Becoming a father for the first time can be overwhelming. They are not only there to support your newborn baby, but also your partner.

It’s not always easy to balance so many emotions and learning and unlearning habits to be a better father. But what makes it even harder is when people make unnecessary comments.

Han-Son Lee is the founder of Daddilife And Producer of Dadda Panda as well as a father. He had a difficult relationship with his own father and, when he became a father, decided to do everything he could to ensure that his nine-year-old son had a positive father figure.

In order to have a good relationship with his child, he decided that he wanted to be an equal parent.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Han-Son says there are many things he would advise others not to do when becoming a father for the first time.

What shouldn’t you say to a father?

1. When you see him with his newborn: “The woman hired you to babysit, right?”

Han-son Lee says this automatically assumes that a father is not involved in day-to-day parenting activities.

He said, “No, we don’t babysit, that’s called parenting.” Some people just say that to start a conversation, and I get that, but the idea that someone sees a dad with a new baby and kind of automatically assumes that “The fact that he is not really involved in day care is increasingly at odds with the role that fathers have to play in modern society.”

He explained that this has been reinforced by what we present to children as families – with mothers always doing the childcare. But Han-Son is trying to change that narrative with his series Dadda Panda, which shows that fathers can be primary caregivers themselves. They are actually over There are now over 140,000 stay-at-home dads in the UK!

2. If you see him on parental leave: “How long is your vacation?”

As more organizations offer more equal forms of parental leave, we are seeing more and more new fathers taking longer than the legally required two weeks. But especially among an older generation of parents, this gave rise to the feeling that fathers were simply “on leave” for longer, says Han-Son.

“No – modern dads do just as much diaper changing, breastfeeding and more, meaning they are equal parents. In fact, it is high time we questioned why paternity leave is only two weeks, which is now the lowest regulation in Europe,” he comments.

3. If you see him fighting: “Just man up.”

We know that around one in five new mothers suffer from postnatal depression, and new research has shown this In fact, one in ten new fathers suffers from postpartum depression.

Han-Son says people should listen and pay attention to the signs in dads, which will be a lot more helpful than, “Hey, you look a little down — I think you need to behave.”

I just ask, “How are you?” “It will be much more helpful than making any presumptive statements,” he explains.

4. “Are you sure you’re doing this right?”

“Whether it’s diapers, baby carriers, strollers, or just about anything baby-related, as soon as someone sees a father struggling or parenting in a way that feels different, they ask themselves: ‘Are you sure you’re doing this right?'” ‘ pops up,” Han-Son comments.

Thinking that they might not be doing it right, Han-Son tells people not to ask this question if it is purely subjective.

“Although there is no such thing as a perfect upbringing, there is definitely such a thing as a presumptive upbringing!” he adds.

5. “You should leave that to the mother.”

According to Han-Son, there is still a perception that certain tasks or responsibilities should only be done by mothers.

He believes that this is like an automatic default, especially for an older generation of parents.

“It just doesn’t reflect the father’s role as carer. Aside from breastfeeding, dads are able to do just as much of the day-to-day parenting from day one.”

6. “When are you going back to work?”

Although it is fair to say that this question can be asked completely innocently and does not imply any bias, especially in the later part of the parenting period, Han-Son agrees, saying he has heard from fathers asking this question from on the first day of parental leave in the truest sense of the word.

He said: “This simply adds the strange pressure of returning to work, which can cause unnecessary stress and impact bonding time with the baby.”

7. “Is this your first diaper change?”

According to Han-Son, downplaying a new father’s efforts to care for his child by making jokes about basic parenting tasks can be quite annoying, to say the least.

“Instead, offer encouragement and praise for his commitment to hands-on care. Nowhere is this more common than with the age-old diaper change!” He advises.

8. “Shouldn’t you help anymore?”

Han-Son says it’s unfair to assume that a new father won’t take on his caregiving responsibilities, and the question often seems to come at the most opportune time for someone who is navigating the parenting change a father may have just initiated. has not yet experienced In.

He adds: “It’s important to say that the dynamics are different in every family and fathers contribute to parenting in different ways.” If dad gets this from his own family too – instead of criticizing, offer help or ask how you can support him.

9. “Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it eventually.”

Although Han-Son doesn’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with the words in this statement, it’s the tone in which she’s asked that’s the kicker.

The father says that when it is said in some ways that fatherhood is a learning curve that new fathers will never truly overcome, it can be quite discouraging.

“A little friendly affirmation and recognition of the challenges a father faces, while expressing confidence in his abilities, is the sure path to success,” he explains.

So what about the things you could say instead?

“Well, we live in a world of ‘perfect’ parenting, especially on social media. Reassuring words are therefore always more welcome than patronizing words. If you are a parent yourself, a smile and a nod will also suffice. Who knows – maybe you’ll even find a new father friend along the way,” says Han-Son.

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