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Books on a father's role / impact on daughters

(5 Posts)
Schnullerbacke Mon 24-Feb-14 00:29:37

Can anyone recommend a book to me please? I don't feel my DH has put much thought into parenting so far and I don't think he has ever thought about how his behaviour towards his daughters might shape their future relationships. So, are there any great books out there that I could give to him to make him understand? Thanks.

MrsRTea Mon 24-Feb-14 00:32:39

Not everyone on MN approves of Steve Biddulph. But I do.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Feb-14 08:45:23

What kind of behaviour is he displaying towards your daughters? What makes you think it's a problem of 'understanding' rather than it being a conscious choice of his to behave the way he does? What do you actively do - aside from asking him to read a book - to protect your daughters? What are the consequences to him of carrying on behaving the way he does?

Schnullerbacke Mon 24-Feb-14 13:35:09

Its nothing sinister Cogito, there are many examples and I'm finding it quite hard to write down without writing an essay.

Whilst he does spend time with them playing etc, it can sometimes seem to be half-arsed. Ie he will come from work, start a game, lose interest 10 mins and switch on internet and tell them to continue playing. Now, I understand his need for down-time when he comes back but they have picked on him being on the internet a lot of the time - and it can perhaps seem to them that he is not really bothered with them, half-present so to speak.

Like when we came back from ice skating yesterday. Eldest didnt feel well, he wanted to do something on his bike as I went out again with parents and other DD. He wanted to stick the telly on, I pointed out that she had already watched that morning quite a bit of it and can he not entertain her another way. I then told her to take chair, painting stuff and sit outside - he can do his bike mechanics and she can draw his bike and is out of his way so to speak. So I wish he didn't see them as harassment and would think of ways to engage with them in a way that also fulfills his needs. When I came back, I was expecting them to sit in front of telly, but no, I was really happy to see them both in the cellar - he was fiddling with some electronics and she was sitting in front of easel, drawing some flowers and he gave her instructions. She was SOOO happy that he spent that time with her.

It leads on from the ice skating. We went with large group of people and he ended up skating with friends' daughter for quite some time. Naturally eldest was quite jealous. He then asked her to skate with him, she didn't want anymore (after he brushed her away earlier). I asked him about it in the car and he said that he had asked her but she didn't want to and he wasn't playing her games. I told him that kids this age don't really play games, that she was jealous and maybe wanted to feel really wanted, ie him asking several times so she felt it was important to him. I had observed earlier on when he wasn't paying attention that she was with some of his friends, they were talking to her and she was lapping up the attention.

Sorry, its hard to explain. I just feel like that at her age she is already looking for validation and attention from other guys. Plays with the oldest kids in school and whilst she has good taste and only hangs with the good boys, I wish she played more with kids her own age. When we have male visitors, she used to hang on them and not leave them alone, really enjoying the attention.

So I guess I want him to understand that if she doesn't get his full attention, she will get it elsewhere. We know that women often model their relationships on the one they had with their father and I want him to understand the consequences his actions have.

I don't know if any of that makes sense. He just needs to have more patience I think and not be so aloof at times. Materialistically he will move the earth for them, he does come to school events, sports competitions etc and is really proud and present but I feel he is not always emotionally present and the kids pick up on it.

Phew, still with me?

Dahlen Mon 24-Feb-14 13:54:15

So this is not really about your DH treating your DD differently because she's a girl, but is instead more about male role models?

What's wrong with everything you've said here? What would your DH say of you repeated all this?

FWIW, I think a lot of parents can appear quite disinterested at times, especially if they're very time poor because of jobs or other commitments. I have to make myself available for DC for similar reasons. If I protected my 'me time' I'd be neglecting my DC. One of the ways I've chosen to deal with this is to prioritise daily 'mundane' tasks because these are the building blocks of solid relationships. For example, reading to my DC each night cements our bond and gives them the opportunity at a quiet time to talk to me one-to-one about anything that's worrying them. Could your DH do similar perhaps? As it's earlier in the evening, it would still give him plenty of child-free down time later. Likewise, could he make plans to do at least one activity with each child on the weekend on the understanding that he also gets to isolate some time purely for himself?

When do you get your downtime?

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