Tips For New Dads
Being a dad is the most rewarding, challenging and important job you will ever have.
The way we behave with our kids will have a big effect on them, on what they do, how they feel about themselves, and how they turn out. Studies have shown that children whose fathers spend time with them and show that they are interested in them do better at school, are happier and more confident and have higher self-esteem.
Many fathers and soon to be fathers have lots of love and good intentions to offer their families. They have an idea of what a “good father” is and the type of experiences and relationships they would like with their children. However, like all new jobs they may want to be “good dads” but may be uncertain how.
Children need fathers who:
- Spend time with them
- Encourage them
- Show them love
- Listen to them
- Are interested in them
- Are realistic in their expectations of them
- Are fair and firm
- Respect their feelings
- Help them feel safe and protected so they may explore, learn and grow
Children also need fathers as role models/mentors or teachers to help them:
- Learn about relationships
- Learn about masculinity
- Learn about sexuality
- Learn about important life skills
What can I do?
- Slow down - put things into perspective and make time to enjoy being a dad to your baby or young child
- Get involved right from the start. Sing, read and talk to your baby regularly and make the bond early. Your relationship with him/her will be better for it
- Make time and talk with your father and other fathers or expectant dads about their experiences of fatherhood and how it changed their life
- Have a look at the other priorities in your life and consider whether they are compatible with your new life and your partners expectations of fatherhood