With Father’s Day just around the corner, it is the perfect time to reflect on the father-child relationship. Dads play an incredibly important role in the lives of their children. From a young age, children look up to the fathers as their primary male role model.
However, for those raising children in fast-paced cities like London, it often becomes hard to set aside quality time for bonding. Busy workdays alongside packed school schedules, after-curricular pursuits and weekend playdates leaves very little time for one-on-one father-child time. It is therefore really important that families make a conscious effort to prioritise this relationship and find innovative ways to nurture it.
Here are a few of our ideas on ways to help dad bond with the kids.
Reading is the greatest form of escapism and something that is not utilised to its full potential in our modern technological society. Setting some time aside each day to read together will not only help the father and child take a break from the noise of modern society but can also help stimulate the child’s mind. For those raising a bilingual child, this may be a great opportunity for dad to focus on one of the languages and communicate with the child accordingly to create a special bond.
Regardless of whether a child looks like they are going to be a future athlete or they are more of a bookworm, sports provide a great basis for nurturing the father-child bond. Whether father and child are actively involved in playing sport or they watch sport together, it’s a great opportunity to spend some quality time together. Teaching the child the rules of the game and seeing them become passionate about the game will no doubt bring dad loads of joy.
Bonding over food is another great activity for father and child to make memories. Cooking is a life-skill and teaching a child how to cook something simple and yummy such as cupcakes or cookies is bound to keep them entertained. Seeing their faces light up with satisfaction at the end result of their hard work will be priceless. Keep it simple, let them be messy and who knows you could have a little chef on your hands in the future.
So this may seem like an odd suggestion but think about it from an alternative perspective. Working parents have to dedicate some of their weekend leisure time to chores but how about using it as an opportunity to spend some extra time with the little ones.
Take them out into the garden and teach them how to tend to the plants, let them have a bit of fun with the hoover. Not only will this provide an opportunity for the father and child to interact but it also helps to teach the child responsibility, by creating a positive association with housework rather than them thinking of such things as drag and something to be avoided.
OK, so here is one that can’t be done every day. But taking a vacation provides families a chance to get away from the usual hectic schedules. A change of environment can work wonders. For those raising a bilingual child, this can also be a wonderful opportunity for them to get increased exposure to the minority language. It’s not just the holiday itself that is the bonding experience but perhaps dad can work with the kids to research and plan the holiday. This will not only build up the anticipation but also allow them to have some knowledge of the place they are visiting.
Bear in mind that children are quite simple creatures and their expectations won’t be nearly as high as you may think they are. For them it’s not always about doing an exciting activity but more about spending quality time with dad. Fathers should play to their strengths and try to plan activities around passions that they can potentially pass on to their child. An adult’s enthusiasm for anything, be in a sport or gardening, will be contagious and doing it with a child is sure to be a great bonding experience.
For more parenting tips or advice on bilingual education explore our website.