Fathers are often neglected when it comes to their role in parenting. I believe that fathers play an equal role in the upbringing of their children. Fathers also find themselves vulnerable and doubt their parenting styles and techniques. It okay to doubt yourself. Especially if you are a first-time father and have zero experience with babies.
Fathers are often neglected when it comes to their role in parenting. I believe that fathers play an equal role in the upbringing of their children. Fathers also find themselves vulnerable and doubt their parenting styles and techniques. It okay to doubt yourself. Especially if you are a first-time father and have zero experience with babies. Or you don’t know how to cope up with your kids and their energy levels after a tiring day at work.
These tips and tricks will help you out in building a pure and strong bond with your kids and become a better father to them. Remember that a dad is the biggest influence in the child’s life and you can really impact the good and the bad through your dad effect.
1. Be Present and enjoy your time with your kids
It might seem to be an easy job to be present with your kids as they are in front of you most of the time. However, children need 100 percent of your energy. Not just a part of you that is shared by other activities.
Not just the fathers but moms are also guilty of not being present while being present with their kids. By trying to do everything at once you are not fully present to either of the things whether it’s checking an email, checking a news update, catching up on the score, or playing with your kid. When you don’t show your 100 percent presence to your kid, your kid will probably show you agitation as a response. Most probably, you will see a reflection of your own behavior in them. For example, if you are on your phone all day long and you ignore your kids when they come to talk to you. Then your child will also be more interested in their own screen-time and not you.
Even if just 15 minutes, be actually present to your kid by doing the following:
- Turn away from all the distractions like your phone, watching the tv, checking email, etc
- Maintain eye contact with your kid. As much they want your presence, your kids want to assure you that you are looking at what they are doing.
- Listen and respond to your kids. They want to tell you something and hoping for you to have a positive response to it.
- Show your kids that you are enjoying your time with them
2. Accept the change of parenting and embrace it
The transition to fatherhood is a big change. The kids will change the norms in your life. Your relationship with your partner will also evolve. Your new life will require you to be more involved and zoned-in with your partner and your baby.
All those changes happening in your life might put you off for some time. But understand that the universe has selected you to be a father for the next generation. Although, it is a big responsibility and comes with lots of pressure, guilt, and compromises. But in the end, it will all be worth it.
To accept and embrace your new role, don’t wait for any ques to chime in. Take up the tasks like you normally would. Start with little tasks like soothing the baby, changing the diapers, taking the baby out for a walk, and other primary tasks for the baby.
Soon enough, you will be in sync with all other tasks and will be taking care of your baby more than before. This would not only help your relationship build with your kid, but it will also make you respect your relationship with your kids much more.
3. Practice what you preach and be a role model
Kids are the best imitators. No joke! The kids will literally do everything that you do. Your kids will learn the norms of life from you. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that your kids are a mini-you.
This might become frustrating at times, but what your children see you doing is exactly how they are perceiving the behaviors and attitudes for living a life. Actions matter more than words. There would be nothing more confusing for a kid than a hypocrite parent who does not follow what he says or asks the kids to follow.
Be a role model and be the person you want your kids to be. If you want to teach your children to respect others then the exercise starts with you. Just telling the kids to respect does not hold much weight. You have to respect others first to set an example for your kids to follow.
4. Good parenting starts with being a good husband/partner
100 percent true! A good husband becomes a good father. Men who don’t follow the typical gender role approach and appreciate the shared-responsibility approach are more successful in being a great father than the conventional ones.
This point is more of a mindset than a trick. You should think of your role in the household as a team player. The men who conceive the household duties as an extension of being a husband and a dad and to run a smooth household chore are more likely to be involved in the childcare and daily house routines.
Building a positive and supportive environment in your house is also a great way of showing love and respect for your significant other.
Just treat your significant other and your kids with respect, love, and care. Automatically, the environment of your household will become positive and nurturing.
5. Show affection, words are not enough
As I mentioned earlier, actions matter more than words. Where you need to tell your kids that you love them. It is equally important to show your love through actions.
Your tiny actions can solidify the fact to your kids that you love them and care for them.
- Tell them you love them
- Praise your kids when the praise is due
- Hug and kiss your kids
- Cuddle with them
- Spend quality time together
- Laugh at their jokes
- Play silly games with them
- Listen to their stories
- Hold their hand while walking
- Get involved in their daily routine
- Ask for their help even if you don’t need it
- Cook and enjoy family meals
6. Follow your instincts AND your child’s cues
You will come across so many parenting styles. Everybody has their own way of parenting. Also, remember that every child is different. What might work for one, might not work for another. Or what might be working for one family, might not be as fruitful for your family.
Learn about the different parenting styles and techniques that may have become obsolete. Follow your instinct and the cues of your child to create your own parenting style which is suited best for your family dynamics. Whatever approach you may come up with, always remember that the parenting style needs to be flexible. You can’t just stick to one absolute style for the end of time.
Flexibility is the key here. Be mentally ready that you probably will have to fix a few things in your “perfect” parenting technique as well.
7. Don’t be scared to have a little fun
Your kids will outgrow you before even you know it. Have fun with your kids and make sure that you create some amazing memories with your kids. Memories that bring happiness and comfort every time your kids think of you.
There are so many fun activities you can do with your children. Although, note that watching tv, going to the movies, or going to the mall is not a memory worthy activity. Plan something that involves your full attention with your kids. Something that stimulates joy and a strong bond for you and your kids.
You can use some of these fun activities to try with your kids:
- Do DIY projects which interests your kids
- Plan outings more often
- Celebrate little things and not just birthdays and anniversaries
- Make a family book club
- Play “messy exploration” or “a spy with my eye”
- Surprise your kids with gifts, favorite food, etc
- Break the rules like sometimes you can randomly treat your kids with ice cream after bedtime.
- Make your home a fun zone
- Build a can-do attitude in your kids by providing them with some creative ideas
- Make house chores feel like a fun party. Like laundry party and sorting dishes.
8. Earn the right to be heard
Listen to your kids first if you want your kids to listen to you. Moreover, it’s not just about listening, it’s about understanding. The problem your kid wants to talk about might be tiny and petty for you but the kid, its huge.
By listening and understanding your kid you will establish trust and will create a safe place for your kid to say what they feel and mean. Once your kid is done explaining, try to help your kid in the best way possible. Try telling them how you went through such a situation and what they should expect in the future. Effective and efficient communication can be extremely nurturing for your kid’s mental health.
There are no two ways about the fact that you love your kids and you will continue to love and protect them even when they are all grown-up. Parenting is never a smooth sail. There will be horrible days and there will be days you will cherish forever. No matter what life throws at you, work on building a relationship that your kids can value, respect, and protect.