Top 5 Mistakes Rookie Stay-at-Home Dads Make

Parenting can be quite challenging, especially when you are a stay-at-home parent. This means that you have to wear the hat of a parent, teacher and much more. If you are a dad who isn’t used to being the stay-at-home parent of your child, get ready to take a crash course. You may make some mistakes as you get the hang of things, and that’s okay. In fact, every parent does. 

Dad balloons in front of ties; Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

 Whether you are injured and unable to work, a divorcee or you’re giving your wife her chance to shine in the workforce, making parenting your full-time job can have its difficulties. If you are new to being a stay-at-home dad, here are some tips to help you avoid some common mistakes.


Not Asking for Help When You Need It


Although your children might look at you as their superhero, you don't have to be super dad all the time. Even the best of parents need help at times, even if it is just in the form of having a venting session or a short break. 


You don't have all of the answers, and no one, especially your kids, expects you to. By asking for and receiving help whenever you need it, you are helping your mental health which in turn can help you be a better father to your children.


Don’t Be So Hard on Your Children


Fathers can be a bit sterner in comparison to mothers as the two sexes typically tend to have different parenting styles. Fathers, especially when dealing with their boys, tend to be a bit tougher and oftentimes more critical when it comes to sports, scholastics, et cetera. 


While you want your children to put their best foot forward in all that they do, it is important that you offer your criticism in a constructive and positive manner. One of the best ways to have an open dialogue that allows for positive correction is by asking your children about their feelings as well as getting their opinion on a matter.


Not All Problems Need Fixing


As a man, one of your natural instincts is to want to keep your family safe and protected. Therefore, if your child comes to you with a problem, you might want to automatically start to look for a way to fix it so you can restore your child's happiness. However, not every problem has a solution or even requires one, and your child might just need someone to talk to. 


For instance, if your child has a bad day at school all because the person they have a crush on ends up liking someone else. This scenario is an opportunity for you to let your child talk while you merely listen. 


Don't Skimp on the Nurturing


When it comes to raising young boys, as their father, you might want them to be a little tougher or have a "thicker skin." This is often evident whenever it is time for young boys to play sports, especially ones that can be quite physical and result in injuries. 


As their dad, of course, you want them to be able to withstand some of the pressure and consequences that come with the game. However, as their parent, they might still need you to comfort them every now and then, even if you are a boy-dad. Some ways that you can provide a masculine style of nurturing for your boys are:


      Allow them to fully express themselves without interruption

      Give them a hug whenever they need it as it won't emasculate them

      Express your love to them verbally


Don't Be too Lenient


While you want to provide nurturing to your children, you can't let them run all over you, either. You must try to find the right balance between discipline and nurturing so your children are well-behaved but still know they are loved. 


Communication is a key factor that can help you maintain this balance, even when it is necessary to discipline your children. Talking with your child about what they did and why it is wrong can help them understand the error of their ways, and also that making bad decisions can have dire consequences.


Everyone knows that parenting styles can vary drastically, as no two kids are exactly alike. However, when love is the foundation of your relationship and it is coupled with communication, the journey from birth to adulthood can be a phenomenal one.