Become an involved and active father.
My hub on how I become active and involved in my children's lives. I have 3 boys from 6-11 years old and a 2yr old girl. Patience and understanding is needed.
I am married with 3 wonderful boys and a girl who keep my own my toes. A 2 year old daughter named Carmen, 6 year old Alexander, 8 year old Ryan, and Howie who is 11. Children are a blessing but they require attention and love. Discipline is also required in various ways, each child varies and parents can soon find out the best way to deal with each child. Now, I was raised on a farm where my father also worked a full time job and my mother was a stay at home mom. I had 3 other siblings and we were pretty close besides the normal sibling arguments over a toy, etc. I was close to my mother and she always kept us busy and was the affection giver in the family. She was the one who helped with the homework and you talked about your day at school with. My father was always tired and in his free time he just wanted to relax and not be bothered as he watched his favorite show. I was always trying to impress him and get him to play with me but it always seemed like I was in his way. This caused me to swear to myself while still young that when I grew up I would do whatever it took to make my kids feel loved and be the coolest dad ever. Fast forward 20 years and I'm a now a father. I've come to realize that my father had real life issues about finances and working all the time. We are closer than we have ever been now that he doesn't have the pressures he faced back then. It wasn't that he didn't love me, he just didn't feel comfortable showing it. His father was the same way towards him so he didn't really even realize that I was looking for more. Of course a child doesn't realize how a parent's upbringing and life's issues can affect the way they act.
My thoughts have wanted me to blog about how I want to be the best father I possibly can and ways I try to get involved with my children so they won't have the same feelings I did for an impressionable part of my life that I can't get back. I am not perfect by any means and make mistakes. I have to take a step back when real angry so that I don't act rashly. What I strive to do is talk with my children and try to understand them. You would be suprised how important something is to them that you think is silly, aka Elmo and the Incredible Hulk. I dedicated this to fathers and it doesn't matter if you are a single father, divorced, or married. The stereotype that the man's main responsibilty is to bring home the bacon doesn't apply in today's society. Some even think that a man isn't supposed to do a "woman's job" which is showing emotional involvement and dealing with the children. These stereotypes are ridiculous and way outdated. Us fathers are important forces and figures in our children's lives. I want us to be a positive figure. I put a list of sorts, of things I do to bond with my children. I hope it can give someone an idea or help them out with the struggle of being a good parent/father.
All photos were taken by me.
The book looked interesting but do not own.
Emotional Involvement: Hugs and Stories
Ways I use to show affection and little things to make them feel loved
What is important is emotional involvement. Sometimes we have to drop the I am a man and we don't act that way routine. There is nothing wrong with giving your kid/s a hug and telling them that you love them and are proud of them. I do all of these and even the simple act of patting on the head and tossling their hair. Listen to your children and give them encouragement and praise when they do something they are proud of or feel is important to them. When your child shows you a picture they drew and it looks like scribble and say this is a T-Rex, say how cool and hang it on the fridge instead of saying that doesn't look like it and crushing their enthusiam. When your child says something silly like I'm going to be a space astronaut and find aliens I say, wow that would be cool being an astronaut instead of saying things like there are no aliens or you're going to be a lawyer, etc. When they mature they will realize certain life truths but crushing their dreams at a young age can hamper their imagination and may not be as communicative with their problems and goals when they get older.
Instead of yelling at them when they do something wrong try reasoning with them and explaining the consequences of what they did. Never discipline in anger. I have been guilty of yelling when angered and frustrated but it is a rare occasion because I have to stop myself and take a deep breath and walk out of the room, anything to calm down before dealing with them. I believe in discipline but when exercised with reasoning and not anger, it is much more effective and your children will be more willing to come to you when they did something wrong without being in fear. I knew how my father was so if I did something wrong, I would try to hide it/keep it a secret.
