Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

Dads: Build Stronger Relationships With Your Kids

Want to be a better father? Spend time with your children -- and other dads.
WebMD Magazine - Feature

For Father's Day this year, give yourself a gift: more time with your kids. In fact, make it a daily gift for both you and your children. It's the best way to build loving and meaningful relationships.

"All the research -- and there's a lot of it -- says the same thing: The more time dads spend with their kids, the better it is for the kids and the better it is for the dads," says psychologist Jerrold Lee Shapiro, PhD, a professor at Santa Clara University in California. Here are Shapiro's tips for making your time together count.

Recommended Related to Men

Why Men's Lives Are Shorter Than Women's

Listen up, guys. It may be time to drop the bravado and consider these sobering statistics: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is three times higher among men who are clinically depressed. Male suicides outnumber female suicides in every age group. Homicide and suicide are among the top three causes for death among males between the ages of 15 and 34. By the age of 85, women outnumber men in the U.S. 2.2 to 1; this rises to 3 to 1 if they reach their 90s. ...

Read the Why Men's Lives Are Shorter Than Women's article > >

Be with them, not just for them. "Most men live with the 'provide and protect' prime directive," Shapiro says. "Their attention is often focused away from their kids, at least in a direct way." Instead of talking with their children, dads, as protectors, too often slip into problem-solving mode. For example, when they call home, dads often ask, "Are you OK? Do you need money?" and then pass the phone to Mom. Don't do that, Shapiro says. "Listen and talk to them. It's what they want -- and need -- from you."

Work on a project together. Got something that needs fixing? Tell your son or daughter you'd like some help, even if your child's job is as simple as handing you a wrench while you work. That quiet, physical closeness as you accomplish your task as a team can be quite meaningful. "The way that dads spend time with kids, which can be very nurturing, often doesn't involve many words," says Shapiro.

Make friends with fellow dads. Fathers rarely have what Shapiro calls the emotional language for communicating with their young children. Fluency will come with a little help from your guy friends. Does your son or one of the children in his playgroup have a birthday party coming up? Be sure to go and make friends with the fathers there. "That's a great way for dads to get involved," Shapiro says.

Expert Q&A

Q: "I have a 3-year-old son and an infant daughter. What's one big difference in how I will relate to them emotionally as their father?"

A: "As a dad you're not likely to hold back when it's your son. But dads are often less confident when it's a daughter who is upset. If your daughter feels hurt by a friend, for example, that's a social, emotional conundrum that many dads will leave to Mom. Instead, tell her that you know she's upset, that you know what it's like to have your feelings hurt, and that you will help her feel better." Kyle Dean Pruett, MD, clinical professor, Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine, and co-author of Partnership Parenting.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD Magazine." 

Reviewed on April 14, 2014

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Man taking blood pressure
doctor holding syringe
Condom Quiz
man running
older couple in bed