PC: @missverse, @younglovemedia
As a dad, I feel a large responsibility to connect and get to know my children. Our family dynamic is a traditional one, where I am at work for most of the day, and my wife completes the childcare during that time.
I will come home many days to hear taless from my two-year-old son on how much fun he had during the day, but how he missed me as well. I understand the need to be at work to fulfill our family’s financial obligations, but I know he doesn’t. To help fulfill my son’s emotional needs, I do all that I can to spend time with him from the time I am home from work to the time he goes to bed, and then on any days I have off. A large chunk of time is spending a lot of one-on-one time with him so he can feel and recognize the love I have for him. If you need help thinking of how you can connect with your children, here are a few of the few things we enjoy doing with our time.
Find Out Their Interests
My son has loved everything from dinosaurs, cars, cartoons and superheroes–like a typical toddler. Lately, he has been all about Batman and Spiderman. As someone who grew up loving those same superheroes, I don’t have a problem with any of this. Some of the one-on-one time we enjoy includes going to either the local comic book shop to look at a few of his favorites, or heading to the library to see what we can find with his heroes in them. Since he is so young and destructive, I tend to head over to the library since those books are a little more durable.
Go Out for a Treat
Some of my fondest memories I have with my dad include going to a Baskin Robins or grabbing a burger. My dad always had an open line of communication and that helped us develop a strong relationship. I try to do the same with my boys, and it has been a lot of fun. Even though he doesn’t say too much, just listening him describe things to me as we share an ice cream brings a smile to my face. I love the small talk I have with my son, and I’m excited to watch our relationship evolve in the future.
Go to a Sporting Event
I always hope that my love of sports will manifest itself in my children. I have taken my son to a few BYU football games in his lifetime and I feel like these have been the best bonding moments with him. The few times I have taken him to the games, he has become my mini-me. He will get animated with the calls like I do and will chant alongside the crowd. He doesn’t cry when it gets loud and I couldn’t be more proud.
Find What Works for you
The bottom-line is that you can do pretty much anything with your child and they will love you for it. The point is that it’s quality time and they feel your love. I have observed that too many parents fall victim to technology and are too occupied with their phones. Sure, they get out with their children, but they diddle with their smartphone while the children play at a park. It doesn’t have to be every day that you do an activity like those mentioned above, but it should probably be at least once a week.
Fun Activities you can try
If you’re stuck on things to do, here are a few ideas that you can try:
- Visit a pumpkin patch
- Visit the zoo
- Go to a museum
- Go bowling
- Play at an arcade
- Play at a trampoline park
- Miniature golfing
- Ice skating
Just get out there and focus on the quality time you get to share with your littles now, before they are big and don't care so much about the time they spend with you.