As a father or father-figure, you are very important to your child’s development!
Unique contributions that fathers and father-figures make:
- Using toys in unconventional ways, which teaches creativity and independent thinking.
- Speaking in different tones than mothers, which helps your child develop many communication skills.
- Asking more questions of your children, which encourages use of more words.
- Taking part in “roughhouse” play with your child, which helps your child:
- Develop large motor skills.
- Take more risks and learn independence.
- Explore and solve problems in a physical way.
- Learn emotional control and manage aggression.
Always be sure to stop roughhousing if your child gives you signs that it is time to stop or gets overstimulated.
Children often love special dad-time:
- Use one-on-one time to help you connect.
- Make a point of helping your children feel special.
- Talk with your children even if they are just starting to speak. Practice listening to them even if they are just making sounds.
- Take your young children on outings like the grocery store or local restaurant.
- Go on mini adventures with your children, like a trip to a park or a nearby library. If a conference or another event offers child care, bring your child along.
- Be creative with your time. Spend meal time together with the TV off. Take your children out for a special treat if you suddenly have more time than you expected.
- Start teaching your children about values at a young age. Practice manners like “please” and “thank you.”
- Read to your children. When you do, you help your child have stronger speaking skills.