Getting Him Involved with Childrearing

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Being specific in your instructions to your partner is important in all areas of childrearing, including discipline. If little Katie needs a timeout, let him know how it's done and how long it's supposed to last. Of course, your partner may have his own ideas about what constitutes bad behavior and how it should be handled. While other areas of childcare may seem mysterious to a guy, meting out discipline is easier for him to figure out. Correction and punishment are associated with leadership and strength, which men tend to gravitate toward.

That's why fathers are often planted in front of the TV until one of the kids needs to be dealt with sternly. The trouble is that your philosophy of discipline may differ from his, causing conflict. You also don't want him becoming associated in your children's mind with mainly negative experiences. Balance is important. Try disciplining as a team, so you can balance each other out as you go while presenting a united front to the kids.

Be prepared for him to do things his way. Everyday childcare tasks that usually fall to you won't come as easily to him while he's still learning. Putting him down will only discourage him from helping, so try and focus on what he does right.