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Why do dads often find it difficult to bond?

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A dad helping his child with drawing and craft
While it's not always the case, dads often find it more difficult to forge a relationship with their kids as they grow up.

'Mums naturally spend more time with children from the moment they're born,' says David Bartlett. 'Dads are rarely left totally in charge of a newborn baby for very long in the way that mums are.'

And obviously, as the kids grow up it is still natural for the dad to be the main breadwinner, meaning he spends more time at work and less time at home. 'Mums aren't necessarily any better than men at making bonds with their kids,' says David, 'but the longer time they get with them means they quickly become more confident and more engaged.'

It's all about how we're wired

Helen Barrett points out that it's often an emotional thing. 'Men find it more difficult to cope with their emotions and to talk about things,' which means they interact with their children, especially as they grow up, differently to women. 'It's not quite the same sort of relationship for dads, as it is for mums.'

'Men are very activity-based,' adds Rachel Morris. 'They like doing side-by-side things - think drinking at a bar, watching football, playing computer games, or a round of golf.

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'This means they don't tend to confront each other and talk as much about important issues. This will show itself up in relationships with kids, as well. Dads need to talk and listen to their children and not just "do things" with them.'

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