Telling stories are a great way to get your children involved with you and creates a great bond. I'll sit down regularly and tell my oldest Howie stories and he looks forward to them. When he is tired, he'll often ask for a story and in 5 minutes he'll be sound asleep. It doesn't have to be anything fancy: there are a few plot outlines I use regularly. Howie and I are space soldiers exploring new planets and we are in the Amazon jungle keeping an eye out for Anacondas and Piranhas and looking for treasures. With my middle son, Ryan, he loves Thomas the Tank engine so I am Percy and he is Thomas and make up little stories about the island of Sodor and where we try to avoid Diesel 10. Ryan and Alexander are also big Spongebob fans so I try to do stuff Spongebob related with them like coloring books. What young child doesn't like to color?
There are various other things that I use but some work better on one child than the other. All I know is that my kids tell me regularly they love me and are always clamoring for a story. It makes me feel good inside knowing I am more than just someone who works and hopefully will buy them toys on occasion.
Of all the books listed this is the only one I have purchased. I love it and fathers are very important in the lives of children so get involved.
We all want our kids to be geniuses but there's a difference between nudging them and forcing them to fulfill what is probably your ideas on what they should know or be able to do. Since my children are still young I can only describe what I do now and plan on doing in the future.
Reading to your children is very important. It helps them learn and helps take away the dread of reading a book to a bigger desire to read. There are numerous studies that show that reading is one of the biggest things you can do to stimulate your child's mind but I'll leave that up to you to research. I read Thomas the Tank engine stories to Ryan and with Howie, I read various kid stories like Treasure Island and dinosaur books.
I also help Howie practice his spelling words and look over his homework to make sure he understands it and is doing it correctly. Oh, its better to help them, don't give them the answer because that will only harm them in the long run. Get their mind working and they will learn the value of self satisfaction that they did it themselves and will make them more confident and self assured in the future.
Music is also a very powerful tool in your child's learning development. I plan on enrolling Howie in the near future to play the guitar. Foolishly, I had always thought that the piano would be the best for development and was trying to push that on him but why force a child to do something they don't want to do. He wants to play the guitar so I will support that. At work, how do you feel when someone gives you a daily task you don't enjoy? You do it because you have too but not because you want too. These are just a few things that I do and/or will do in the future with my children.
This is the part I really enjoy and is the easiest thing for most men to do with your children. What I did is found things we could do together that we both enjoy. For Ryan and Alexander it is basically just building Thomas the Tank Engine Train Tracks and watching the trains go around and I've always liked trains so that is pretty cool. When the weather is good we all bike in the yard or a short distance down the street. We also throw and kick various balls to eachother. All the kids enjoy setting up a tent and camping in the backyard and each one has to have their own little flashlight. That's a lot of fun.
With Howie I had to experiment with things I liked and see how he reacted to them. These are the things we do together that we both enjoy: fishing, playing baseball, video games in moderation and collecting marbles. Of course I wanted him to collect football and baseball cards like I did when I was younger but that doesn't interest him, collecting cards that is. My sports that I love are baseball and football. He likes baseball and soccer and we go to Detroit Tiger's games on occasion and watch them fairly regularly on TV. Very rarely do we toss the football, it's putting on the mitts and throwing the ball and batting or my clumsy soccer self getting whooped on by Howie in soccer. I compromised here and have learned to enjoy soccer more than I thought I would.
What kid doesn't enjoy being pushed in a swing, playing catch, occasional light wrestling/tickling and the like. These are almost universal things that kids enjoy and can be great fun.
Kids will always love toys and the latest movies and video games. You can't buy love and in the long run, your children will appreciate your time more than material possessions. It's hard trying to manage your time and spending time with the children after a long day of work but just a little bit of quality time pays off. I err but I try to learn from my mistakes because being an involved father isn't always easy. I get frustrated just as easily as the next person but I have had to work on my patience a lot. Take a step back and breathe so I don't say or do something I shouldn't. Just because we're men doesn't mean we shouldn't show emotion and affection with our kids. This is just my little blog on being in my children's lives and hopefully it may give you some ideas for a closer bond with your children.
A must have for a divorced father. Has good reviews so am including it here.
My BoysClick thumbnail to view full-size
For Men: Your parental status
Your Parental Status
I am not a single father but many are so this book is for you.
Various Links related to me
- Our video Game link
A hub where Howie and I try to play video games together.
- My personal favorite books of all-time for preteen boys
I have always loved to read and one of the biggest influences was when in 3rd grade my grandfather gave me Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson as a gi