Even men can be good parents

There really is absolutely no excuse at all for us men to be “useless” as parents. And I’m primarily referring to the basics of good parenting, like changing a nappy, fixing a bottle, waking up at god-forsaken hours to feed the baba, preparing a balanced meal etc etc. Sure it’s a stereotype that the “mothering” part of parenting is the domain of the mama, but, let’s face it, if you have half a brain and you can read, you can learn anything.

Plenty of resources for rookie dads

Our parents’ generation did not have access to the vast amounts of available information via the internet, magazines and social networking avenues available to us now. Some of us will still cling onto the old clichés that a woman’s place is in the kitchen or with the baby. Well it’s time for the guys to stand up and be counted. I’ve had hands-on experience with my kids and it’s really quite simple, one of the main hindrances, surprisingly enough, is that women won’t often let you get involved, mostly because they’re afraid you’re going to mess up.

Don’t worry, it won’t fall off!

A while ago I was invited onto a parenting TV show entitled Daddying for Dummies. I shared some tips and demonstrations things like: Bath time – this is a tricky business, I gave Hannah her first bath an hour or so after she was born. Let me tell you that this is scary as all hell. First you have to hold the baby in such a way that its head doesn’t fall off. The water temperature must be just right, and you have to get that sticky white stuff off without scrubbing a hole in her skin.

Nifty nappies

Changing a nappy – not as scary as you might think! The trick here is to get into it as soon as possible because baby’s poo does not smell initially, especially if they’re drinking mamma’s milk. The stinky stuff only comes out once they start eating solids, and by that time you should be a pro. Forget about using safety pins, or those big nappy pins our mom’s used on us, these days it’s all disposable self-adhesive jobs, easy-peasy.

The chef parent

Preparing healthy food – also no problem. Making a bottle only requires the ability to read and follow instructions- a piece of cake! Once they get older, old faithful Purity meals in a jar and others on the market are just the ticket. When their teeth kick in they’re ready for bigger things. Not prime rib or porterhouse steaks though! Again, pure common sense will lead you to tons of magazines, books, or online information services that can assist in preparing delicious meals kids love. Fish fingers are a huge favourite with kids, which is a good thing ‘cos fish is considered good for the development of the brain. The thing to watch out for though, is that they don’t get stuck on one dish, which can happen very easily, try a variety of meals which includes the basic food groups.

While these tips might sound like common sense to most of you, you’ll be as surprised as I was that to an average young (20-something) new dad, like the guy on the show with me, most of it is absolute Greek to them.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

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