12th January 2019
by Kate Halim
Being the best dad to your children doesn’t just happen. It takes love, work, and dedication. You have to know what being loved means to your children and meet their emotional needs.
Absent fathers miss a lot because they don’t know their children intimately. They don’t know their favourite colours, their best sport activities, their strengths and weaknesses as well as what truly makes them happy.
If you want to be the best dad to your children this year, bear these tips in mind and do everything possible to spend more time with your children.
Dance with your kids. It doesn’t matter if you can’t dance. Sway side to side, spin in a circle, jump up and down. Throw on an awesome family dance party playlist and dance. Not only will you have fun, but listening to music together creates healthy family bonds and shapes positive memories.
Stick to a routine. Something you and your children can do things together at least every week. You could meet your kids for lunch, let your children help you get dressed in the morning (pick out your socks or a belt, put your shoes on for you, and so on), brush your teeth together at night. It doesn’t have to be anything special, but the time and regularity will be special to your children.
Ask questions. Ask about school, their friends, what they are worried about, what they are looking forward to. If they share a problem, don’t try to fix it. I know it’s hard, but just listen while they talk.
Read out loud. Your kid is never too old to be read to. For younger kids, read a bedtime story. For older kids, you can take turns reading out loud from the same book.
Surprise your kids. Come home early from work one day, even if it’s just a half hour early. Take the day or the morning off work to do something fun with your kids, even if it’s just once a year.
Bring your kids to work. Show them your desk, and the conference room where you have your weekly company meetings. Tell them what you do all day when you are away from them.
Tell stories. Your kids love to hear simple stories from when you were a kid. Also, tell stories about when they were younger. Make dinner. No matter if you are the chef of the family or your partner usually does the cooking, pick a night and make dinner with the kids. Involve them in deciding what to make, and involve them in the work of making it. They will be much more likely to eat dinner that they helped make.
Look through photos. Whether you have a physical photo album or a folder of pictures on your computer, sit down together and look through family photos. Relive fun family vacations, your kids’ first steps and birthday parties.
Show up to concerts, ball games, dance recitals, science fairs.
Whatever their hobbies or interests are, be there.