Family time can be anything you make it and doesn’t necessarily require a huge expensive production. Bonding with your child cost nothing but your love, as it’s vital to their confidence and upbringing. So as Daddy, I try to take advantage of every opportunity I get to strengthen my relationship with my daughter and to help her learn and grow.
Hats off to my wife, who takes care of Ariabella on average 50 hours a week while I’m at work. I do my best to take the early morning shift, getting her up, fed and ready for the day so Sonyo can get a couple additional hours of shuteye. Then, when I get home, I play with Ariabella, prepare her bath, get her ready for bed and read her books before tucking her in. This helps my wife get back to her writing.
Weekend is Family Time
On the weekend we spend a lot of family time together, but I still try to take Ariabella for a couple of hours, whether that means we’re going to the park, the beach, the store, wherever. So when Sonyo recently registered for a writer’s conference, I saw the opportunity to take a Friday off from work—as it was also one of those rare times when things were relatively quiet—and run my version of Daddy Daycare.
Ariabella is such a sweet little girl, and very helpful, too. So I enjoy running to Trader Joe’s with her so we could restock the refrigerator and pantry. She had just woken up from a 1.5-hour nap, so she was in an especially good mood. As we walk the aisles, gobbling on grapes all the while, she smiles and says “hi” to everyone who passes. Then we get home, she eats and then we walk the dogs. Again, she greets everyone in our path.
Everyday Activities Can Be A Family Experience
There are many mundane family-friendly activities that parents can involve their children in. You don’t always have to take them to the zoo, go for a bike ride along the beach or book a trip to LegoLand. Busy adults don’t always have the time—or money—to be the “cool parents.” But they can be present for their children while accomplishing errands.
Our kids, especially when they are younger, don’t really care if we are taking them to the park three times a day. They simply want to be with us and to be doing what we are doing. This give parents the opportunity to strengthen bonds and to take an active role in raising and teaching children.