Let’s be honest, being a divorced dad can be challenging. No matter how much time you have with your children, it doesn’t feel like enough. Between work and other activities, it may feel like the only thing you and your children do is rush from one place to another. Sometimes it seems like you just picked them up from your ex-wife and it’s time to take them back. You can’t increase the number of hours in a day, but you can increase the quality of the time you spend with your kids. Here are three simple and easy to do activities that are guaranteed to help divorced dads generate quality time with the kids.
You are already making the meals, why not invite your children to help you cook. This allows you to use time your children might have otherwise spent alone watching TV or playing video games. It doesn’t have to be just dinner either, making breakfast as a family can be a great start to the day. Letting your children pick what dish to make allows them to be part of the process. They will be all the more excited to eat when they helped cook the meal. If you have some time to prepare, you could even start by asking your children to pick a meal they would like to make. Then go to the grocery store with your kids and help them pick out the ingredients. Not only is it a fun family project, but your children will be learning good life skills.
There are reasons that humans have been playing board games for thousands of years, they are a lot of fun. Very few activities allow people to interact face to face as much as playing a board game. Playing a game with your children requires little advanced planning. Simply take the game out after you have finished dinner. It is good to let your children choose games they enjoy, but also teach them new games especially standards such as dominoes and card games. Lighthearted competition is always fun, but there are many modern games where all the players work together to win. Many board games also help train children in math and critical thinking skills. Playing board games with your children is a great way to have an unplugged evening of quality time.
It easy to watch TV as a default evening activity with your kids. With a little planning, you can replace channel flipping with a fun movie night. First set up the night ahead of time. Then figure out a schedule to determine which movie will be watched. You can let your children pick the first few movies, but choose some of the movies as well to broaden their perspective. Prepare popcorn or other snacks for the full movie night experience. After you have watched the movie, turn the TV off and discuss it with your children. Let them tell you which part they liked the best. Ask them what parts of the movie they didn’t like. The discussion after the movie is the most important part and is what makes movie night better than just watching TV. While entertaining movies are great, you can also watch serious movies from time to time as a way to discuss important issues with your children.
With just a little organizing and planning, you can transform average time with your children into engaging activities. Of course, it is equally important to limit any distractions during time with your children. It is hard to enjoy quality time if you have to keep checking emails and business messages or if movie night gets cancelled for a late meeting. If you want your children to put down the video games and turn off the TV, you need to make sure you turn off work as well.