How to build healthy father-child relationships

John Badalament, EdM Author & Educator, shares advice for father's on how to build a healthy, emotionally connected child with your child
How To Build A Healthy Father-Child Relationship - Parenting Tips
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How to build healthy father-child relationships

Building a healthy, emotionally connected relationship with your child requires two things: knowing and being known. Knowing your child may seem obvious, but what I'm talking about is knowing who they are, knowing what's going on in their life at any given point. It's important to be an expert about your child because that communicates that they're important, that you're listening, that you're paying attention. So I ask dads to think about making a checklist. What is important to know about my child? Who their friends are? What is important to them? What they're doing in school? What stresses them out? What their hopes and dreams are? And make a checklist and periodically see if you know those things and if you don't, you ask your child to give you the answer. Because it's really important that children feel like you're paying attention, that you're there, that you're an expert about their lives. The second part of that is "being known". And that is letting your child into who you are as a person, as a man. And the way to do that that I've found very effective is through story telling. And I don't mean the war stories or the stories they've heard a thousand times. What kids want is they want the stories of what you were like at their age. So what embarrassed you? How did you handle crushes? Who were your friends? How did you deal with your parents? And really letting them into who you are and who you were as a person helps to build a connection so they feel like you're not a mystery. Many dads today grew up with their own dads being distant or a mystery and really guys not knowing much about their dads. So being known is really important for building an emotional connection with your children.

John Badalament, EdM Author & Educator, shares advice for father's on how to build a healthy, emotionally connected child with your child


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John Badalament, EdM

Author & Educator

John Badalament, EdM, is the author of the acclaimed Modern Dad’s Dilemma: How To Stay Connected with Your Kids in a Rapidly Changing World and Director of the PBS documentary All Men Are Sons: Exploring The Legacy of Fatherhood. His work has been featured on ABC NewsNPR, in Men’s HealthPregnancy, The Los AngelesTimes, and on He serves on the Honorary Board of the Ties Never Broken Campaign, a partnership with The White House. John is a Harvard-trained educator who speaks internationally to schools, parent groups and organizations. 


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