Parenting not Babysitting
The first thing on our list for taking care of the children while mom is away is your mindset. For most fathers, especially in Nigeria, is that we believe that it is the mother’s job to look after the kids. So now while she is away, you feel you are “babysitting”, and that is really a wrong notion. You are the parent and are always supposed to be actively in the picture.
For many children it will be hard when their mother is away, especially, as most times their little lives have been centered on her care and presence. You now have to open the channels of communication to get to know them and understand what they are going through. While eating, playing games or watching television, you could talk with them.
Granted you will need help with some things around the house and while you are at work, but be present. If there are younger kids who still need to be bathed, try and make it home in time to bathe them and get them to bed. It would be good if you make supper time part of your daily routine. Of course there is no question, weekends are theirs.
More than just Television
For some dads, it is make sure the DSTV bill is paid so they do not disturb you. It is more than just propping them in front of the television and going about your business. Monitor what they are watching and from time to time sit with them.
Discipline is Key
Many daddies leave this to mummy. Now mummy is not there, for your children’s sake and your peace of mind you will have to reiterate the already laid down rules(cause mom has most likely laid them down).
Just be “Daddy”
The beauty of having two parents is the difference between them. Daddy and mummy are not the same. Be yourself even as you perform roles new to you; do not lose your identity. There are experiences that only you can give, places only daddy would ever think of going with a child, be you.
Time with your kids can be wonderful and an opportunity to get to know and understand them better, take full advantage of it!
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