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3 Tips For Fathers To Bond With Their Children

SUMMARY

Spend more quality time with your children. You have to learn to be more nurturing even though it may seem awkward at first. These three things will help you to get started building your relationship and the bond with your children:

  1. Encourage – your children need a steady stream of encouragement. They want to learn and meet your approval. Be sure to give them plenty of it when it has been earned.
  2. Love – not only do your children need to be provided for but you must also tell them that you love them. They need to hear the words. This is quick, painless and easier to do the more you do it.
  3. Mold – you have a large responsibility. It may be the largest you ever have. Start teaching your children early how to be more responsible. Manners and cleanliness go a long way.

All three tips require you to spend time with your children. That’s how you bond. One on one time is best.

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“A FATHER should be his son’s first hero, and his daughters first love…”

What you may be facing as a new father is what do I do with this little person? She’s so innocent and dependent on me. I don’t want to hurt her with these big clumsy hands. I don’t want her to feel any pain. I hate when she cries and I can’t figure it out how to help. In those cases, a call to my mother helped or I performed a quick search on Baby Center (www.babycenter.com).

That website kick started a lot of my research. How to deal with rashes. How to get her to eat. How to help her learn to crawl. Why is she making those noises? The site saved me a lot of stress. You’re probably still going to be confused. You don’t have the maternal instinct. I’m going to help with a few things today.

It’s good and natural for you to feel helpless at times. Remember, there’s no owner’s manual. What I’ll offer here today is only a small aspect of being a new father but it will help to have thought some of these things out if you haven’t done so already. For the day-to-day, changing of diapers and soothing her when she cries and what kind of food can she eat type of questions, check out Baby Center.

Three things that I want to discuss with you today are encouraging, loving, and molding. These three things will help you to build a closer relationship with your young child from toddler to teenager. For the sake of this article though, I’m focusing on the toddler.

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1. Encourage

Children are constantly trying to be helpful and seek approval from their parents. They will create things and want to show you what they have created. They’ll try to emulate your actions because they want to be like you. Emulation is the ultimate and sincerest form of flattery.

Sometimes we are tired from work or the stresses of the day when our children come bounding into the room ready to show us what they have been doing that day. They want us to know about their day. We’re not in the mood at that moment. We just want to relax for a minute.

I ask you to shelve your excuse and give your children some attention. That’s a great time to keep establishing that open line of communication. As teenagers, that line of communication will probably shrink as your children have friends and peers that they want to spend more time with.

Cherish these moments while you have them. That means you muster up the energy to give your children the attention that they want and that they deserve. No you may not be able to go hours with your children because you’re tired and need your rest. But, it’s in your and your child’s best interest to spend some quality time together.

That quality time should be filled with encouragement. Tell your children how proud of them that you are for what they have accomplished that day. Watch how their faces light up.

One thing I learned about the youth in jails, is young men in jails and prisons rarely heard words of encouragement from their fathers nor were they told by their fathers that they were proud of them. That goes for young women in jails and prisons also.

Don’t fall into that crowd. If you’re in your child’s life, let them know that you’re proud of them and praise them for their accomplishments. They will learn to love themselves and are fueled by the attention that you give them.

2. Love

Just as those young men in jail hadn’t heard words of encouragement, they also hadn’t heard the words, “I love you, son” from their fathers. Sure, buying clothes and groceries and paying the bills show that you care about your children. You may even feel like that should be enough.

The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t take a lot of energy to tell your children that you love them. So, do it. Tell your children that you love them. I’d suggest you do it often. When you’re children reach school age, you won’t know what your child is facing every day as they attend school and face the world.

The world can be scary. You’re an adult so you already know that. You have seen your share of sad and scary moments. You’re talking about a child that doesn’t even know how to care for himself yet. If it hears those words I love you over and over, he may not know exactly what it means but you’ll be creating a habit that of saying it that will do your relationship well.

As a caveat, the more that you say ‘I love you’, the more that you will notice that you do. I don’t know how that works but it’s been true for me. Don’t forget that children spell ‘I love you’ T-I-M-E. That means in addition to verbally telling them that you love them, you must also physically telling them by spending quality time with them.

3. Mold

Yep, you have are in the unique position of having to shape and mold a life. What will you do with this opportunity? Will you teach your child to play sports? Play instruments? Draw and paint? Build and create? Heal and love?

I hope that you will be prepared to do any of them. Be aware of how much influence you put on your children. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to live vicariously through your children. I played baseball and wanted my son to play also. My father played and my great grandfather. All of us had opportunities to go play ball at higher levels. None of us did.

My son fell in love with basketball. I didn’t push him to change sports. If he likes basketball then he will play basketball. I had to learn how to help him in that sport. Your young child isn’t at that level yet but you’re still molding him. “Pick up your feet when you walk.” “Clean up your tray when you finish eating.” “Say hi, bye, please, thank you, and bless you.” “You cannot bite the other kids.”

You may not think that your child is listening or understanding what you’re saying. That may be true. What is also true is that they are doing what you say because you have been saying it for so long and demonstrating it repeatedly. Children pick up on patterns. If they get what they want then they will repeat the pattern.

I’m not sure how children get to being extremely wild. I guess some are strong-willed like that. We definitely run into people in our lives who just will not grow up. It has been my experience that starting children early with the simple tasks of cleaning up and basic manners is best started early. Begin it now. Take pride in the fact that you are molding a young life. Prepare him for a life of achievement in whatever direction that God has planned for him.

QT is important

Once again, molding your children requires spending quality time with them. You have seen this repeated in all three areas. Encouraging your children requires quality time. Loving your children requires quality time. Molding your children requires quality time.

It’s true. Most new fathers don’t know what to do with young children so they try to stay out of the way. They will let a woman take over the role of quality time. Don’t be that father. Spend the quality time. Learn how to be nurturing. You’ll be glad that you did.

I’m no expert but I can see that my daughter has some good things going for her. I’ve learned over the last couple of years that laughter does so much more to connect us. I love seeing her smile and when she tries to make me smile. As an infant, I spent so much time trying to make my daughter smile. As she’s getting older and begins to communicate better, she tries to do the same for me. It’s awesome!

She puts on hats and glasses and walks goofy. She plays games trying to get me to chase her. Or she says, “Daaaadddaa.” I look at her and she just smiles. Mission complete. I can’t help but to smile. I say that to help you see that the time you invest into nurturing your child will come back around to you in due time.

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One more thing…

We are fathers and we often think we know everything. I for one know that I don’t know everything and have no problem saying “I don’t know”. But, the next time I’m asked a similar question I will have an answer. I demonstrate growth by continuing to grow. The Baby Center (www.babycentre.com) was such a big help as I learned how to be a single father with a young child. Here’s a video on how to bond with your child that they have put together (http://www.babycentre.co.uk/v25018783/dads-how-can-i-bond-with-my-baby-video). Check out the video and start bonding, encouraging, loving, and molding your child as only a father can.

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