3 Tips for Dads to Create a Stronger Bond with their Kids
09 Apr 2021
When it comes to fathers, an adage that often pops up in discussions goes:
“A dad is the anchor upon which his children stand.”
And what a beautiful expression this is!
The bond between a father and his kids plays a critical role in their life. A father starts seeing things in life from his kids’ perspective, tries to get ahead of their problems, and generally is a figure kids look up to when they feel lost or scared.
While every individual seems to have a father, not everyone has a figure they call dad! Being a father is not just biological. It is also highly emotional.
This is why when it comes to self-esteem, resilience, growth, and development, dads too must play their part in establishing an emotional bond at every age.
Here’s What Science Says About It
Dads play a crucial role in the emotional and cognitive development of children.
Active involvement of the father in the house contributes towards building a bond and helps the children experience life satisfaction, positive peer interactions, better relationships with family and friends, tolerance, understanding, and high regard for safety.
While this may seem like a pitch for advertising the benefits of an active dad, it is just a small reminder about how much more a dad can do to change their child’s life forever.
Many dads seem to feel overwhelmed at the thought of building a bond with their children that goes further than the shallow depths of financial and physiological needs. Not every dad has the patience and passion for understanding the psyche of their child.
But if you start making little efforts since before the baby has seen the earthly life, you can quickly win the #dadnumberone medal from your little ones and their mom too!
We have collected a few great tips for dads to start building a strong relationship with their loved little ones. From infancy to adolescence, these tips work magically at every stage of your child’s life!
1. Beginning Bonding Before the Birth
Apologies for the alliteration, but we truly stand by it with conviction.
Babies in the womb are capable of identifying voices. When daddy talks, sings or reads to the baby, they will recognize your voice as a constant in their life. You will register in their mind as another source of care and comfort that is not the mother but still of equal significance in their life.
If you have not been able to say hi to the baby before birth, then you can take up kangaroo care. Often prescribed to premature children, this technique is equally useful for all children. All you need to do is slide the baby under your shirt and give them skin-to-skin contact.
You can gradually start taking more responsibilities like diapering and bottle-feeding, burping, and clothing the baby. You can find compelling resources on meaningful bonds between fathers and kids on Dadistry as well.
It is truly a matter of spending quality time with the baby to build a strong enough connection to persevere during their teenage.
2. Listen More, Lecture Less
When your kids are little, it is a lot easier to take up the language of imperatives.
Go to bed.
Finish your vegetables.
These phrases tend to enter your daily vernacular. But as your children grow older and start gaining independence, you need to start paying a lot more attention to what they have to say.
Instead of making all the decisions for them, you should begin to guide them towards making better choices every day.
You would only want the best for your child, but you must let them make the choices to know what is best for them. You must listen to their problems and daily encounters instead of lecturing them about the ideal way to eat or forcing them to wear the formal dress to church on Sunday.
This approach will help your child develop critical thinking skills to rescue them when you are not physically present in their class, office, or even own homes.
If they want a pet, help them care for it. If they want to wear the Batman costume for lunch, tell them how it won’t be the best choice in the restaurant’s playhouse.
3. Let Your Child Know Your Touch
Human touch is essential for interactions and associations. The human body’s internal reward system is running on chemicals that charge upon contact with fellow members of our species.
Oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine all work together to give us the giddy feeling of joy when we hug people we love.
And nothing works better than a confident pat on the shoulder or a loving embrace from a father. You may be wondering about teaching the merits of good touch to your child. In an ideal case, the purity of affection from dads explains good touch from males.
Your high fives, hugs, kisses, piggyback rides, playful wrestling, and cuddles can all play a beneficial role in helping your child understand what is right for them. However, the tactile nature of your relationship with the child must depend on their own choice and preference.
If they don’t want raspberries to be blown on their stomach, you don’t do that. This way, every daughter and son can learn the basic ethics of consent from their dads. After all, it helps the children build healthy physical boundaries too.
The goal here is to make the child feel secure and reassure them of your physical presence.
Set a Good Example
There are many things a dad can do to build a strong relationship with their children. From spending quality time together to bonding over shared interests, these things are often discussed on parenting forums.
A reality about parenting that we mostly don’t speak about is that children learn everything from their parents’ behavior. Fathers influence the unseen factors of a child’s development, like how they react in a stressful period. Or how they treat their romantic partner helps your child know how they should interact with their own significant other from the same gender as you.
Remember the role you play in your child’s life. You are most probably the first and most revered hero in your child’s life, so make sure that you live up to that status through your attention, affection, and presence in your children’s life.
You are the best role model for them!