Father Figure

The role of a father is vital. Dads make kids feel good. They encourage, guide, explore, give adventures, fix things and give great cuddles!

Check out Plunket’s handy tips and continue to be the great dad and role model that you are to your kids.

Show your child they’re special by spending time together. Play, talk, listen and cuddle

Actions often speak louder than words. Spending time with your child is sure to show them how much you love and care for them. Cuddle up for their favourite bedtime story, let them tell you about their day or simply play their favourite game with them.

It takes time for kids to learn – be patient with them – and yourself!

It’s great to encourage children’s learning at any age, but being patient is the key. Kids take time to learn, especially when mastering new skills like walking, talking, eating, or drawing. Remember that it’s okay if they don’t get it the first time around and don’t forget to be patient with yourself as well – teaching isn’t easy!

If your child is misbehaving, try and think why.

Are they hungry, tired, bored, or unwell?

A misbehaving child can look different for every family. For some, it’s a full-blown, kicking, screaming tantrum; while for others, it could be a quiet sulk in the corner refusing to eat their dinner. In all situations, it’s important to stop and think about why they’re misbehaving – is there something wrong? It could be that your child behaves this way when they are tired, so an earlier bedtime may help.

Tell your child when you’re pleased with them

Sometimes children might not know that you are pleased with them unless you tell them. It’s also a really good idea to tell them why you’re pleased or what they’ve done to make you feel happy. It’s a great boost to a child’s confidence to hear about their positive achievements, no matter how big or small.

Kids need a routine – but expect that some days it just won’t work

Having a routine can sometimes be much easier said than done, but things like making sure your kids have a bedtime that’s the same each night definitely helps when it comes to the day-to-day busy lives of young families. There are some days that your routine just isn’t going to happen. This could be because of holidays, visitors in your home or changes at school, so remember that even though routines are helpful, it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t work all the time.

Have as few rules as possible – just stick to them

Rules are great, as long as you and your kids are clear on what they mean. Having too many rules can be confusing, not only for children but for adults too. If
you have just a few clear and simple rules that your whole family can stick to, then everyone knows what’s expected.

dad time, play time  

  • Plant something that grows, like a tree or a seed. Make a wish and enjoy watching it grow in the years ahead.
  • Have a water gargling contest or gargle to your baby.
  • Teach your child one of your “tricks” – a party trick, your secret way of doing something, or a skill of yours that they might not realise you have!
  • Let them dress you and style your hair.
  • If you have a young baby, show them something they haven’t discovered yet, such as how to blow raspberries or pull a funny face.
  • Find your all-time favourite song/tune. Play it to your kids and talk about why you like it, and when you first heard it.
  • Hop on Youtube and find a snippet of your favourite show from when you were a kid. Play it to your kids.
  • Visit a place with your kids that you have never been to.

For more information on parenting and the services Plunket offers, visit www.plunket.org.nz

For more information on parenting from a father’s perspective, visit www.diyfather.com and www.fatherandchild.net.nz

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