Tag Archives: time

I Almost Told My Son “No”

Sunday afternoon.

You might consider it the best time of the week.  Naps.  Football (well, at least one more game this year).  Movies.  Reading.  That last deep breath before work begins.

I often have mixed feelings.  The weekend has flown by too quickly.  I still have errands to run.  To quote something I saw this weekend, “I still have procrastinating to do today that I didn’t finish yesterday.”

Yesterday, I had actually made progress on several tasks I had not gotten to in some time.  Checking those boxes felt great.

Then he came in.

Photo by author

Photo by author

My son asked me to go trail riding.  Something we have both done together in the past (with many great memories and laughs), but had not done in some time.

“Maybe later.  I’m in the middle of this project.”

My son’s shoulders slumped a little and he turned and walked away, which allowed me to get back to the task at hand.

About ten minutes later, just as I was wrapping up the prior project and anticipating the next item on my list, he asked again.  His eyes told me he already knew my response.

“I said maybe later.  I have quite a few things to get done today.”

“Please, dad.  Please!”

“Not right now.  I’ll check with you later.”

My son is 11-years-old.  It did not take too much inner monologue to occur for me to realize he will not be asking me to ride bikes with him too many more years.  I suppose he might, but he certainly would not beg me to ride over to meet up with his buddies when he turns sixteen.

I guess I could fantasize about being a cool dad all the friends want to hang with, but the lottery might be a better bet.

I finished up the next item and decided I would take the initiative to ask my son if he was ready to ride.

Think about your kid and a time you saw her face go from boredom to outright joy…my son executed it perfectly.

We proceeded to take a 45-minute ride, round-trip, on some great trails.  We both got exercise.  We both laughed.  We both got some scratches and scrapes.  He got some time with dad.

And I still had time to work on my checklist and save a few for next weekend.

Have you ever regretted telling your kid “no”?  Were you able to make it up to them and to yourself?

“T’s” Of Single Fatherhood – Time

No quote from Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” in this blog post.  As a full-time single father, you have already committed to spending time with your kids.  Lots of time.  In fact, you may feel a bit of guilt when you wish you could get a break.

You give your kids an incredibly valuable gift with that time.  No matter what happened to get you to this place, you now have primary responsibility for them and will spend a large portion of your non-working hours being dad.

Photo Credit: Busy Chris via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Busy Chris via Compfight cc

Young children require greater and more intense attention.  Feedings, diapers, baths, reading, playing, more diapers, and more feedings – just tapping those words out on my keyboard reminded me how exhausting those years were.  You may have help, but when you have those kids alone your time is consumed.

When you change diapers, older potty trained kids seem easier.  Seem is the operative word.

Intuitively, we all know parenting requires lots of time.  We all know time invested in a relationship nurtures and grows it.  So, it would seem parenting – especially if you parent the majority of the time – would result in awesome relationships with your kids.

Again, seem is the operative word.

I have spent time with my son and squandered time with my son.  I have been present with my son and I have been in the same room as my son.  I have listened to my son and I have been aware some creature was chattering somewhere in the room while I responded to an email.  You get the idea.

We would not function if every moment of every day involved deep levels of intimate communication and attention to our kids.  They would go crazy, too!  But, we can begin to identify those moments we can leverage and allow for deep connection.

I wrote about the value of a bedtime ritual – intimate and quality time.  I suggested we pay attention to their prompting for your time and presence, even if it involves a cartoon.

We have been given time with our kids – something we should thank God for.  So, let’s handle the time well.  Give this a try:

  • If your kids are too young to effectively communicate, write down two ways you can have quality time with your kids each day and do them.  This could include anything from 10-15 minutes of focused play time at morning and at night, to reading, to going for a walk, or to throwing a ball.  Discover what your kids enjoy and what they enjoy doing with you…and do it.
  • If your kids are older, ask them to tell you two things they like doing with you.  Then do those things on a consistent basis.

How do you spend quality time with your kids?  What benefits have you seen?  What gets in the way of spending quality time with them?

Single Fatherhood And The Letter “T”

This past week will stand out in my memory.  Had a great time with my son on Veterans Day, went on a business trip with a favorite client, saw many old friends, made new friends, and got engaged on Saturday.

So, technically, I will not qualify as a full-time dad much longer.  But this blog will continue as long as I can provide content of value to you.  Plus, every post seems to help me (and some married dads) parent a little better – remind me of some things forgotten or neglected.

Photo Credit: B Tal via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: B Tal via Compfight cc

Reserving the right to interrupt the upcoming series should something pertinent come along, I plan to take the next several weeks to address what I call the T’s of single fatherhood.  Yes, they can apply to all fathers, but we face some unique challenges and have some incredible opportunities I would like to explore with respect to these words:

  • Time
  • Touch
  • Teach
  • Train
  • Talk
  • Truth
  • Trust
  • Therapy
  • Thank
  • Thrive
  • Transform
  • Tailor

I look forward to a great conversation ahead – please join me.

Do you have a suggested “T” word to add to this list?