Has springtime arrived for you yet, dad?
During the past few weeks, we turned our clocks back for Daylight Savings (at least most of us did), we’re enjoying tournament basketball and all its madness, and this week came the first day of spring.
Maybe that isn’t a big holiday, and maybe it’s nothing to celebrate. Maybe the weather still feels more like winter, and March 20th passed without a thought about the start of a new season.
In case you haven’t thought about it, the annual renewal process is beginning. Every day we get another minute or two of sunlight, the grass is turning green, and flowers will soon be in bloom. There’s a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air that’s like no other time of year. People of faith will probably include Easter celebrations as part of this general feeling of renewal.
What do you associate with springtime?
Maybe for you it’s something mentioned above, or maybe it’s more about planting grass and other household routines to prepare for warmer weather. Maybe it will be easier to get outside for a regular run or bike ride. Maybe playing outside more with your preschoolers will be a welcome change. Maybe it’s about the family calendar filling up as your kids’ sports and other activities kick into high gear.
And for some, optimism may be difficult. Maybe fatherhood brings more frustration and pain if you can’t see your kids or if other people or circumstances are making things difficult. Sometimes the day-to-day responsibilities of life can seem overwhelming for any dad.
Wherever you are in the fathering journey, the beginning of spring can be a good time for some reflection and planning. Whether life seems pretty good right now or you’re really struggling, do all you can to embrace the idea of renewal. If you need a fresh start as a dad, choose now to begin that. Here’s an important reminder for the months ahead:
Don’t miss the good stuff.
Take some time to ask yourself,
What is it that I don’t want to miss with my children (and grandchildren) in the next few months?
Spring and summer bring possibilities for activities and events with each of your kids and with your whole family. Make a list, and then pull out your calendar and block out some dates. What do you want to do with your kids?
- How about weekend road trips to see relatives or attend a big-league (or minor-league) baseball game, or to do something else your child will enjoy?
- Maybe do yardwork as a family: trimming branches, laying mulch, or planting a garden. Or do yardwork for someone else who needs the help.
- Plan a camping trip or a weekend getaway with your son or daughter.
- Do college visits with your high schooler.
- Start training with your child to run a 5K together.
- Schedule a weekly activity with each of your kids.
- Are there seasonal events in your community like concerts in the park or arts festivals? Get them on the calendar.
- Get a jump on warm-weather family activities: hiking or riding bikes, walks to the school playground, playing catch in the back yard, Frisbee in the park, or a round of golf with your teenager.
Dad, don’t wait until the heat of summertime to start thinking about family outings and one-on-one time with your kids. Renew your commitment to be the dad you want to be—today. Plan some moments with your children that you can savor all summer.
What are some of your favorite spring and summer activities with your kids? Celebrate the season with us at our Facebook page.
Action Points & Questions for Reflection and Discussion:
- What’s the best part of spring for you? And the worst? Ask your kids how they would answer.
- Enlist a child’s help for a routine household maintenance task.
- Make a list of events and activities you want to do with family members in the next 4-5 months and start putting plans together for at least 2-3 of them.
- Over dinner or during a family meeting, talk about spring and summer plans, what each person is looking forward to and some things they would like to do—things they don’t want to miss.
- Looking at all the upcoming events and obligations on the family calendar, is there a chance things could get too busy? Would it make sense to pull back a bit to protect time with your family?