In the modern world of busy jobs, bills to pay and the challenges that being a Dad brings with it, it is easy for us to become overwhelmed as a Dad.
However the good news is that no matter where we are in our Dad journey there are steps we can take to reboot and improve our Dad experience:
- First things first start small – as Dad’s in modern society it is very easy to heap pressure on ourselves to always do amazing things with our kids when in actual fact all children want is our time and presence. Rather than focusing on trying to do huge and spectacular activities we can focus on smaller and achievable things like going for a nature walk or a trip to the swings to get the momentum going and to build confidence as a Dad.
- Schedule regular Dad time together – they say it takes approximately 21 days to form a habit. Whatever our circumstances by scheduling regular and consistent time with our children we can develop this into a habit. This could be at the weekend, after school or through seeking flexible working from our employer.
- Ask your children what they want to do – it is surprising how often this opportunity is missed. Through speaking to our children and asking them what activities they want to do we can seek inspiration from this and ensure the activities we are doing are what our children want to do.
- Be present in the moment – when we are busy and our minds are preoccupied with other things such as work deadlines or household chores it can be difficult to give our children our undivided attention. Getting out of the house if there are distracting jobs to do or through getting up early at the weekend to finish a piece of work off that is worrying us can allow us to focus on enjoying the time we spend with our children.
- Put your phone away Dad – in the modern digital age the smart phone is our saviour but also our worst enemy. How many of us are guilty of spending time on our phones when we should be giving our children our undivided presence. By leaving the phone at home or switching it off/using our out of office/voicemail stating we are unavailable, together with having a separate camera if this is a reason for carrying a phone, this can enable us to give our children the focused attention they crave.
- Get down to their level and see the magic through their eyes – one of the easiest ways to engage with our children is to get down to their level and strive to view the world through their eyes. What we often take for granted such as a beautiful sky or a coloured stone is often captivating to our children. Through getting down to our children’s level we can share in the magic of their moment and embrace it.
- Spend time with other Dads – the power of spending time with other Dads and their kids should never be underestimated. Building our network of kindred spirits and realising that other Dads experience the sames trials and tribulations as us can provide reassurance and also provides the opportunity to learn how others cope with particular challenges.
- Seek advice and information – through subscribing to Dad information websites for regular updates such as this one or to Dad magazines, we can learn how other Dads cope with the challenges of parenthood and seek ideas and inspiration that we can bring to our own parenting experiences.
- Explore flexible working – despite there still being stigma attached to men seeking flexible parental working hours the benefits can be huge. Working a condensed four day week or a nine day fortnight or starting work later/leaving earlier can provide opportunities to spend more time with our children.
Have you ever found yourself in a rut as a dad?
What advice would you give to someone seeking to reboot their Dad experience?
As always it would be great to hear from you with your comments below 🙂
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