30 minute Dad
This week’s blog shares some great ideas on how dads can engage with their children intentionally throughout the week.
Often I find I can go into auto-pilot, just basically “doing life” and going from day to day, task to task. I quickly settle into a routine of “whatever’s easiest,” and I can slide into a lazy approach to parenting. As parents we shouldn’t feel the need to be “great” all the time, but I’ve discovered that sometimes I can be a great dad… just in shorter spurts. I was recently joking with my brother about this, when he looked at me and said – “me too!” It made us think that many of us dads might need a challenge of a different kind.
Could you pick a short activity, just 5 to 30 minutes each day, and give your kids your full attention for that time. There are so many demands on our time and energy, that the danger is that we give our kids what’s “left of us.”
I often find that the hardest thing is to choose to engage with my children, but all of us can commit to a few minutes of focused attention every day.
So here are a few of the easiest activities that I find my boys love the most:
– Wrestling on the bed
– Playing hide and seek
– Random cuddles… where I lean in and say, “Do you know how much I missed you today?”
– Turn off technology and give them one to one time with eye contact. Just sit with them… nothing else. Just sit.
– Ask how their day was… and then listen!
– Build a train set.
– Play a board game.
– Read a book. Together.
My personal favourite happened when we were recently working in the garden. Normally I tell the boys to be careful not to spill the leaves and grass out of the recycling bag. This day, I decided to start a grass fight! Impromptu fun is the best. Mummy even got involved (albeit grudgingly!) and it only took five minutes of me running the mower around to clean it all up, but we all remember that ten minutes of quality time together.
These short times together where our kids really get their dad’s attention is huge. And it’s a great foundation for them to learn that their Father God wants to spend time with them too.
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