How to be a real Dad
The relationship between Child and Dad is unique, because of this there is no rule book or one size fits all advice, but attachment has a huge part to play.
We often learn our parenting skills from our own Father’s, think for a moment, were you a happy child, teenager and young adult? If the answer is yes, then maybe your father got it right for the most part, even so there may be some things you would choose to do a little differently.
Many people have issues with the style of parenting they received from their father, for many people it was unsatisfactory and left them craving for better. Many of the children who access therapeutic sessions because of a lack of positive parenting have shared the following as reasons for their unhappiness.
Time – Children need to build a relationship with both parents, traditionally Mother’s are the primary carer which can leave the Father at an immediate disadvantage.
Spending time with a child once or twice a week is all that some absent fathers can expect, but making this time as positive and of good quality will be worth it.
If a father has unlimited time with their child, the same rules apply, a father’s role is to teach, love and value their child, to help him/her feel safe, secure and special at all times..
Boundaries – Children require boundaries and rules, they should be fair and firm, contrary to what children say, they actually feel secure in the knowledge that they know what is OK and what is not ok.
If you are unsure of what boundaries and rules are suitable for your child and situation, talk to a parent worker from one of the many agencies that can help with the role of parenting, or you can talk to me.
I hope that these two pieces of advice begin the process of helping you feel like a more effective father and go some way to creating a more positive father/child relationship.
Paul Parkin – online counsellor and life coach.