Connecting with kids is a challenge today, with all the pressures placed on us by work. In Working Fathers: New Strategies for Balancing Work and Family, authors James Levine and Todd Pittinsky outline strategies for working dads to build a strong connection with kids.
- It’s important to enter into your children’s flow, rather than expect them to enter into yours. When you come home, rather than starting an activity, try to get in sync with what your kids are doing.
- Dr. Ken Canfield of the National Center for Fathering recommends building up a “reservoir” of quality time with your children before you travel.
- Take your kids to work occasionally. It can help them understand why you are not always available for them if they understand what you do at work.
- Joining a parent-child program offered by a school or other community organization can help you establish a regular time to be with your child.
- It’s good to spend time with the whole family, but each child needs to feel that he or she has a unique relationship with you, too. That can come from doing something together that you don’t do with your other children or doing it in a special way.
- Kids need your physical and verbal affection regularly and often — even when they squirm with embarrassment. “Whatever their age, getting a hug from dad is like touching home base,” says Samuel Osherson, author of Finding Our Fathers.