Article Published in Curtin University E-newsletter | Faculty of Health Sciences | October 2017
21st century fatherhood can be a challenging, rewarding and complicated business. Changing expectations of how fathers participate in family life mean that many dads are more intimately involved with their children than previous generations, and new research is demonstrating just how important the father-child connection is to family functioning and wellbeing.
When boys or young men experience mental health difficulties, the response from Dad is really important. It isn't easy for most of us to know what to do or say in such situations. Headspace has put together some tips on how Dads can connect with sons and help them get the support they might need.
Have you wondered what Infant Massage was all about?
Post Separation Overnight Care of Children 0-3 Years
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A free evening event for men expecting their first child
Meet up at a relaxing venue and a chat about the changes ahead
Event arranged by appointment for 3 or more men
Shared overnight care of infants after parental separation - An academic and social debate in stalemate
It is generally agreed that the important issue here is what is best for the child – not parent rights (see my posts on the comparable issue of the increasing use of child care). The parenting role does not come with rights - it comes with responsibilities. The demand for parental responsibility is highest at a child’s time of greatest vulnerability - around birth and infancy. It is imperative that at this vulnerable time others uphold the rights of the infant.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
John C. Maxwell
As parent we cannot not influence. Frustrating sometimes isn't it! The good news is that when we make mistakes, we can show our disappointment and demonstrate that we are sorry for our actions. Being sorry for mistakes is an essential lifeskill our children need to see modelled. And the sunny-side of parenting is that forgiveness and acceptance is something you can practice too. Children do it well!
As parents we are not only leaders; we are learners too. And some of the best life lessons are taught to us by our own children.
Here is an ancient text (source unknown) that has helped me to become a better parent.
Watch you thoughts, they become your words
Watch your words, they become your actions
Watch your actions they become your habits
Watch your habits, they become your character
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny
Behaviour 10 Top Tips
Here is one big fat juicy strategy that cuts to the chase. Its my all-time favourite.
1. Model what you want to see.
Managing strong emotions, empathy, sharing, gentle touch, manners, humour, playfulness, and perseverance – these are some of the life skills we want to see our kids develop. They don’t happen in a vacuum. All children need to see these life skills modelled – they can’t grow something they haven’t seen, and wont see the value of the skill if they don’t experience the benefits. To make it an everyday behaviour, it needs to be everyday for the parents too. Social skills are learnt through the day-to-day experiences of family members rubbing up against one another in the home.
Naturally a high-energy kid might find it hard to use their voice or hands gently; or a child with vivid imagination may lose themself in play and forget to take turns with a toy. Each child is born with a unique temperament and talents that make some skills more challenging to develop than others – that’s diversity. It makes sense that each child will naturally express their skills with varying success, but all children need an example to follow.
“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others,
it is the only means.” ~ Albert Einstein
For other tips on behaviour, download a free eBook titled
Behaviour 10 Top Tips