Creating An Unbreakable Bond: Helping Your Man Connect with His Child
Remember the first time you saw your child’s face? During those first 30 seconds after giving birth your emotions ran the gamut from relief, to overwhelming joy and then instinctively to nurturing mommy mode. From that moment on the bond between you and your child has been unbreakable. And your bond with your child has grown stronger with every bottle that you’ve given, every diaper you’ve changed, and every homework problem that you’ve helped to solve.
But what about the bond between your child and her father? Is it as rock solid as you like? For many men, nurturing and bonding doesn’t come naturally. There’s many a daddy that looks at his newborn, toddler or even school-aged child with wide eyes and wonders “What am I suppose to do with this little person?”
If you want your child to have an unbreakable bond with her father, you may need to subtly step in and encourage the bonding process. Here are a few tips to strengthen the connection between your child and her father:
Delegate the responsibilities. Bonding doesn’t just happen magically. It’s a byproduct of repeatedly being around someone until a connection is made. A great way to create a connection is to delegate some parenting responsibilities to your child’s father. If your child is a baby, encourage him to feed the baby, give the baby a bath and rock her to sleep. The process of caring for the baby, looking at her and touching her will start to create a connection. The same is true if your child is older. Have dad take on the responsibilities of bath time, reading bedtime stories or anything that will make him spend time caring for his child.
Create dates with daddy. Some men don’t connect with their children because they don’t have enough alone time with them. With mama there as a buffer, it’s easy for him to avoid interacting with the child. So schedule some “dates with daddy” into your child’s calendar. For your baby, you can simply have dad watch the baby while you go out. If the child is older, have her dad take her to the playground or on a walk. Be careful not to make the daddy dates just for special occasions. Make them a regular part of your child’s life. Soon you’ll see both your child and her father looking forward to these times together.
Affirm his skills. Although your child’s father would never admit it, fear may be holding him back from connecting with his child. While many men feel confident in their ability to all sorts of things, they have a secret fear that they don’t have what it takes to be a good father. If you think that’s the case, try a little affirmation. Make statements like, “Honey, will you rock the baby to sleep? She loves it when you sing to her.” or “Can you help her with her math homework? You’re so good at math, and she seems to catch on every time you help.” Hearing these statements regularly will give his daddy-confidence a boost.
Your child is blessed to have both a mother and a father in her life. With just a little encouragement from you, your child and her father can share an unbreakable bond.
Did your child’s father have a hard time bonding with your child? What did you do to encourage bonding?
Words: Yolanda Darville
Yolanda Darville is a mom, writer, and blogger focusing on inspiring and empowering women. Read more of her writings here on her personal blog.