One of the major responsibilities you have as a father is to help your child learn to make choices. Whether it is what trousers to wear today, or when to cross the road, or how much effort he makes with his school work. Life is full of choices, and some of those involve risks. The question is when and if you voluntarily allow your child to take some risks.
Every day you take calculated risks, whether it is driving a car, or coming down the stairs with your hands full, all of which your children are witness to. They then will at some point, take their own decisions in risky situations. By encouraging your child to take responsibility for her actions and her life, it will help her to understand the potential dangers that it can hold. So when and how can you start doing this?
You could start when they are 5 or 6 years old, when you go swimming together. So long as she knows how to swim, you could let her swim a few feet away from you, without armbands. Your child will love the independence it gives her from you and start to understand that she is in control of what happens to her. You can do this even if she is a little unsure of herself. It will make her appreciate the risk she is taking. If you go for a walk, and pass a tree, maybe you can let your child climb it a little, with you underneath of course.
If you encourage your child to try lots of things, through his choices and experience he will learn that some things are more dangerous than others. Let your child take calculated risks, but always make sure he understands the dangers and consequences.
It doesn’t matter whether your children are Toddlers or Teenagers, they will always try to test themselves against their siblings. Finding out who is the strongest, the most dominant and the smartest, is the natural way, and is an integral part of their childhood. As they grow older, until they are adults, they will continue to test themselves against each other. But this can be very tiring on you. So what can you do to lessen the stress?
Throughout your children’s upbringing, you have been able to use distraction, and it has worked on very many occasions to get you out of awkward situations. Whether it was your Toddler sulking, throwing a tantrum or refusing to eat. It will still work, irrespective of how old they are, and is one of the best strategies you can use as a parent. So when they start fighting, this should be your primary weapon against it.
Distracting them could be you telling a silly joke, or suddenly making a really loud noise, but try to resist the urge to start screaming and shouting. What you really need to do is to catch their attention. Break their concentration on what they are doing, so they forget what they were bickering about, in this case fighting. It will soon blow over, calm will be restored and your nerves can relax again…………….until the next time. Don’t we just love our children!
The relationship between a father and his children is one of the two most important links in the whole of society. The other one of course is between a mother and her child. The dynamic and contribution of you, as a father with your children, underpins the whole fabric of society.
You may be unsure how to act when your child is born, or if your relationship with your child’s mother breaks down at some point, you may feel you have failed as a father. Well you haven’t, and you remain one of the two most important people in your child’s life. Whatever the circumstances you find yourself in, never give up on your role as a dad.
So many ills in society can be traced back to problems in the family unit, and in particular to poor fatherhood skills, or even an absentee father. So whatever your situation, you must continue to have a strong, loving and guiding influence on your child throughout his entire childhood. Of course, if his mother really loves him, which she does, she will allow you to be the best father possible, even if you don’t live under the same roof.
A close and loving dynamic will benefit everyone. You, your partner, society in general, and most of all, your child. If you are going to get the most out of being a father, you have to be prepared to take on all the varying tasks it involves, however mundane or interesting, in every aspect of your child’s life. If you do this, it will be the most rewarding thing that you have ever experienced, and will set your child up beautifully to go out into the world and make his own mark in it.
Can your child really teach you anything as he grows up, or should it always be the other way round? When we first have children and decide to become parents, we are complete novices at it. We have no experience of handling our own baby, and make no mistake, it is completely different from dealing with other peoples children. So really we know nothing, and we are starting with a blank piece of paper!
So the moment your child is born is where you start the learning process. Even as you do the first feed, you baby will be teaching you what he likes, and the best way to feed him. This extends to bath time, and many other daily routines, and how he communicates to you the best way of playing with him.
Then as he gets a bit older, he will often be subliminally teaching you, and in fact will teach you a major life skill which will help you for the rest of your life. Your child will teach you to keep everything in life in perspective.
It doesn’t matter how stressful or tiring your day has been, when you walk into your house, and he jumps into your arms with that adoring smile and cheeky look in his eyes, you will realise that there is much more to life than just working, or chasing the money.
When we have children, we have an ideal as to how we want to bring them up. We remember what we liked about our own childhood and what we didn’t like. Then we resolve not to do what we didn’t find very pleasant when we were growing up. Now we have our own children, we believe, and feel able to make informed decisions about how we raise our own children, in relation to how we were brought up, but it is not so simple…..
Times change, and what worked really well for your parents 25 years ago, is sometimes completely irrelevant today. But there are a lot of things that still work today, just as well as they did in years gone by, such as learning to be polite and greet people when you meet. But then it also used to be that children ‘should be seen and not heard’. No longer! And thank goodness. Children can contribute so much to their parents lives, and the interaction between them and you is a vital part of constructing a mutually rewarding and meaningful relationship with them as they grow up.
