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More than just being the breadwinner, a father has many important roles to play in every child’s life. They are our caregivers, protectors, disciplinarians, play partners, teachers and companions. Research tells us that it is a good thing for fathers to be involved in child rearing. When fathers play active, present roles in their children’s lives, it impacts the child’s emotional, psychological and social development in very positive ways.

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Camping

Camping is a great excuse to have a quick getaway while learning new skills in the process. It is an opportunity to spend uninterrupted bonding time with loved ones. Enjoy the scenery, the beauty of nature and breathe in the fresh air. Breaking away from technology gives the mind room to think and imagine, and frees up extra time to communicate with family members face-to-face. Not to mention all those survival skills the little ones can pick up along the way.

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Taking on a building project

Besides developing hand dexterity and problem-solving skills in our little ones, these mini construction projects can teach kids patience and determination (especially if the projects are more complex). Building blocks come in sets of different difficulty levels and are suitable for a broad range of ages. What better way to start on a project than with the guidance of super-builder-Dad. Let Dad pick out his project of choice so that at the end of it, he gets his very own mini replica of his favourite vehicle, spaceship or sci-fi character. However, be careful to keep small parts away from very young children.

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Sports

Adults and kids alike need their exercise – Dads needs to keep fit while children need to exercise for healthy growth and development. Picking up a new sport can be especially exciting with Dad as a coach or sports partner. Dad would certainly appreciate witnessing milestones such as the little ones learning to pick up a badminton racquet, riding a bike and dunking a basketball into a hoop for the first time.

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Conversations over a cuppa

Although Dads may be stern and authoritative at times, he’s human too. He wants to be heard, he has wisdom to share but above all, he cares and is interested to know how his kids are doing. Sometimes, quality time can mean something as simple as sharing a warm cup of milk together. Take time to exchange ideas, share stories or just update each other about the day.

This article was originally published in the June 2018 issue of HealthToday.