Frustrated that your husband is spending more time on his gadgets than with you and your toddler? Here’s how you can turn the situation around.
Explain your concerns
If you continue to be quietly angry with your husband, nothing will change. Instead, explain that you feel there is an imbalance in the way he spends his time at home. Do this calmly, when you have a quiet moment together. He may not have realised how little attention he gives you and your toddler.
Consider the possibilities
Bear in mind that he might feel the need to divert most of his time to his gadgets because he doesn’t know how to interact with the little one. Some first-time dads struggle at first to connect with their young child, and smartphones and tablets provide a good way to avoid this challenge.
(Also read: Marriage after baby arrives: How to resolve 7 common relationship issues)
Listen to his perspective
Give your man a chance to have his say. Perhaps he feels that he lacks the skills, or maybe you are critical of him whenever he tries to carry out a baby-care chore. He might just be afraid that he will accidentally hurt his precious kid. Listen to what he has to say.
Get him involved
Whatever the explanation for his gadget obsession, the best way to forge a bond with his little one is through hands-on involvement. Ask him to change, wash, feed and play with her – the more, the better.
(Also read: How to get your husband be more involved with baby)
Limit gadget time
Try to reach an agreement with your husband that for a fixed time each day – say, the one hour between when he comes home at night and when your little one goes to bed – all his communication devices in the house are to be switched off. That will be a good start, and you can build up gadget-free time from there.
Play your part
Make it clear that you will do the same with your gadgets as well. The plan will work only if you play your part, too. Your husband is more likely to agree to a communications blackout for an hour each day when he knows you are doing so with him. This will be challenging for both of you.
(Also read: Have another child? Here’s why this Singapore mum says: One is enough)
Share activities together
To help boost his baby-care confidence, share some tasks with him, but make sure you don’t dominate. Let him take the lead. By all means, give him advice if he asks or if he seems to be having difficulty, but let him assume the main responsibility sometimes.
Give positive feedback
Your husband will respond to your praise – both about the way he manages the little one and how pleased you are that he is not glued to his phone all the time. It is important that you recognise his efforts and successes.
(Also read: Japanese mum rewards husband with $250 and a day off for being an involved dad)
Check out his progress
Encourage him to express his feelings and confidence as a parent and about managing for an hour without his devices. You may be surprised to find that he copes better than you expected.
Extend gadget-free time
Now that you can both manage for an hour a day without reaching for your gadgets, discuss about extending this. Perhaps you could be tech-free for two hours each day, and also during the weekends. You’ll both enjoy the benefits.