Fatherhood has a way of pulling you in and engulfing you in a sea of activities and emotions that you didn’t expect. It doesn’t often lend itself to quiet reflection about what it means to be a father. But as I look back on the fathering I’ve done so far, I’m struck by the changes that my children have helped to create in me.
She slipped her small, smooth eight-year-old hand into mine. Her face was lit up with joy. And as my daughter took my hand and moved closer to me, I lost control of my emotions.
I had my chance of experiencing what working mothers go through and I have to say, it?s just as hard working out of the home than it is being an at-home mother. Wow, trying to do so many things before leaving the house soon became very stressful for me.
Somewhere in the traffic jam of the last year, I lost control of my favorite vehicle of parent-child bonding: making my kids laugh. I became so wrapped up in the relentless responsibilities of life that my funny bone resembled a car wreck.
Quality time is what matters. Being focused on nothing but your kids for more than a couple of hours allows you to know them in a well-rounded fashion. So take a vacation, at least two solid weeks a year. And take occasional days off, maybe even once a month.
In this very busy world, designating this time every week is one way to ensure that family members stay connected with one another. Relationships are living things, and must be nurtured. Family meetings are about nourishing our relationships with the most important people in our lives. Form the habit of connecting regularly.
Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, make sure you’re holding and creating rituals which have meaning for your family. Family dinners, weekend trips, or family laundry day on Sunday can all have an important impact on your family.
As parents we need to make a decision when our kids our young. How much effort are we willing to expend to really help them learn to behave, to make sure they are not over stimulated, and that they understand right from wrong and that “no” means “no”. Ultimately, there is a reality all parents need to face up to. Here are a few of the new rules parents need to accept, or they will have to accept that raising their kids is going to be far more difficult then they could ever have bargained for, and that “liking” their kids will not be an option the majority of the time.