The five tips to help dads bond well with their kids

June 1st, 2008 - 8:46 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, June 1(ANI): Building a strong relationship with kids comes more easily to mums than dads, after all the link between mother and child begins nine months sooner in utero. Whereas, in case of dads, the strong bond is developed over time.

Now, social worker John Dietrich with The Menninger Clinic in Houston has come to daddies rescue to help them build a strong relationship with their little ones with his five tips.

Many of the dads I talk to are so deeply involved in their careers that when they do have time to spend with their kids, they are just not present, said John Dietrich, LMSW, a social worker for the Professionals in Crisis program at The Menninger Clinic in Houston.

Kids pick up on that at an early age. They know when you are not listening or when you are distracted. One of the primary complaints I hear from children of the professionals I work with is that while their dads are physically present for them, theyre not there emotionally, he added.

The five tips are:

1. Schedule time with the kids - Days, especially weekend days, can fill up quickly. Make a commitment and stick to it advises Dietrich.

Put the time down on your calendar. Make sure there are no other obligations that might pop up and if something does come up, let it wait. Make your kids the priority, says Dietrich.

2. Get rid of the distractions - Dietrich recommends turning off cell phones and BlackBerry wireless devices during your scheduled time together.

Its too easy to become distracted by incoming text and e-mail messages. Turn off the gadgets and turn your attention to your kids, he said.

3. Focus on the moment - Acknowledging that it can be difficult to stop the to do lists from generating in the brain, Dietrich says it can be a learned behavior.

It takes practice to mentally be there and not back in the office. If you find your mind wondering while spending time with the kids, steer your attention back to the moment at hand. Just like with anything else, if you practice it enough, it will soon come naturally, Dietrich added.

4. Validate your childs needs - Things that may seem unimportant to a parent, may have great importance in the mind of a child. Dietrich suggests stating back to your child exactly what you are hearing them say.

Repeat what they have said to you. You might say something like It sounds like youve had a difficult day and it is okay to be upset, said Dietrich.

5. Show your emotions - Dietrich believes touch plays an important role in parental relationships.

A lot of men in our culture fear that emotional side of ourselves. We see it as a sign of weakness even with our kids, Dietrich said.

But there is danger there if we cant find ways to show our kids how much we love them. It creates a disconnection. While words can be powerful, combining I love you with a hug can make a huge impact on any relationship, he added. (ANI)

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