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My husband seems almost afraid of the baby. He won’t help out much. I don’t think it’s for any reason than he doesn’t have the confidence. What could we do to change the situation?

Looks like it is going to be up to you to remedy this situation in the gentlest possible way! Having a confident, participating father is an important facet of a successful family, and vital to nurture the relationship between baby and father.

Slowly build up the confidence of your spouse by asking him to help out in small ways. Do not interfere unless he asks for help. It is not always necessary for things to be done your way – and he might come up with some helpful and useful ideas. Consider the fact that his lack of confidence may have been caused by a critical and bossy attitude on your part. You need to consider yourself a parenting team, and to work together. Let him practice with all the small tasks, and be appreciative of all the help you get from him. Praise him in public so that his confidence grows. It should not take long for him to overcome this stage fright and become an invaluable helping hand. Your baby will really benefit from having a hands-on father, so it is worth encouraging this for everyone’s sake.

Research shows that children who form strong bonds with their parents, are more successful at relationships in general later in life. Social skills are enhanced by relating well to both parents. So with so many reasons to improve this situation, you should be motivated to improve your spouse’s confidence.

If none of your efforts are particularly successful, you could consider some outside intervention. Perhaps you could try something like a baby massage class for fathers. Your spouse will be surrounded by other men, many as nervous as he is, and will be able to learn from an instructor. This kind of input could provide the breakthrough that he needs. Afterwards, don’t forget to let him teach you the skills he has learnt, so that he can show off just a tiny bit that he knows more than you in this one small area!


 
   
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