Quality family time can be a hot commodity in most households these days. Seriously, who has time to connect anymore? Trying to squeeze work/school, homework, and after-school activities into the day can leave families too exhausted to bond beyond a few words between bites of food. Keep reading to hear from been-there, done-that dads as they share how they connect and bond with their kiddos through movement.
“One big goal this summer is for my 3 year old daughter, Amelia, to accomplish potty training before heading to preschool in the fall. I created a “potty chart” with various prizes along the way. I wanted to stay away from food rewards as much as possible (we did enjoy a lot of ice cream though!). One thing that caught on quick with Amelia was a celebratory dance party. I would log into GoNoodle and let her pick a video to dance to, sometimes 2 – 3 dances! Her favorites were KooKooKangaroo and Moosetube. If we were super busy and did not get a chance to celebrate she always reminds me before bed, “Daddy remember I went potty today, we get to dance!” — Nicolas D., Bexley, OH
Connecting in silence
“We live pretty busy lives so it’s important for me to find time to escape it all when I get home from work. I typically lock myself in my room and meditate for a few minutes but I recently discovered a few mindful practice apps that are great to do with my son. We sit on the floor, close our eyes and relax for a few minutes in silence.” Paul J., — Phoenix, AZ
Don’t be afraid to be competitive
“As a dad and as a police officer, it’s important to find a way to connect with kids to establish a close relationship and mutual respect. At work, I find out what sport the kids like to play- I play with them and let them win, then I beat them. It helps the kids learn to push themselves to the next level to win but also learn that losing is not that bad. At home, I have that same competitive bond with my two daughters. We race and compete in nearly everything that we do. No matter who wins, we always celebrate together.” — Jerone T., Chicago, IL
Lead by example
“As my daughter learns what she likes and dislikes, I use the things that I like to do as a way to stay active and to bond with her. We take family bike rides, we hang out at the pool and swim, play games in the yard- whatever we can do to have a few minutes of fun to ourselves!” — Alex D., Chicago, IL
Special thanks to all of the parents that contributed to this post!