During the first year of fatherhood, set up a plan on how you and your partner deal with last-minute can’t miss events that crop up in life or at work. For example, what plan do you have in place if an important client comes into town, and insists on taking the team out to happy hour? Let your partner know as soon as possible, that you might be home late and that they may have to make alternate dinner arrangements. Remember that this can also be for your benefit as you may have to stay at home with the baby while your partner also has a work conflict. It’s always better to add these events proactively, or view the calendar to see what is truly a “can’t-miss” when compared with your family responsibilities. Fights and arguments often arise from conflicting work schedules, but the key to working as a team is to communicate plans so that all parties can adjust accordingly. For those reading, please share your communication strategies and let us know how you plan for last minute change.
Your kids respond to music and sounds and get distracted just like we do. Saying “stop” or “no” is not as effective if you have the TV in the background, nursery rhymes playing off a device, or your child is holding a stuffed animal that talks or makes noise. When your child starts moving independently and you’re trying to shape behavior and teach lessons, try turning the TV or music off before you do. A stern voice in silence beats yelling in noise.
When the family is preparing to head out and you are scrambling to grab the right toys, put the baby in the car seat/stroller, find the blanket, wipe up the unexpected spit up, it’s easy to lose track of time. In order to arrive at your destination at a reasonable time, plan for an hour of prep time before you leave.