Moms play an important role in the family. They’re the nurturers, the caregivers, and the ones that kids often turn to when they need help. However, dads are critical to health, happiness and wellbeing too. Dads are just as important as moms. So how can you make sure your child knows they can depend on you?
Responsive Play – Dads are great for playing with kids. However, it’s important that this play time is on the child’s terms – meaning that it needs to be supportive and responsive. If the child is getting tired throwing the ball, dad needs to recognize this and modify the game or change it. Children can feel pressured to live up to dad’s expectations. Let loose and just have fun.
Be Positive – Children are more likely to turn to you for advice and support if you can be supportive and positive. When they’re struggling with something, strive to let them handle it unless they ask for help. Rather than solve the problem for your child, show them how they might solve it themselves. Offer positive guidance, rather than criticism or by telling them what they should do.
Relax a Little – Dads often view themselves as the disciplinarians. They don’t tolerate any backtalk, disrespect, or disobedience. While it’s not good to let your child walk all over you, consider relaxing a little rather than jumping on your child and reacting to their bad behavior. Let them know that the behavior isn’t appropriate. Believe it or not, children standing up to their parents is a positive thing because it shows that they’re confident in themselves and secure in their relationship with you.
One Size Does Not Fit All – Realize that your child is an individual, and you cannot raise two different children the exact same way. By knowing your child and being responsive to their temperament and unique needs, they’ll intuitively know that you are a parent they can depend on and turn to in a time of need.
Finally, remember that children learn from watching your actions more than they learn from listening to your words. When you model that you are someone who is reliable and trustworthy in your relationships, they in turn take that in and remember it. When your child has a problem, an issue they want to discuss, or they’re in need of significant help, it’s good to know that they can depend on their dad.