Fatherhood, today, is much different from what it was decades ago. As societies and families changed, fatherhood, too, evolved. Previously it was assumed that the mother has to take care of all the needs of her children. She is solely responsible for the parenting business. Fathers hardly had any hand in any upbringing of kids. All they did was work and provide for the family, financially. This has, fortunately, changed to some extent and today fathers are also participating in the nurturing of children. This is indeed very good, particularly for the children as they require a father figure not just in name but actually involved in their lives.
Some fathers actually fail to realize this. They feel that if they could have ended up fine without their father’s constant involvement, their kids can too. They couldn’t be more wrong. Just because their father was not around for them at all times does not mean they have to do the same with their children. Yet, it is more difficult for a modern father to give too much time to their children. With work and social life, they hardly find enough time to guide their children, let alone have regular heart to hearts. They feel that their work would suffer because to make time for children they would need to ignore their work. This is in spite of the fact that working mothers never seem to think this way. They manage work and children together, without ignoring either. So what is so special about fathers that they cannot do the same?
Nothing really! It is all about thinking; some feel that it is not their responsibility while those who understand their position manage to cope well with work and children. What differentiates the two is their realization to do something. But if you are one of those fathers who feel guilty for ignoring your children due to your job yet you do not know how to make both work together, read ahead to understand how little is required for you to truly be a part of your child’s life.
Eat together: the time you spend on the dining table actually helps you bond. Dinner time is when all members of the family get a chance to be together. They get the chance to talk to each other, present their concerns, relate what is going on in their lives, and talk about what new people they have met and what new things they have learned. Besides, families who eat together are healthier. Avoid staying at work late regularly.
Drop your kids to school: this may not always be easy considering the differences in timing and location of your workplace and your children’s school, but if possible, do it. As a kid, I always got excited when my dad would drop me to school instead of me walking. It will give you more time with them.
Meet them in the morning: if you cannot drop your kids to school, make it a point to meet them and kiss them before either of you leaves. You could sit together at the breakfast table too if your timings match.
Wish them a good night: similarly, before either of you goes to sleep, have a short chat with them and tuck them in bed. The parents could also take turns reading them a story each night.
Play on weekends: a family outing each weekend is a must. After all, as they say, Sunday is a family day. The outings do not even have to be elaborately planned or cost too much. The main objective is spending quality time together. You could pack a simple picnic and visit the nearby park. You could go for rides. You could visit a museum and make the trip an educational one. You could go swimming. There are a number of activities you could indulge in. Make sure to follow food poisoning preventative guidelines so that you can enjoy your picnic without any hiccups.
Get involved in their schoolwork: monitoring them while they are doing homework is a good way to keep in touch with how they are doing at school and at the same time letting them know that you are available for them whenever they need help and that you are concerned about their school. You do not even have to sit specifically for that. You could be reading at the same time or relaxing.
To sum it up
Neither of these is so time-consuming. In fact, once you make all these part of your routine you will realize how easy it was and wonder why you never started earlier. It would make you closer to your children. Remember that children who have a warm relationship with their father have a better self-esteem. An affectionate father-child relationship helps motivate kids and their development is improved, making them more competent and confident.
Time to take action, yeah?