Your Turn Thursday: How do you help your partner become a more involved father?

The blogosphere has been buzzing this week with commentary on dads’ roles in the modern family. The Wall Street Journal asked: Are dads the new moms? Kristen Chase urged mothers to give fathers a chance to figure parenting out. And I responded to a controversial Babble post with my own top 11 list: the things my husband rocks out as a dad.

Jon is a totally competent, hands-on father – but has he always been that way? Perhaps more than some, but our evolution to a couple that shares parenting has taken over fifteen years, five kids and a lot of misunderstandings and disappointments along the way. I wouldn’t have always said he was a fully equal partner, and there are still times we disagree on how to divide up household and parenting tasks.

That said, Jon’s always been comfortable around kids, and we’ve each juggled contract and freelance jobs for many years now, which has given him the opportunity to spend a lot of time parenting. I know that being a hands-on dad might be a lot harder in a house with a more traditional employment setup (dad at the office full-time, mom in the home full-time) or when the father doesn’t have much experience or confidence around children.

So I want to know: if this has been an issue for you, how did you encourage your child(ren)’s father to become a more equal parenting partner? I ‘m planning to write a post about this topic soon, but want to make sure I include advice from and for moms who have faced different challenges than I have in this area. Please post your thoughts and tips in the comments, and I’ll include some of my favorites in an upcoming post!

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