one on one time

One-on-One Time for Kids with Dad

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There’s not a dad among us who doesn’t find scheduling to be a challenge. We invest in our work, we invest in our commitments, and we run out of hours in a day. Time gets away from us to the extent that we feel overwhelmed, rushed, and a little bit out of control. Then we miss out on the best investment dads can make: one-on-one time with the kids. We’re stretched, we’re disconnected, and we see our children grow up too fast, slipping out of our reach before we know it. Consequently, we see our relationships with our kids become more reactive than proactive.

But there’s a solution. We need to invest more time in our kids—not random or haphazard encounters, but planned quality time. It’s about being intentional; it’s about investing in our kids. Here are 4 ideas designed to keep us ahead of the curve with our children, custom-crafted to help dads stay in the loop, and have some fun, too.

1. Dog Walk with Dad

Try making it a habit. Twenty minutes of one-on-one time for non-agenda conversation. Small talk. Building rapport. Got more than one kid? Have them take turns. Chances are this is something they’ll all look forward to. But be prepared. Real conversations could break out, so keep your phone in your pocket.

2. Breakfast with Dad

Get connected with an All Pro Dad Chapter at your kids’ school or simply schedule one day per week as “Breakfast with Dad Day.” Variations could include ice cream night with dad or Saturday brunch while mom sleeps in. The key here is undivided, one-on-one attention. No agenda, just time.

3. Museum of the Month

No matter where you live, there’s some accessible culture, a state park, or a few historic sites within reach. Make exploring a go-to dad event. Let the kids be in on the research and planning. Be excited, even if you’re not naturally a museum or history kind of a guy. It’s about the relationship.

4. Movie Night Madness

Make ‘dad time’ accessible and regular.

Use your imagination. You could have a theme, such as the best sports movies in history or superhero movies or “movies that dad loved as a kid”—followed by movie analysis over a pizza.

It’s about being intentional; it’s about investing in our kids. The overriding, ironclad, “must not be broken” rule here is this: Give the kids 100 percent of your attention when you have one-on-one time. Make “dad time” accessible and regular. Remember: It’s the best investment dads can make.

Sound off: What is your favorite one-on-one kid moment from the past month?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you enjoy doing most with me?”