I was recently interviewed for a great article in Mashable on how to get and take paternity leave. I give four specific ways we can advocate for ourselves and get the paternity leave we need and deserve. Here’s a quick excerpt, and you can read the entire piece by clicking here or on the picture.
Scott Behson, professor of management at Fairleigh Dickinson University and author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home, says that instead of hiding family needs or worrying about being seen as insufficiently committed to work, expectant fathers should find a pro-active way to advocate for themselves and their families.
Behson knows that every employee, regardless of gender, may feel some anxiousness about their colleagues viewing leave as a vulnerability or even an opportunity. Some of that may reflect reality, but Behson also believes workers often underestimate their workplace.
“I think if you build up a reputation as a valuable employee over time, four weeks is not going to torpedo that,” he says. “Recognize that you might have more allies than you think.”
Building these relationships before departing and strengthening them when you return may help alleviate anxiety when transitioning to and from parental leave.
Behson urges fathers to remember the benefits of parental leave. Not only does it help foster gender equality at home and in the workplace, research has also shown that fathers who took at least two weeks of leave were much likelier to be involved in their child’s care nine months after birth. Additionally, longer leaves have been associated with higher parenting satisfaction.
“It’s really important that men as well as women are afforded the opportunity to bond with the children and to learn their new family dynamics,” says Behson. “It’s good for kids, spouses and families.”
What are your thoughts on how to get and take paternity leave? Any experiences to share? Let’s discuss in the comments.
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