DadPlay: Tackling challenging behaviour in 3–5-year-olds

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Australian fathers in rural, regional and remote areas, who are raising children aged three to five, with challenging behaviour, will have a helping hand through a new mobile-phone-based service.


Developed by the University of Newcastle’s Fathers and Families Research team, DadPlay is a free SMS service. It focuses on active father-child play and provides evidence-based information and practical advice to dads on: positive activities and relationships with their child; about their child’s social skills and behaviour; and on family relationships.

Research has shown programs targeting parenting skills are effective, however many parenting programs unintentionally work against father inclusion and fail to engage, retain or measure men's participation and impact on child outcomes.

Participating fathers will receive three to five SMS texts each week containing demonstrations of games, reminders to play, and psychoeducational information about child development, behaviour and parenting.

Watch the explainer video DadPlay – what’s it all about?

To register interest in the research project text DadPlay to 0488 824 230.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.