The father plays a significant role in a child’s emotional and physical development. The father’s role during child rearing helps the children to develop an independent, responsible and positive attitude towards life.
Before the Child is Born
The role of a father begins when the mother of his child is going through the manifold changes physically, mentally and spiritually.If the father is actively involved during this period,a special bond can be developed between the father and the baby.
“Babies hear sounds from the outside world at 16 weeks gestation,” says Deena H. Blumenfeld, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. “They also recognize their parents’ voices from the moment they are born. If father sings to the baby while baby is still in the womb, baby will know the song.”
Once the baby is born, small acts that involve the father actively participating in simple tasks, such as carrying the baby in his arms and sleeping with him or her can have a major impact on the father-child bonding. The baby can associate the smell and voice of his/her father and feel safe and comfortable. These type of feelings can help the baby build a wonderful foundation of self-esteem and belongingness.It is the role of the father to keep the mother of the baby happy and comfortable postpartum, as research says that postpartum depression can set in if the mother feels lonely and neglected.This in turn can affect the well being of the mother and baby.
Nourish the personality of a child
Children are quick to grab the amount of involvement a their father shows in nurturing them. His mere presence and small acts of care can define how a child will develop as an individual.Remember,kids are never too small to understand your emotional connections with them.They observe and learn from their parents.
My Father didn’t tell me how to live.He lived and let me watch him do it.”
-Clarence Budington Kelland”
Providing a Safe Space
Safety and security needs hold a lot of weight in the need hierarchy theory as per Abraham Maslow. A child who feels safe and secure with his/her parents will develop a feeling of trustworthiness and will be a confident individual.
Emotional and Social Education
One of the most important role of a father is to provide the child a code of conduct that can serve as a moral compass.Being present and active in your child’s emotional and social education can make a difference. This is a challenging task as the father has to follow the moral compass too,but it can surely build balanced individuals.It is rightly said that habits and attitudes are formed in the family and they can have a long term impact on an individual.Children who face emotional and social neglect may suffer from a feeling of insecurity, loneliness and depression, which can result in school failure, drug abuse etc.
The paternal figure helps to establish limits and norms and helps the child to establish patterns of social behaviour.
Tips to establish a wonderful father-child relationship
- Talk to your baby while the baby is in the mother’s womb.Pray aloud with your spouse for the baby’s wellbeing.The baby can feel your presence.
- Help your spouse in taking care of your newborn.You can change diapers,help with bottle feeding, playing with the baby.
- Take care of your toddlers safety and take your toddler out for a walk.Get down to the floor and play or dance with your toddler.
- Tell your children often that you love them.
- Develop good bedtime rituals. Read a book,sing a lullaby or do stargazing together depending on the age of your child.We enjoy praying together hand in hand every night and we look forward to that special time everyday.
- Teach your kids about morals, faith and spirituality.
- Let you children do household chores with you. Don’t feel guilty,it will make them independent and responsible.Click here for a list of age appropriate chores
- Eat meals together as a family.Switch off that TV and all other screens. Yes, no screen time during meals. Have healthy family conversations rather.
- Respect children’s choices. Modern parenting allows the kids to learn by doing given that they are safe. Don’t dictate their choices lest they will be stubborn.
- Go on a father-son/daughter date.Yes, enjoy a walk together or simply dine out of shop together. Meaningful conversations during this date can have a positive impact on your bonding.Watch the film ‘Courageous‘-about father child relationship.I just loved it.
Well,I don’t want to be too preachy but a good parent child relationship is the foundation for raising better individuals and thus having a sustainable society.
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