Time to Renew Your Fathering Commitment
I just love springtime. If football games happened in the spring, it would easily be my favorite season.
For me, there’s an excitement and anticipation in the air. In my part of the world, flowers are coming up, some trees are budding, grass is turning green, and the sun is setting later in the day. Everything seems fresh and new. Also, if Easter is a meaningful holiday for you like it is for me, that only adds to the sense of hope and expectation.
No matter what situation you’re in as a father, whether life seems pretty good right now or you’re really struggling, I hope you’ll apply this idea of renewal to your role. If you need a fresh start in your fathering, maybe this is a good time for that.
Here are two ways you might apply this idea:
First, don’t miss the good stuff. As I enter into the spring season, I’ve been asking myself, What is it that I don’t want to miss with my children and grandchildren? The warmer weather and the longer days make possible a whole new set of events and activities with our families. Which ones do you want to make sure you don’t miss with them?
Maybe it’s a tradition you have in the spring: an Easter weekend trip to see relatives, watching Final Four games together, a few hours trimming branches or laying out mulch. It could be a hunting trip or 5K run that you do with a child, or a seasonal event in your community that you all enjoy. Or it could be the first time you do that warm-weather activity together: a family hike or bike ride, playing catch in the back yard, ultimate Frisbee in the park, or a round of golf with your teenager.
Whatever those things might be, start planning them now. Prepare yourself, so you can really savor them once they’re here. Be sure to soak in those priceless moments with your children. And don’t miss opportunities to just sit and observe them. Notice their mannerisms, their choices, what they do and how they do it. Whether your child is a toddler or teenager, just appreciate how amazing he or she is, and recommit yourself to being the best dad you can be.
And second, express your unique secret to success. At NCF we believe there are some fundamentals that make up Championship Fathering: loving, coaching and modeling, which were discovered through reliable research. At the same time, we know that there’s a lot of room for individual expression. Within certain parameters, dads can find different paths to succeeding with their kids—building those positive connections and influencing them toward maturity and character.
For example, maybe one dad bonds with his kids on the sports field. For another guy, the “secret” is early morning one-on-one breakfast dates. Maybe it’s a shared interest like gardening, coin collecting or playing music, or some other weekly routine that brings you together with your kids.
As you renew your commitment to being a great dad, make full use of that unique, somewhat mysterious expression of your fathering that helps you bond with your kids.
What are some of your favorite springtime activities and events with a child or with your whole family? Or, what’s the unique activity you and your kids do together?
- Ask your child what he or she would like to do with you and then, if it’s feasible, set up a time to do it.
- Get outside and do something fun with your children this weekend—no matter what the weather is, and no matter what your child’s age.
Written by Carey Casey
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