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Daddy Does It!

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Your playtime style: Quiet, relaxed, getting down on the floor and playing cars or doing a puzzle, lots of cuddles. Dad's playtime style: Running, jumping, tumbling, tickling, a little loud and crazy. And it drives you a little crazy, too! Resist the urge to step in and intervene, though. These different playing styles are good for your children and great for your child’s relationship with their dad.

It turns out that silly, extra-physical playing with dad is something kids, especially toddlers, crave. And that kid-dad relationship building is crucial for your children's ongoing development. There's plenty of research showing kids with involved fathers do better socially and academically. Why? It seems rough-and-tumble, physical play with dad helps children to feel more independent, which they enjoy. In turn, they want more play time with dad which makes their relationship closer - a win-win for everybody!

Encourage plenty of dad-time play, too. Make sure they do things together without you, so they're comfortable with one another and solidify this important facet of their relationship. They, and you, will enjoy that special time. And the next time dad decides to start a tickle fight or offer "airplane" rides 10 minutes before bedtime. Take a deep breath and know the bedtime schedule can be flexible for this important play time.