Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dads and Bonding

Few things make me smile more than seeing a dad walking around town pushing a stroller or carrying a baby.  I know that he and his kids will have a close relationship and that his wife is getting a much needed break.  Speaking from experience, it's important for dads to spend special time with their kids.  Knowing your dad wants to be with you forms a closeness every child needs. 

Consider the following ideas:

Do something your child wants to do rather than trying to swing the activity in your favor.

Do something that allows you to have meaningful conversation. Video games are fun, but don't just sit them on your lap and pretend it's bonding.  That's you getting your video game fix. 

Take them to the park.  They love it and it's free.

Go to the zoo.  Listening to your kids' observations about the animals is such a joy!  I'll never forget going to the zoo when my son was 3 and laughing because his favorite thing were the birds that were flying around, which you can see anywhere.  He did enjoy a lot of the other animals too though.

Do something active together.  If you want your kids to be healthy and active, you have to set the example.  Hiking, biking, running, baseball, tennis, and swimming will make some great memories with them.

Color with them, play a game, or build a puzzle together.  If you have lots of rainy days like we have in the Northwest, indoor fun is a must too.

Look at the stars.  I read a story about someone whose favorite memory was just lying on the grass with their dad and talking. 

Years ago I attended a parenting class and we learned that teenage girls especially need to have a close relationship with their dads.  They are less likely to get into trouble. 

What are some memories you have with your dad?

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