Focus. It’s everything. As a dad, it started in the hospital room with my wife as she gave birth to our first of three awesome children. It was the moment when I knew that everything I had hoped had come true. I wasn’t just a single title anymore…it was time to welcome in a second title…dad. That title was and is one of the single greatest job descriptions I have ever had. My focus shifted from being just a husband to being a husband and a father! Now that I have three incredible kids, my focus is on all four of these amazing pieces of my life, but it’s not always easy.
In fact, the one thing I want is to focus MORE on my wife and kids, but things keep getting in the way. I realized that these “things” in my life that were trying to keep me busy had to be controlled…refocused. Yes, the daily grind of work, travel, pickups, making dinner and outside stimuli are always going to be there, but what would happen if we took the time to live in the moments that matter? The moments that can easily pass by us if we aren’t paying attention.
It makes a ton of sense that parents who are older than me always tell me to enjoy the time as it goes by so fast, but what does that mean? Well…to me, it means that we need to slow down and enjoy the small things. Small things like a walk on the beach, a delicious meal together at the dinner table, wrestling in the living room, or even just a conversation. With this in mind, here are my top three tips for helping parents focus on what matters the most:
Three Tips To Help Your Family Truly Focus On What Matters
Individual Time. I have three kids. Each of them are different and like to do different things. Their personalities are different and they show love in different ways. One thing that is NOT different between them is that they all love to have one-on-one time with dad. I know it might not be realistic to schedule alone time with each of your children, but every once in a while there comes an opportunity for you to jet out with one of your kids while mom keeps an eye on the others, do it. Do the opposite as well. Let mom have her time too! Your kids will love it and the magical conversation when you get your kids by themselves, you (and they) will remember forever.
Body Slam Your Kids. I grew up watching the WWF (now the WWE of course) and the personalities on tv were larger than life. Grown men wore tights and paraded around the ring with their awesomely long hair and muscles and threw each other around the ring with ease. I wanted to be just like them, so I would wrestle my sister. It wasn’t until I had my own kids that I realized just how awesome wrestling was for bonding with my kids. Whether you call it rough housing or being crazy or just wrestling, I find that throwing your small kids around into a pile of pillows every now and then does wonders for everyone’s attitude. Create your own finishing move as a parent, do the signal for your finishing move, and perform it on your little humans. They will scream “again” every time.
Answer Questions. There are lots of studies out there that talk about how many questions kids ask a day. All of the studies I have read bring it to about 300 question per day, per kid. That’s a lot of questions. I am not saying that you need to answer every single one, but I am saying that the reason they are asking is a good one…they want to learn. Slow down. Look at them when you can, and answer their questions when your kids ask. It is also ok to say that you don’t know the answer to a question. You got this, dad!
These moments in time as a father will fly by…or so I am told. With my oldest already ten years old, it is hard to remember what she was like as a small baby already, but I know that some of the images above and the images that we capture throughout our lives together will be the things that memories are made out of. Spending time together is what it’s all about and for us, the more places we can go together, the better it is for all of us.
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