Beginning in April, Well Baby Center is offering a unique opportunity for dads to bond with their babies while connecting with other fathers in our very first Daddy and Me class. One of the biggest challenges of parenting is feeling that you and your partner are not on the same page when it comes to raising your children. Sometimes it can be hard for a dad’s partner to trust that daddy will be able to tend to baby’s needs adequately when he or she is not around. This can have many repercussions for the relationship, leaving dad feeling like his partner doesn’t trust him and his partner feeling alone and overburdened. These painful dynamics can create a between parents, one that can be hard to heal.
What can be done to address this kind of situation? First of all, partners find it very helpful when they have a common parenting language, as it helps them be consistent in communicating with their little ones and feel supported when they hit a rough patch. When both parents are proficient in understanding and responding to baby’s physical and emotional needs, everyone benefits. Dad’s partner gets to take a break knowing that when dad is with baby, baby’s needs will be met. This does not mean that dad will take care of the baby in the exact same way that his partner does, but he or she comes to understand that even if dad’s way is different, he is still caring for baby very well. In fact, it is extremely beneficial for brain development for children to have varied experiences of being cared for. Through this they learn flexibility and adaptability: skills that stay with them for life. In contrast, if a child’s routine is too strict and unvaried, he or she may have difficulty adapting later on, out in the unpredictable world.
In our Daddy and Me class, dads will build skills in reading and interpreting their babies’ cues and learn different ways to respond to them. They will practice recognizing and tolerating their children’s big feelings, helping their children navigate moments of upset and overwhelm. Through this bonding process they will learn tools and build confidence in caring for baby when mom is not around, while building community with other dads experiencing the same transition to parenthood.
Please join us for a complimentary Daddy and Me (infants up to 1 year) trial class on Wednesday April 6 from 6pm-7:15pm at Well Baby Center.
To register or for more information visit: www.wellbabycenter.org
For more parenting tips visit: blog.wellbabycenter.org
Annabelle Safinia is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with families and parents at Well Baby Center. She is also the Services Coordinator and Mindful Parenting Group facilitator/trainer.