12 Reasons Fathers Might Not Want to Spend More Time with Their Children

You Wait Too Long Before Becoming Involved

You should bond with your child even before he comes through his mother's birth canal. It can begin when you first put your hand or your ear to your wife's bulging abdomen, when you participate in childbirth classes, or when you view the ultrasound image of the fetus. Unfortunately, many men view infancy as a time of closeness between mother and child. They may not want to "interfere." Many men also feel terribly awkward handling a baby or involving themselves in the baby's natural functions. ("I don't change diapers!" or "I change diapers, but not if the baby has diarrhea!") You may believe that you can't feed her as well, dress her as well, burp her as well, or understand her cries as well as your wife can. Oftentimes, men do not view their children as fun until they can play and become involved in activities which the father enjoys.

The relative lack of early contact with your child has a circular effect. The older your child becomes without a bond having been established, the more awkward you and your child will feel when you are together. And the more awkward you feel together, the less you will want to engage each other again.

The more time you spend with your child, the more you will enjoy that time. You and your child will build familiarity, a closeness. In addition, you won't have to deal with your child's resentment because of the lack of time you have devoted to him. When a father infrequently plays with his child, the child's resentment over his feelings of deprivation hamper the quality of the encounter. He is angry and impatient with you, which causes you to feel impatient and alienated from him, which causes him to feel even more deprived and angry with you, and so on and so on. This is one of the reasons fathers are so disappointed when, after having failed to spend time with their children for protracted periods of time, they plan a special day together and it bombs. You may come with the best of intentions, full of enthusiasm and energy. But your child greets you with old hurts.

Don't postpone your fatherhood.

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