CBeebies’ Nigel Clark: Tips for dads getting more involved in play

There is no set of golden rules to being a good dad. Every man, child, and family is different so how could there be a formula that works for everyone? That said, sticking to some ideals will help you find yourself in a much better place. There is no such thing as a perfect dad, but there are dads who try their best for their children and that’s all anyone can ask.

Play is an amazing way to bond with your child. Here are a few top tips from CBeebies' Nigel Clarke on getting involved.

1. Spend time getting to know them

Our children have their own personalities, interests, abilities, likes and dislikes. These will all shape the play they enjoy. Spend time getting to know your children as they grow and change. You have learnt things, changed your mind, tried different things and so will they. Knowing your child allows you to connect with them.


2. Don’t just Supervise - Play with them

This may sound silly but it is so important. When you have fun with someone it forms a bond. If I ask you to think of someone important in your life and then think of a good time you had with them, 9 times out of 10 you will remember a time when you were playing and joking around. That’s because these fun times have formed a bond between those involved. The more fun times you have with your children the stronger your bond with them will be.


3. Communicate with them

This tip is not just good for being a good dad, it’s a life tip that can be applied to all areas. Communication is the best way to avoid conflict and keep a relationship moving forward. Play is a great opportunity to build on these skills.


4. Listen to them

This is not the same as point 3. As a parent it’s easy to disregard what your child might be saying and assume you know best. The thing is, sometimes we jump in too fast and miss the point they are trying to make, or we miss an opportunity to provide another way of looking at things. Let them lead a game. Listening first without saying anything can open up a whole new area of conversation, or opportunity for learning.


5. Teach them good manners, patience and how to treat others

Turn taking during play provides a great opportunity here. This is an important one and you would think it’s a given, but it’s on the list to reinforce something we can all become better at. How can we expect others to treat us well if we don’t treat them well? It starts with educating our children and if we all do our part it will make for a better world with better people in it. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and acknowledge desirable behaviour positively. Remember, great dads are firm but fair.




Adapted from Nigel’s ‘Tips on Being a Good Dad’ available on his Dadvengers Blog. Dadvengers is an online community, forum and resource created by Nigel Clarke to help support dads with anything and everything on their journey through parenthood. Though it’s dad focused everyone is welcome (Mums that means you too). Head to www.nigelclarkepresenter.co.uk to find out more.

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