Dads are spending more time with their kids than ever before. In 1982, an alarming 43 percent of dads said they had never changed a diaper in their lives. Today, that number has shrunk to just 3 percent – a clear signal of the shift in equal parenting. Today, dads spend three-times as much time with their children as their grandfathers did with their parents. Yet despite significant strides, many working dads still find themselves wishing they could devote more hours of the week to their kids.
Reasons to Spend More Time With Your Kids
As a dad, you have a responsibility to spend quality time with your kids. But it goes far beyond duty and desire. Spending time with your kids is essential to their growth and development.
Consider that spending more time with your kids helps to:
Build your child’s self-esteem. There’s ample evidence to show that children who spend adequate amounts of time with their fathers have higher self-esteem than those who don’t spend much time with their dads.
Lessen chances of childhood problems. Children need both a mother and a father. And according to psychologist Dr. Louise Silverstein, “Research clearly documents the direct correlation between father absence and higher rates of aggressive behavior in sons, sexually precocious behavior in daughters, and more rigid sex stereotypes in children of both sexes.” Spending time with your children can’t prevent these issues, but it does lower the risk.
Give you more influence and clout. You can’t suddenly start spending time with your children when they reach the age of 16 or 18 and expect them to respond well. By making them a priority early in life, you establish the clout you need to positively influence them later in life.
Give you purpose. Work, money, and possessions can only do so much for you. At the end of the day, you need something – someone – to live for. Kids give you the purpose you need to wake up each morning and tackle the day with positivity and vigor.
How much time do you need to spend with your kids? There’s no set amount of time per day or week. It all depends on the child’s age, their personality, your personality, the type of family dynamic you have, and other factors. But at the very least, you should get some quality time each and every day.
Four Practical Suggestions
Want to spend more time with your kids and still have time to build your career? Here are some tips:
1. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
As a working dad, you don’t always have long stretches of time to spend with your kids. And that’s totally fine. In fact, the quality of time spent with your kids is far more important than the quantity.
Kids – particularly young ones – are much more likely to benefit from 10 minutes of uninterrupted, distraction-free time than an hour of distracted time. So put the phone away, silence your email notifications, turn off the TV, get on the floor, and play. If you can spare several 10-minute blocks throughout the day, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your relationship.
2. Delegate and Outsource Work Tasks
If you’re working 60-hour weeks, you’re not going to spend hardly any time with your kids – particularly when they’re younger. (The kids will be asleep when you leave for work and in bed by the time you get home.) The key is to find ways to delegate and outsource work tasks.
If you’re a real estate investor, hiring a property manager can save you hours of time every week. If you’re a business owner, outsourcing accounting to a CPA will prevent you from spending your entire weekend balancing the books. Whatever line of work you’re in, there are ways to delegate. Do it!
3. Bring Them Along
As your kids get older, you can actually bring them along with you as you work. In their younger years, they won’t actually be much help, but you can make them feel important. As they get older, they might be able to assist you. (Either way, it’s a great way to spend time together.)
4. Eat Dinner as a Family
If possible, try to eat dinner as a family as many times per week as you can. There’s something about sitting around the table and breaking bread together that makes people open up about what’s happening in their lives. This can be very special and meaningful time!
Adding it All Up
When it’s all said and done, quality time must be prioritized. Whether it’s a Monday morning or a Saturday night, there are ways to make time for your kids and engage them as a loving, caring, and intentional dad. Don’t miss these chances!
This content is sponsored by Larry Alton.
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