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A Dad's Guide to Raising a Baby Boy

Parents lying down on beach holding up baby

Being a dad means being your son’s first male role model. He will learn how to react and behave in different situations as he makes his way through the world from you.  Having a little person in your life that watches your every move can be a big responsibility, but it’s one that comes with big rewards. The expectation on modern dads to be more hands-on and involved means that there are many more opportunities to help guide your baby boy along his journey. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Don’t just roughhouse

It can be great fun to roll around on the floor, play sports and generally get rowdy with your son, but it’s also important to remember that your little boy needs quiet snuggling time too. By showing your son that dads can also be tender, you are giving him another view of what it means to be a man. Plus, why should moms have a monopoly on cuddling?

Let him play with an array of toys

Don’t define toys as boy vs. girl. If your son loves to build forts and brandish a sword then play right along with him. If he wants a baby doll so he can pretend play being a dad, encourage that too. By teaching your son that there is no right and wrong toy you will help build his creativity and curiosity.

Get the sillies out.

Boys can have a lot of energy so it’s a good idea to schedule in some running around time that can help him burn off that energy throughout the day. Incorporate sports that you can play together, even if it’s as simple as throwing a ball, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or a bike ride when he gets older. Making exercise a part of your family routine will instill a healthy lifestyle and tire out your growing son.

Instill empathy.

Do activities with your son that encourage giving back and kindness. Helping out an elderly neighbor, bringing home flowers or a special treat for mom, even teaching your son to take turns on the playground slide and share toys, are ways in which he will learn to be more social and treat other people nicely.

Build his resilience.

Be sure to praise your son when he’s done something good, not just come down on him when he makes a mistake. By pointing out the times he tried his best, was a good sport, or when he accomplished something that had been difficult, you will help inspire him to keep working hard and persevere.

Raising a son can be a joyous, at times exhausting, but always rewarding, experience. You’ll find that as you guide and teach your son to be the best he can be you will inevitably learn new things about yourself that will make you a better man as well.

Image : Getty

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