It’s a given that mothers are hands on with their children. While fathers have a bad rep for not playing a big enough role in their children’s development in day to day life. Father-child bonding has benefits for both daddy and child though. Your child will get to experience a new perspective on life by simply spending time with you, and quite possibly as a father you will be the first and most important male figure in their life. Children who have a positive father figure in their life are academically more successful, have better relationships with their school colleagues, and are more psychologically equipped to handle difficult life situations. On the other hand, research shows that fathers who spend more quality time with their children are less stressed and calmer. So yes, it’s a win-win situation for both sides of the party.

When it comes to getting involved in your child’s development, there is no such thing as too early. Even when they are babies, you should be taking part in the changing of diapers, getting up in the middle of the night to bottle feed, and comforting them when they are crying for unknown reasons. Ditch the cliché ‘men are too good for this’ attitude. Your involvement should even go back as early as holding mum’s hand through the difficult labour process.

As your baby gets older and starts having his own personality, hobbies, and preferences, your role as a father becomes more challenging but more enjoyable. Find a particular sport that you both like, or a specific interest that you might have e.g. art, history, or cars, and focus on that to strengthen your relationship with them. You can transform their hobby or interest into a regular bonding activity between you two and make it a weekly one-on-one dad time event.

Moms also play a role in how involved the father will be in your child’s life. As a mother you need to learn to trust your partner with your child on their own, and encourage them to take part in the daily activities. Don’t fall into the trap of only asking for the father’s involvement when disciplining your child – they should be a source of positive influencing too.

Finally dads, remember to always just ‘be there’ when your child needs you. No matter how old they get or how ‘uncool’ spending time together might be to them at certain points in their life, a father should always provide a sense of security to their child, so be someone they can rely on at the end of the day. Putting in a little extra effort and setting aside more time for your child has unlimited benefits and is extremely rewarding.