Women’s Health and Wellbeing Services is a not for profit organisation that works with women and families in the community to reduce the impact of mental health problems on families and to help foster growth, for strong women and strong families. Your small change will make a big change!

Dad chats: Building your parenting toolbox

father sleeping with new-born

Welcome to Dad Chats! In these sessions, we’ll be talking about the many facets of fatherhood. We’ll focus on the present moment and explore some new tools that can help dads be their best selves. Topics will include creating a shared idea of fatherhood, tuning the ‘dad engine’, and negotiating boundaries. Our goal is to help you be the best dad you can be – the dad your kids want and deserve.

So what does it mean to be a dad, right here, right now? What makes a great dad?   And how can we be the best dads we can be?

  1. The best dad you can be is completely individual to you. You know your parenting style, your kids’ personalities, and what works for your family. But being the best dad you can be doesn’t have to be complicated. Some things that kids need are universal, like security, trust, and love.
  2. Be patient. Kids need our patience, especially when they’re learning something new or going through a tough time. Listen more than you speak. It’s so important to listen to our kids, and hear what they’re saying. It’s easy to forget that kids are little people, with complex needs. By listening and being patient you’ve got a much better shot of understanding what they’re going through and figuring out the best way to be there for them.
  3. Be present in the moment with your children. This means putting away your phone, being engaged in conversations and activities, and really listening to what they have to say. Make the effort to engage in the things they’re interested in, listen to what’s happened in their day, and watch that Disney movie for the thousandth time.
  4. Explore different parenting styles and figure out what works for you as a family. There are a million different ways to parent, and it can be overwhelming to work out how you want to approach it. There are books, videos, courses, influencers, and in every type, there can be some great tips. Do your research, but don’t feel like you have to take everything on as gospel. Pick and choose what you think will work in your family, try it out, and if it doesn’t, move on. Accept that different things will work at different times as your kids grow. One great approach is the Circle of Security, and you can find out more about that at our workshop (link)
  5. Make time for yourself, too. It’s important to stay physically and mentally healthy, so you can be available for your kids. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t be a great dad if you’re exhausted.
  6. Cut yourself some slack. No-one is a perfect parent, and you will make mistakes. The important thing is showing up every day and trying to be the best dad you can be.


These are some of the questions we’ll be unpacking in Dad Chats. So whether you’re a new dad or a seasoned parenting pro, we hope you’ll join us on this journey. Together, let’s explore what it takes to be the best dads we can be!

You can find our Dad Chats workshop info here. We talk through the many parts of being a dad and work through the toolbox of being a dad and a partner. Topics will include creating a shared idea of fatherhood and tuning the ‘dad engine’; and we’ll talk about negotiating boundaries, keeping relationships strong, and being able to talk about it. Come along and think (and talk) about being the dad you want to be, the dad your kids want you to be, the dad your kids deserve.

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