Dr Richard Fletcher from the University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre said today’s children were more likely to be mollycoddled, seriously hampering the development of exploratory behaviour.
Dr Fletcher’s latest research indicates fathers could be the key to unlocking the explorer in their child.
“Fathers can reduce accidents by encouraging exploration in their young children,” Dr Fletcher said.
“Fathers are more inclined than mothers to help their children safely explore and play an important role in ‘safe enough’ risk-taking, such as rough and tumble play without injury.
“Exploratory behaviour teaches our kids important tools around managing their emotions and physical energy.”
Dr Fletcher will present his findings at a free public lecture at the University on Tuesday 1 November.
He will be joined by visiting fellow and world-renowned researcher in father-child interaction, Dr Daniel Paquette, from the University of Montreal, Canada.
The two speakers will present new evidence on how fathers can encourage ‘safe enough’ risk taking and can help their youngsters to safely explore.
“Fathers have a role to activate their children from a very young age,” Dr Paquette said.
“Risk-taking is part of growing up.”
Dr Paquette’s work into father-child bonding shows that fathers nurture their children in a different way to mothers.
For interviews contact: Dr Richard Fletcher on 0401 855 678.
Media opportunity: The free lecture will be held 1 November at the Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle, from 5.30pm – 7pm.