Ten years ago, I wrote a fathering article on being mentally engaged when spending time with our kids. I wrote about how, at first, I was swinging my daughter from the back while day-dreaming — not even remembering which of my three kids was on the swing. Then I moved around front and pretended to pick up a leaf as my daughter swung into me and knocked me over, causing her to “belly laugh” and say, “Do it again Daddy!”
Now that my “kids” are 11, 14 and 17, I wish it was as easy as taking three steps to the front of a swing-set to engage my children.
With peer relationships dominating their lives, I have to work a lot harder to get quality time with my kids, and oh, how I miss that belly laugh.
• For those of you who have young children, swing your kids from the front each and every day, in everything that you do with them, while they still see you as one of the coolest playmates around.
• For those of you who have teenagers, think about the activities that your kids are most passionate about and find a way to be a part of it. Because my kids are into basketball, this summer I rented a barn-gym a few times a week and ran them through shooting drills. I’ve had some of my best Dad moments lately rebounding basketballs and grabbing a bite to eat on the way home.
• For those of you with adult children, what can you do to engage with them?