Involved dad

How can you become an Involved Dad?

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An involved dad plays a vital role in the emotional and physical growth of children.

Parenting was never meant to be easy. I mean to be wholly and solely responsible for another individual for everything they might need for the next few years is an idea intimidating even to seasoned parents, let alone fathers.

Fathers due to their unique style of handling babies and communicating with them offer a different view to the baby, as opposed to the mother. By eight weeks of age, infants can tell the difference between their mother’s and father’s interaction with them.

This dissimilarity in itself provides the much needed diversification of interactions and communications and unknowingly builds a framework or a repository in the back if the children’ s mind about how different people in their lives play different roles.

This understanding and the perspectives they draw are critical as children grow up and face the real world.

The Involved Dad
The Involved Dad

Speaking about fathers specifically and based on what I have been involved in we are uniquely different from the way we treat babies. For instance, we will tickle more, swing the baby more, wrestle with them, carry them on our shoulders or carry them as a hay sack and also become their punching bags.

A recent research has also pointed out that while mothers’ interaction is pivoted around care taking and more parenting activities, the fathers however bond through activities based on sports, general play and other physical activities.

“Play is the language of childhood: it’s the way children explore the world, it’s how they build relationships with other children,” says Paul Ramchandani, University of Cambridge

Also what is noted independent of the mother’s relationship with the child is that having an involved dad also means that the child performance better overall and has heightened sense and cognition of the world around.

Kids also learn from fathers that if they do not behave proper, their actions will have consequences and they need to do well in school to progress to good college or secure a good job.

These actions also teach kids that physicality and aggression are not OK and they learn to exercise self-control.

Basically the realities of the world out there are taught through fathers as they prepare themselves to step into it.

Involved dad
Rizwan Shaikh and his daughters in their home in the Wadala slum of Mumbai, India; he hopes three-year-old Zafinah will become a doctor

Girls and boys who grow up with a father are more familiar and secure with the curious world of men. Girls with involved, married fathers are more likely to have healthier relationships with the opposite sex because they learn from their fathers how proper men act toward women. They know which behaviors are inappropriate.

They also have a healthy familiarity with the world of men they don’t wonder how a man’s facial stubble feels or what it’s like to be hugged by strong arms. This knowledge builds emotional security and safety from the exploitation of predatory males.

Boys who have the presence of their fathers understand how to channel their physicality and aggression in constructive ways.

They from a very young age learn the importance of family and how to keep it safe, they understand from fathers about male sexuality and its valid behaviours and they also pick up certain nuances that help them figure out tricky situations.

Involved dad
Takeshi Masuma who works as an accountant in Tokyo, takes his daughter for karaoke, in his little spare time (Credit: Gabriele Galimberti/INSTITUTE)

As kids grow up, their interests blossom they will gradually start doing things on their own. In other words, there will be less time for fathers to be together with their kids.

In such scenarios, fathers need to make more efforts to stay involved and be an active part of their children. Check out some ideas on being a good father

Dads need to actively come up with conversation topics that span across the activities they are part of and ask them about the highs and lows of the day.

It can however be argued that while most dads intend to be more involve din their child’s life, the workplace where they spend most of their day time, has not kept the pace with the same.

If they are part of a specific sport or an activity, take a keen interest in that by giving them some tricks or hacks to enhance their performance in them.

This will also establish more bonding between father and children as now they have a trusted mentor who always help them out to perform better.

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