Articles for Fathers

Everything listed under: connecting

  • Post Featured Image

    Ways for Dad to Connect with Kids

    Wondering how you can connect with your kiddos? Here's a list to get you started!

    • Plan a regular time for Daddy/Child date to do something fun and adventurous.
    • Write a short message to them on a stick-it note and hide it in their lunch.
    • Let your child help you wash the car or fix something.
    • Play a game with them - one that they want to play.
    • If you like to cook, let them help you.
    • Take them to the park.
    • Teach your child how to do something like build a kite, a soapbox derby car, a paper airplane, etc.
    • Tell them what life was like when you were their age.
    • Listen to them - learn about their favorite things, who their friends are, their favorite game, etc.

  • Post Featured Image

    7 Ways Dads Can Connect With Their Kids

    In the movie Overboard, a man tricks a woman with amnesia into thinking she is a wife and the mother of four. Annie (the mother) gets fed up with the father for not spending time with his children. His response to her? He says he is a pal to his kids, and that he "brings home the paycheck, which is what the man of the house is supposed to do."

    Annie’s response? “Your children have pals. What they need is a father.”

    For many years, experts told fathers that bringing home a paycheck and leaving the parenting to Mom was the most important example they could set for their family. 

    Now, research shows that having a loving and nurturing father is as valuable as having a loving and nurturing mother for a child’s happiness, well-being and social and academic success. It isn’t just about bringing home the bacon.

    Looking back, Scotty Probasco, Jr. recognizes that his dad did a whole lot more than just bring home a paycheck. As a result, his influence is still present in his life today. He set an example that helped his children understand what it means to experience life to the fullest.

    “My dad and I were as different as night and day,” Probasco says. "He served in both World Wars and was a very stern man, yet he was a nurturing presence in my life. He showed me what it meant to be a loving husband and father by working hard, yet making sure that he spent time with our family. My dad believed that work was honorable and fun. He taught me that I ought to try to do things that would make the world a little bit better. Throughout my life, I have tried to live out the lessons my father taught me.”

    Mr. Probasco, Sr. set an example for his son that not only taught him about taking care of his family, it taught him about the greater good: Understanding that it is not all about you. He knew that some of the greatest blessings people receive are from giving to others.

    There is no doubt that involved dads do make a difference in the lives of their children. However, some fathers struggle with how to engage their children so they can provide a nurturing example.

    If you really want to connect with your children, try these tips from the experts.

    • Respect your child’s mother. If you are married, keep your marriage relationship strong. If you are not married to your child's mother, it is still important to respect and support her. Parents who respect each other are better able to provide a secure environment for their children.

    • Spend time with your children. Treasuring children often means sacrificing other things, but spending time with your kids is essential. You lose missed opportunities forever.

    • Talk to your children. Too frequently, dads only speak with their kids when they have done something wrong. Take time to listen to their ideas and problems with they are young. If you do that, they will still want to talk with you when they get older.

    • Discipline with love. Children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. When you discipline in a calm and fair manner, you show love for your child.

    • Be a role model. A girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves for boys to treat her with respect, and she knows what to look for in a husband. Fathers can teach sons what is important in life by demonstrating honesty and responsibility.

    • Be a teacher. Teaching your kids about right and wrong encourages them to do their best, and you will likely see them make good choices. Use everyday examples to help your children learn the basic lessons of life.

    • Show affection. Children need the security that comes from knowing their family wants, accepts and loves them. Show appropriate affection every day -it's the best way to let your children know that you love them.

    And finally, don’t underestimate your significant role in your child’s life.

  • Post Featured Image

    How You Can Father From a Distance

    Many men find themselves trying to father from a distance due to work, divorce or military deployment. Fathering from a distance can be especially trying with celebrations, plays and concerts often occurring during the week. How can dads stay connected while they are away and not feel like a third wheel upon their return?

    Brian Vander Werf travels almost every week for work. Even though his girls have never known a time when their dad was home all week, it is important to him to stay connected and in the loop while he is away.

    “Before I leave, I make it a point to get with each of my girls to find out what is on their calendars for the week,” says Vander Werf. “I want to know about tests, ballgames, concerts or other events that are happening. I share with them where I will be and what is happening in my world that week, and I want them to know that even though I am away, they are important to me and I care about what is happening in their world. Also, I make sure I get my hugs in before I hit the road!”

    When he travels, Vander Werf stays connected via texting and evening phone calls.

    “There is no question that staying connected while I am on the road can be complicated,” Vander Werf says. “My girls are older and texting seems to be one of the best solutions at the moment. I have really struggled with it because that is not my thing and not my idea of a great way to connect, but it is definitely a big part of their world so I find myself texting back and forth a lot with the two of them.”

    Do his girls know they can contact him throughout the day if they needed him? “Most definitely!" he says. "They know I am in tune and paying attention. I would want to know if something was up.”

    Technologically, dads have lots of options for staying connected to their children. Here are some ways you can connect:

    • Let your child pick out a book for you to read together at a designated time each evening.

    • If you won’t be able to talk while you are away, create a video before you leave for them to watch while you are away. You could even hide it and leave clues behind so they have to search for the surprise.

    • Record yourself reading a book and leave it under your child’s pillow.

    • Write and hide messages in places you know they will be found throughout the week.

    • Write letters to your children and include something fun or crazy in the letter.

    • If they have a special event, arrange for flowers, pizza or a card to be delivered that day.

    “Staying connected isn’t always easy,” Vander Werf says. “However, it is absolutely worth it! Even though I am out of town, my girls know I love and care about them.”