Strengthening the Daddy Bond

Second-Best Caregiver

All too often, when a father dresses the baby or gives him breakfast, his efforts are met with criticism. The outfit doesn't match. Mashed bananas, not pureed peas, should have been served. Assuming his wife is inherently more competent, Dad backs off.

Hurdle: Dad is always running to Mom for advice, or handing off baby for comforting or practical care. The "Mommy knows best" syndrome is in full swing.

Solution: The development of "Mommy knows best" syndrome is partly rooted in culture. Men have been judged historically on their abilities as providers, women on their abilities as caregivers. Sometimes women feel threatened by men infringing on the caregiving role in the same way some men feel threatened if their wives earn more money than they do. The solution is for Mom to avoid casting Dad in the role of assistant parent. If Mom steps back and allows Dad to take on equal caregiving responsibilities, his caregiving skills will be strengthened and his confidence will grow.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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