When you only get limited time to spend with your child, you want to make the most of it. Yet it is easy to get carried away thinking you need to fill every moment with activity and excitement.
Your kids love you for who you are, not for the money you spend on them or the places you take them. Think back to how you used to enjoy time together when you lived with them (if you did). Or about the times you used to enjoy with your parents. Sometimes the best times were when you simply hung out together.
You need the lows to appreciate the highs
Stare at the ocean for a while, and you’ll notice it has peaks and troughs. If everything were a peak, then it would all be flat. A similar thing applies when spending time with your kids. Going to a restaurant or a game becomes more special when it is a treat. If you do it all the time, it fails to be such a high.
Leave yourselves time to talk
Kids have a lot of questions. It’s hard for them to ask those if your days together are hectic. It is also harder for them to tell you things they want to share.
Think about any difficult conversation you have with someone. You choose your time and work up to it gradually. No kid is going to tell you, “Dad, I’m gay,” “Dad, I’m getting bullied at school,” or “Dad, I want to leave home” on a ride at Disney World or in the halftime break at an NFL game. They’re going to look for a time when they have your full attention, and there are not too many others around.
Whatever you do together, the crucial thing is to secure your right to spend time with your child. Getting help to fight for adequate parenting time can help you build the fatherly relationship your child needs.