Being a dad

Spending quality time with your child can strengthen your relationship and boost your child’s development.

There are many ways for dads to turn everyday moments into special time with their child.

Be a role model

Your child will learn how to relate to others through their interactions with you, so make sure you explain correct behaviour and praise them for politeness and cooperation. Offering a choice, rather than giving an instruction can also boost your child’s independence and encourage responsibility.

  • Try to explain things and how they work. You don’t have to know all the answers, but simply pointing out things around you and discussing different ideas with your child can promote brain development.
Talk and listen

One-on-one time with your child can lead to key learning and development moments. Listening to you read and talk can help promote your child’s language, literacy and brain development.

  • Telling stories or jokes, and sharing your feelings, can help your child learn and can bring you closer.
  • When listening to your child, stop what you are doing and give them your full attention. This creates a golden moment and can boost your child’s development and self-esteem.
Have a bit of fun

A sense of humour can go a long way when reading or explaining things. It can help keep your child interested, help them to understand or remember, and can help their wellbeing as they grow.

Rough and tumble playtime can be a great learning experience for your child too. This gives them the opportunity to test their physical capabilities and learn how to manage emotions like anger, excitement and the desire to win.

  • Make sure you keep games within your child’s ability (not too hard or too easy) and set ground rules for safe play.
  • Make sure they understand, when someone has ‘had enough’ it is time to stop, and when a bump or collision happens, wait for things to calm down and make sure your child understands it was an accident before starting again.
  • Encourage your child to keep trying when they ‘lose’ and allow yourself to be overpowered or caught sometimes so your child can ‘win’.
Separated dads

You can help make your child feel safe and secure through reliable interactions and staying involved. Keep in touch with your child through regular phone calls and messages or by attending school and sporting events. Make sure your child can count on you by being reliable around pickups and drop offs.

You can make your home their home by giving your child a room of their own or somewhere safe to keep their things. You might have different rules or routines at your house, which can provide stability for your child when staying there. Be supportive and ensure your child feels comfortable if they choose to stay at their mother’s house or a friend’s during your access time.

Image Dad dropping off their child to daycare

Published — 02 September 2016 Last updated — 28 August 2018

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