home like ours, (and especially if you didn't!) you understand the importance of a healthy father/daughter relationship, and you know they are hard to come by.
So here are a few principles I've committed to, as a wife/mother, to help their relationship grow:
1. Never speak negatively to or about my husband in front of our children. I've always tried not to speak negatively about Tom in public, and I am becoming more aware of how I talk to him in front of my girls as well. Kids hear hurtful comments and don't understand that we were just "letting off steam." My girls' opinion of their dad (and our marriage) is way more important to me than winning an argument.
2. Don't criticize the way Daddy spends time with the kids. My husband lets the girls watch lots of cartoons and stay up late, but he thinks room cleaning and the quiet game should be ranked up there with Disneyland for fun things to do. He skips pages on books and wrestles all three kids at once...and they LOVE every minute they spend with him! It's good for them to have their own traditions, even if you don't understand them. So let him jump in on bathing the kids or reading bedtime stories, but let him do it his way.
|Nattie's new favorite - tummy time w/Dad|
3. Clue him in. If your daughter's recital coming up, don't assume he remembered to get that night off. Remind him! If your son had a hard day at school and needs encouragement, your husband probably won't pick up the subtle clues like you did. Men just don't process life the same way women do, and many times we think they're insensitive when they really just don't know what they're missing. You're a team, so work together!
4. Build your husband up in your children's eyes. I take every opportunity I can to say, "Daddy wants to do ________ with you," or "Daddy bought ___________ for you," even if the activity or gift was my idea. Most kids don't have trouble being close to their mom, so giving your husband a boost isn't hurting you at all, and it will help him out immensely. Encourage older kids to show their dad a good school paper or drawing they're proud of when he comes home, so he can remind them of their importance to him. You won't regret it.
What are some ways you help your husband connect with your kids?