What’s manlier than a husband who loves watching football on Sundays? A man who’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves for an afternoon of playing with dolls!
That’s the message from an adorable new campaign by Mattel. The #DadsWhoPlayBarbie ads debuted during the NFL Playoffs. They show manly men describing their love of football and then sharing their secret: they also love to play Barbies with their daughters.
Let’s take a moment to celebrate these dads! Whether it’s dressing up Barbies, doing arts and crafts or anything else, spending time with Dad can play a huge factor in a child’s life. Studies have shown a dad’s presence in a baby’s life can benefit areas including emotional security, social skills, problem solving and academic performance.
But if Barbies aren’t your thing, there are many more ways for dads to bond with their kids.
Crack a Book
You don’t even need to wait for the baby to be born for this one! There are several great books designed for future dads to read to future moms’ bellies. It doesn’t matter what you read to a baby inside or outside of the womb. What matters is that you’re exposing the baby to your voice. You could read the newspaper or an online product review. Of course, once the baby starts understanding words, you may want to switch to a more traditional children’s book.
Be a Goofball
Moms may cringe when they see dads tossing their little ones in the air or hanging them by their ankles, but a father’s goofball antics can actually be very important to child’s development. By roughhousing with your kids, you’re helping them with physical development, coordination and also teaching them the boundaries of healthy risk-taking.
This may be the easiest way to bond with your baby, but dads aren’t doing it! A fascinating study recorded moms & dads’ interaction with their kiddos at home. It found when a toddler made noise, moms responded to them about 90% of the time. Dads, on the other hand, only talked back about 30% of the time. It’s important for a child’s language development to hear from both parents. So, get chatty!
Take a Hike
It doesn’t matter how old your little one is, a walk is always a fun bonding experience. You can take a baby in a stroller; you can take a toddler in a wagon; older kids can either hoof it or ride a bike. Not to mention the added benefits of getting a little fresh air and exercise.
“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad.” -Anne Geddes