Author: Yana Mikheeva
Women are greatly interested in the nature of paternal feelings to a baby. Do they appear by themselves or with the time being? What’s the difference between maternal and paternal feelings? How can a woman influence father’s attention to a baby? May be lack of such attention lies in man’s uncertainty in his paternal talents? And in general, how should these paternal feelings peep? Let’s try to study out these questions from the very beginning.
Pregnancy is a man’s affair
The bases of relationship between father and baby are developed during the period when a baby is in mother’s tummy. It’s hard for a woman to bear pregnancy successfully without her man’s support and empathy. However, a woman can face man’s incomprehension of the depth of changes, occurring with her. On the one hand, there’s a stereotype “pregnancy is not a man’s affair” in our society, on the other hand, a man doesn’t feel any signs of pregnancy by himself.
Don’t be despaired. This problem can be solved, probably, a man just doesn’t know about the importance of his “engaging” into pregnancy. Tell him about the importance of man’s attention for your baby’s correct development. Start attending pregnancy preparatory courses together. Fortunately, there’re more and more men now, who strive to engage into their baby’s life long before his birth. A word-combination “pregnant father” doesn’t surprise us already, now it is a reflection of a real situation, meaning that while a woman is bearing a baby, a man “is bearing a woman”. Taking care of her well-being and comfort, he creates the best conditions for his baby development. A “pregnant father” usually presents at the process of childbirth, feeling himself not like a helpless watcher, but as an active participant of the event. Many of them say that this participation in childbirth was the brightest and happiest event in their life.
The language they both understand
The first contact between father and baby is an important event of their relations. It’s desirable, that the contact would happen during the fist days of baby’s life. During this period, baby’s relations with the the world around are being developed instinctively, and father’s figure is very important at that moment. It’s clear, that a young father feels hesitating and confused while the first meeting with a baby. But this can easily be corrected right at this moment. Let father take a baby in his hands, press to his breast, it’s desirable, that this contact would be “skin to skin” one, praise for the efforts a baby took during the birth. This is necessary both for father and new-born baby.
During the first months of baby’s life, “pregnancy” still takes place, just on “outer” level. A baby is still completely dependent on a mother, and a man feels he’s not already so necessary to his baby. However, now a father gets a wonderful opportunity to try on a “tummy” on himself – bear a baby in a “kangaroo”-rucksack. Many men do it with pleasure, being really proud of such a burden and receiving the first lessons of relations with their baby.
Quite often, new-born babies’ fathers just don’t know about their paternal role during this stage of baby’s life. To avoid estrangement between father and baby, tell husband to do exercises with a baby or teach a baby swimming. This is very useful for baby’s development. Explain him, that because of these turns of breast-feeding and home matters, you just cannot find time for this, and a man will gladly take such task. This way he’ll find approach to a baby, begin to feel his necessity and see the result of his efforts – baby’s joy. So, body language will become their language of communication. This is a good gain for years.
Father is the best stimulus
Maternal love is unconditional, however, father’s love should be deserved. This is an important life stimulus for a baby. Growing up, a child begins to need a paternal guidance, authority and approval. The above-mentioned doesn’t mean a father loves his child less, than a mother does. A man just needs to see a decent continuation of himself in his baby. He pays attention on up-bringing in his child the qualities, which will help him coping with problems during life. First of all, this is self-dependence. As for a baby, a special pleasure for him is to demonstrate his achievements to his father, even if these are just his first steps or scrawling on paper.
However, sometimes a child is just not ready to do what his parents want from him. So, it’s very important to help a man to correct his expectations to the level of baby’s age possibilities. If you see a baby cannot cope with the toy his father has just presented him, drop him a slight hint, that one can also build good cities playing with bricks. Paternal love should give a baby a constantly growing sense of his own power, not putting down baby’s self-confidence.
Sometimes a woman faces a temptation – to use a child’s wish to please his father in her educational purposes. If you disobey, I’ll complain your father of you. Don’t be in a rush to intimidate a child. Such method can deprive you of child’s respect to you, and it can also deprive your child of initiative. Moreover, it’s not quite necessarily that your child’s behavior, which made you sad, will make a father sad too. For example, what seems to be an obstinacy for you, will be a self-dependence for a man.
We cannot stay at home
Growing up, a baby begins leaning the world around, and there’s no better guide, than a father, in this trip. Usually, men prefer leading active way of life and spend time outdoor with a child with great pleasure. When I left my 1 y.o. daughter with her father, I was lost in conjectures as for where they would go that time. May be they will go to a husband’s work or at his friend’s place? May be they will visit some modern exhibition or toy shop? And may be they will go cycling? My husband’s imagination was just inexhaustible.
Although this brought me much worrying, i saw my daughter really likes this trips. And I tried to understand that staying at home playing different quiet games – is not just for them. And it’s better to give both father and child a freedom of choice of the way to spend their time together. Don’t be sad if the routine was broken and your child ate some fast-food instead of home soup. In return, your baby received lots of new impressions, experience of communication with other people, and the main thing – he received a sense of confidence in his father’s defense.
Father is like a holiday
Communication with father gives baby a feeling of holiday. And this is not because fathers spend little time with children, how many women like explaining this event sometimes. The matter is that a father represents other pole of human life, than a mother does. If a mother’s image associates with house, where a child lives, then a father’s image is more connected with the world out of this house. Father is a world of traveling, world of things, created by man’s hands, world of thought. Maternal love gives a child a sense of safety, paternal one helps him orienting in the world around.
A sense of holiday comes from importance and brightness of the impressions, which a child receives due to his father. Sometimes the commonest things are being discovered from a new, unexplored side, due to a father. A sofa turns to be a plane, a pencil turns to be a screw-driver, and a pan turns to be a drum. Only a man can look with an unconcealed delight while a baby is disassembling a TV control panel or pushing different phone buttons with enthusiasm, being glad at baby’s in-born talent for engineering.
It’s quite difficult for a woman to overcome the fact that sooner or later her child will separate from her. But this is where the sense of growing, self-dependence and spiritual development is. Woman’s wisdom is in not preventing her child from growing up. Respect his necessity to communicate with father and become more and more independent. Maternal and paternal love in combination create ideal conditions for a child’s development. A famous American psychologist wrote: “Mother is a house we are leaving, and father is the one who teaches a child to learn his way to the world”.
About the author
Yana Mikheeva is the creator of the Baby-Health.Net at http://www.baby-health.net.
Are you going to get pregnant? Visit our friendly resource and read information on pregnancy and parenting, painless childbirth, growth and development of a baby, baby health, safety, signs of pregnancy. She also has a blog for women at http://www.womanspassions.com/blog/