Sometimes dads find it difficult to create close connections with their kids. One of the main reasons why men have such a hard time is because they didn’t have close relationships with their fathers.
When I was growing up, most of my friends’ dads worked many hours and when they came home, they wanted to relax in front of the TV without being bothered by their kids. In their minds, providing food, clothing, and shelter for their kids was the extent of their parenting responsibilities. My parents divorced when I was young and I rarely saw my father. On the occasions that I did see him, he was emotionally distant and I never felt as if we ever connected in a genuine way.
My relationship with my father inspired me to do things differently. I promised myself that I’d work hard to form meaningful connections with my children. Of course, this was easier said than done. Not having a role model to emulate, I had to figure things out on my own. I struggled at first, but I eventually discovered how to connect with my kids in a way that worked best for our family.
I Shower Them With Affection
I never received any affection from my father. Consequently, I had an affection deficit. I made a conscious decision to shower my kids with affection so they’d never have an emotional void. I hug and kiss my sons several times daily to show them that it’s okay for men to show affection towards one another. My daughter also gets lots of attention from Daddy because I want to make her feel loved and appreciated. I know that there’s a danger of her seeking male approval elsewhere if I don’t make her feel secure and safe at home. On any given day, you can find all of us cuddled together on our couch. These are my favorites times of the day.
I Invest My Time in Them
Our lives are so busy that we rarely have time to take a breath. As parents, it’s easy to get caught up with over-scheduling our lives. I try to live life at a slower pace. Although my kids participate in several activities, we always leave enough room in our schedules to have quality family time. We like to read together, play games, work on projects, or watch our favorite TV shows. We also enjoy taking family trips and finding fun family activities in our own city. One of the most important things that we do is eat meals together. Dinnertime is especially fulfilling because we use the time to not only enjoy a meal, but also to share details about our days and have some deep conversations.
I’m Their Biggest Cheerleader
I’m not the type of parent who praises his kids for every little thing they do; however, I do let them know that I support their endeavors and I give them constant encouragement. I try to create an environment where my kids know that it’s okay to make mistakes. When they need an extra boost of confidence, they can always rely on Daddy to give them a hug and a pep talk.
Because of my dedication to my kids, I believe we have grown closer as a family. My hope is that my kids grow up to be well-adjusted adults who have fond memories of their childhood and an appreciation for their parents’ commitment to create real connections that last a lifetime.
Join the conversation: How do you create meaningful moments with your children?
Disclosure: I am a paid Ambassador for the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish brand. All opinions are my own.