The way media portrays modern dads is pitiful. They sit around in front of the TV or in the garage drinking beer and ignoring their families. Either that or they work all the time and never have time for their families. Being an active dad in you childs' life is important. It means more than just asking them how the day went or making sure they get their homework done. How can you be an active dad in your child’s life?
1) Go Fishing > A great way to get kids talking is by doing something you both enjoy away from technology. Phones and computers make it too easy for families to remain separate even when they are sitting at the same table. Take away the doodads and get outside with an activity like fishing. A long time spent waiting means time to think and talk in peace. You may find out more about your kids in that tie then you have in the past year. Even if you don’t talk much, just being together and enjoying an activity together is enough to form better bonds and create memories your kids will have forever.
2) Go for a Walk or Bike Ride > As we all know, being more physically active is high on our list of priorities for ourselves and for our kids. Why not join your child and get active by taking a walk or a bike ride? You are not only exercising but you are being together in a place that is easy to talk and communicate. You can make it a competition by seeing how far you can go each time or who has the best time around the trail. Have fun and remember to value this time together, even when you are working out too.
3) Join a Team > Sometimes it can be hard to be one on one with your kids and feel at ease. Maybe you have different interests or ways of talking. Joining a team and working together as part of a larger group is often a great way to bond with your child. As they interact with others you can see where their strengths lie and where they might need more help. They can also see you in an environment away from your home. Maybe you are a great manager or leader but they have no idea until they get to see you in action. Take the chance to show off your skills and learn new ones and also learn what your child’s skills are.
4) Pick a Sport > Sports are a great way to get active and have fun. Even if you are not very coordinated and can’t play basketball or football you can still have fun playing golf or bowling or even air hockey. Picking a sport that you and your child enjoy together is a great way to bond. You can watch games, improve your skills, and have fun competing against other teams.
5) Find a Hobby > Another fun way to get your child interested in new things is to try new hobbies. Rock climbing, painting, welding, whatever you two can agree on give it a shot. Maybe you won’t be good at it and maybe they won’t be either, but you will have fun learning and trying something new. If you can find something you both enjoy then you can invest your time into that and build memories together.
6) Volunteer > Helping others is not only a great value to teach to your children but it is also a great way to bond with your child actively. When you two are working together to build a house, create a food pantry, or paint a wall you can talk and explain why you help others and what volunteering means for the greater good.
7) Run a Race > Whether you are running for cancer or just running for fun, races are a great way to test your endurance and show off your efforts. You and your child can earn money towards a great cause and have fun together too. Start out with a fun race like a mud or color race and then work towards marathons and the bigger things. Learn how to pace yourselves, what shoes you need, and more as you grow together in your skills.
These are just a few ways you can make a huge impression on your child and create memories they will love forever. You don't want to be the emotionally unavailable dad. Doing things with your child is so important. They will remember your words, but your actions speak even louder. Show your child how much they mean to you by investing yourself in their lives in active ways. Let them pick and activity or two also. By joining them in what they enjoy you can learn more about them and help them open up to you. It is a give and take relationship. Have fun with your child and be active in their lives. If all else fails, jump rope!