As a stay at home and work at home mom of a little boy, you could say that my son and I have developed a special bond. I chose to breastfeed my son, as well, which helped us to establish a very close connection from the very beginning. As the months passed by, I noticed my husband becoming not jealous, but almost sad that he would never be able to experience that kind of closeness with our son. From that point on, I decided to make it a priority to see that my husband and son spend time together, doing things they can both enjoy, to develop a special closeness of their own.
Sacha and Balian, 2012
Here are a few ideas for father/son bonding for dads of little dudes that have worked for us...
I love cuddling with my son, but handed over story time before bed to my husband. They now enjoy cuddling together, and reading Balian's favorite books (complete with car and truck sounds). We've even added a few father/son books to our book collection, to make it even more enjoyable for them both. Adding in a fun pre-bedtime ritual, like wearing matching robes and slippers is also a fun way for them to enjoy this time together.
Beach camping can be a lot of fun!
Okay, so maybe it's a bit much to take a toddler on a camping trip, but dads and little dudes can have a lot of fun playing 'camping' in the backyard. Every now and then, we set up our tent in the yard, and my husband and son take some snacks out there, put out pillows and blankets and laugh and giggle about their day to one another. They also take our son's favorite flashlights out there, and snoop around the yard, and sometimes catch lightning bugs, too!
Playing with Toys
My son loves it when his daddy gets down on the floor to play cars and trains with him. Believe it or not, he may love getting to play with daddy's big boy toys even more! If dear old dad has a remote control helicopter or car, or any other great toys, like the ones from Thumbs Up, your son can have a grand time watching dad make the vehicles go, go, go! You never know- dad may even let his little man take a turn with the controller!
My husband isn't actually that big on sports, but he'd happily sit and watch a soccer game. My son is just discovering all of the different sports there are, so we're trying to be hands on with him, allowing him to experience the ones that interest him. Having dad kick a ball around out in the yard with his son is a classic form of bonding. Watching a game together on television can be a lot of fun, or going to a live sporting event together can also be a bonding blast!
Sacha and Balian, riding the train together at Tweetsie Railroad...
Whether they're heading out for a fun day at a local children's museum, getting their hair cut together, or they're enjoying their favorite meal at a kid-friendly restaurant, it's important that fathers and sons can go out and spend some time together. I get to spend a lot of time with my son, and sometimes, I send the two of them out for a walk, and then they wrap it up at the neighborhood ice cream shop. Sometimes, they go to the neighborhood park to play for an hour or so, or they just go out and run some errands together. No matter what they're doing, they always have a ball with each other, and it warms my heart to see how much they love spending time together!
What types of father/son, or even father/daughter bonding activities do you see happening in your family?