Great Dads have lots of fun with their kids
I think it’s worth mentioning that we as ‘a father’ should have an over-all goal pertaining to what we want to achieve as a dad. This should include but not be limited to the type of dad we want to become and most importantly how we want our child’s life to eventually turn out.
Everything we do as a father should have an over-all motivation of strengthening our relationship with our child and assisting us in raising resilient children. Having fun with our kids regularly is one of the most effective ways to strengthen that bond.
Being known as a fun Dad
If your child could pick just a few words to describe you as a father what would those words be? Some children may say ‘my dad is strict ‘, others ‘my dad goes to the gym ‘, while still others may say ‘my dad travels for work’. None of these areas identified are wrong in themselves and each of them have a place in life, but I put it to you that they should not be the primary way we are identified by our child.
The reason for that is because ‘being strict ‘, ‘going to the gym‘ or ‘travelling for work‘ don’t actually strengthen your relational bond with your child, as these descriptions can be spoken without a sense of joy and love by your child. These statements can often be perceived as an explanation defining a reason why the relationship between you isn’t really very close. These statements are ‘impersonal’ and there is no emotional attachment that comes with them.
However if you child’s response to the question above was ‘my dad loves me‘ or ‘my dad reads bedtime stories to me‘ or ‘my dad is lots of fun‘, then it is easy to understand that these responses describe a relational bond that is strong and growing stronger. ‘Great Dads’ are known primarily by their children as being fun to be around.
In our modern world many men’s lives are so structured by work commitments that every aspect of it is written in their diary and every minute accounted for religiously. If this is an accurate description of your life, you should not be surprised if it seems to resemble that of ‘a robot’ a little more than that of a ‘human being’ in the eyes of a child. Whatever we as ‘the father’ choose as being important is being observed by little eyes and registered in little hearts, and they are evaluating where they personally fit into your busy schedule and how important they are to you.
It is for this reason that we must look closely at our own lifestyle choices and be open to make corrections when they are needed. As a father we need to show our children/family that they are our greatest priority in life and not just another scheduled meeting in our diary.
Doing things on the spur of the moment occasionally adds a degree of the unknown and an aspect of adventure to your child’s life. Being spontaneous helps avoid the ‘boring’ name tag that day-to-day life often wears. Stopping off at a park on the way home, helping someone that you see is in need, dropping into your favourite fast food restaurant occasionally, it all helps keep the enjoyment in family life. ‘Great Dads’ have an element of unpredictable playfulness in their lives that adds a little excitement into family life.
Sharing your love for life
One of the best things we can do for our child is to impart to them an attitude of loving life, the joy of discovering new things and new places, and enjoying the company of friends and family. Our children follow our lead in many areas of life and when they see you loving life and experiencing joy and happiness it imparts hope into their young hearts that their life will also be filled with joy. But if we are grumpy every day and negative about the challenges we face in life they will often follow our lead in this area and they will have a negative attitude in life as well. ‘Great Dads’ are mindful that their children develop a love for life.
Going interesting places
I believe it is important to get your children out of the house/apartment regularly to enjoy the many wonderful things that are around us and to experience the beauty of nature. This can be as simple as going to a local beach or dropping into a museum or a music recital, going to a zoo or even going to watch your favourite team play. Taking your children fishing or camping in the woods gives them a wonderful opportunity to experience the wonders of creation first hand, and while you enjoy it together as a family you are strengthening your relational bond. It is important for us as fathers to open up opportunities for our children to experience as many interesting aspects of life as possible so that they have a chance to discover those areas that they themselves are drawn to and will become involved in later in life. ‘Great Dads’ are constantly thinking up new and interesting places to take their children.
Letting your hair down
I have found personally that by playing with my children often as they were growing I re-awakened my own creativity and love for life. This is just one of the many benefits that you will find through being a fully involved father and parent. I believe that you should let your child see your playful side too as well as your strict side that they might understand that you are fun and approachable and not merely an authoritative parent.
I recently saw a quote that stated, “Children go where the fun is, but always return to where the love is”, this is an accurate insight into the needs and wishes of a child. However, my own take on this quote is that how much better it would be if they found both love and fun within the family environment that you have created as ‘the father’. ‘Great Dads’ are men that have realised the joy and long-term relational benefits of having lots of fun with their children.
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