Being There: The Vital Role of the Father

| February 10, 2014 | 6 Comments

Holding Daddy's Hand

Holding Daddy’s Hand

As much as it hurts to say, when a child is born to young parents, the presence of the father is optional. Boys grow into men, and sometimes a baby is born during that transition. The relationship between mother and father crumbles under stress and hardship, or self-doubt and fear makes them run. Whatever the reason, it can happen- thankfully, not to all. There’s always hope.

Being a full-fledged young Daddy myself, I understand just how important it is for me to be there for my son, and looking at the past, how vital it was for me to be there through the pregnancy.

A baby develops a connection with their mother even before birth. They are one being, and after birth baby instinctively knows who their mother is. But the father must develop that connection on his own, starting in pregnancy.

The act of talking and reading to the baby is a great start. They can hear you even in utero, and it helps them to develop more efficiently. When they hear your voice often enough, they’ll remember it.

Make skin-to-skin contact, and allow them to study your face. Look into their eyes and speak with them. Be involved in their rituals, like feeding, changing, or bathing. Be involved in their life as much as you can. It’s hard when we have to go to work, but it doesn’t take much. Love knows no bounds. Not time, nor space. When I come home from working a long shift and he hears my voice, he turns to it and smiles. When I go to him, he gets excited and waves his arms, smiling the whole time. He melts my heart. He knows I’m his father, and seeing me makes him happy.

If you want to be closer with your baby, then literally be closer to them. Hold them more, cuddle them, and sing to them. Dance with them while music plays, or even if it’s not. Be involved any way you can.

In the future when my son grows up, he’s going to want to be like me. He’ll want to shave like me, dress like me, and he’ll repeat the things I say. Eventually he will think I’m old and lame (hopefully not), but for now, I’m his hero, and he knows I’ll protect him from anything. I’m his world, and he’s mine. I love my son to death, and the connection I made with him was as natural as can be. Try out some of the things listed here, and I think you’ll find that it will be for you too.

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Category: Babies and Toddlers, Dads, Family

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Comments (6)

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  1. Christine says:

    Upon reading your blog tears came to my eyes, my hear rejoiced knowing that at least one child would have a happy childhood. The secret of happiness is simple think of others before yourself. Careers come and go. Your love ones also. Starting life the way you do will create a solid bond that even time will not severe.

    Being a man is thinking and acting the way you do.

  2. cheryl says:

    This was very well written, my fiancée was young too when we had our first but to was important to him to bond with our child. Now that we have another child and we are older now its even more important to form the bond with the youngest while keeping the oldest still bonded too. Its hard transition as the child gets older but to show love is always important.

  3. mel says:

    Well said! With a new one on the way within the next two weeks my Husband cant’ wait to hold the new baby but knows his biggest challenge is balancing the new baby and the little girl of who he is her whole world! 🙂

    (stopping by from SITS)

  4. Victoria Ess says:

    Beautiful message. It’s so important to share this message with all fathers, especially young ones, who sometimes struggle with reconciling this message with the dominant message of what it means to be a “stereotypical” man.

  5. Matt Gannon says:

    Victoria: The definition of what a man is has changed quite a bit in the past decade, in my opinion. The modern man is much more in tune with himself and others. And I think this self-awareness is part of the rise in active fathers. Thank you for the comment.

    Mel: Congrats on your new baby. We have a second on the way in August, and I am very excited to hold him or her.

    Cheryl: Thanks for the encouraging words. I believe that with a bit of effort, bonding doesn’t have to be difficult. It all starts in the womb.

    Christine: Thank you very much for the compliments. I try my best as a father, and as a person just starting out in life. It’s hard, but Gabriel and my girlfriend make it worth it.

  6. kathy downey says:

    These words are so true… The definition of what a man is has changed quite a bit in the past(couple)decade…..Times are so different that when I was growing up my Mother made the law and was home with us kids while my father worked long days everyday of the week except Sunday when he rested and we stayed out of the way I never really knew my father till he retired and then I found out what a amazing man he really was

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