Jun 19 , 2023
All of us (parents, caregivers, or individuals that have friends or family with kids) must acknowledge the importance of father-child relationships as a society. The growth and well-being of a child can be greatly impacted by the relationship between a parent (mother or father/male figure) and a child. This article will discuss the importance of relationships between dads (or any male figure) and kids and the advantages they can have.
Why is father bonding important?
The main advantage of father-child relationships is that they give kids a sense of stability. Fathers actively involved in their kids' lives provide a feeling of constant stability that help kids feel safe and secure. And it is proven that children who feel safe and loved by their dads are less likely to experience anxiety or hopelessness, which results in better mental health outcomes.
The connection between father and child can benefit a child's cognitive growth. According to studies, kids with involved fathers are more likely to do better in school, succeed more academically, and have higher problem-solving abilities. This is because male figures tend to adopt a different parenting style than moms, offering a unique perspective that could help kids thrive in many ways.
Bonding with one's father further encourages the development of healthy relationships. A positive father-child connection increases a child's probability of having healthy relationships with others throughout their lives. Their fathers teach them vital communication skills, empathy, and respect for others, which can result in deep connections with friends, lovers, and co-workers.
What's in for the fathers?
Fathers genuinely value father-child connections. The experience of being a father can be immensely satisfying, and the act of developing a relationship with one's child can provide one with a sense of enjoyment. Fathers who are active in their kids' lives report higher levels of fulfilment and happiness in their lives.
How do dads bond with their children?
Fathers are no longer viewed as merely supporting their families financially, detached emotionally, as they formerly were. Fathers today actively engage in creating close relationships with their kids, which is essential for their education and overall development. While dads tend to be the family's disciplinarians, they also play a big part in nurturing their kids' emotional intelligence. Here's how:
The little things make all the difference: hearing Dad's voice while still in the womb, reading, and playing games.
It takes time: developing a healthy and strong relationship with your little one is done by doing little steps constantly. Caring for and communicating with your little one daily will help build a powerful bond.
Balanced parenting all the way: Both parents being positively involved in a child's life by giving both mothers and fathers time to bond is beneficial for both the child and the caregivers.
Dad's bond is just as unique: While mom's relationship completely differs from dad's, it's just as special and important as the first one. They might miss their kid's first steps or other milestones, but that doesn't mean they can't develop a strong bond just by experiencing life together.
What are the best ways to bond?
There are a few actions you can take as a father that will significantly improve your bond with your child:
- Plan to spend time with your child alone regularly doing something you both find enjoyable. Going for a walk or playing some games together may be enough. The key is to offer a place where you and your child can connect and bond.
- Show curiosity about the interests and passions your kids have. Show your youngster that you care about their hobbies, whether in music, athletics, or the arts. Attend their events, offer guidance, or even take up some of their hobbies yourself.
- Become more aware of parenting techniques and children's growth. Plenty of resources at your fingertips could help you be a more informed and successful parent, such as books, blogs, podcasts, and even influencers.
- Be bold and ask for help when you need it. Parenting can be difficult, and reaching out for support is okay. If you need help or direction, consider connecting to other fathers, joining parenting groups, or talking to specialists.
What are the primary roles of a father?
A role model! Children (either boys or girls) look up to you. They watch you daily, so you should be conscious of your every move, word, or action.
Educator! There are lessons and skills a father is best at giving to their child. It can be from learning how to ride a bike, treat people, make good decisions, or build a friendship. Dad's effort will help build a healthy, balanced adult.
Motivator! You are your kids' best coach, friend, and counsellor! Motivating little ones towards healthy growth and reaching their full potential is crucial. You can see the potential and weaknesses and encourage them, set clear expectations, and be realistic about their growth (of any type).
Companion! Once your kid sees you as a companion, you will see them thrive and reach their full potential. Spending time together, creating space for safe exploration, mistakes, and wondering, gives them a chance to be themselves around you and find what their strengths are and how to manage their weakness or overcome them. You are the person they look up to, their advisor.
Be their greatest FAN! Offer them on a daily basis compliments, encouraging, and positive feedback. It is well known that children look for their father's attention and approval. While criticism is often necessary, being your kid's biggest fan is far more important. They need your support to better themselves and enjoy activities, whether they win or lose.
What are the three rules of fatherhood?
It's about more than the amount of time spent together but rather the quality of it. While watching a 2 hours animation with your little one is good, playing a 30-minute board game or reading or exploring nature will weigh more on building a healthy, strong bond.
Stick to the commitments! It's getting harder not to miss a family dinner, soccer game, recital, or playdate. So be realistic instead of breaking promises and not building on trust and secure relationships with your kids.
Direct and Indirect interaction is equally important! Direct bonding activities involve actively engaging with your child, like changing diapers, dressing, feeding, playing, and cuddling. Indirect interactions are those where a father is available nearby but not directly interacting with their kids, like doing household chores, eating, going to doctor appointments, doing errands with the child, or participating in discussions about care.
Always keep in mind that fatherhood is an adventure. Putting time and energy into your relationship with your kid strengthens your bond with them and encourages them to develop into happy, well-rounded people.