Don’t give your children the short shift

I’m a busy person, I have a full time job as well as a casual job and I’m involved in 2 businesses as well, I’m usually doing something everyday of the week, even if it is just for an hour or so.
But I will always make time for my children, granted I don’t have custody of my children so I can afford to push myself just that little bit harder, but when I see my kids I’m all theirs.
Being a part time dad still carries the same rules as full times dads, when it comes to spending quality time with your children.

I believe there are three key types of quality interactions our children would like to spend with us:

One-on-one interactions are vital for bonding with your child. Whether it is playing a game with a child or having a coffee with a teenager make sure you regularly spend some time with each of your children on their own. It’s easier on you too.

Down-time is an opportunity for spontaneous and fun interactions with your children. A lazy Sunday or holiday provides opportunities to connect on an informal basis with children. This is particularly important for fathers who tend to communicate best when having some shared fun with their son or daughter.

Family rituals such as reading to children in bed, shared mealtimes and celebrations. This can be tough for fathers like myself, that aren’t there at night to share meal time or read bed time stories, but I am included in celebrations and special events.

I would challenge all busy fathers to take a close look at the priority they place their time with their children, don’t give your children the short shift in your busy schedule. Fathers who can successfully balance both work and family tend to use the same winning formula that they use at work as they do at home, such as prioritizing, delegating, time management and planning ahead. Your family needs your energy and attention so don’t leave the activity for the end of the week when you are worn out from a full week of work, if you do tend to take a lot on (like myself) learn to say ‘no’, learn to manage your time. Don’t say you’re too busy and then do nothing about it; the steps and actions you take to manage your time for your family will have a dramatic impact on you and your family. Remember if you don’t change anything, nothing will change.

Finally have a listen to “Cats in the Cradle” from Harry Chapin.

http://www.diyfather.com/content/a-song-for-busy-dads

It was about a young boy whose Dad was always busy working. He never seemed to be available when his son wanted to be with him. Over the years this continued until the boy became an adult. By then his Dad had retired and had time on his hands, however his son had now become too busy to see his Dad. He too was working and had kids. The tables had turned. All of a sudden the Dad realised what he had done. He was too busy caught up in his work and missed out on his son growing up.

- Eric

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