Parenting

Healthy Father-Son and Father-Daughter Relationships

Being a father is never easy and you probably want to have a close bond with your child, but also need to teach them and allow them to grow and develop in a healthy way. A father’s relationship with their child can be quite complicated, but it is also an extremely important relationship to foster.

Father-Son and Father-Daughter Relationships

Let’s look at some ways that you can develop a healthy relationship with your children.

Pay Attention

Sometimes we get busy with our own lives and supporting children financially that we forget to pay attention to how the kids are actually doing. It is important that you show interest in them and help to guide them along a healthy path.

Part of this is recognizing when their behavior is a little off. They may have worsening grades or are not eating healthy. They may also develop insomnia or sleep too much. Some of these issues can be a sign of developing mental illness. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, you can always find a children or teen therapist at BetterHelp.

Paying attention to your children also means that you should try to develop and encourage shared interests. Sometimes, this is much easier said than done because sons and daughters do not always share much in common with their father. However, there is usually something that you can find that you are both interested in.

It could be something as broad as food or music or something as narrow as a specific football or baseball team. Once you find something, it will become easier to bond with it. Just have an open discussion or go to an event like a game, concert, or class.

Some fathers who do not enjoy video games sometimes have a difficult time connecting with technologically active children. However, if you try to play a game that looks somewhat interesting, you may find it is more enjoyable than you think, especially when you are playing it with your child.

Be a Role Model

While sharing interests and bonding is important to a father-son or father-daughter relationships, it is also important to be a good role model. Setting a good example is a great way to teach your kids how to be responsible and how to manage their emotions in a healthy way.

A child will watch the ways that you interact with other people and how you deal with conflict. It is good to remember that everybody has difficult times when they may not act as mature or healthy as they should.

While you may feel like you set a bad example during those situations or moments, you can still use it as a teaching moment and talk to your son or daughter about the things you did wrong and what you should have or could have done right.

Communicate

It is important to talk to your kids. Doing so let’s them know you are supportive and interested in them. It can also teach communication skills and help you work through conflict among other things.

In addition, it is good to have conversations about touchy subjects including sex and relationships, money, social media, and negative news stories. This can help them manage their feelings and learn how to deal with some of life’s important difficulties.

One part of healthy communication that is often neglected is active listening. A father should learn how to listen to their son or daughter without judging them. This encourages them to open up more and shows healthy support.

When you child is talking, give them your full attention and address any questions or comments you have. Part of giving them your complete attention is stopping whatever you are doing while you converse.

Start Early

A healthy father-son or father-daughter relationship begins the day the baby is born. Get involved in their life and care for them as a baby. Play with them, feed them, and comfort them. Spending this quality time with them while they are an infant can make it easier for the relationship to grow in a healthy manner.

Teach Them

You know more about life than your children do, and it is important to make sure that they learn new things. It can be anything from how to throw a baseball to the method used to a cook a Thanksgiving turkey. When they show interest in a new activity, help them get acclimated with it and learn new skills that are related to that interest.

Have Fun

Sure, being a parent can be hard, but it can also be a lot of fun. Try to spend enjoyable time with your children whenever you can. Take them to get a new toy or an ice cream cone or just take a nightly walk around the neighbourhood. These things build a bond and provide time for trust, support, and communication.

Love Them

Children crave love and it is important to know that you will love them no matter what. Everybody messes up and when a child makes an error or mistake, they may feel shame. You want to let them know that they can come to you whenever they are having problems and that you will always love them.

It is important to remember that unconditional love can be coupled with proper discipline. Loving your children does not mean letting them get away with everything.

When they do something inappropriate, let them know why it is wrong and give them an adequate discipline. However, you can still let them know that you love them, even if you are somewhat disappointed.

Validate

Children may feel like they do not look right or have the interests that they should have. Social media can even make these types of stereotypes and ideals more prominent in a child’s life. It is your job to remove those stereotypes and let your children know when they are doing well.

Part of validation is letting them know when they do something good. Praise them for courage or standing up for what is right.

Let them know they are right to be empathetic or compassionate. This helps to foster and build those positive values. Encourage them to try hard and praise them even if the effort didn’t result in the best possible outcome.

Encourage Healthy Behavior

You can also encourage healthy behaviors like regular exercise, nutrition, and sleep. These are all crucial for healthy development and it is a parents’ job to teach these types of things. Modeling these healthy behaviors is a great first step.

Model Healthy Relationships

Showing your children how to have a good romantic relationship with your partner can go a long way towards promoting healthy and positive choices throughout their lives. Treat your loved ones with respect and love. Show them what trust means in a relationship and how to manage emotions and conflicts.

Conclusion

A healthy relationship with your children is an important aspect of being a father. Sure, you want them to be financially supportive, but they also need love and emotional support.

You can start by focusing on being a positive role model and developing better communication skills with your children. You can also try to grow shared interests as something to bond over. Finally, let them know you will love them no matter what happens.

About the author

Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.