Advice for Dads: Listen and Learn

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Q:
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Lots of fathers think its mom the most important people to babies, that’s why they seldom participate in taking care of their babies or just don’t know what they can do. What’s your opinion on father’s role to children’s life?

A:

Dr. Greene’s Answer

Fathers are truly an integral part of a baby’s life. They’re not just there to help out when mom needs a rest. Fathers can become true partners in a family, not only caring for the little ones but also making parenting decisions with the mother to make the best decisions.

I’ve learned that being a great father is a steady process. New fathers don’t just wake up with the insight to be perfect parents. They learn and grow as their children grow, and if they share their vulnerabilities and strengths alike with their children, fathers are giving their children an incalculable treasure.

When I talk to children about what they want from their fathers, I hear three things over and over. First, kids say simply, “I wish he was here more.” Kids just want their dads around, whether it’s playing, working, studying – whatever – they just want dad as a part of their lives. Secondly, kids want their dads to listen, to understand. Dads who learn how to listen can really connect with their children. Finally, kids want their dads to speak to them, not at them. I tell fathers to open up to their children, to let them know what dad’s really thinking.

Reviewed by: Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin, Liat Simkhay Snyder, Rebecca Hicks
Last reviewed: February 03, 2014
Dr. Alan Greene

Article written by

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

 

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