Weekend Dads – How to Create Meaningful Weekends with Your Children
What's your excuse?
Someone has to work. Weekend is the only time I can rest. These are some of the excuses that dads make when they do not have time for their children. Let’s face it our face time with our children is becoming shorter and shorter. Before you know it, your children are all grown up and the only fond memory you have is when you almost made it to their birthday party.
The truth is I am a weekend dad. I get up early in the morning while my daughter is still asleep and arrive home late when she is already sleeping. The most I can do is just watch her as she rests. Of course I don’t want my memories to be limited to a child sleeping - I want more. As such, I make it a point to spend time every minute I can with her.
Weekends are my favorite days because I can spend it with her. Here’s what dads can do to create meaningful weekends and never lose the bond between parent and child.
Our weekend trip to Kinder Zoo, Manila Zoo , PhilippinesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Create anticipation for the coming weekend
Even if you don’t get to spend time with your child on weekdays, you can still connect with them by creating anticipation for the coming weekend. Make your children eager to spend time with you.
- Slip notes in their school bags or lunch bag to rouse their excitement for the coming weekend.
- Have a countdown to the weekend. Have them cross out days in the calendar.
- A timeline is great to visually represent how far or near the weekend is.
- Give daily clues to what you plan for the weekend. You can cut a picture of a vacation or Disneyland poster and give a piece every day as a clue. Keep them guessing.
Keep your promises
One important factor in being a successful weekend dad is to keep your promises. Remember that your absence during the weekday can cause trust issues. If you compound this with not keeping your promises, you risk losing your child’s trust even more.
- Promise only what you can deliver
- Be consistent
Weekend In Baguio City, PhilipppinesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Include family time in your plans
Work may take up much of your time but it does not own you. Block of your schedule just for your family’s activities. Moreover, plan ahead so it is easier to squeeze in other work stuff.
- Proper time management both short term and long term is essential.
- Use your paid leaves for special family activities.
- Think of fun and creative weekend activities with your family during your break time at work.
- Search the net or ask advice on what to do on a weekend.
- Have a picture of your family on your desk to remind you of your family commitments.
Focus on your children
During weekends with your family make sure you give them 100% of your attention. If you need to switch off your phone or unplug your computer (gasp) do it!
- Don’t bring home work on weekends
- Advise the office not to contact you during weekends
- Put calls to voicemail
- Resist the urge to check your office email
- Remove all work-related distractions – forms, documents, etc.
- Make the weekend activity all about your child
Spending more time with your children is very important. However, many work situations rob us of the chance to spend more time with them. But this does not mean we are doomed as fathers. Being a weekend dad can be changed into something positive. Make the most of however little time you have with them. Don't be an absentee dad.
- How much time to do spend with your children?
- What are your favorite activities with your family?
- How do you balance work and family?
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