My children are getting older. My son will be 4 later this year. The more mature he gets, the more talkative he gets, I am realizing how much he is craving interaction with me and his mom. He asks a ton of questions and is curious about everything.
Because of this, I have been trying to find a way to be intentional to spend time with my son. As his father, I know I have a responsibility to let him know I am listening, that he is cared for and loved, and that together we can have fun and keep learning.
Last week I put a recurring reminder in our family calendar that alarms us from our phones. My wife came in and said,
Um…babe, what is this daddy date with Eliott?”
Then I got to tell my wife about an idea to take our kids out individually to just spend one-on-one time with them every month. She was really excited about the idea and the fun tradition it will become for our family. **This wasn’t my idea by the way. I got it from a friend.
This last week I took my son out for a bike ride at sunset. We stopped by Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream, we walked around for a short while, then we biked home. During our date I got to look him in the eye, undistracted. I got to talk to him about the things that matter to him and watch him process everything. I got to see his eyes light up when he got his ice cream.
The father & son date was a huge success.
I got to love on him and let him know that I am there for him.
The purpose of a special date with my son is to get to know him more. To do cool things, to learn about what he loves, to learn about who he is as a person, and how he is growing up. I don’t want to miss any part of his growing up. And, I don’t want him to miss out on getting to know me when he grows up and I get old.
I really want my wife and I to be intentional with these kid dates, because I believe they will draw us close to our children and form really strong relationships with them. Of course, this is just one aspect of that. The rest is built during our everyday family life at home.
The great thing is that these dates do not have to cost a lot. With a little creative thought, dads can come up with practically free things – or close to free – things that can they can do with their son or daughter. Having fun is crucial, but just being together is the most important!
I challenge you to make sure that you are intentional about spending one-on-one time with your kid or kids, if you are not doing so already!
Here a few ideas to help encourage you toward an easy kid date:
- Ice cream
- Bike Ride
- Build something together
- Farmer’s Market
- Walk The Dog
- Breakfast For Dinner At A Diner
- Prank A Friend
- Play In The River
How To Plan A Special Kid Date:
On the day our kids were born, every month, one of us (mom or dad) will take them out on a little date. Our son was born November 7th, so every month on the 7th, either my wife or I will take him out and spend quality time with him. Our daughter was born on April 30th, so every month on the 30th, she will have her date. And if your child’s birthday lands on a day of the month that is not in the month – like in Feb – just choose another date that is close and explain why. So for February our daughter will celebrate her date on the 28th.
We feel this will be extra beneficial as our family grows, to make sure we are intentional with each one of our kids and support them as individuals.
I went live on Facebook to share this idea with other dads who need inspiration for intentional ways to connect with their kids. Watch this short clip of our time together: