Anonymous

How to get hubby more involved with kids

My husband and I both work full time and have two daughters, a preschooler and first grader. I work locally with some work from home flexibility, while my husband works a high-stress, frequent-travel job. We have a pretty good routine that works for us as a family, but I struggle with how I can convince my husband to take more interest in, and become more actively involved with the girls. He's a good father and husband and he loves the girls dearly, but his way of spending time with them is letting them watch TV or play iPad games while he's in his home office, or he's on his phone talking or parked on the couch watching TV, while the kids are doing their own things not involving him. Despite many conversations about it, my husband sees fatherhood as work and finds little joy in parenting . Do I just accept that he'll never be the girl's softball coach (he's not into sports anyway), or does anyone have tips/ideas to share on how you and your family make dad-time special or meaningful for both the kids and the dad?

  • Kaitlyn
    Jun 21

    I feel like a lot of men are like this. I've had this conversation many times with my girlfriend. You can get your husband more involved with family outings. Like taking the girls to the park or some kind of play place. He will have no choice but to be involved 👌

  • Ashley
    Jun 21

    He may not be the softball coach but are there things he enjoys doing that the girls could also be involved in? It could be as simple as introducing them to his favorite songs or watching an old childhood movie he loves.

  • Anonymous
    Jun 21

    If you have “no screen time” hours include him! If the girls get off their iPads and turn of the tv then maybe the whole family should together :)

  • Anonymous
    Jun 21

    Maybe he doesn’t feel like he’s good at being a father or that it comes naturally to him. Your conversations with him may make him feel like more of a failure. Find something that he can do with your kids that makes him feel successful. Then give a lot of positive praise! ( for example, wow that was so sweet when x, or it makes me love you even more when you do this, our kids are so lucky).

  • Anonymous
    Jun 21

    Appreciate the advice, friends! We are mostly a no screens family (except when he’s solo with them), and he does do things like take them to the park or let them blow bubbles - but he’s always distracted with his phone. Anyway, I like the idea of being positive and encouraging of the time he does spend with him to show him that he does make a difference in their lives and they love him unconditionally. Thank you!! 😊

  • Sami
    Jun 21

    Following

  • Sarah
    Jun 22

    We do a family (board) game night that my husband gets very into! Also if you can take little weekend getaways, travel time really tightens family bonding! Then I would say find things he likes that you can introduce the kids to! My husband loves music and cooking and has taken our older one to concerts and loves to cook with both! The kids also love to play video games with him (age appropriate of course) which gives him a chance to kick back AND hang with the kiddos

  • PK
    Jun 22

    Your kids are older so idk if it’s different or what your husband is like but the reason mine doesn’t really get involved with our son is because he doesn’t know how. I have the talk with him at least once a month about getting more involved and engaging with him other than sitting with him in front of the tv. Then one day he told me just doesn’t know how to play with him. So every once in a while I shut the tv off myself and show him how to play with our son and what he enjoys and knows how to do. Also... force some outings - trips to playgrounds, malls, parks... etc

  • Anonymous
    Jun 22

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! Love the ideas of weekend trips or planned outings to create dedicated family time outside of the daily grind. As an update, I came home tonight to find my husband reading a library book to our older daughter and he took both girls to a picnic event which I couldn’t make it to. So there’s hope! ☺️

  • Seth
    Jun 25

    Not that it's a solution, but to give you some more hope/encouragement that the sheer passage of time may help with this issue - my boys are 7 and 9 and every year as they get older, there becomes more that I can do with them, and talk to them about, etc. From schoolwork to questions they ask to chess and other games to swimming to reading to...you get the idea. They are also a bit more pains in the butt - but the tradeoff is that they aren't fragile (and often boring) infants - they are now human beings that I can find more ways to interact with that brings all of us more enjoyment. Perhaps your husband will find parenting more engaging because his kids are going to themselves become much more engaging in the next few years.