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Unleashing Your Inner Super Dad: How To Be A Good Dad To A Toddler

Becoming a dad is like stepping into the ultimate superhero role – cape optional. In a world where parenting styles are evolving, dads play a pivotal role in shaping their toddlers’ lives. So, how can you be the superhero your little one needs?

Well, picture this: a father who was more mirage than a constant presence, and a bombshell revelation in my birth country, courtesy of my mother’s alcohol-dependant disclosure.

My biological roots were not what I thought, and my escape from a communist country as a baby? Well, let’s just say it involved a touch of Thatcher magic… four toddlers later and my last little baby is so very close to her first steps.

Last Updated: 02/02/2024 – 23:55 (Need Coffeeeeeeeee)

With full disclosure out of the way, this is my advice to you, may it be of some help!

Being A Dad To A Toddler – My Story

Toddlerhood – the wild, unpredictable terrain of parenting. Whether you’re a seasoned parent nodding in agreement or if this is your first rodeo, get ready for a rollercoaster of epic proportions.

For me, this stage takes the cake as my favourite (so far, though my now-teenager keeps me on my toes with eye-rolls and sarcastic shenanigans).

Why? Because in the realm of toddlers, you get to witness the world through their curious eyes. Every day is a blend of new discoveries, boundless excitement, occasional terror, and moments that reaffirm the essence of life itself. (There’s still a lot of poo though).

Being there for each of these “firsts” forms an unbreakable bond with your child that lasts a lifetime.

Sure, there are those days when parenthood feels like you’re the worst contestant on an episode of Total Wipeout with Richard Hammond (which last aired on the BBC over a decade ago for those of us feeling our age) and I can’t help but reflect on my own childhood.

As touched on in the intro, my own father, mostly absent and not even my biological dad (a revelation dropped on me one night in my birth country by my alcoholic mother), casts a shadow on my journey towards being the best dad I could be. **But that’s a long and gruesome story of fleeing a communist country as a baby, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the iron lady — another post for another time**

Yet, my story becomes the driving force for me to be the best dad I can be – a friend, confidante, and a source of unwavering support for my own children. I’m trying to re-write my narrative and create a legacy of love.

How To Be A Good Dad To Your Toddler

being a good dad

1. Super Dad Down Low

Gear up, Super Dad! It’s time to hit the field. Dive into your toddler’s world at their eye level, with all senses engaged. Forget compromise; immerse yourself fully.

Whether it’s playing superheroes, building megablocks, having a tea party, or getting your nails done, make every moment count and try to remember what it was like being their age.

I would have done anything to have both parental figures to look up to and play with.

2. The Power of Presence

Focus, focus, focus – not just at work, but at home too.

Your toddler craves your undivided attention. It’s not just about being there physically; it’s about diving into their world, absorbing every giggle, and being the superhero they look up to.

There are days where I just don’t have the energy to play, but this phase is over before you know it and if you’re not there for them, they’ll remember!

I insist on doing bathtime routines for the toddler and baby. I love singing and reading to them in the bath and as a result “bath” or “baaa baaap” as my 13 month old likes to call it, is one of our favourite times of the day. It gives the rest of the family some time away from the chaos of the little-ones and I get to have some real bonding time with them. Everyone wins!

3. Bye-Bye TV, Hello Imagination

TV off, imagination on! Replace the big screen with hands-on play. Cast the remote asunder and grab those wooden puzzles. Your imagination is the secret weapon to unlock a world of fun and learning for both you and your little sidekick.

I’ve invested a silly amount of money over the course of the past decade on a variety of toys, they’ve had Peppa Pig garb and My Littlest Petshop, but the toys they love the most have always been the building blocks and wooden toys.

Have a look at Grimms selection of toys, or Magnatiles / Lego / or any of The Happy Company’s Puzzle Games (affiliate link) – we have most of the collection and i’ve spent hours competing with the kids at the Genius Square & Star.

4. All In, All the Time

Being a dad is a full-time gig, no part-time superheroes allowed. Let your toddler know you’re not a guest in their life – you’re a full-fledged participant. Super Dads don’t clock out; they’re in it for the long haul.

I am a stay at home dad, self-employed and I home-educate all but my eldest child with my wife. It takes its toll but I know that, for better or for worse, I will have tried to give each of my children the most that I could possibly give them of myself.

5. Shield of Protection

Every superhero needs a shield, and you, Super Dad, are the protector. From teaching safety habits to setting an example with seatbelts and car seats, ensure your toddler grows up in a secure environment – physically, emotionally and financially.

6. Hugs Speak Louder Than Words

Superheroes aren’t afraid to show affection. Embrace the power of hugs and snuggles. Physical contact is a universal language of love, and your little one will cherish every squeeze from you.

It’s only a blink before they grow up and before you know it, you’re no longer able to throw them on the sofa and bounce around with them on the trampoline.

7. Playtime Adventures

Gear up for sports, treasure hunts, and pillow fights. Don’t just watch TV; be the star of your toddler’s playtime adventures.

Show them how much fun life can be with a dash of imagination and a sprinkle of dad magic.

8. Break The Gender Stereotype

Gone are the days of traditional roles. Super Dads embrace nappy changes, feeding times, and midnight cuddles.

I actively encourage all my kids to help me with all the chores around the house, including laundry, cleaning, sewing and cooking.

I know it can be hard sometimes, when a meal that usually takes 15 minutes to prep and cook suddenly takes hours, but it’s all positive bonding time that they’ll look back on fondly one day.

9. The Power of Conversation 

Engage in epic conversations with your little one. It’s not just about bedtime stories; it’s about sharing moments, teaching essential skills, and enjoying each other’s company. Every word strengthens the bond between Super Dad and sidekick.

I try to encourage “question time” most nights before bedtime to see what makes my kids tick. They can ask me any question (or questions depending on how late it is) that they want. Sometimes it’s mundane, but the routine has helped me get a better insight into what they’re thinking and feeling that day.

As an added bonus, I know if my toddler is particularly tired and won’t put up a fight around bedtime, because instead of asking innocuous questions, I get treated to a rendition of “what is 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + …. 1 + …………. 1……………. GoOd nIgHt dAdDy, LoVe yOu, SeE YoU In tHe mOrNiNg”.

10. Allies, Not Adversaries

In the world of parenting, team up with significant other. Avoid conflicts in front of your toddler, and always show kindness and respect.

Your actions shape their perception of relationships, so be the role model they deserve.

dad-kid relationship

Final Words

Being a dad is a heroic journey filled with laughter, challenges, and heartwarming moments. Embrace the adventure, and let your love be your guiding force.

There are no amazing hacks to raising the perfect child (that I’m aware of at least)! But your constant affection and attention will help set a strong foundation that your child can build the rest of their life on.

You’re not just a dad; you’re a Super Dad – the ultimate sidekick in your toddler’s extraordinary journey through life.

Be the dad you always wanted to be, apologise for your mistakes, set the right example and make sure you take the time to learn their interests and encourage them whenever you can.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦ Calling All Super Dads and Sidekicks! πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦

Parenting is a wild adventure, and I’d love to hear about your epic moments, hilarious mishaps, and heartwarming stories.

Share your #SuperDadAdventures in the comments below! What’s your go-to superhero move when navigating toddlerhood? Any tips, tricks, or anecdotes to add to the playbook?

Let’s build a community of awesome dads supporting each other on this extraordinary journey. Your story might just be the inspiration another dad needs today! πŸ’™

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