Incorporate your kids into your hobbies.
We were at the beach playing in the water when I noticed someone suspicious by my truck. We always drive on the beach and I try to park away from others. So, when a person is near my vehicle I keep an eye on them. With all that space, why are you near my truck?
As it turns out, it was just a dad and son working out in front of the dock near their condo. The kid was around 10 years old or so. His dad probably wanted to get a workout in on vacation and incorporated his boy. It was great! They did pushups, sit-ups, and all sorts-of-ups together (maybe even some downs). That’s what being a dad is all about! I am not against doing things you like, I’m against doing things you like if it means neglecting your family.
I just went offshore fishing without any family recently. It was during the three days of Red Snapper season. It wasn’t wrong because I spend a lot of time with my family. In fact, this whole past weekend we were together. On Friday evening, we cooked a ton of fish. On Saturday, we spent half the day at the beach and spent time walking around downtown St. Augustine on Sunday evening. We also spent time doing yard work on Sunday during the day. To be honest, the kids were not thrilled about that part, but it was still time with each other and time spent learning about how to take care of our home. I even had a date night with my wife Saturday night while the kids went to their grandparent’s house to spend the night. Point is—my family is not neglected and I still was able to doing something I enjoy.
Another example is when a dad-friend and I took our boys out to do some inshore fishing. It was the boy’s the first time and we were able to spend a bunch of time on a boat learning about different baits, fishing tips, and different locations, etc. Plus, it was just good solid dad-son time.
Incorporate your kids into your hobbies.
I used to have a neighbor that liked RC cars. He and his son would spend hours together in their garage tinkering with their cars, fixing them, and trying to make them better. Then they would take them to a competition. I think it was a phase that lasted about three years, but it’s a great bonding time. You get to focus on the task at hand, hone a skill set, and provide lots of opportunities for conversations about life.
Camping is less of a hobby, but I love camping with my family. I love seeing other families – from the real pros to the newbies that are struggling with being in nature. No matter what, it’s all good time with family. A bad camping trip will still contain good memories and quality time spent with family. What I like about camping is the disconnect from electronics. There is no TV or computer to allow you to zone out. Mobile phones have infiltrated the camping space, but it’s still a much different experience than being at home.
I’m pretty jealous of the tradesmen dads out there. Those who can provide for their families by building and fixing things. I would love to build a car or motorcycle with my boys, or build a house with them. Maybe in the future, we will, but it’s different when you know the craft versus learning as you go. The tradesmen have endless opportunities to spend time with their family doing the very thing they love and are skilled at. I hope they are using it and teaching their kids very valuable life skills, regardless of if they use it to provide a living for themselves. A well-rounded education is incredibly important. The opportunity for connection is limitless.
Whether it is golfing, cooking, or maybe just learning a new skill, make sure to incorporate the family. This doesn’t need to be an activity you do alone. Invite the kids to come with you. Even better, invite your wife.
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I’m Townsend Russell with 100% Dad – The Dad Group
We’re preaching over here for Dads to step up, be real men, and real leaders of their homes.