It used to be acceptable for a child’s mum to do all the work raising him, and a dad would go out and earn the money. Not any more, if you are not involved fully as a dad, then you are really missing out. When you get back from work, or a day away, give your partner a break and immediately get ‘stuck in’ with your child. Play with him, change his nappy, feed him, wind him, or help with his homework, but make sure you do. Don’t be a ‘distant father’, there in thought but not deed….. Always remember, your child needs a fully involved dad like you, just as much as he needs his mum, and he will value that though out his entire life.
Maybe you have a question you are looking for an answer to, and you haven’t been able to find a satisfactory outcome. So please ask me, whether you are a mother or father, or a parent to be.
The purpose of this Blog is to share ideas, and offer tips and advice on day to day situations that arise, specifically for a Father. Handling the relationship with your children and helping to improve its quality is vital, and time which is very well spent.
I don’t claim to know all the answers, but what I can offer is a different perspective perhaps, and a possible solution to a situation which troubles you. So please contact me and suggest topics to write about, or ask me very specific questions.
I guarantee I will answer every one that I receive. I also hope you are enjoying reading my Blog. Any feedback that you would like to give me is very welcome. Thank you.
As a Father, taking your child to school in the morning can be more than just good fun. Your child will be all excited about the new day, and is virtually always in the most responsive frame of mind. He will not be tired, and will be full of the joys of spring. He will be such good company and you, as his father, can share these wonderful moments with him.
This high quality time then becomes very important in terms of the closeness of your relationship together, as well as being enjoyable. It allows both of you to take advantage of a time when there is just the two of you together, when you are both very positive about the day ahead. Little things, like spotting a wild bird, becomes a little treasure you can both share.
He will be so excited about his day ahead, and you can tell him all about what you are going to be doing. He will love that and will be genuinely interested, and you will love seeing how he responds. Your child will never grow bored of hearing what his Dad does at work. This is very high quality time for you both, and will be remembered fondly in the years ahead.
If at all possible, try to walk to school, as this allows you to spend really good time together without having to concentrate on driving or riding a bike. You can be totally focussed on each other which will reinforce your relationship with each other.
I used to walk my children to school when I was going on to the train station afterwards. We would talk about everything and nothing. But to this day, they all remember what good fun it was, and really appreciate the fact I made the effort to do that with them.
Let me know your experiences of taking your child to school.
Very often there are times when your baby just won’t settle. It could be that he is slightly under the weather, or has trapped wind, or is simply having a grouchy day. But you still need to be doing things around your home, and can’t afford to just to stop everything.
There is a way to continue getting things done and at the same time, calm your baby down. I discovered this purely by accident after a few months, and wished I had known about it earlier. Your baby will feel soothed if he is near you, and can feel your warmth and smell, and feels some gentle motion? How can you do this, you might ask, and still be getting things done?
Lie your baby along your forearm, it doesn’t matter which one. If you are right handed, he is better on your left one. His head should be towards your elbow, while he is lying face down along your forearm. You should then hold onto his upper leg quite firmly, but not too hard. Safe enough for him not to have any risk of you letting him go.
You are then ready to start doing things which need to be done. Your baby will be happy, as he is moving with you, feeling you, and can see what is going on. You will be happy, as you will be less stressed, and feel able to be getting on with things that need to be done.
Hopefully this will help you. Let me know if you try it.
What can you do when you are stuck in traffic with your toddler? You know how tense it can become as your child starts getting boisterous or screaming his head off. So you need to invent some games to amuse him and stop him getting bored.
A good game to try is “the snooker game”. This can take anything up to 30 minutes to play, and will keep your toddler very interested. The objective of the game is to spot cars which are the same colours as the balls on a snooker table.
Most of the colours are easy to spot, so you start off with red, and go all the way through to black. However, have you ever noticed just how few yellow, brown or pink cars there are on the roads? In fact there are virtually no pink ones at all, so the game can really go on for as long as you want it to. Your child will be enthralled.
A variation on this game is spotting makes or types of cars. You get to choose the make to be looked out for, and whoever spots one first gets to choose the next one to find. This too can go on for as long as you need it to.
Try them, they really work, and tell me what you think.
No conversation is a bad conversation with your child. The discussion may not always be comfortable, and you may be embarrassed to use certain words in front of them. Nevertheless, the fact that you are talking so openly with each other, however awkward it feels, it is a good conversation to have.
Don’t be afraid to discuss with your children such topics as your daughters first period, or when they should start having sex. No subject should be taboo, particularly for a father. You are just as important to them as their mother, so it is right that everything can be discussed and spoken about with both of you.
Choose your moment to start the conversation, for example, at supper when you are all relaxed, or just chatting in the kitchen. Relate your own experiences to your child, as it will make you more normal and show her that you know what you are talking about.
By doing this, you will ensure that no barriers to communication are ever put up between you. This is very important, and you will see that during the teenage years, when there is so much self doubt going on in your child’s head, you become an even better Father to them.
The more open the communication between you and your children, the higher the quality of relationship you will have with them. It will then be even more enjoyable for you both. It will also give you more credibility with them, as they get older.