For a father, realizing a child has been left out of either family issues or school activities can be a heartbreaking situation.
In a recent study from Sweden, it was shown that the siblings of cancer patients often felt left out because they felt they had no one to speak to about their feelings.
For her doctoral thesis, Margaretha Nolbris of Sweden’s Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg interviewed 35 siblings of children who were treated for cancer who ranging in age from 8 to 36 years old.
"Parents and medical personnel should remember to involve siblings as soon as a diagnosis has been made, and then keep them informed and updated about the illness, treatments and the ill child’s status," Nolbris said.
While this is an extreme example, it does show how fathers with keen parenting skills can identify when a child is feeling left out and find a way to include them in any situation.
This type of emotion most often occurs when a new brother or sister is introduced to a child. To combat feelings of abandonment, fathers should involve the child well before the newborn arrives by talking to them about the pregnancy process (not all of it, obviously) and answering any questions the child may have.
For children who feel rejected from a group at school, fathers should be cautious when confronting the topic and try to figure out exactly what happened. At the very least, it’ll get the child to talk about the situation and help them figure out what went wrong.
One way fathers can help their child combat feelings of rejection is to boost their self esteem by encouraging their skill or interests. For example, a child who is really into music may appreciate getting a musical instrument such as a guitar.
A tip for fathers of the musically gifted: avoid the drums until you can soundproof the walls.