Recent studies show that parents’ attitudes can influence their offsprings’ belief from very early childhood. Just as fatherhood teaches dads various life lessons that can shape them for the rest of their lives, there are invaluable life lessons fathers can pass onto their own children. These include overcoming adversity and resolving conflict. Travelling together may well present lots of opportunities to put these lesson into practice.
The importance of overcoming barriers
When travelling, it is very likely that you and your son or daughter will find yourselves in an unfamiliar or testing situation. Whether it be visiting landmarks with a physical impairment or embarking on a new experience when travelling, the boundaries we set our children – even from infancy – can influence their self-concept: how they perceive themselves and what they can achieve. Rather than making a child feel inhibited or full of self-doubt, trust your child to make certain decisions, find their own solutions to problems and learn from setbacks. In doing so, you are preparing your child for the struggles and challenges they will inevitably face throughout their life.
Resolving conflict doesn’t mean coming to blows
You and your son or daughter might experience conflict when traveling around unfamiliar places. Such conflict might occur between the two of you (hopefully on a small scale), or between you and some locals or other travellers. As a father, this can be a great opportunity for you to lead by example and show that conflict is something that can be resolved peacefully. Model the type of positive behavior needed: focus on polite language, a calm tone and respectful body language. Demonstrating your expectations from early childhood – even to preschoolers – will increase the chance of your offspring learning appropriate behavior and emotional control from a young age. It is, after all, much harder for adults to change long-standing traits and habits.
Life lessons can be learnt right from the start
The influence you have as a father on your child’s sense of self cannot be overstated. This might seem like quite an overwhelming concept, but try to view it instead as a privilege. It is inevitable that your child will encounter difficulties in their life, whether it be personal setbacks or disputes. By leading by example, communicating with your child and trusting them too, you give them the best chance possible of overcoming adversity and handling conflict in a mature and measured manner.