The relationship between father and baby

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Transcript

Anna Maria Chiesa, Ph.D.: People often say that nowadays fathers help around more. That's an issue we should reflect upon. When we say "help", it means we're assuming that the responsibility to take care of the child is the mother's. But in fact, there are active fathers and there are inactive fathers. It's not about helping the mother, but it's about the baby. So how can a father bond with his child?

Anna Maria Chiesa, Ph.D.: The bond between father and son is built by the father being present in his child's daily life. So it's good that now fathers are more willing to do that. Because 50 years ago, fathers were forbidden to be a part of that. Fathers couldn't be there for the birth, they couldn't change a diaper. People went, "He won't know how to do it." Well, he will find a way.

Simon Kuper: I think every woman is learning every day how to be a woman. And every man is learning how to be a man. And so, how do you learn? You learn from people around you. They tell you, "Real men don't change diapers." or "Real men don't hold their child." And now, finally, men are told, "You have to hold your child. You're a loser if you don't. Don't be ridiculous."

Father: I try to participate as much as I can in my son's life. I prepare his bottle, bathe him, change his diaper. Countless times while I changed him, he pooped all over my hand. No sweat. I want to be present in his life for everything.

Father: I try to be a good dad. I try, every day. You can't just say, "Today I don't feel like playing." It's not an option. Sometimes people forget about the relationship.

Father: You can ask, "Hi, sweetie, what are we playing today?" What do I do? "What are we playing? It's up to you." You know? I think that's essential.

Child to father: You're looking beautiful. You look like your drawing.