September 04 2013

In celebration of Father’s Day counseling and coaching psychologist, Sarah Calleja from Action Psychology shares her thoughts on how good dads can become great. Move aside mums; it’s daddy’s time to shine…

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 3.04.29 PM

What does the research say these days about the importance of fathers?
According to a report entitled Fathers and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being – “Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections.” GO DAD!

The best dad’s play with their children – too easy!
‘Dads who play’ have a positive impact on their child’s social, intellectual and emotional development. So when dads toss their babies in the air and catch them (before they fall), and engage in other stimulating activity, their kids learn how to regulate their feelings and behaviour and how to connect with others through warmth and laughter.

Great dads learn with their kids.
Kids whose dads are hands on with their learning have better educational outcomes. Today’s dads can use their kids as an excuse to use some of the awesome educational apps with their kids, or justify an upgrade to the Xbox! Playing together is a great opportunity to explore the safe use of technology. There is a lot of research that shows an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement. Toys for the boys can take on a new meaning as dads connect with their inner child, and their actual child.

Inspiring dads have a magic touch!
When your kids see dad’s role modelling a tender, flirty, sensual and respectful relationship with their mum, they learn the kinds of positive and appropriate touching – and language – that occurs between loving and consenting adults.

Hero dads are the partners who co-parent and don’t compete.
Dads who have ‘manned-up’ role model self-advocacy and good negotiation skills in relationships with all family members, so their kids can learn by example rather than tedious instruction.

Exciting dads don’t give up their life passions, they share them with their kids.
They don’t need to stop their lives to parent – they include their kids in what they do. Take them to the footy or go fishing together, cook, bike ride or take that emergency trip to Bunnings – create a ‘mini-me’ DIY expert!

Dads are power brokers.
Girls who spend quality time with their dad, grow up expecting respect from boys. Boys who spend meaningful time with their dads grow confidence in their masculinity.

The best gift for dads’ kids is ‘being present’ and in the moment.
It’s a gift that keeps giving when dads benefit from exclusive and exceptional opportunities to share moments, such as the first time your child sees their first butterfly.  To experience special moments just as my husband did when our daughter first became aware of, um… some gaseous escape from her bottom to which she exclaimed, “Daddy, my bum talked!” Priceless!