Tip#15 Nurture a deep respect for your husband specifically as it relates to his role as father.
I will just be honest and say that I have been guilty all too often of thinking I know far more than my husband when it comes to parenting. The evidence I would point to? (And I point these things out with all sincerity and with as much respect as I can claim when formulating a somewhat disrespectful list of I'm-Better-Than-You-Are's.) For every 1 of his hours of parenting, I have 4; for every 1 parenting book that he has read I have read 8; for every 1 conversation he has had with another dad about discipline, I have had - well, I can't even count that one.
He would whole-heartedly agree that I am the PRDD (Parenting Research and Development Division) in this household. He actually prefers to default to what I know and have experienced when it comes to lots of parenting issues. The problem with me spending time down I Know All - You Are Clueless Avenue is that it goes no where good. My heart fills with prideful hautiness and disrespect toward by husband. Blech. So regardless of the fact that I have more information, experience and support, I must foster a deep and true respect for my husband who loves our kids as much as me.
Making this happen:
Pray for your husband, his fatherhood, his realtionship with the kids, and his relationship with the Lord.
When parenthood is new and fresh and frightening, allow him to learn how to be a dad at a slower pace than you are learning. You think about this child every.waking.moment. He works all day. And does not let milk down every 3.67 hours. And is not tending to every detail of every nap. And did not sprout "mommy ears" the morning of your child's birth. So be patient, kind, respectful and considerate, remembering that you and he will NOT, rather, CANNOT, learn parenthood at the same pace.
Let him have the type of relationship he desires to have with the kids. This might vary greatly from your idea of a perfect relationship between father and child. If you wonder what kind of relationship he wants, ask him. Let him talk and don't criticize. Encourage him, and don't sabotage!
Communicate a deep respect for this thoughts about all things, particularly when he comments on anything kid-related. You might initially think he is wrong on a point (and perhaps he is) but a respectful response does not include a quick "no" or dismissal. Respectful says, "I have never thought about it in that way." I have much work to do in this area. I am known for my quick "No."
Oh, one more thing. Realize that progress in this area (especially if it has been an area of concern) is a long process. Don't strongarm your husband tonight trying to get him to tell you every parenting thought he has ever had. I can't imagine that conversation going anywhere productive in my home. Would it be different in yours? So do yourself a favor tonight and, instead, slip into something nice and light a candle in the bedroom. Atta' girl.