How to Dad: Getting to Know your Kids

How to Dad: Getting to Know your Kids

I love watching my two-year-old son turn into a little man that loves to laugh, wrestle and spend time with me. It is so rewarding to be his dad and bond with him. As much as I am enjoying it now (and will for years to come), it hasn’t always been this way.

Born as a momma's boy, it took a while for my son to favor me, but finally, it happened! To be fair, he definitely is still a momma's boy, but realizes there is someone new to play with when I get home from work. Keeping a good connection with my boys is definitely at the top of my priority list! Here's what I do to keep these solid connections.  

Bedtime Rituals

Every night, my little guy asks me to snuggle with him. I love this time together. As we talk, I get a better understanding of how his little mind works. This is my all-time favorite activity. In the last few months, I have learned his likes, dislikes, what scares him, who his best friends are (spoiler alert, it’s everyone he spent time with that day) and everything I have ever wanted to know. He is an open book and I love talking with him. For example, he told me the other night that mommy has a baby girl in her belly and she has the same eyes as him. Time will tell if this bedtime confession was actually a prophecy.

Taking Pictures

It’s weird to look back at my own childhood and think that phones weren’t capable of taking pictures, or video, of everything we do. For him, this is everyday life. He constantly lets me know when he wants me to take a picture or video. Sometimes, I will be sitting on the couch and he will insist on an impromptu photo shoot. Often, he is trying to recreate photos of me, at his age, dawning my dad’s cowboy hat and boots. I don’t have either of those things, but that doesn’t stop him from putting on my baseball hat and shoes while telling me to take a picture. His love of picture taking is starting to spill over into his little brother’s life as well. My 10-month-old son started pulling himself up on furniture and discovered stairs. Anytime he pulls himself up, I hear the tiniest voice say “Take hims picture, daddy!” from across the room.

Introducing my hobbies

It’s normal (and awesome) for boys to want to be like their dads. I remember wanting to be like my dad in every single way and being his little shadow wherever he went. It has taken time for my toddler to show that type of interest in my activities, but he is starting to come around. My first passion in life was (and still is) sports. I enjoy watching, playing and following just about any sport. It wasn’t until I took my son to a Utah Jazz game that he showed an interest in sports. Since then, I have shown him my interests in weightlifting, wrestling and football. I think it’s hilarious when he wants to wrestle me and tries to take me down, or when I’m sitting on the couch and he throws a football for me to catch.

Having an open line of communication

During my nightly chat with my son, I tell him I love him and always will, no matter what. I tell him that he can always come to me with questions and concerns no matter how silly he might think they are. Even though he is too young to truly understand what I mean by any of that, I feel that it’s important anyway. I know that he will be able to feel the love I have for him and one day, it will mean something more to him than just a few words.

Having fun

The most important thing I have been doing to connect with my son is just having fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in my own pursuits that I forget what really matters. My family is central to all that I do, and if I don’t make time for them, then all that hard work is for nothing.

If I’m ever having a bad day at work, I know that I can go home and have fun with my family. I remember having fun with my dad around his age and I want him to have the same quality relationship that I share with my dad.

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