Helping Dads Connect to Kids

Bohm Wildish: Divorce Advice – Mothers are typically known for being able to emotionally connect easier with their children. Whether that’s due to socialization or gender makeup is up for debate. Fathers sometimes struggle to connect with their children, and being a single parent or trying to parent without Mom there can make it even more difficult. About dot com recently shared ten ways that fathers can connect with their children. We found them useful and wanted to share them here:

1) The element of surprise: Kids love surprises! If they don’t expect to have an especially fun day and all of a sudden they are… you’ll be surprised how thankful they can be and how they may open up when they realize what effort you went through to surprise them. Plan a fun activity without telling them. It can go a long way.

2) Dates with kids: Plan something with just one of your kids one-on-one. Time with them alone can create lasting memories and deeper conversations that wouldn’t happen around other people. Go to Home Depot and craft. See a movie. Hike a nearby trail. Go to a fun diner.

3) Be at their level: Realize what stage of life they are at and respect that. You may want to push them to grow up faster or encourage them to do childish things that they have matured past… so notice where they are at developmentally and meet them there.

4) Play: We all know that many kids can connect via computer games easier nowadays than they can in person. Try to steer them away from that a bit. Get them outdoors, playing their favorite sport, building a fort or a tree house. Encourage your little girl or boy to play dress-up.

5) Shared hobbies: This may come naturally to you or it may not. If it doesn’t… that’s ok. That doesn’t mean you can’t be close. You may need to fake interest in something your child likes at first, and you may start to enjoy it yourself. Or you’ll at least enjoy that you’re bonding with your child over your shared hobby.

6) Coaching: If your kid likes sports, consider coaching them. It’s one of the best ways to be a mentor, coach and father.

7) Serve: Helping children learn the value of service is an important role as a dad. And it’s also a great way to make memories and bond over a shared experience. Your child may realize how blessed he/she is to have the life that he/she does. And thankful for you for providing it to him/her.

8) Adventure: Go on a hike. A drive. Explore a new area. Take your kids somewhere they’re unfamiliar with. Go the beach at night.

9) Creation: Craft. Create something in the kitchen. Cook. Making something new is a great way to bond.

10) Talk: It’s a simple pleasure. This is one of the hardest things to do for some people, although it’s a very natural human interaction. Put in the effort. It isn’t always easy and your kids won’t always reciprocate the effort. But the more effort you put in… the more likely it will be that they will eventually come around and talk back. (In a good way…)

California Divorce Guide – Discover More about Divorce and Kids