Dads have always struggled to relate to their children, no matter the decade. Now, with pop culture and everything else changing rapidly with new technologies and trends, it can be even harder for dads to keep up. Below are some great tricks and tips for dads to relate to their children and all the things they love!
Relating to young children can be difficult. What can they understand? How can fathers show their love and support? Whether your children are babies or preteens, taking baby steps in showing support and interest is important.
Showing love and care is one of the best ways to relate to young children. Children rely entirely on their parents and other adult authority figures. Fathers should try to show excitement and encourage their children's interests. By doing this, they can easily relate to their kids.
As an example, suppose your child is interested in playing with action figures or doing arts and crafts. While these activities may seem childish and boring to a parent, making time to do them with your children will mean the world to them.
Teenagers are notoriously difficult to relate to. Avoiding cliches, teenagers hormones are changing rapidly, which can make this time difficult for them-- and for their parents. Fathers need to know when to keep their distance and when to help.
One of the best ways to keep up with teenagers is to keep tabs on what's going on in popular culture. This could involve listening to the newest songs on the radio, watching their favorite TV programs with them, and learning whatever new slang they come up with. This can take some effort, but it's worth it.
Giving gifts is a great way to relate to teenagers. Often times, they may feel pressured to do well at school and chores. This can be stressful. Reward good behavior when you can. Who knows? You may even get a classic "dad" gift in return like dad hats, ties, or wallets.
Relating to adult children might be the most difficult of all. It's an odd stage of life. Do you treat them like any other adult you'd meet at work? Do you treat them like they're still a child? Ideally, fathers can learn to treat their children somewhere in between these two opposite ends of the spectrum. As much as you can, try to treat your child as your equal. This will foster a positive relationship between you and then.
One way to relate to your adult children is to understand that while you are both adults, there were many differences in the way your generation and theirs were raised and educated. Admitting that you don't always understand what's going on is much better than trying to assert an opinion that may come across as hostile. Plus, asking for help understanding new ideas and trends provides an opportunity to better understand your child and the world at large.
Another thing dads can do to better communicate and relate to their children is to open up to new ways of communication. While you may have called to chat with your parents every day, your children may not want to do that. Many young adults prefer to text or communicate over apps. Consider using some of the same apps as your children, like Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, and Instagram.
All in all, it can be difficult for fathers to relate to their children-- no matter the child or father's age. Hopefully, these tips can help fathers to better communicate with their children, relate to their interests, and better understand the world through their eyes. By doing all these things, dads can have better working relationships with their children.
By starting young, parents can foster a lifetime of healthy relationships with their children. Communicating well can also help to repair broken relationships as well. It's never too late to learn how to relate to your children!