Dads are pulled in many directions. They are being pushed into the home by the cultural elites and the religious conservatives are thrusting them into the workplace. Being dad may not be more difficult than being mom, but fatherhood is not simple. One aspect that becomes challenging as a family grows is how can a dad work to spend equal time with all of their family, not to mention extended family and friends. Is there a secret formula? A three-step plan of success? No, but there are some basic guidelines that will ensure a basic equality of time from dad!
Look In The Mirror
The most important thing to do up front is to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are spending good quality time with your family. If the answer is yes, congratulations – you are halfway there! If no, you will need to do some prioritizing so that family can take the highest place in your life. The second question is to ask if you are sharing your time equally with kids and wife. Usually, there is an imbalance of quality time at this stage. Most of the time it will be obvious one way or another. Whenever there is strife in a marriage it will usually flesh out in spending lots of quality time with kids and rarely any quality time with your wife. Asking diagnostic questions will help you understand where you are at so that you can make the necessary adjustments.
Plan ‘Dates’ with Family
Monthly you should be taking someone in your family out on a date. Let’s imagine you have two children (one boy, one girl). If this was the structure of your family than you could have a father-son date on one Saturday morning, a father-daughter date on another Saturday morning – and of course you should be taking your wife out for dates at least bi-monthly. Dedicating specific times for each family member throughout the month will help you stay balanced in giving your family the time they desperately need (not to mention the time you need with them)!
The KISS method is this: Keep It Simple Stupid. Dads need to hear this. Sometimes it seems like so much advice out on the Internet is complicated and taxing, but really what dads need is simple ways to share their time with their kids. The KISS method will work on anything life throws at you. Here is a way to think through it in relation to being a dad: when you are brushing your teeth in the morning, which child normally does this with you? If it is the same child every morning (on occasion) switch it up. Ask a different child to join you and let the other child brush their teeth with mom. What about seating at the dinner table? What person do you sit next to? Feel free to switch this up on weekends or holidays! Think about all the daily tasks that you do with your family and ask yourself whom you do it with. This will be revealing. It may just reveal a major time issue you need to resolve.
Ultimately the encouragement is to engage with all the members of your family as often as possible. Work to share your heart with them and look to guide their hearts as well. Be fair and love your family as well as possible! Dads you are desperately needed!