January 27th, 2008
Fathers attending the “Dads of Destiny” conference says the biggest issue many fathers face is connecting with their kids.
A mother has more natural points of connection with her children. She takes care of feeding the children, buying their clothes, taking them to school, etc.
Thus, it is easy for dads to leave the raising of the children to the mom.
Yet dads have many uniques ways they can have a positive influence on their children that are different from a mother’s.
Dads may think they have to plan a big event like going fishing together. Or they have to coach Little League in order to be involved in their children’s lives.
But just like a mother influences the children through daily interaction, fathers can do the same. There are many day-to-day experiences that dads can connect with their children in their daily routine without much extra effort.
Here are some easy ideas for dads to include the kids in their normal routines. (Some of you might consider some of these to be gender-biased. Keep in mind that both dads and moms can use their unique skills and interests to connect with their children.)
1. Do “car” things together – wash the car, help dad change oil, take the kids along when you go to the mechanic, etc.
2. Take the kids with you when you go to the store. I see a lot of men at home improvement stores, but I don’t see many children. Children are used to going to the market and the mall, but there are many things for children to learn at the type of stores that dads frequent.
3. If you are one of those dads who are handy around the house, allow your children to handle your tools under your supervision.
4. Play educational computer games together.
5. Show your children your paycheck and explain how you get paid for working. And of course, you have to show them your bills too! It’s a valuable lesson to show them the type of expenses that go into caring for the family. Don’t forget to tell them about the charities you support.
6. If you have a hobby such as photography, or golfing, you do not necessarily have to let your children take part in it if they are not old enough. Simply show them pictures in your trade magazines and talk with them about it. Your passion in that subject will naturally interest your children as well.
I hope these ideas will springboard you into thinking of other ways you can influence your children in your every day life.
I like what Dolphus Weary said, “Anybody can father a child. It takes an intentional decision to say, ‘I’m going to be a dad to this child.’”
Photo by runneralan