2018-03-20

The importance of the father in the first months of a child's life

The importance of the father in the first months of a child's life

In the first months of a child's life, it is inevitable that a symbiosis relationship will be established with the mother. But it is also true that in these months the father can undoubtedly carve out some basic moments of contact with the child.

In short, mother and father are two figures of equal importance, because they are important in different ways. Just as the mother is unique in her biological relationship with the newborn, so also the father is inimitable for his growth.

The role of Dads

Dads have a different way of talking to the child, of embracing him, of playing with him. The timbre of the father has a surprising calming effect, especially when he holds the baby in his arms and speaks to him or sings while the baby has his head resting on his chest or shoulder. Unlike the arms of the mother, those of the father have a much stronger and safer grip. Furthermore, the father is less afraid of energetically moving the newborn, making it "fly", offering him unique stimuli.

It's important that the father can make some time for his child to play, laugh and pamper himself. Playing with him, transmitting serenity and joy without competition is fundamental. This is important for the development of emotions.

Always respect roles

We must respect both roles, even if there is an impulse to replace each other and "show how it is done". So, although the father seems to the "clumsy" mother to change a diaper or too clumsy in taking it in her arms, sometimes it is just a matter of waiting a little, just observing the reactions of the child: he himself, in fact, will indicate what is most appreciated.

The father will have to learn to understand when the newborn informs him that he is tired of games and needs to take refuge in the arms of the mother; and the mother in turn will have to learn to understand that, even if the arms of the father and his voice have a rhythm different from his own, his child finds them equally protective.

But what happens when dads are absent?

The absence of one of the figures, in this case of the father, means not only physical absence, but also emotional and affectionate. Often, dads are absent even when they are too authoritarian, thus preventing the construction of a bond with their child.

Absence can lead to difficulties in entering the world, in society and in taking responsibility; it can also lead to difficulties in interpersonal relations, school failures, difficulties in controlling anger and aggression. The father has therefore also the task to guide in the project of life, to be example and reference. A child without a father to observe or gratify him may develop low self-esteem, insecurity or even anxiety, a widespread phenomenon today.

Lucia Franco

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