Opinion Saturday: how can dad help?

I am working through a list of your great suggestions for Opinion Saturday questions and am featuring one question a week for the next few weeks.

This week’s question is from a dad. Jesse asks:

My question comes from a paternal view. My pirate is such a “mommy’s boy” (only wants her when she is around). How do you help nurture his independence, his relationship with you, and relieve the pressure off your wife?

You have until next Saturday to share your best tips for ways to encourage a young child’s relationship with dad. Come on, hit me with your best thought!

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  1. You might want to try an activity that involves all of you, like a game of tag or maybe working on a task together like washing the car. Have mom be very involved and encouraging to the boy at the begininng and then she can slowly taper off while dad slowly steps in.
    For example, everyone can scrub down the car with mom helping the little boy. Then mom can go to turn on the hose while Dad and son get man the hose, which we all know is the most fun part.
    Hopefully activities like this will help the son to form fun memories and bonding moments with Dad.
    And if it’s independence you ant for him, try giving him more “big boy” jobs, like pouring the soap into the bucket or handling the window squeegie. He’ll get a sense of pride and may seek other things he can do on his own to feel like a “big boy.”
    just remember to give tons of postitve encouragement to let him know how proud you are. Hope this helps!

  2. It took quite a long time for both of our girls to attach to their Daddy (both of our girls were adopted around 11 months of age and are now 4-1/2 and 2-1/2). My husband makes a point of taking the girls for special dates. They go places that they don’t normally go with me. For example, they go out for hamburgers (I don’t eat red meat) or to the mall to ride the merry-go-round (the girls and I go to the mall frequently, but I get sick on the carousel). It’s something that is totally theirs and I believe that it really strengthens their relationship while giving me a break. I think that getting them out of the house really helps them to focus on each other. Even when we’re at home, he will make a point of hunkering down with the girls to watch a movie or play a game so that I can work or read or write. I think that this is great because I’m still here, but he’s the man of the hour or two!

  3. Most of our kids didn’t bond with dad until they were at least crawling. But it took a lot of effort to be able to hang out with dad over mom. Dad was the “fun” one, and that helped enormously. And he had to take them away from home to get them to see him as able to take care of them. But eventually they started going to dad over mom as they got older, they go to him to tell things to first, they play with him first, stuff like that.

  4. I think once my little guys started either crawling or walking, that’s when the bonding started. They could make their way to Daddy on their own. Once to Daddy, he would gather them up into his arms or lap and tickle them, read to them, etc. I have a couple of pics of all the littlest ones of ours piled onto Daddy’s lap.