Small moments with kids often most memorable

November 24, 2012 

Our son turned 30 this past week.

Ask any parent of a young adult and they will say the same thing: “Where did the time go?”

Spending time with your child is funny. It seems to move very slow at certain ages: when they do not yet sleep through the night, when you have read the same book over and over, when they are 13.

Only when your child has launched into adulthood do you look back in wonder at how the years flew by so quickly.

I look back at my time being a father mostly with feelings of satisfaction and joy, but there are also some regrets.

There are some things I wish I could do over. Consider what you can do today to minimize the regrets and maximize the satisfactions of fathering when you look back.

Action ideas

• Think back to your day-to-day experiences with your dad. What interactions gave you the most pleasure? What do you wish he had done differently?

• Often the small stuff matters the most. You will remember the high points of being a father such as taking your child to Disney World. Your child will remember you spending time with them reading books, singing at bedtime, tossing a ball.

• Take the time to look back while you can still make a difference in the life of your child. Birthdays often can be a good time for this backward reflection on how you have spent your time with your child.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents. For more information, or to join local conversations, contact David Eggebeen at e5x@psu.edu, Mick Trombley at mick@micktrombley.com, Robert Orndorff at rmo104@psu.edu, Chris Dufour at chrisdufour19@ gmail.com, or Marc McCann at marc@the secondmile.org.

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