Are you parenting partners?
Even if one parent stays at home to be primary caregiver, there’s plenty for the other to do.
In many families, one parent shoulders more responsibility for children during their first few years of life, even if both parents work.

Even though a lot of responsibility is on the primary caregiver’s shoulders, it is clear that both parents are essential for providing a healthy childhood. Specifically, the other partner, typically the dad, ensures the emotional health and stability of the family by focusing on the following:
  • Ensuring the family’s financial stability.
  • Contributing to a positive home environment that enables strong bonding between both parents and the baby.
  • Providing a supportive ear for the caregiving parent.
  • Taking on day-to-day childcare activities, including changing nappies, bathing, going for strolls and especially bedtime to give the primary caregiver a break.
  • Bonding with the child using affectionate play, words, floortime and storytime.
  • Supporting the child’s exploration of the world away from the primary caregiver.
  • Helping the child to form close relationships with people other than the primary caregiver.
  • Showing interest as the child discovers more of himself and the world.
  • Seeking out ‘teachable moments’ in everyday life to demonstrate social norms, how power works, a sense of justice, how to deal with all the bumps in the road and how to fight a fair and just battle for passions, relationships and what is right.
  • Demonstrating how to balance the needs of the self and the community.

This is an extract from A Happy Human Brain by Pierre van der Spuy (Metz Press).

How do you and your partner share parenting roles?

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