By Guest Blogger Travis Finn
As a single dad, I’ve enjoyed all aspects of my full schedule. I try to ensure my children get to both schools and extra curricular activities. I am involved in the PTA and other volunteer groups at both schools and church. My kids and I enjoy being outside at the beach, mountains, parks, zoo or horse farms.
Although there are many dads who do an amazing job of staying involved with their children, I often have buddies often ask for advice on this topic. In turn, I figured I’d gather some tips for any dads (or moms for that matter) who may struggle in this department for one reason or another. I would love for you to add some of your own tips in the comments!
Here are my non-expert, but tried-and-true words of wisdom …
1) Wake them up in the morning.
Get their day started on the right foot! We play Disney Classics on my Phone through Pandora and we have sing-alongs while we get dressed, make beds and brush teeth…ALL TEAMWORK!
2) Eat meals with your kids.
Cook breakfast with them on the weekends and let them help. Visit their school during lunch. Want to look like a Super hero? Sit at a table full of Kindergartners! Your kid will reap the benefits the rest of the day from her classmates talking about what a “Cool Dad” she has!
3) Help them with homework.
Read to/with them. Some great books for our family are “Walter the Farting Dog” and “Aliens Love Underpants” Great opportunity to make funny noises and get into a story. My kids especially like the funny voices I incorporate. I must admit that I do a GREAT Cookie Monster.
4) Be involved in their school.
PTA, chaperone field trips, become a room parent – Guys, DO NOT BE AFRAID to break into this “Mom’s Club!” These ladies aren’t as scary as the seem from a distance (haha) and they are very open and excited to have Dads be involved and contributing. It’s a super cool chance to get the inside scoop on parenting from active moms. Some schools and PTAs are open to Dad groups as well. Schools LOVE Dads!
5) Take/pickup from school.
I wear WILD SOCKS and when we walk into school each day, the teachers always say, “OK DAD..lift the pants!” and my kids each pull up a leg to expose my fashionable ankles. The look on the kid’s and teacher’s faces is priceless. Never gets old!
6) Take interest and be involved in their extracurricular activities.
We do horse lessons and swimming. These are super easy activities to engage in with your kids. We like to see how messy the horses can eat an apple, and how long we can hold our breath underwater.
7) Take advantage of your time on weekends and spend time with your kids.
Put away the Golf Clubs and take the opportunity to scoop your kids up and go on adventures. You and the kids both spend all week with other people, this is YOUR time to spend with each other. Enjoy every minute.
8) Take kids to doctor and dentist appointments.
(Not just sick visits … be active and involved in their health and development!) I have been known to dress the kids up like Doctors when we go to appointments and we reverse role play with the pediatrician. Also, pick some WILD sunglasses for the kids to wear to the dentist – it distracts the kids and it blocks the harsh bright light from their eyes. These both make great photo ops!
9) Get outside!
Explore and discover things that are not electronic; camping, scavenger hunts around the neighborhood, walking the dog or visiting local parks. Simply put….”UNPLUG!” This also means leave your phone at home, too, Dads.
10) Pray with them and tuck them in at night.
We like to tell God about our day and thank him for all the good that we experienced and ask him to help us with our struggles. My son usually does “God Blesses” and he picks five people to bless each night.