7. Make time for your child
We all live in a time where nothing seems to slow down. Things are happening constantly. There are news cycles, Twitter feeds, Instagram posts, Redit, Pinterest, Facebook……….oh yea, and work. Then you may have sports games and practice, homework, cooking, and cleaning. Then before you know it, it’s lights out, just to do it all over again tomorrow. The problem is that being around your child is not necessarily spending time with them. The problem is that someday, there will not be a tomorrow. Take a moment out of everyday to unplug. Set a specific time just to be with your child. Slow down the whirlwind of life and have an actual conversation with your child. Ask about their life and what is happening in it. You may be surprised what you find.
6. Take them to a movie
It is easy to take your child to movie that you want to see. It is a little more difficult to go to the ones you really are not interested in. “Let’s just wait for it to come out online” is usually the response I give. It may be an over the top blockbuster with superheroes or space aliens. It may be an animated flick of silly things or a drama full of tears and well, drama. But for this, you have to put the child before you, and its only a couple hours of torture. Besides, you might actually enjoy the movie. And if not, just remember it is for your child.
5. Take them out to a dinner
This does not have to be an expensive outing. You may be surprised how much fun your child can have in a fast food restaurant playground. If you go this route try to remember that the playgrounds are rated for children, so when you find yourself crawling through the tubes, just don’t get caught! There are also a myriad of specialized restaurants all across the country. From buffets to pizza to fun filled gaming bonanza’s. Remember it is the time together, not the money spent that is important.
4. Build a project together
This is a great way to bond with your child. I remember when I was young and my father would ask me to help him work on the car. He would ask me to do important things like hold the flash light and hand him the kimmmerbandish, at least that’s what it sounded like to me. I didn’t know tools at the time. Then he would get furious at the car and call it names I didn’t understand…………… So don’t do that to your child. But find a project that both of you can do that will not involve hurling things at inanimate object and teaching your child new words.
There are many possibilities depending on you or your child’s skill level. Building sets are a great way to get a child involved in constructing childhood projects. From the multitude of Lego sets to Leonardo da Vinci designs to Enigmo STEM building structures to the old school plastic model kits. There are honestly so many possibilities to choose from, I am jealous that these were not around when I was growing up.
3. Play video games together
Yes, you heard me correctly. I know, I know, first I advise unplugging and spending time with your child and now here I am saying to play video games with your child. Hear me out on this one. Everyone now is playing online against other players or friends from all over the world. If you are anything like me I do not last more than 30 seconds on online gaming. So if you want to play in their world, you need to team up and work together or disconnect the server and go “old school”. Most children do not even know what the campaign side of the game even is. Team up and work together to accomplish your goals. Show them with your old school prowess. Or even better if you have an old gaming system, blow the dust off of it and fire it up. Show your child just how bad we had it!
2. Organize a father child cookout
Ask your child what they would like on a cookout. Have them go to the store with you to pick out the items for your big event. Let them choose the items, then you put them back and get cheaper versions of the same product. Then explain to them that daddy isn’t made of money and generic is just as good as name brand…….sometimes. Then bring the supplies home and let the games begin. Get your child involved in every aspect of the preparation, according to age of course. I don’t suggest sharp utensils to young children, that usually doesn’t go well. Have them help with mixing and seasoning and general prep for the upcoming feast. This is a great time to teach the “secrets” to the wonder of dad’s famous food. Not to brag or anything but I am known to make a great burnt steak that will set off fire alarms! (True story)
Have them help with the cooking process, no matter if its flipping burgers or watching something bake in oven through the glass, they will learn something from the experience. I know my family will be making burnt steaks for generations to come!
1. Play Date
This is a very serious endeavor. Where you, the grown up, stop being grown up. It is where you drop down to your child’s level and play with them like their friends do. This is where you put up the laptop, shut off the cell phone and load the Nerf guns. This is serious play time! For this event no grown up stuff should be involved. No matter if you play tag, a board game, have a tea party, paint your toenails, or have a full on Nerf war extravaganza this will make memories for years to come. So chase your children around, tickle them until they almost cry, hug them and remember that you are just not doing this for them, you are also doing this for you.
Get off the internet, get up, and go spend time with your kids!