There's no ideal way to be a dad, but showing up is the first step - expert

"There is no ideal way to be a dad, you don't have to be a superhero but your kids are looking for an everyday hero, who shows up for them in very real ways," said Nikki Bush, this Father's Day.

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At least 60 percent of children in South Africa grow up without a father, according to research by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the South African Race Relations Institute (SARRI).

"It's a big number...the impact is huge... because children learn how to value and respect themselves through the eyes of their dads..."

That's according to Nikki Bush - human potential and parenting expert, who spoke to the Weekend Breakfast's Gugu Mhlungu ahead of Father's Day on Sunday.

While acknowledging challenges specific to South Africa, such as the migrant labour system, Bush remarked on how fathers can try be present in their children's lives.

"There is no ideal way to be a dad, you don't have to be a superhero but your kids are looking for an everyday hero, who shows up for them in very real ways," said Bush.

She encouraged fathers to parent according to their personality types, but being careful not to instil fear in their children.

Dads are both tough and tender, and we need kids to experience both those sides of dad.. so we don't want them to grow up afraid of their dad, but... don't leave the mother with all the discipline issues either..."

"It doesn't matter if you're outwardly affectionate or love your children more quietly we all have different personality types and different ways of expressing parenthood..."

Bush also stressed the importance of a united front when parenting, whether the parents are still together or not.

"Singing from the same proverbial hymn sheet is important." to avoid manipulation or children playing one parent against the other.

You can listen to the full interview below: