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How does a father connect with his 2-year-old?
Q: I’m a new father, and I have no idea what a father does. My son is almost 2 and has a special connection with this mother, but I want him to feel the same about me. I really need some help because I love my son and want to be an important part of his life. Help!
A: I understand what you’re going through, Salop. mummy is everything to many a 2-year-old. Often a father hears, “No, mummy do,” or, “I want mummy.” Don’t take this personally. Instead, take charge of the situation with these tips:

  • Make plans for your wife to go out and leave you with your son. He may be upset that mum’s going, but this is typical.

  • If your son is distressed about her departure, try distracting him with his favourite snacks and then ease him into doing fun things with you. In time, he’ll associate you with these good times. Then he won’t need to have mum by his side every mument of the day, and he’ll want to spend more time with you.

  • Occasionally, make sure your wife leaves around your son’s bedtime, so you can take care of him. Most 2-year-olds can’t resist a bathtub filled with water toys. After the bath, offer your son a small snack and snuggle in bed for a story.

  • Consider how your father was with you. Maybe you wanted him to play with you more or kiss you more. Perhaps you wanted him to show an interest in your activities and tell you that he loved more. Little by little you’ll end up with a list of things you wished your father had done with you. Now, use this wish list to remind you of the way you want to be as a father.

  • In time, you and your son will forge a wonderful relationship. Usually, by 3½ little boys are crazy about their fathers and can’t wait for them to come home and play with them. At 2, children slowly need to be weaned from their mother’s care to become involved with dad. Good luck. It’s always nice to hear from a father.