I was heartbroken to hear the news that Dan Wheldon, the 33-year-old racecar driver, died in a crash last Sunday, leaving behind his wife and two young children.
As I was watching the news of his death, I was touched by his commitment to his family. From all accounts, Dan was a great dad. He tried to be a good role model by working his hardest so that his sons would be proud. He was sure to spend time with his family.
His wife even commented in a news article that he changed 95 percent of the diapers. Now, I know this sounds a little trite, but not many wives can make this claim. A lot of dads aren’t around to change even 5 percent of the diapers. But Dan was.
Dad, time is the most precious gift you can give your kids. You aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow, so make sure that today counts.
So today, right now, in honor of Dan, I challenge you to start a new tradition.
Cute little girl having fun with her fatherSet aside time each day—whether it is five minutes or thirty minutes—to spend one-on-one with each of your children. Give your time together a silly name, like “Pick on Daddy Time.” Turn off your phone, your computer, and any other distraction.
Then protect that time at all costs. Don’t let anything take you or your child away.
Let your child decide how you will spend your time together. Perhaps you’ll wrestle with your four-year-old son. Maybe your teenager daughter will share her new favorite song with you. Regardless, if you let your child take the lead, you will build lasting memories.
One last note: Be sure to protect this time each day as if you will never have another day with your child. Someday, you might be right.
If you have any stories about finding opportunities to build strong bonds with your children, be sure to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.
Remember: Have a sense of urgency about this and don’t put it off! Make sure that when you do die—whether it’s tomorrow or fifty years from now—your children have many memories of special time with you. You never know how much time you have left with them.