Archive for August, 2011


Your teen still needs you more than ever

Although it may seem like your teen doesn’t need you anymore, children at this age actually need their parents more than ever. And although it may seem like he isn’t listening to what you say, teens do consider their parents’ actions, opinions and values when making decisions for themselves. Life gets busier as children get older, and your teen probably spends most of his time outside of school with friends or talking to friends. Although these friendships are important, it is also important to talk and listen to your teen and spend time together as a family.

How to build a good relationship with your teen

  • Be actively interested in your teen’s life. Even though your child no longer needs you to arrange her get-togethers with friends, you should still know who her friends are and make an effort to meet their parents. Your teen may be responsible, but you should still know where she is, what she is doing, and who she is with.
  • Talk with your teen, not at him. Try to avoid arguing with your teen, because as both of you get more emotional, you will be less likely to listen to the other person and more likely to say something you don’t mean. If you need to, take a time out from the conversation and come back to it when you both are calm. Try to listen to your teen’s emotions and his point of view. Remember that things have changed from when you were a teen.
  • Share things with your teen. Your teen is old enough to understand what is going on in the world around her. Take your teen to work with you for a day to see what the real world is like. Talk to her about what she thinks she might want to do after high school and encourage her to explore this by taking on an after school job. Let your child know of stressful circumstances, such as if things are tight financially for your family right now. Children see and hear more than we think. Discuss things in the news with your teen.
  • Schedule in family time. Make sure to schedule some one-on-one time with your teen. Although everyone has busy schedules, take advantage of the short times you have his undivided attention, such as when you both are in the car together, to ask him about school or friends. Even though your teen may be too old for a bedtime story, take a few minutes to sit in his room when you go in to say goodnight and talk about things. Family dinners are important, even when your child is a teenager, so try to make sure you eat together as often as possible, and away from the television! Find an activity that you both can enjoy together, from going to the gym to watching the news together for a half hour every night.


  •  Source:
 The Importance of being a father

Studies demonstrate that healthy father-child relationships help children flourish when it comes to coping and adapting, solving problems, staying in school and developing longer lasting relationships. Involved dads also win, enjoying better overall health, higher self-esteem and a more positive self-image. “Studies show that when fathers are involved in the lives of their children, both parent and child win,” said Suzin Bartley, Executive Director of the Children’s Trust Fund. “All parents need and deserve the skills and support needed to be the best parent they can be. We applaud our dads on Father’s Day and throughout the year – they’ve got one tough job!”

It starts with getting involved

  • Start early. From the moment you know that you will be a father, you can be involved in your child’s life. If possible, go with your child’s mother to any doctor’s appointments, where you will be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat, see a sonogram of the baby, and ask any questions. If you have not been around children, try to spend some time with family or friends with infants. Talk about the experience of having a baby with other dads, or pick up a book and find out what to expect – they’re not just for moms! It’s natural for first time parents to be worried. No one knows what they are doing the first time. There may be parenting, childbirth, or other classes for both parents or even specifically for dads in your community or through a local hospital. 
  • Be ready for change. Having a child brings financial, lifestyle, and other adjustments. Children are expensive – there’s no doubt about it! However, there are ways you can prepare for this. Find out from other fathers what some of the costs are that you can expect. Some places of work allow dads to take some time off around the birth of their child – ask what the policy is at your work. Start saving as soon as you know you are having a baby. Even if you are separated from your child’s mother, you should help support your child. Not only are you legally required to help support your child, but supporting your child also means being there to care for her daily needs. Talk to your child’s mother about how you will share the responsibility of caring for your child. Make sure that neither of you get overwhelmed, and take out some time for yourselves, as well.
  • Take on specific tasks. When it comes to taking care of your child, there are few specific roles for moms or dads. A good way of bonding with your child, beginning early on, is to decide on a few things that you will do with him. For example, you can give him a bath, read to him, or be part of the bedtime routine. You can choose one day a week to pick him up from school, or be the one to take him to certain activities.
  • Get involved. Whether you are a working father or you stay at home, whether you live with your child or apart from her, know what is going on in her life. Attend school events, know her activities and whereabouts, and help with homework. Be the ‘good guy’ and the ‘bad guy’ – be around for the fun times but also participate in disciplining your child and teaching her responsibilities and values.

 Source Nurturing Your Family Especially for Dads