The Importance of Being Father

I want to explore a father’s role especially in our family. Partially to debunk the myth that fathers must be involved in infant feeding to establish a good bond with their children and partially to say thank you to my husband and the father of our children.

At the time of writing our children are 7, 5 and 23 months and all three have an excellent connection with their father. All in their very own unique way.

Ben (7) loves to talk computer games and science with his father. When Colin comes home after work Ben is usually happy to wait for a while before engaging with him as he has learned that he gets the best focus then. He also loves reading his father’s old comic books with the current favourites being Calvin and Hobbes.

Ruben ( 5) has no patience for waiting so jumps on his lap as soon as he comes home. He is eager to show the crafting he has done that day and loves watching maths videos or learning more about football and knights.

Eleanor ( 23 months) does not understand why her father is not there all the time and when he is at work ( Dada working, all gone?) she greets every car on our drive with an excited DADA DADA. When he does come home she presses her face against the glass and shouts for him jumping up and down. She spends the first hour of him being home on his lap or following him around the house or garden.

Each of them has in the past gone through a phase of preferring me as their mother over him and each of them has also gone through a phase of preferring him over me. I am sure more of such phases are to come.

None of our children ever accepted a bottle and apart from a handful of occasions where we tried to see if they would take a bottle I have done all the milk feeds. Despite being told often that using bottles is important because it enables bonding for the father he has managed to form an excellent bond with all three.

with our youngest

So what has he done? Below is a selection of the things which we believe contributed to the bond he has with our children.

* Be a hands on father, he has done bath time from an early age with all three.

* Spend time with them doing fun stuff.

* Cuddle them when they are upset.

* Guide them in their daily live.

Or in short : All the things I do as their mother apart from the provision of milk, after all he is their parent just like I am.

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