Dad and Me Time

Dads, dad and me time is the greatest contribution you can make to your kids' development and happiness. You can do all the things with your kids that are listed in Mum and Me. And there are also activities that you can do with your kids that some moms (like me) might not be so keen on or just might not have the time for!

Your kids deserve your time and attention. It may be that you don’t have many spare hours in the week, so plan to use some of them to spend dad and me time with your children. Even if you are tired, you will find that playing and getting out with them will be fun for all of you and will probably give you a lot more energy than sitting in front of the computer or TV.

If you need them, here are some ideas for how to spend time with your children

Play fighting

and rough and tumble are very popular with most kids as long as it doesn’t get too rough. Even from a very young age many babies like to be thrown up in the air, toddlers love to be swung round and round, children love to rough house and play fight. As long as you are sensitive to the personal boundaries of your child and pick up when they don’t like a particular activity or have had enough, this can be a great way of having fun and communicating with your children.

Outdoor games such as football, cycling, rounders, tennis, etc. give an opportunity for fun dad and me time, relaxing and learning new skills. Being out and about with your kids helps you to develop and deepen your relationship with them and will massively improve your children's self esteem.

Helping out. Children love to feel useful and included. If you have a job that needs doing – some DIY, cooking, washing the car, etc. – it is always possible to find some way to let your kids join in with you. It may take a little longer to get the job done but it’s worth it when you see the pleasure that your child gets from being able to help you. And I reckon most jobs are a lot more fun with some company and time for conversation.

Bathtime is a great way to have some time playing and talking. Younger kids always need to be supervised in the bath, so you can invent some underwater games or just chat about the day and what’s been happening. You may well find that your kids are interested in your day and what you’ve been doing as well as you asking about theirs.

Dad’s taxi. Yes, the family taxi service is often Dad’s job! But it needn’t be a chore or a time to zone out and listen to the radio. It will make your children feel you care about them if you talk to them and discuss things. If the radio is on, you might choose to talk about what’s on the news or sing along to music together. You could put a different station to the one you usually listen to and introduce your children to some new types of music.

Helping with homework. There will always be times when your children need help with their homework. Some just need a parent sitting with them encouraging them to get it done; others need your full input because they are finding it too difficult to manage on their own. As long as you can be patient and understanding, your presence and help will be invaluable to your kids in making their homework a positive experience.

Playing is the best Dad and me time of all. If you think about your own childhood, if your parents played with you, those will probably be memories that you treasure. Your kids will also remember the times that they had fun with you and the games that you played together. So make some good memories for your children and, also, for you!

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