In this current cultural climate, the resounding noise for mothers to raise their children better and kinder is like a gender revolution battle cry. It is added pressure on mothers to make sure they don’t raise chauvinistic, entitled men or meek, soft-willed daughters. It is a high standard but mothers around the world are determined to meet it, to succeed it even. Mothers are determined to change societal views with the future of their children.
But, I would like to call attention to all those dads out there. Their responsibility is greater than ever. This is my battle cry to you.
In a society that expects men to be tough as nails, we need you more than ever to show a softer side. I’m not saying to have to go watch a sappy movie and cry your eyes out. But, it wouldn’t hurt to always remember to give your child a hug (or dare I say kiss) whenever you leave them for the day or see them for the first time after a long day.
Show your wives/significant others affection. If you’re not comfortable with public displays of affection, that’s fine. But showing your children at home that you love and care for their mother, step-mother, etc. is so important.
Help at Home…
If any other moms are just like me, you tend to see the messes first. You have a hard time ignoring a mess for too long. So, to all those dads out there I say… notice the mess and act! Whether you notice it and don’t care, or maybe you don’t notice it at all, realize the mother of your children notices it regularly. She’s done a lot and always does, so take out the trash when it’s full, do the dishes, grab the laundry. Anything will be met with appreciation.
Show your children that it’s not always a woman’s job to take care of her man, the children, or the house. Sometimes, the man can take care of a of all these things too.
When days are long, tired, and tough, it is easy to keep moving with the motions. Even worse, it can ignite a quickly heated battle over how often one person does the household chores, takes care of the children, or spends money. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that arguments won’t ever happen. It’s natural in a marriage to disagree. But, disagree fairly.
What does that mean? Don’t shout over her. Don’t be so stubborn that it’s your way or the highway. Allow yourselves the time to cool off and come to a resolution together showing that you are equal partners in the relationship.
Be Their Greatest Advocate…
Teach them right from wrong but show them you are always behind them. Have confidence that you have given them the proper tools to act morally and ethically with their decisions.
Show them how to be kind to all. Be their biggest supporter and their loudest cheerleader.
Create Quality Time…
Ditch your friends for the weekend and take your son or daughter to the game instead. Have a lunch date. Create a movie night out or at home. Make them understand that even though your time is valuable, they are worth it. They are worth every missed call, email, text.
Do something that you know they would like, not just you. If your son is into musicals, take him to see one, even if you hate them. You just might see what makes his face glow with excitement. If your daughter is into ballet, hockey, or soccer, be the “soccer dad” and take her to practice. Show her you are cheering in her corner.
Go On Dates…
You and your significant other are in the trenches together. Show your children that you still value your quality time together as a couple. You aren’t just moving through the motions but actually enjoy this life together.
Show them the great example of what a healthy couple can look like for their future.
Whenever they are hurt, having a bad day, or just don’t know why they are upset, be the one to wipe away their tears. Hug them tightly when they just need to know you are there.
Comfort your wife in times of need. Whether she is hurt, having a bad day, or just doesn’t know why she is upset, be the one to wipe away her tears. Hug her tightly when it’s all she needs to know you are there.
Plan for Mother’s Day…
It’s the one day a year mother’s look forward to. They are supposed to be appreciated and given gratitude (the things they deserve all year round). You know she always does something thoughtful and appreciative for Father’s Day, so make her Mother’s Day just as special.
Don’t just run out to the store and grab some flowers. Let your children pick out gifts for her. Get her a nice gift. Even better, take over all chores that day. Give her the gift of relaxation. I don’t know one mother who wouldn’t appreciate that.
Engage with Them…
Read a book. Color together. Play a game. Heck… just even cuddle while watching a movie. Show them how much they mean to you, because you mean the absolute world to them. Throw your phone in a room where you can’t hear it. Give them your 100% undivided attention, even if just for a little while.
Show them how important family time is to you. Don’t just say you would do anything to protect them but make them feel it in their hearts.
Ask Yourself This…
The next time you feel yourself doing something that isn’t the best example, think to yourself “would I want me son to be like this to his spouse?” or “would I want my daughter to be treated like this?” If you answer “no” to either of these questions, work to change. Work to make yourself a better example. Engage with your significant other to understand how you can improve together.
Believe me, they are watching and learning from every move.
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