Simply put, being a good father and husband involves **supporting your wife and children emotionally as well as practically**. As a result of your efforts to be involved, your kids will tend to be smarter, do better in school and be more socially competent, according to the National Fatherhood Initiative. You'll probably also enjoy greater harmony in your household.
Practical Support for Kids
Fathers can play a big role in helping children learn what they need to survive as well as how to succeed in school. With that in mind, develop routines to teach them important skills. That can include sitting down to teach your preschooler how to write letters or helping your school-age children with homework or sports skills, suggests the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the AAP, basic rituals such as putting your kids to bed, reading to them or doing chores together can also strengthen your family bonds.
Emotional Support for Kids
While mothers are often seen as the nurturers, your children also look to you for emotional support. Fulfilling this need can help your kids be more socially competent and emotionally intelligent. Work on listening to your child's feelings, talking about the emotions when appropriate and validating the feelings your children are having. When your child is feeling frustrated, for example, encourage him to label the emotion and admit that he's frustrated, recommends researcher John Gottman on the Colorado State University Extension website. Labeling emotions helps kids recognize that they are not defined by their emotions and that they can control them.
Practical Support for Wives
In terms of the division of labor in the house, you should ideally talk about who does what before it turns into a fight, recommends psychologist and marriage counselor, Marie Hartwell-Walker. Decide who will be responsible for all chores, such as cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, shopping for food and taking care of the lawn. Don't be afraid to assign some chores to the kids as well. Whatever you decide on, stick to your end of the bargain to ensure family harmony.
During a pregnancy and after the birth of children, expect to take on more of your fair share of the household chores, as well as helping to support your wife's efforts toward breastfeeding. A supportive husband is crucial to breastfeeding success, so help make your wife comfortable or get her a glass of water when she needs one, recommends the AAP's Healthy Children website.
Emotional Support for Wives
When parents feel supported and appreciated, they tend to be more loving and have better communication with their children, according to the AAP. Likewise, when moms are emotionally supported, they feel less stress and are more likely to use effective forms of discipline, resulting in fewer child behavioral problems, suggests a 2012 report by Child Trends, a nonprofit research center focused on children's issues.
Do what you can to foster a loving, supportive relationship with your wife. That can be as simple as showing her affection and remembering anniversaries, as well as spending time alone together. Take the time to tell her you care and listen respectfully to her concerns.