Being a good Dad matters. Research shows that children with fathers who are loving and actively involved in their lives grow up to be happier, healthier and better able to succeed in school and life.
Dads face is a tough job, whether as a fulltime parent, single-parent or with partial custody. Fathers face unique parenting challenges when raising young children. Often times Dads can feel like a secondary player who is just a parenting side-kick to mom. Or like their primary job is to be the family financial provider. But being a provider of emotional support for your children equally important.
So how do Dads be form a strong bond with their kids?
Spend quality time: Give your children 100% of your attention when engaged in an activity with them. Put the phone or iPad down. Shut off the TV. No computers. Read a book, explore the backyard, engage your child in a favorite hobby of yours. No matter what you are doing, your child feels special and loved when you give all of your attention to him.
Show them some love: Don’t be afraid to cuddle. Little boys and girls love to snuggle in close. This physical touch actually helps your child’s brain develop. It is calming and makes her feel secure and safe in her world.
Rough House!: Age-appropriate rough-and-tumble play has been shown to boost school performance, and learn self-control, fairness and empathy. Not to mention that it is also FUN! Tickling, wrestling, chasing, and startling are all wonderful ways to engage in play with your child. It is also a great workout, which is good for you and your kids.
Looking for more tips for improving your dad skills?
Coaching and support for being an effective father is available in our community. KidsFirst in Roseville offers parenting classes and supports for dads and moms. Golden Sierra Life Skills in Auburn offers training to fathers to help them become the best dad they can be. The class, which is provided by a grant from First 5 Placer, is called “Men, Infants and Children” and teaches fathers about conflict resolution, healthy nutrition for kids and effective parenting skills. For information on classes and resources available, contact Tom Grayson at 530.887.9245.