When we talk to fathers they often tell us they are trying to be supportive but not sure how to go about it. Mothers they tell us that they are often not getting the support they need.

Support is a cycle involving Solicitation (a request), Enactment (giving support) and Recognition (completing the cycle). 

Ff you are needing support your role is to do steps 1 & 3. Ask for the type of support you need and then follow that up with some feedback.

If you have the experience of asking for what you need and getting this from your partner then you will try harder for longer to get this right the next time.

Your partner also needs to have the experience of getting it right or they will probably stop trying.

You could save this on your phone or put it on the fridge.

Step One

Ask for the type of support that you need?

  • Physical Comfort – Hold me
  • Emotional Support – Talk to me
  • Self Esteem – Tell me I’m doing OK
  • Information – I need advice and information
    • Help me find what I need to know
    • Give me your thoughts
  • Tangible support
    • Do this for me please
    • Get this for me please.

Step Three

Talk to your partner about the support you got.

Did you get what you needed?

  • Acknowledge their effort.
  • Describe how it helped or how it could be better.

Thank your partner for trying?

  • This encourages them to try again next time.