We’re in the midst of an incredible shift in modern society. One which no longer identifies fathers as being just the breadwinner in the family and the main source of income. In parallel to that the dynamics of fathers’ roles have significantly changed.
Dads are getting more and more involved in childcare including their upbringing, education and personal development. Dad’s presence has a significant positive affect throughout a child’s upbringing, but is it all positive?
A Hands-On Role
Whatever dad’s role – whether at c-suite or stay-at-home, they have started to take a hands-on approach towards parenting. Unlike the previous generation where dads would mostly be away or arrive back home late; working in far away locations and finding it impossible to connect with their kids, the modern day attitude of fatherhood together with the progress of technology today has enabled dads to keep a protecting eye on their children.
By using various communication means such as messenger software or video calls, dads can check up on what they’re kids are doing any time of the day or night. However, there’s a fine line between the benefits of being protective and the damage caused by overprotective dads.
Protection where it’s needed
There are some areas where security is non-negotiable.
For instance, you should always use special toddler seats when you take your kids with you for a ride in the car. Finding the best car seats can be complicated considering they come in different shapes, sizes and feature various functionalities depending on the age of your kids. You can choose rear-facing, front-facing, reclining or convertible toddler car seats. Guaranteeing that your kids are in the safest conditions while riding with you in the car is extremely important.
Health is another non-negotiable. You’ll want to choose the right bed protectors, and play pens for instance. And also when it comes to introducing different foods, you’ll also want to stay on the right side of health and safety.
But are there other areas where dads are falling into the trap of over-protection?
Security and Guidance
Dads should offer their children a sense of security, offer them attention through play, get involved in their education but also give them a certain amount of freedom for their personalities to develop. Overprotection will only lead to a lack of the necessary skills to confront situations without the support or guidance of their fathers. Truthfully, dad’s simply can’t be around for every single situation – nor should they need to be.
There are times where dads should nurture the relationship with their kids towards being their best friend, the person who can help them in any situation without the fear of judgment or punishment. That’s not to say there aren’t times where we also have to play the educator, the disciplinarian, the listener, and much more.
5 Ways to Get the Balance Right
Protecting your toddler without crossing the line into becoming overprotective comes with experience. However, if you’re a first time dad, you should apply some basic rules to ensure that your kids are protected but also have the necessary freedom to develop their personality.
- Through games, kids have the possibility to learn different skillsets linked to strategy, planning and predicting. By allowing your kids to play while you sit back and observe without interrupting, you’ll encourage them to develop own strategies and stronger solution-oriented skills.
- When your toddler falls over, as it usually happens at this young age, don’t jump to help if it’s not a serious fall. This way you’re empowering your toddler with resilience skills which will help in the long run. Some parents might call it neglection, however, it’s the best way to teach your toddler about the power of picking yourself up and moving forward.
- When you take your toddler to the playground or in the park, you should let your kid practice his or her curiosity and explore the surroundings. Just sit back on the bench and supervise your toddler from a distance for a few minutes. Let your kid use the slides by themselves for instance. This will boost your toddler’s confidence and security levels.
- At around the age of 2, toddlers are still developing their movement skills. You should let them practice movement freely, without always picking them up and carrying them around everywhere. If they fall, they’ll get up by themselves. If you always intervene and help them up, you’ll decrease their confidence levels.
- When your kids are screaming and show resilience to anything you offer, whether it’s a type of food or a toy, they’re showing independence. You should let them make their own choices, within boundaries. It’ll pay off when it comes to non-negotiable things such as riding the car in the special toddler seat.
Article contributed by Han-Son from daddilife.com