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Rant: hubby cant watch baby for even half hour!

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Just thinking that parenting is a SKILL and most people (including mothers--and definitely me) are not naturals at it. I guess it's a continuum. Playing with your child is also a learned skill so yes, I think that ssheng has a very good point. If it's not an attitude problem (as in, "I can't be bothered to care") then it probably is a skill deficiency. As long as your husband is open to "being taught" (by you--or even joining a playgroup is a good way to observe and learn) how to engage with his children better (even the baby ones) then that could help but some dads aren't open to that at all for whatever reason. And also, not all men don't ask for directions--my husband is the type that is pretty humble and loves to learn things so he comes at life with the attitude that he can learn to be good at anything as long as he has a good teacher. Yes, thumbs up for attitude+skill=parenting success. :)
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #10
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i have a lot of dads who come to playgroup with their children/babies on the weekend. it's great to see them attempt to interact and engage their kids. but i will say, some come with gusto and are the first ones to be up singing and dancing with me and others i have to really push.... but i do do it, i push them. i explain that kids learn by example and if the parent they are with is sitting like a bump on a log, then that is what their child will do, too. it seems to work and i can get the daddys up and being silly 99% of the time. once they see the other dads doing it, they don't feel foolish themselves.

    i think that is another possible aspect. when you talk to a 9 month old, you don't expect a response. it's like talking to a wall much of the time. as such, many dads feel foolish doing it. so they don't and then get bored really quickly and then give up. if the dad can get over feeling foolish and like he's talking to a wall, then he does a better job of it.

    i was very lucky, my hubby learned how to interact with our kids by watching me carefully and then he did it himself. i must say, he's a natural. he has an excellent bond with both of our kids. but he's worked very hard at it. he would wake up with them when they were babies and change the nappies before he would give the baby to me to breastfeed. he was eager to give them baths and change their clothes and take them out for walks on his own from the very beginning.

    he believed that it took two of us to produce this little wonder and it will take two of us to care for it and raise it... he still holds that view and is now reaping the rewards.

  3. #11
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    If it's not an attitude problem (as in, "I can't be bothered to care") then it probably is a skill deficiency.
    There is yet another possibility : The father does not subscribe to the notion that playing with kids/babies is a good thing.
    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ide...se_kids_alone/

  4. #12
    charade is offline Registered User
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    I'm not quite buying this dads need to some special coddling to learn how to play with their kids or do anything for their kids. It's not as if I as the mother got any special training on how-to-be-a-mom. I went into labour, I breastfed, I changed diapers, I learned how to rock my baby to sleep, I play with my baby through trial and error. It's not like there's some mom switch that teaches us how to do the needful - rather, there is a baby and we know we better do it or else. Maybe dads think that they have a choice in this matter.

    My husband is hands on in helping me with the baby - I didn't give him a choice to not be and thankfully, he didn't show too much desire to just sit around watching me struggle. Yes, his style of entertaining the baby can veer more towards watching TV or iPad but I don't step in always when my son, inevitably protests this. So he's forced to do more because I'm not there rescuing him. So now he has his own games to play with my son, which he's discovered himself.

    Regarding the article howardcombs posted, that's another extreme one. I tend to agree more with the expert somewhere in the middle of that article how pointed out that even if tribal people didn't do structured play with their kids, there was a lot of interaction and holding. My son is 10-months-old and he demands to be interacted with, whether you call it play or something else. I've seen Chinese grandparents get down on their knees with their grandchildren, I'm Indian and grandparents in my culture can be counted on to get silly with the grandkids so amusing children is not some ridiculous Western invention. That's not to say they be interacted with every minute or teh play has to have some educational motive but I don't see kids of my sons age at least entertaining themselves for more than 15 minutes or so at a time.

    Anyway, the original post was more about helping with other stuff rather than just play.
    anotherone likes this.

  5. #13
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardcoombs View Post
    There is yet another possibility : The father does not subscribe to the notion that playing with kids/babies is a good thing.
    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ide...se_kids_alone/
    Interesting article. For myself, I think that the benefits of play for both child and parent are quite obvious and it's about bonding more than anything. If others can find an equally beneficial way of bonding with their children and it doesn't involve play, more power to them. But, you do have to wonder after reading that article why more HK dads wouldn't be lining up to interact and play with their children if they thought that they would perform better on intelligence tests--given the test-driven culture in HK. Also, I find one of the apparent arguments of the article that because playing with one's child can be boring this indicates that it's not natural and isn't that big of a deal, is a bit hard to grasp. There are a lot of things I find to be boring in life that I do because they have some benefit. Maybe playing with one's child is an "acquired taste." Lots to think about.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #14
    TungBB is offline Registered User
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    Nowadays a lot of people don't have much contact with babies due to smaller families and busy lifestyles. So when they do have one themselves, they are at a loss. My hubby knows nothing involving a baby. But he made an effort to learn. He used to take forever to change a diaper. Now, he can change/bath/entertain the baby. Playing, sounds easy. But for people who don't know how to play with babies, it will seems hard. My MIL for example, don't know how to play with my baby. So she appeared very reserved. Well, that is her loss. As a baby smile and laugh is priceless
    Posted via Mobile Device

  7. #15
    Biggie is offline Registered User
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    I have to admit I often find it boring watching my 10mth old. It is fun for the first 15min, then I'm just watching him crawl around. I sometimes play with my iPhone too- until he comes grab it!
    Posted via Mobile Device

  8. #16
    mummymoo is offline Registered User
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    I do agree that some of the reticence on the part of the fathers may be related to 'fear of the unknown', the fact that with very little infants, they don't give much back and also in part, the desire to have some down time (watching telly, surfing the net) as life is really busy work wise in HK. If the wife is happy to pick up the slack then the dads can lapse into a pattern of taking this for granted, so as you become busier and busier as more children come along and their needs become greater, the poor wife just ends up doing it all and becoming accustomed to not getting any help whether you ask for it or not.

    In my case, I managed to cope with doing it all for our first DC but when the second came along I just couldn't cope, hired help or not. Somethings warrant the parents personal attention. I sat my hubby down and we had a very frank discussion, and I came to realise that half the problem is that my hubby never thought that I wasn't coping because I always 'just did'. It was an eye opener. Now that he helps much more (although not as much as I would like), he's really reaping the benefits of how close he feels to the children. In some respects you need to do the grunt work (bathing, feeding, putting their shoes on, brushing their teeth, doing crafties with them, caring for them when they have their nightmares at night)to benefit from the closeness you develop with your child. Like thanka2, if my hubby did not help when I asked, I would not be good to live with, but as women we do have to learn to pipe up and ask. There are no mind readers out there, hubbies included.

    What I did not find helpful was the fact that my MIL always complains that her husband, so my FIL, never helped her raise the children, never even changed a single nappy, and I can tell she is envious as to how much my husband does for our children, yet, rather than feeling joy that her son helps appropriately and reaps the reward of increased closeness with his children, she seems to be very critical of my requests (she reads them as demands) for help. I've tried to point out to her that her son and I are working as a team, and that we both work, so that it makes sense that he would help out with the childcare....but somehow the reasons are not valid. I'm glad my hubby still responds to me, it must be difficult in the face of parents who continually tell him he should relax, he's doing too much and many friends in his circle that do bugger all. For that I'm blessed. As I've said before, guys seem to get an easy ride in HK compared to back home.
    thanka2 likes this.

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