At Boot Camp for New Dads, we stress the value of men being proactive about getting involved and educated before their baby comes. We talk a lot about the notion that starting off early on the right foot has long lasting, far reaching results. There’s a reason! Starting off early on the right foot has long lasting, far reaching results.
The earlier dad feels included, valued and respected as part of the parenting team, the more he sees that he’s needed and the faster he will get up to speed and be ready when his baby arrives. Count on needing a lot of support from the dad-to-be in your life, and know that any investment you make in helping him get up to speed will pay off more than you can imagine.
The return on your investment in dad is huge. Research indicates that children whose fathers are a consistent, positive force in their lives do better socially, intellectually, and on a broad range of other factors ranging from economic status in childhood, to peer relationships in adolescence, to productivity as adults. These children are also less likely to witness the breakup of their family or be subject to poverty, teen pregnancy, violence or abuse.
An infant who spends time alone with dad smiles more often and is more likely to offer toys to him. They look at and manipulate objects more enthusiastically, indicating an enhanced desire to explore and understand their world. Babies of engaged fathers experience more diverse social interactions and become more intellectually advanced.
And your baby is not the only beneficiary of a strong father/child bond. Just ask any mom who is able to confidently take time to go to exercise class or wander a mall with friends, while dad and baby are at home together. Priceless!