Being a Dad in the modern world is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. And since becoming a single parent, it’s become even more important to make the most of the time I spend with my kids. This means, I have had to seriously step up my planning game, as well as my level of being engaged. I dare say, getting divorced has actually helped me become a better father.
Bonding with your children is one of the most important things you can do, and it is so rewarding when it comes to developing the bond through shared interests, and fun activities. This is why parents need to make sure they do as much as they can to come up with great bonding ideas for spending time with their kids.
Look, I get it; hanging out with your kids isn’t always tops on your list of, “Fun Ideas for the Weekend.” And, I get there are days you just don’t have it to deal with them, but when I say, “Do as much as possible;” I’m honestly saying to just take a few minutes to cater your time together more towards them. It will make hanging out with your kids; at the very least…bearable.
Here are three ideas I have used to improve my bonding time with my kids, and make sure the times I’m with them are a bit less whining about being bored, and a little more enjoyable.
“Love Many; trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.” ~ Unknown
The last year and a half has been; in a word, difficult. I’ve spent more time feeling down than feeling up. I’ve found myself in countless situations that I would have never imagined, on my worst day, that I put myself in.
I’ve invested in the wrong people, and invested little to none in myself. I’ve allowed people to take advantage of me; abuse me (literally and figuratively), and as a result of that, I’ve never felt more alone than I have over the past 18 months.
But that’s on me too. I feel alone, because I have been alone…by my own design. I pushed away those who I knew I could count on for support. Or quietly suffered; never telling them the truth about what was happening, because I didn’t want to admit I was allowing the wrong people in my life. I didn’t want to feel like I failed again.
But most of all, I didn’t want to hear, “What would your children think?”, as I had already many times before. It turns out, that’s exactly what I needed to hear.
As any parent can tell you – walking into your child’s bedroom, is usually the last thing you ever want to do. To venture into your child’s room, is to put your own life at risk. Think of it like walking into Chernobyl, without a hazmat suit. In fact, if you have kids, you should own a hazmat suit…and boots, with extra padding; one never knows where the next minefield of arch-destroying legos will pop up.
To put it simply – kids are disgusting. And forget about them EVER cleaning up, or ever throwing away a toy; no matter how broken and never-played-with it may be. It’s just not a thing in there world. Parents, since the beginning of time, have been resigned to wait, until their spawn leave the home. Then…take a blowtorch and a bag of lye to their children’s former dwelling. That is, until recently.
As a parent, you will become a living example of the saying wearing too many hats. Parents have a range of different roles; chauffeur, cook, prison warden, doctor, and none of them are every appreciated by your children.
Yes, I said doctor, and not nurse, because let’s be real, nurses do all the real work. Where my nurses at?!? HOLLA…(wink wink)…fist pound.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know which role to focus on at which time; especially when thy’re less defined than the service-oriented ones above.
Some elements of parenting will come naturally to some, and others will take much more work. I mean, not everyone can be perfect at everything like me. Maybe you’re the fun parent, or the creative one. or you’re the handy kind of parent that can teach your kid a skill.
Watching your children grow, and discover their passions, is easily one of the greatest feelings a parent can experience; especially when it’s in something competitive, like sports. It’s almost electric when you hear your child express joy over their new passion. You can feel the energy and excitement it gives them; the flames of passion have been ignited, and the fire is just waiting to be stoked. And as a parent, you want that feeling for your children, and hope it never ends.
But some times, we parents want it a little too much for our children, and risk ruining that experience for our children. How? Well, let me ask you this…how many times have you been to a kids sporting event, and have seen that parent? You know who I’m talking about; the parent that is, usually, decked out from head to toe in team apparel; maybe even with their kid’s name on their back. They’re usually posted up as close to the sideline, dugout, team box, or home plate, as they can be. It’s kind of hard to miss them; mainly because they’re usually screaming the coach, the umpire, their kid or the other team’s kids at any given moment…and it typically lasts the entire length of the event.
As much as we parents – yes even us sarcastic/jaded ones, love to talk about being in the moment, and not worrying about the missteps of our past, or what obstacles the future might bring; I think we need to worry about our past, and future, just a little. Why; you may be wondering. Well, I’ll answer that question, with question of my own…
How protected is your family?
No, I’m not talking physically, or about guns in the home, or anything like that. What I am talking about, is financially based. What steps have you taken, to make sure your family/loved ones are taken care of in case you pass away? Have you been saving properly, or are you more like me, where you didn’t pull your head out of your rear end until your mid 30s, in order to get your act together?
If you’re a parent – and you probably are if you’re reading this, then you’ve become well-acquainted with clutter. And depending the amount of monsters…er, kids, you having living in your home, the stress from clutter can feel like a mild annoyance, to the lost chapters of Dante’s Inferno, where you’re sentenced to an eternity of never-ending, soul-sucking labor; cleaning up after all of Hades children, and you’re forced to walk barefoot over legos and listen to Caillou on a loop.
Something like that…
Organizing is all the rage right now, due to a sweet woman named Marie Kondo, and her show on Netflix, Tiding Up. In the show, Marie simply asks you to ask yourself, Does this bring me joy? And if the answer is not an instant YES, you throw it away. I have to be honest, I haven’t been able to fully commit to this process; mainly because throwing your children out is generally frowned upon here in America, so….
Calm down! I’m only kidding…you can totally throw them away.
That’s the first time I’ve ever said, written, or even acknowledged that fact about myself.
I’ve never been to rehab, although; I probably should have at a couple points in my life. I’ve never been to AA or any recovery program, for me, but I’ve attended a lot for other people. And, I’ve never gotten a single DUI…sadly, not from a lack of trying in my younger days.
But, I have done a lot of damage to other people in my life, including my former marriage, and worse, to myself, because of my issues with alcohol. My ex-wife and I may not agree on much, and we may never see eye-to-eye on most things, but one thing I will never deny, is that I should have gotten help a long time ago, and because I used alcohol to self-medicate a lot of issues from my mental illness; irreparable harm was done…and that’s on me.