Ties that Last a Lifetime
Take a few tips from Mr. Daddy, an expert on all things “dad,
father, and daddy”. This veteran father has been through it all, with six kids
ranging in age from 6 months to 25; he has learned the ins and outs of bonding
with children at each stage in their development including infancy, toddlers,
tweens, teens and even adulthood! Mr. Daddy has remained a hands-on father while
juggling a busy career and is excited to share his “tips and tricks” for building
bonds with the little ones you love.
First things first, Mr. Daddy knows how tough parenting in
today’s world is. The amount of time a new daddy or mommy spends with their
children can sometimes feel limited due to work, travel, etc. Take a bit of
advice from an expert to build a long-lasting and unique bond with your child.
Soldier: The best way to truly bond with an infant is to offer your full
attention. Make it a rule that the time you spend with Baby should be all about
Baby – bottom line. For instance, if you’re holding Baby and happen to notice a
new email on your Blackberry, don’t be tempted to read it or reply, in fact: Step
away from the Blackberry and focus your energy on baby! Remember Dads – during
the infant years, it’s quality over quantity, so dig deep, and show Baby you’re
there by making eye contact, singing and playing with them!
Gaga: Okay, so you can probably skip the “goos” and “gaas” and go straight
for words, phrases and sentences. Talking to your little one is important on so
many levels. The age of your baby shouldn’t matter; they will love to hear your
voice no matter what you’re saying. Whether you’re washing dishes, changing a
diaper, eating a meal, or riding in the car, it’s important to talk to your
child explaining what is going on and why.
Hello, I Say Goodbye: Well, in actuality, you will say both, hello and
goodbye. When you leave for work always say goodbye and let your children know
when you’ll be back. Many parents think it may be disruptive to the nanny or
babysitter if they interrupt to say goodbye; however, in order to build trust
and strengthen developing bonds, you should always say hello and goodbye when
you’re coming and going.
Face: It’s so important for a developing baby to be able to make eye
contact with their parents. Babies are fascinated with life, and love to look
at you straight in the eyes. Staring your baby in the eyes is extremely special
since your eyes can relay so much information – sometimes even more than words.
So hold your baby and gaze into his eyes, lighting up your face with silly
emotion and having fun.
Beyond Boundaries: Building consistent boundaries for your baby is about
more than setting up a perimeter. Being consistent in the boundaries you set
helps strengthen bonds and builds a foundation of trust. Children need to know
their boundaries are consistent. If you say you are going to do something, you
have to follow through regardless if that leads to a reward or a punishment.
Parents often forget that when the toddler has a time-out, so does the parent.
In short, setting boundaries and then sticking to them will develop trust that
lasts a lifetime.
Need is Love: When it comes right down to it, love comes from the building
of trust and bonds, and love is one of the strongest emotions we feel. Being
both physical and emotional, it’s incredibly important to show your child love
as often as possible. Hugs and kisses are great, but you can also tell them you
love them and miss them and can’t wait to get back home to them when you’re
Exploring: Get outside and learn about things together. When you’re a
child, everything is new and worthy of exploration: look at the sky, the moon,
the sun (not for too long), cars driving by, flowers, gardens, bugs, dogs,
cats, sounds, and more. Learning and exploring together will require you to
talk with your child while showing undivided attention and sharing in a common
love for our world. A walk should not include you talking on your blue tooth
while pushing the stroller down the sidewalk. Leave your phone at home, or, at
least, turn it to silent.
Bonding with your baby while being
a working dad can seem like a struggle, but with time, you will soon find, it
does take a little extra effort but it is always worth it.