Busy Dads / Staying Connected


The National Center for Fathering shares ideas on how busy dads can still have a consistent presence in their household.

Are you a busy dad? Like you, I often rush through each day trying to keep up with a slew of deadlines and responsibilities. Before I know it, several days have passed and sometimes it seems I haven’t connected with each of my children.

Can you relate? If you travel a lot for your job, it’s even more of a challenge.

Well, there are many creative ways to stay in touch, and I’m thankful for dads—like Jeff and Milton—who send in their ideas.

Jeff travels about 150 nights a year. He calls to check in every day, and that’s an important step. Jeff recommends telling the younger kids how many “sleeps” are left until he returns. It helps to be able to count down together how many “sleeps” there are until he sees them again.

Jeff also encourages his kids to call him on his cell phone any time, wherever he is. Even if they get voice mail and he has to call ‘em back, they can be reassured that he’s available to them.

Milton has a great idea as well. For several years, he took a few minutes each week to write a handwritten note to each of his children. He’d mention something special the child did that week, offer words of encouragement and blessing, or just write, “I love you.”

He’d hide those notes in their sock drawer, in a book, inside a glass in the cupboard, or any number of places around the house. Finding those notes was a joy for the kids, especially when they’d come upon an old note that had been hidden for a long time.

Milton’s son kept every note in a jar in his room. His daughter would put them back where she found ‘em, so she could find them again and again. When Milton traveled, he used postcards in the same way.

Now dad, your daily schedule may be hectic, like mine. But you can still have a consistent presence in your household. You can let your children know that you think about them often, and your love for them is as strong as ever.

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