There’s not sufficient time.
Time to work. Time to train. Time to reconnect with my spouse. Time to consider all of the issues we’ll by no means have time to do.
Oh, and time to be a superb guardian.
Most of my dad-friends agree there’s by no means sufficient time for that. We wish to be good dads, nevertheless it takes time — good, high quality time.
For me, being a superb dad means spending “some” time every single day with my children. That’s not at all times high quality time, however I do attempt to speak to them about their days. When time permits, we stray into conversations about deeper points about life.
Sure, this makes it sound like a chore, like one thing I’ve added to the to-do record. It’s not. However spending high quality time with them had been difficult of late, particularly as my older children have, effectively, gotten older.
They’re 14 and 12 now. They need their very own time — their “alone” time, or a minimum of time away from Mother and Dad. That’s OK with us (more often than not).
The perfect half is, I truly like hanging out with my children. They’re humorous, inquisitive and speak about our lives in ways in which give me hope for the longer term. However there’s a 10-year age vary amongst them, so spending high quality time with all of them on one thing all of them love to do and speak about is a problem.
My go-to resolution to get everybody in on dad-time is know-how.
I do know, I do know — huge stretch for the man who writes a social media and tech column. However for a very long time I attempted to take away the tech from dad time. This meant board video games as an alternative of video video games, fishing and hikes at Mill Creek Park as an alternative of Netflix and YouTube.
This works, nevertheless it additionally limits our connection factors.
See, all of us have overlaps in fields of expertise with our children. The trick is to make use of these overlaps to your benefit. For my spouse — it’s cooking, studying and studying about politics, which the 14- and 12-year-olds love proper now.
My spouse and I bounce into motion after we discover these overlaps.
As of late, somewhat than reject know-how, we’re exploiting it to be higher mother and father.
We’re utilizing it to reinforce different actions, and to search out new shared experiences. I play Pokemon Go (which I’ve written about extensively on this column) with my 9- and 7-year outdated. It will get us outdoors. We stroll, speak and play. We’re making an attempt to “catch ’em all” (that’s a Pokemon reference, by the way in which). We discover areas close to our house that we’ve by no means visited earlier than.
I’m additionally planning a visit with the 14- and 12-year-old. I’ve included them on the journey planning particulars — every part from choosing flight occasions, taking a look at inns, checking locations we’ll eat, and the websites we’ll see. We’re planning whereas we sit collectively in the identical room, on the identical laptop, laughing and joking as we make selections about our huge journey.
See, tech doesn’t at all times must get in the way in which of bonding time. Tech solely will get in the way in which if and after we let it. With the fitting tech on the proper time, it’s simple to search out methods to spend high quality time with our children.
Dr. Adam Earnheardt is chair of the division of communication at Youngstown State College. Comply with him on Twitter at @adamearn and on his weblog at www.adamearn.com.