Small, special ‘dad moments’ add up to a lot of love

Time flies when you’re raising kids, so this Father’s Day (4th September), experts from Australia’s Triple P - Positive Parenting Program are reminding dads to think more about the little moments to help build positive family relationships, encourage kids to be happier and more confident, and create childhood memories that will always raise a smile.

Dr Michael Herd, Triple P International psychologist, said Australia’s dads, step-dads, grandfathers, and other father figures typically want to spend more time with their family, not just on Father’s Day, but may struggle to find practical ways to put that into practice.

“The great news is that you don’t need to spend hours at a time with your child to have a positive impact,” Dr Herd said.

“Spending small chunks of time, more often, is a terrific way to support your child’s wellbeing.”

“One of the most valuable small chunks of time is when your child approaches you, to show you something, or ask a question. When we respond at these times, while it may only take 15 seconds, the message it sends to our child is a giant one,” Dr Herd said.

Research reveals that the more time parents spend with their child, the more positive the family environment and the greater long-term success for the child.

“Simple, low-key fun moments where you just enjoy each other’s company, or watch what your child is doing, can send a powerful message that you’re interested,” he said.

“We live in an ‘urgent’ world where we are so busy with the day-to-day family stuff, that little opportunities can go by us. Taking the time to stop and look into your child’s eyes and hear what they have to say will have a positive impact throughout the teenage years and beyond.”

“While the pandemic may have reminded families why they love spending quality time with their kids doing simple things together, other traditions may have fallen by the wayside over the past couple of years, so it could be time to bring them back.”

“Traditions don’t have to be grand gestures or something you do on a particular date. It could be a routine like going for ice-cream on Friday nights, cooking your favourite food, or drawing together,” Dr Herd said.

“Dads and father figures are more than just a stereotypical Father’s Day blurb on a greeting card – their ongoing involvement in a child’s life provides a strong framework for success throughout childhood, into the teenage years, and on into adulthood,” he said.

Delivery of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program to parents and carers of children in Australia is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care under the Parenting Education and Support Program. Parents and carers can access free, online parenting support 24/7 at




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