“Raise kids like a man” – Rules Of Fatherhood

D & I were at the pool on Saturday doing some laps and catching some rays. As we lazed on the deck chairs, D read out some portions of this article to me.

Of all the Parenting, Pregnancy mags that are available, this article is found in the June’s edition of “Men’s Health”. Heheh, I quite like this mag, cos there are lots of hot bods in there. 🙂

James Marsden, the Cyclops in X-Men, is the guy on this month’s cover. I didn’t recognise him at first, afterall his Cyclops character was always behind a pair of Oakleys.

Anyway the stay-at-home dad, Brian Fortner, wrote about a few rules (which I like and will summarise below) he has come up with in his home and D reckons it will apply to this family too. 

RULE #1: There’s very little crying (20 secs or less).
No matter the age, you can stop most crying by redirecting the kid’s attentionA few months ago, my daughter was chasing the cat with the extension tube from the vacuum cleaner. She took a turn too wide and ran face-first into a wall. She started welling and whimpering, so what did I do? I asked her to vacuum the hallway. Worked like a charm.”

I laughed at this bit.
Babies cry because they need some thing, typically food or warmth. Just give it to them. Toddlers cry because they are confused, sad, bored, or simply fond of hearing themselves cry… Shove a lollipop in their mouths. Four-and 5-year-olds cry because they are hurt. A cartoon Band-Aid should fix that, even if there’s no blood.”

RULE #2: “Tackle the daily chores as a team.”
Brian wrote about getting his children involved in laundry and found that they love it.  One thing he points out is that kids bore easily, so it is important to inject variety in seemingly routine chores. One of his favourite is to stack as many pairs of socks on the cat before it moves. 🙂

Now he (his son, Cole age 5) loads the washer and dryer for me and folds all his own clothes. He takes particular care with his underwear, to ensure that, once folded, Batman is staring right back at him.”

RULE #3: “Don’t race to their rescue”
D & I had a few discussions on this over the years, even before we had kids. We both agree that we will not be so protective over our kids so that they will learn to pick themselves up when they fall. I think it is harder for me to do that, especially since I have absolutely protective parents myself. As for D, he grew up to be independent at a young age and reckons that’s the way to go. Nonetheless, there is a need for balance, and hopefully both of us will somehow figure that out.

Brian wrote about his daughter who was asked to get dressed but had problems with her panties, which was inside out. She was stuck in her bedroom for an hour but Brian “didn’t go to her room to see what was up, as most parents would. I spent that hour reading the newspaper, paying bills online, watching Squawk Box, and performing superglue surgery on several broken toys. She finally emerged, naked from the waist down, handed me her panties, and said, “These ain’t right.” 

RULE #5: “Don’t spend more than 15 minutes in any store.”
Brian’s shopping record with his kids is US$71 worth of groceries in 11 minutes. Here’s his strategy:

He and his kids will make separate shopping list before going to the supermarket and the kids know that they will not be buying the items if they aren’t written down. Since they write slowly, the kids’ list are short and they also tend to forget what they had on their lists when they are in the the store.

And unlike most of us female shoppers at the supermarket who take our own time to scrutinise everything, Brian will be zipping through the aisles with the kids in the carts like some rally driver. 🙂 And the kids love it.

RULE #7: “Don’t become Mr Mom.”
Men can still be men in a woman’s profession…. When my son was an infant, I learned to change his diaper in less than 10 seconds. My wife, on the other hand, turned every diaper change into an event – a chance to bond with him…. This eventually pisses a baby off.”

Brian also mentioned that if his wife had stayed home, his daughter wouldn’t have learnt certain things like “the best time to get an oil change is midday during the week, after a nap“, and that his son would not have climbed a mountain seated on his shoulders.

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