Fort Worth, Texas,
10:55 AM

Why goofing off with dad matters

The importance of father-child interaction

Even the biggest “momma’s boy” needs his dad. Spending time with dad gives your child’s emotional health a leg up with quality father-child bonding time that can help him or her developing trusting relationships and appropriate behaviors.

So how do you find “father time?”

Healthy father-child interaction can involve any number of activities, including playing a board game or video game together, attending or coaching the child’s sports games, or chaperoning a class field trip, party or school dance.

“Spending time together sends the message that you are interested in your child and enjoy his or her company,” said Joy Crabtree, Psy.D., licensed psychologist at Cook Children’s Urgent Care and Pediatric Specialties Center in Southlake. “Creating these positive memories is crucial to your child’s emotional development.”

Crabtree said it’s also important to incorporate quality time into casual, everyday experiences. Bring your child along to run errands, and let him or her help you with light yard work and other chores around the house.

For young boys especially, “goofing off” and appropriate roughhousing help instill a sense of trust in dads, which may promote healthy behaviors later in life.

“Boys tend to imitate their fathers’ parenting styles when they grow up and become fathers themselves,” Crabtree said. “For girls, having regular fatherly interaction can help quell inappropriate attention seeking behavior in their teenage years.”

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