If you’re like most dads, you want to succeed as a father and in your other roles, too. Often, that comes down to where you invest your time.
This is a special early-week blog due to Thanksgiving. It’s also “special” because, in case you weren’t aware, one week from today is #GivingTuesday (Tuesday, December 2). All kinds of great things happen related to #GivingTuesday. Here at NCF, we believe this is a great time to challenge dads and father figures to give to their kids—specifically, to #GiveTIME.
Over the weekend and moving forward into the holidays, we hope you’ll invest some time in your children. By showing a child your undivided attention, you demonstrate that he or she is one the most important people in your life. If you need some help getting started, we’ve produced a free idea sheet with 75 ways you can #GiveTIME to your kids. Download it right now at fathers.com/givingtuesday.
Now, a few more thoughts about the importance of your time. Here’s what one father wrote to us about this:
“If I spent ten minutes with my child each day and was totally involved and focused on her social development, would that be considered quality time? On the other hand, what if I had all the time in the world to spend with my kid, but I didn’t really interact with her, to give affection and discipline? Which of the two situations would you consider to be of more benefit to the proper upbringing of my child?”
I appreciate his sincerity, but really, I can’t choose. If his proposed ten minutes per day was enough, I can’t help thinking his daughter—and he—would be shortchanged.
Sure, short amounts of “quality time” are beneficial, but children also draw security from their father’s presence alone—even if they’re just hanging out. The question I have—and the question his daughter must have—is “What is he up to the other 23 hours, 50 minutes per day?”
This dad asked about which would be of more benefit, and he presented two less-than-desirable options. I prefer to ask what would be of most benefit to his daughter. And the answer is, neither of the two.
Our children want to know that they’re important enough for their fathers to mark off blocks of time in their schedule and say, “It’s just you and me all afternoon.” Even if it doesn’t end up being what you might consider “quality” time, it’s still quality time to your child.
Dads, when it comes to time with our children, we shouldn’t be asking what’s better for them, but what’s best for them. Nothing can replace a father spending time with his children. If you want to show them your love, spending time is the best way to do that. For kids, love is spelled: T-I-M-E. Dads, #GiveTIME to your kids.
How do you plan to #GiveTIME on #GivingTuesday? Go to our Facebook page and let us know.
And once again, get our free idea sheet right now at fathers.com/givingtuesday.
Action Points for Dads on the Journey
- Take an “unselfie” with your child—a selfie of the two of you doing something together. Post it on social media with the hashtags #Unselfie and #NCFdads.
- Tell each of your children one or two reasons why you’re thankful for them—related to their personality or character traits.
- #GiveTIME to your kids. Do a one-on-one activity with each one during the holiday weekend. Get some ideas from our free idea sheet.
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, a nonprofit organization seeking to improve the lives of children and establish a positive fathering and family legacy that will impact future generations by inspiring and equipping fathers and father figures to be actively engaged in the life of every child. We encourage you to help us change the culture of fathering in America by joining the Championship Fathering Team. You can also sign up for Carey’s weekly email tips by clicking here: “Yes! I want tips on how to be a great dad who lives out loving, coaching and modeling for my children.