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.