Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
In todays modern world all dads are busy making money for their children , but in this overall situation we forget spending time with our kids and miss their childhood in many different ways. We know our time is divided among many things, but investing in our children with our time is invaluable for connecting and influencing your children. Here are few different ways which we can look into and try spending some quality time with our kids apart from our busy lifestyle.
1. Having a meal with family.
Enjoying a family meal together is one of the best ways to connect as a family. It’s an opportunity to discuss the highs and lows of the day and talk in detail about what your children are learning each day.
2. Read to Your Child.
If you have young children, read to them. Use deep voices for some character and high voices for others. Be animated. Your kids need to hear their dad’s voice. Reading allows for bonding with your children like nothing else.
Think about how close you have to be to read to your kid. You wouldn’t sit and read to a stranger on a bus. That would be weird. Reading is a great way to connect with your kids, if only for a few minutes. Be warned, you won’t be able to read only one book. Your kids will beg for more.Dads of older kids should read the books your children are interested in. This will take some extra effort, but at least take time to discuss the latest book they’re reading. Ask good questions about the books and characters , so in this way they start discussing new and good thing about them and their surroundings. The point is to connect with your child on a deeper level than asking “how was your day?” Then they answer, “Good.” And then the
Dads of older kids should read the books your children are interested in. This will take some extra effort, but at least take time to discuss the latest book they’re reading. Ask good questions about the books and characters , so in this way they start discussing new and good thing about them and their surroundings. The point is to connect with your child on a deeper level than asking “how was your day?” Then they answer, “Good.” And then the talk ends.
3. Playing With Your Child.
Do something with your child that he/she enjoys. Let them pick the thing. Whether it’s getting on the floor and playing with dolls or trucks, get on your child’s level and play. For older children do something they like, such as playing video games or walking around the mall – be invested and interested in your child intentionally in this activity.
4. Taking your kids outside for a ride.
Whether you have a son or daughter, take time to go out for ice cream, eat together or take a walk. The point is to spend individual time with your child. If you have more than one child, work toward children getting their own individual time with you or the best option is going outside in a group.
5. Get active with the kids.
Engage your children in physical activity. It will bond you together and help build healthy habits. From riding a bike, basketball, or walking in a nearby park, you can be intentional about getting out from the normal routine and get active this week.
6. Get Creative with your kids.
This may be as simple as coloring together if you have young children or involving your child in fixing something around the house. Consider cooking together for this activity. For the trip to the store and preparation, use the time to connect with your child and talk about life while you do something that you have to do anyway , cooking and eating.
The whole idea behind this is to have some quality time with your family and make your kids learn the importance of being together in a family and proving yourself to be a good Dad.
Thank you for reading.
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.