What I learned from Movember’s online parenting program designed for dads

Meltdowns, tantrums and tears—we’ve all been there. A new research-backed video series equips parents with strategies to deal with misbehaviour.

By Joseph Tito, Dad Diaries
What I learned from Movember’s online parenting program designed for dads
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Finally, I came across something that was geared towards fathers. Since starting my surrogacy journey, I've found few parenting strategies for dads, who don't always have the tools needed to be better parents. That’s why Movember created Family Man with dads in mind, providing useful and straightforward strategies for mastering the art of parenting. In this three-episode interactive video series, I understood what I was doing wrong, or better yet, what didn't work when trying to get my twin toddlers to understand and follow the house rules.

I don't need to tell you that parenting is one of the most challenging jobs you can have. Since the twins were born, I've read many parenting books and found that not all methods worked. What is essential for me is research. Family Man is backed by research, developed by Movember alongside leading global child behaviour experts—helping you keep cool during your kid’s worst meltdowns. I know that tantrums and breaking the rules are common with kids, but what scares me the most is if that behaviour keeps up, there can be consequences over time, including long-lasting emotional problems. Family Man uses the latest parenting strategies to support happier homes and better mental health.

Joseph carrying both twins, one in each arm


What is the Series About?

The series is divided into three 20-minute episodes, each tackling different realities, and led by “positive parenting.” After testing Family Man out, I've been using these strategies for about two weeks now and I've noticed a significant reduction in behavioural problems with my girls. It has increased my ability to handle challenging behaviours positively, which has helped reduce my stress levels and overall happiness. Did I mention the episodes are 20 minutes? It only takes an hour to actually complete all the modules. And we all know that time isn’t exactly a luxury we have as parents…

Encouraging positive behaviour 

When do you give the most attention to your kids? Well, if you are like me, it’s when they misbehave. Kids will keep the tantrum going if misbehaviour gets an exciting rise out of you. With every strong reaction, they become more likely to repeat it next time. Why not give them that positive attention when they are doing what they are supposed to do? If your child is good, why not show excitement for it! The more excited we get about good behaviour, the more stimulating it is for your child. Kids will want to keep up good behaviour once they see the glorified attention they get for it. 

Managing misbehaviour 

One strategy that I have been using is the “time out” method. I've received a lot of slack about it on social media, but if done correctly and positively, it's an effective way to help kids build self-control and keep their emotions in check. Stating what they need to stop doing, with what they need to start doing, in a calm, emotionless tone helps the child decide how they'd like to change the situation. If they continue the bad behaviour, then that's where time-out comes into play. The episode helps you through the positive steps of time-out and provides us, parents, with an effective way to use discipline without emotional rejection, threats or physical punishment.

Behaviour when they're not at home 

The third episode, "Into The Wild," is just that—how to deal with situations when you are not at home. It focuses on planning rewards for positive behaviour and consequences for misbehaviour to tackle those grocery store meltdowns and car-ride tears. I tend to forget that although my girls are two, they are people too. They have feelings, and what may be fun for me might be boring for them. The episode explains why preparing them for challenging situations ahead of time will reduce the chances of misbehaviour.

Joseph's twins hugging

I have to say, I truly enjoyed Family Man's parenting strategies. I'm no expert, but I can confidently say that I've been using these techniques for a couple of weeks and have noticed a drastic improvement with my girls. While correcting misbehaviour, it’s important, at the same time, to reinforce love and care. I know that life can get busy, but this single dad highly recommends taking time to absorb each short episode. Why not live a happier home life?

I received compensation and/or product in exchange for my honest review, which was written in partnership with Today’s Parent, sponsored by Movember. 

This article was originally published on Feb 18, 2021

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