4 Daily Routines For Stay-At-Home Dads with Their Kids
As the relations between genders are changing, a growing number of fathers decides to spend some time of their parenthood as stay-at-home dads [source]. More and more women do well-paid jobs, which gives their partners a chance to take care about their children.
This amazing experience can be somewhat demanding for some dads, especially if they have to come up with interesting activities all day long. Because of that, I’ve decided to share some activities I did with my kids when they were toddlers.
1) Teaching hygiene by setting an example
One of the most important things that I wanted to plant into my kids from the period when they were babies is forming their hygienic habits.
First and foremost, my wife and I wanted to teach our kids that they need to wash their hands every time before they sit down to eat. Even when they were still babies, we played with them at the bathroom sink, washing their little fingers and hands.
As they started to walk, their moving range increase, so regular hand-washing routines became a hygienic necessity. What turned out to be the most efficient tactic in teaching them this routine was setting an example. When my kids would see that I wash my hands regularly, they would happily join me and do the same.
Whenever I did something with a smile on my face, my kids were more than delighted to do that action themselves.
Also, when they started using the laptop and smartphones, I insisted that they wash their hands immediately afterwards, even if they wouldn’t have a meal at that moment. Truth be told, I hadn’t built that routine before, so I changed my habits to become a role model to my kids. Apart from that, I taught them to regularly wash their mobiles with wet wipes before and after they use it.
2) Establishing a daily schedule
Taking care of your children can go to many different directions. In an ideal situation, you’d establish a clear daily schedule in which your kid does the same things at the approximately same time. Some stay-at-home dads manage to create such a system. These dads are usually well-organized, as well.
Others might have difficulties following a strict daily schedule. In some cases, kids are a bit demanding and they can’t be squeezed into any typical schedule. Since it would be counterproductive to communicate with your busy partner all day long, it’s important that you get to know your kids from a very young age. For instance, I took part in every single activity with my two kids from the day they were born. From helping my wife with breastfeeding to washing the baby and putting them to bed, I connected with my kids from the very beginning. This is extremely important in order to feel the pulse of the baby, both physically and metaphorically. So, you learn things about your baby every day, and you know how to take care of him or her when one day your partner needs to start working again.
Of course, not all the fathers have such a privilege, mostly because of their work obligations. In case you need to start looking after your kid and your partner has done most of that work, it’s wise to call in one of the grandmothers, or to work with a nanny on establishing a daily rhythm for your kid(s).
3) Regular outdoor activities
When we were kids – I’m in my mid-thirties now – we were often being warned by our parents and teachers that we’d become overweight if we spent too much time in front of TV.
Today children spend more and more time in front of their computers and smartphones, probably even more than we spent in front of TV back in the 1980s and 1990s.
That’s why parents have a huge responsibility during the quality time they spend with their children. Whenever you can, take them outside. Be it activities in the park, or walks and games in the street, the more time they spend moving and playing outside, the healthier they will be. At least you’ll reduce the chance of them getting overweight.
Also, children learn faster through movement, which is another reason for regular outdoor playing sessions.
Apart from improving their physical condition, children should play outside because it adds to their awareness of the world, as well. There are much more stimuli for children outdoors, both friendly and dangerous ones. As they perceive those signals, they develop certain survival skills. Let’s just mention one average bike ride to school and think of the multitude of stimuli your child will perceive that way. So, instead of driving them to school, you could go for a pleasant bike ride to school with your kids. You can find out more about the benefits of outdoor playing for children in the article published by Psychology Today.
4) Coloring and drawing
As your kids are growing, they’ll be curious about more and more different things. Since most of the tech things they’re exposed to passivizes them, stay-at-home dads should try to motivate their kids to be as active as possible inside.
Coloring and drawing are the extremely amusing and interesting methods that most kids will like.
What’s more, dads could use these two activities when they want to take a short break. When your kid spends time coloring and drawing, you need to keep an eye on them, but you can sit down for some time, as well.
It’s important not to pressurize them to color or draw things the way you want it. If you don’t know how to draw, even better. Let your kids express themselves in their original, unlimited way. A set of crayons a blank piece of paper are the only two things they need to do that. It’s noteworthy to say that they shouldn’t use felt pens, because they leave deep stains on clothes and furniture.
Also, think about allowing your kids to drawn on the wall. There are disputes over this method and some parents don’t approve of it, but here you can read a positive experience of a mother who decided to let her kid draw on the wall. If dads are ready to clean and paint the wall once the kid loses interest in that activity, it could turn out perfectly fine.
As for mere coloring, you can download thousands of different color schemes and frames from the Internet, or get your kids ready-made coloring books at the local bookstore.
The bottom line is that stay-at-home dads should make an effort to activate their kids indoors, while not wasting all their energy while looking after them during that activity. Coloring and drawing meet all these conditions.
Being a stay-at-home parent is no bed of roses, especially if you’ve had a job for some period of your kids’ childhood. So, stay-at-home dads need to change their mindset and understand that their key preoccupation is providing their kids with quality time. It takes a lot of energy and patience, but it’s the best investment you can make. Watching how they learn and apply things you’ve taught them, or how they imitate you is a true blessing. We hope our tips for daily routines will help you make the most of your time with your kids. Add some original ingredients of yours, as well, and make your kids enjoy every moment they spend with their almighty, stay-at-home dad.
AuthorBio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children's welfare, as well as visiting sports events.