Carey Casey, CEO of the National Fathering Centre in Kansas, encourages fathers to ‘get down on your knees’ to play with your children. If you have young daughters, Carey says dads should ‘be happy to have a tea party with them’ even if it is not quite your cup of tea.
Carey Casey shares a Fatherhood Story
Roland Warren, former CEO of the National Fatherhood Initiative, describes the three laws of fatherhood as being ‘Location, Location, Location’. Warren’s words work at a number of different levels, including being in the moment, as well as being physically present.
One of the things I learned from Dr Bruce Robinson’s book, ‘Fathering from the Fast Lane’ and ‘Daughters and their Dads’ was not to despise the epithet of ‘Dad’s Taxi’. Bruce suggested that we, as dads, should grab the moments with our children by running them around in the car for their various activities.
It seems mothers slip into this role very easily, as Mum’s Taxi is in the current vernacular, but Dads Taxi is not. Unfortunately, many fathers are happy to let mum do all the running around.
After reading Bruce Robinson’s comment about Dads not helping with the children’s running around I realized I was guilty of this bad habit and started to actively volunteer. My wife was very relieved. I started to take the children to music lessons, school excursions, sport or church youth activities as much as I could.
When my youngest child got her license, guess who missed the opportunity of father/daughter time together? You guessed it, I did!
James Dobson was right when he wrote, “When these parenting years have passed, something precious will have flickered and gone out of my life. Thus, I am resolved to enjoy every day that remains in this fathering era”.
The Latin saying, “carpe deim” means “seize the day” and really applies when it comes to creating the opportunities to hang out with your children.
It really is that simple. You as a father have to seize the opportunities or make the opportunities.
As you know, my background is as a touring musician/minister who was mostly able to go on the road with his own musical family band. I can remember in 1999 we released our family double album called ‘Fathers’ and went on a tour to Queensland in the summer holidays.
My two eldest children had also just released their own album, ‘No Compromise’ with three of their friends. Their band ‘Bent’ was hard core heavy rock (think collision between Rage Against the Machine, POD and Korn). I could have kept the tour for our family and shortened it to accommodate their release but rather than cut back on our family time; I compromised and took ‘Bent’ on the road with us.
I had to compromise on a number of different levels really, but sometimes compromise is good for dads, especially if it means spending more time with your children.
Looking back, that is something we did achieve. We struggled to cover our costs with such a large tour party. Our family band had to take second billing for some of the shows, but isn’t that what being a father is all about? Being able to stand happily in the shadow of your children as they succeed far above what you ever could.
I believe that this is the mark of a true father.
Hanging out with your kids is just one of the side benefits.
Seize the day!
Make the opportunities.
Spend time with your children.
You’ll be so glad you did.
Yours for more time with your kids
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