Dads are playing more of an active role in the lives of their children these days. What are some simple ways they make more meaningful connections every day? Here are five tips for turning good parent-child relationships into great ones.
Spend time with your kids
It’s not about the presents but the time well-spent with dad that kids tend to cherish most. Even the smallest gesture—like asking how school is going or reading a bedtime story at night—can go a long way in showing a child you care. A girl who spends quality time with her father, for example, grows up feeling she deserves respect from boys. Next time you’re at the dinner table, try turning the TV off and really focus on the conversation with your children. See how good it feels.
Teach good self-esteem
This is a tough one, because you don’t teach self-esteem by saying but by doing. If you’re confident with yourself, your kids will embrace this confidence for themselves. Show your kids you value them. Show interest in what they’re passionate about and praise and encourage them for the things they do.
Stand by mom
Even if a man disagrees with his wife, it’s best to save that opinion for private. Don’t fight with her in front of the kids. How you treat mom affects a child’s self-esteem. If it’s okay for you to disrespect her, then your kids will feel it’s okay to disrespect others. Mom is your partner. Always work as a team when dealing with family situations.
Keep up the 50 cent words
One recent University of North Carolina study showed that fathers may shape language development more than moms. Fathers don’t typically “talk down” to children as much as moms might. Instead, they use larger words. The study found a link between fathers who used colorful vocabulary with their two-year-olds, and more advanced speech at age three—even though these fathers spoke less often with their kids. Mothers didn’t seem to have as big an impact. It was talkative dads who gave the kids an edge.
This may be an obvious one, but a hug or even a gentle hand on a child’s shoulder sends an important message of love, and it gives your child a sense of security that he or she is supported and accepted.