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!