Family First

Making Time to Care

Building a Stronger Attachment with Children During Workdays



For most dads, a stable career is a vital part of their lives. Not only does it fulfill their passion, but it also helps them put food on the table. Doing good on the job is important to keep the income flowing and eventually increase purchasing power needed to provide a better life for their families. As they progress, however, the daily grind of a working dad expands, resulting in a packed work schedule that sometimes takes time away from quality moments with kids. But if available research is to be considered, hardworking fathers may have to change their ways, especially if they want to get closer to their children.

A study originally published in the Journal of Family Psychology reveals that father-child attachment tends to be stronger when fathers spend time caring for their toddler on working days. To arrive at this data, researchers looked at how fathers and their kids bond, and when these activities occur. Dads who make time for children during workdays are said to possibly be seen as a more trustworthy source of emotional support, given that they are willing to prioritize playtime over work responsibilities. Being present at home despite busy work days can also lead to a better father-mother relationship, which contributes to greater family harmony that can strengthen parent-child attachment.

If you are a dad who’s thinking of ways to manage your time between work and family, you may consider these ideas:

  1. Set Boundaries. Dedicate a time to check your emails and take phone calls related to your business. Try not to do these in a period that you have already allotted for family events so you can stay present and enjoy the moment with those you love.
  2. Decorate Your Workspace. Use mementos that remind you of your family to spruce up your office. These can serve as reminders of who are waiting for you at home, and should encourage you to do your best efficiently, so you can join them at the dinner table at the end of a long day.
  3. Make a List. Learn to prioritize and organize so you’ll be able to accomplish all your tasks and empty your checklist without having to file for overtime.
  4. Take breaks. If you can multitask at work, you can do so during your break. Call your kids and ask them how their day is going. This can be a great set-up for a meaningful conversation once you and your child are back in each other’s arms.
  5. Make Time for Important Family Events. While it may be easy to miss your son’s ball game or your daughter’s ballet recital due to work demands, this may be detrimental. Your kids will remember the times that you’ve witnessed and celebrated their milestones, but your employers will most probably forget that you’ve attended one meeting. Don’t let the urgent crowd out the important.

There will always be situations that are beyond our control. Long work hours or changing shifts may happen, but with regular quality time, positive communication, and loving appreciation, a bond between a father and his child will never be broken.