Take advantage of dad time. Girl’s weekend coming up? Mom out of town for work? The truth is that moms need time away and the time will come at some point where dad will be flying solo. A few years back, while I was starting my business, my wife had to go back to work full-time for us to make ends meet. That meant mom was working a lot during the day, and I was on with the kids for daytime and would burn the midnight oil to work on my business.
Dad Time Comes
I learned a lot during those years, from changing a lot of diapers, daily sacrifice, to what it looks like to serve my family in the roles God had provided during those years. But one of the top skills acquired was how to keep kids entertained for days on end when it was my time to shine with the kids. Here are a few of the top ideas that helped me bond with the young tikes and kept the kids entertained and active while I was on my own.
1. Take them to the park. Young kids need more time outside, and the park is one of the best places to do it. We logged some serious time there over the years, and it even became a challenge for my young son and me to visit as many different parks in and around our city for about two years. We also had a map where we checked off parks we had been to and on the car ride home, we would discuss what the best thing about the park was. This was such a simple, yet excellent way to bond with my son. Thankfully, parks are all around us, so this is an easy one for you to do with your children, no matter their age.
2. Build a fort. This is a classic that seems to never go out of style. Kids (and adults) of all ages love building forts out of couch cushions, pillows blankets, broomsticks, and chairs. Make up imaginary names of your forts and get into it with your kids. They will love it and ask to play that over and over. You might be thinking this sounds silly, but one of the best ways to bond with your younger children is to engage with something on their level instead of forcing them to mature too quickly to your level.
Use Your Imagination | Dad Time
3. Make up a game. My kids have big imaginations, and we like to make up our games. Most recently we developed the Teddy Bear relay race, the Lego build challenge, hallway bowling, the Stairway Olympics, and the Pillow Wrestle-Mania. The point isn’t how awesome the game is. It’s how much you show excitement and allow the kids to participate in the creation of the game. Cultivate a love of fun and competition in your home, and your kids will likely follow suit.
4. Create a video for mom. If you’ve ever been away on a business trip, you know what this can mean for you. Making a video on your mobile phone has never been easier. While mom is away, she is likely missing her kids. Create something fun to remind her that her kids are happy, healthy and having fun.
Connect to the Source | Dad Time
5. Read the Bible with them. This activity should be done when mom is home and when she is away. When one of the parents is away, we can get overwhelmed in the entertainment part of parenting. We want you to spend time doing those four things listed above. Enjoy moments with your children, but don’t forsake the Bible. Raise your children in the instruction of the Lord and have conversations about Jesus with them.
Takeaway: Mom being away doesn’t mean you’ve gained a burden. Instead, you’ve gained an opportunity to invest in your children.
Verse Reference: Ephesians 6:4 — “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
About the Author: Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative, based in Matthews NC.
I just completed your Uncommen devotion series on my bible app and really liked it. It really challenged me to seek ways in which to attend to the needs of my wife and family. I’d ask that you pray for me on the latter, though. In 2001 my exwife accused the wife of one of our church elders of demon possession. The pastor and elder board, less the elder whose wife was accused, offered my wife counseling, and if she was unwilling to attend to her mental health issues told her she would need to leave the church as she had already recruited five other women to believe as she had. My exwife decided to leave and threatened me to leave as well – “it’s leave this church and find another or we’re done.” Two years after leaving the church she accused me of abusing her and the kids, and filled for divorce. Although her process of alienating our three children from me began a few years prior to her filing, she turned the heat up when entering our legal system, a completely broken family law system. For 15 years I contended with lawyers, courts, law enforcement, legislators, psychologists, licensing boards, and a whole host of others (not to mention ar times my own children) in an attempt to show/ demonstrate who I really was. In the end though the police would not enforce denied visitation, the courts would not issue consequences when my exwife would thumb her nose at orders, and psychologists would largely grow to believe her allegations, just as the five women had when my exwife accused the elder of a wife of demon possession (these women, their husbands and children all left the church as well). My oldest son is now fully alienated – haven’t seen him since July 27, 2007. My daughter was molested by my exwife’s second husband, and had grown to believe something my exwife wrote to me, our court ordered psychologist and minors counsel – my exwife stated, “you [meaning me, her birth father] catapulted the child [our daughter] into the Xxxx’s [her second husband’s arms.” Through my exwife’s skills in psychological acrobatics, my daughter now believes I had something to do with my exwife’s second husband’s molesting her. She’s now 18 and wants to have nothing to do with me. We last spoke in November 2016, and our last meal together was in June 2016. My exwife divorced her second husband who now sits on the California Megan’s Law website. My second child attends the Christian university I work at and we see each other now and again. Dinner every so often or go night skiing. Please pray for my children. They’re all pretty mixed up psychologically. I love them a lot, but the effects of Parental Alienation Syndrome have really taken a toll not only on their mental health and perspective, but on our relationships as well. I met a beautiful woman in Sunday School two years after the divorce (oh i returned to the church my exwife took us from – another story), and we eventually married. We live across the street from an apartment complex my ex and I used to live at; an apartment complex where i had to repair a wall my exwife put her leg through in one of her frequent bouts of rage. Anyhow, my wife and i are loving Jesus and others and would love to know my kids again one day. Pray for us.
Just read your comment and letting you know I’ll be praying for you and your kids!
I just read your post and it broke my heart and tears down my face. I will definitely pray for you and your family.
Really gives me a positive insight on When my wife visits her family
Hi Jeff, reading your comment, it almost is a mirror image of my situation, less just a little of the detail. I have remarried, my middle child has returned for monthly visits not fortnightly, my eldest has seen through the rubbish and has restablished relationship. My youngest is still poisoned and wants little to nothing to do with me. However, yet I will still praise Him. Pray for each of them. In the end she will need to answer to our God, the Almighty and give account for her actions. Let’s pray for each other. Hold onto God.