2 minutes reading time (422 words)

Dad by design - celebrating today’s father-child bond

Below please find the article by Nikki Bush on the father-child bond.

 Dad by design - celebrating today's father-child bond

My dad turned 80 last month. What a milestone, but also such a special reminder to celebrate how fortunate I am to have had a very involved and tuned in dad, throughout my life. I know not everyone has the privilege of having a close or a long relationship with their fathers. Many lose their connection early on due death, divorce or other circumstances beyond their control – a loss that is often felt for a lifetime.

Children need input from both their mother and father figures where possible. Father's Day is a celebration of that very unique, father-child bond. Dads acquire Frequent Father Points (I borrow this lovely concept from Australian parent educator and author, Michael Grose) by showing up, keeping their promises, playing fair, being involved and sharing the parenting load with their partners.

On this point, today's generation of fathers is far more emotionally attached and tuned in to their children than ever before, consciously taking on their responsibilities, rather than acquiring them by default. This is leading to a movement I call 'Dad by Design' and this bodes well for our children.

The benefits to children of being well-bonded to their dads

When a strong bond exists between dads and their children, when children feel loved and have an involved father whom they trust, there are numerous benefits:

  • They tend to have fewer behavioural problems
  • There is a lesser chance of alcohol and drug abuse and teen pregnancy
  • More emotionally secure
  • Have a stronger self-esteem
  • More confident in new situations
  • More eager to explore their surroundings
  • More sociable
  • More likely to achieve higher levels of education
  • Find success in their careers
  • Have higher levels of self-acceptance
  • Experience psychological well-being.
  • Have a reduced school drop-out rate
  • Have reduced teen pregnancy rates
  • Have fewer behavioural problems, showing less aggression and impulsivity
  • Show more self-direction

To all our special dads this Father's Day, thank you for all this valuable input into your children's lives. I hope you are made to feel honoured and treasured by your special ones as you are celebrated for everything you are and all that you do for your children. Keep on chasing those Frequent Father Points with your children as you strive to be a Dad by Design.

Here's to you!


Creative parenting expert, inspirational speaker and co-author of Tech-Savvy Parenting (Bookstorm, 2014), Future-proof Your Child (Penguin, 2008), and Easy Answers to Awkward Questions (Metz Press, 2009)



Parenting Matters/Vol 8 Issue 5

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