Today’s dads want to become more involved in their kids’ lives. But sometimes they just don’t know how. Most of them don’t have the best role models: their own fathers weren’t around much, and their mothers took over most of the household chores and child-rearing. So even if they say, ‘I want to be there for my kids!’ they’re not sure where to start. This article can help.
Set a day and a time when you’ll be left with the kids. It’s a perfect time for your wife or partner to escape (read our article on ‘me time makes you a better mom’) and give you a chance to really flex those daddy muscles.
And, since you have a scheduled time, you can plan a fun activity. Do you want to take them to the playground? Go to the zoo? Watch that latest Pixar movie? Maybe you can shoot hoops in your backyard, or play board games. Having a plan can make you feel more confident, and give your kids something to look forward to. If your child really loves an activity, you can even make it your special ritual: ‘Every Saturday afternoon, my dad and I go have pizza and watch a movie.’ Or, ‘Every Friday night, Dad and I play games on the Playstation!’
Share homework duties
Usually, it’s the moms who make sure the kids do their homework. But when both parents get involved , you send a strong message that education is important to both of you. One way to do that is to reinforce your child’s lessons with educational activities. Is he taking up the planets and stars in Science? Camp out in the backyard and point out the different constellations. Is he learning about the second world war in history? Share your grandfather’s stories, or bring him to a museum.
Take up a family sport
Exercise is good for you, and doing it with your family makes it fun. Running, biking, basketball, tennis bowling—take your pick. There are plenty of activities that are appropriate for all ages. Sports can also be a way for you to teach your child important values, like teamwork and discipline, and when you’re part of the game you get to role model these qualities instead of preaching them at the dinner table.
Join the school activities
You may not have time to go to the doctors’ appointments, but please make time for special school activities: the plays, the games, and the PTAs. This isn’t just about your child’s grades. For your child, school is the venue for many accomplishments and triumphs. He works hard,and practices long hours, to get those grades or be part of the school team. Being there is very important for him. It shows that you care about what he cares about, and are proud of his efforts.
Photo from mirror.co.uk