Become a more active parent. Getting involved with your child means seeing tasks through. Do not simply hand your baby over to your partner when things get a bit difficult. Since your wife or partner will have more experience than you, don't feel bad about asking for advice.
Get as much practice as you can, at looking after and caring for your child. The main reason mothers seem to “know everything,” is because they need to learn by doing, from day one. While your opportunities may be limited during the first few weeks, you can still form a strong bond with your child, by staying involved during later development. Classes are available for dads who feel insecure about their parenting skills.
Men and women favour different ways of interacting with children. While you might be criticised for emphasising physical activity over emotional, gentle playing, it does not make your choice wrong. Children have a different kind of bond with their fathers. By playing in a rough manner with you, your child learns how to control emotional and physical excitement. Children are less likely to be problematic at school, or get involved in drugs and alcohol, if they have a good physical connection with their fathers. Children with bad, or virtually non-existent relationships with their fathers, tend to get up to more mischief as they get older, including criminal behaviour.
Being available emotionally is just as important as being physically involved with your children. Try your best to feel empathy for what your children are going through. This emotional availability will increase trust levels with your children.
Modern fathers need to do their fair share of housework and child care. Many families have both parents working, so the concept of the father “just helping out” no longer applies. Getting involved with the daily routine is important too. Do not leave every decision up to the mother. Help plan and do chores whenever possible; this helps you get to know your children better and improves the overall family bond.
Acknowledge your partner's role in decision making and show respect for her part in keeping the household running, especially when you are unavailable to make decisions, or take action. Learn to communicate with your partner about issues regarding your role in childcare. Your wife may not think that you are serious about getting more involved. Instead of sitting back, talk to her about it and give the process time.
You need to know your legal rights regarding benefits and getting time off from work to look after your child. Unpaid leave may be available to you, which is helpful for those first couple of months after your child has been born.
If you become separated or divorced, you must try to stay as involved as you can with your children. This does not stop at paying maintenance. Make sure that you phone, send emails and spend quality time with them when you visit. Do not involve your children in any fights or disputes you may have with your ex. Instead, try to work together, despite differences; this is far better for your children.