Tips for being a Top Dad
These days, being a dad is about much more than being just a breadwinner. Recent studies have shown that as a father, you have a vital role to play in the development of your child. So how can you go about being a super dad to your new baby?
First, you may want to consider taking paternity leave if your company offers it. The latest reports from Fathers Direct, a UK charity, show that choosing to do so allows new parents more time to adjust during the transitional period after baby comes home It also means you are more likely to come back to work able to focus and perform better. Taking time off to readjust and develop new family routines ensures that when you get back to work, you will be less distracted, tired, or likely to take sick leave. This, of course, will be music to your employer’s ears.
Research also shows that choosing to get actively involved in your child’s day-to-day life during pregnancy and sharing equally in parenting duties fosters a closer bond with your baby. This secure bond enables you to grow as a dad, enjoy a better quality of relationship with your child, and ultimately have a positive influence on his or her life.
A study conducted by the University of Lancaster also suggests that dads who take the time to care for their children’s needs, affirm and praise them, and openly show love and affection can dramatically affect their child’s future prospects. Not only are their children more likely to perform better in pressurised situations such as school exams, but they also have better language skills and are less likely to get into trouble with the law. This is possibly because dads tend to use less baby talk and are generally more concerned about discipline, achievement, and educational progress.
Furthermore, you are likely to grow as a person from your experiences as a dad. A report published by the Fatherhood Institute suggests that parenthood can help fathers, especially younger dads, to mature emotionally and develop a stronger sense of social responsibility because of their new role.
What’s more, pitching in with childcare duties will also improve your relationship with your other half. Your relationship as a couple often takes a knocking during the early years. During this period, it is easy for you to feel left out and for your partner to resent having to do the lion’s share of the parenting. Any emotional disconnect between you and your partner can have an enormous impact on your child’s life. This is especially true if you end up separating in the future. It is worth determining where pressure can be relieved before the situation reaches a boiling point.
Changing your routine and choosing to make more time for family has its own rewards. It is perhaps worth giving up that extra round of golf. Being more hands-on is likely to win you praise and appreciation from your partner. It might even mean she will have some energy left over for a few extra-curricular activities!