by Dr. Ken Canfield

Change happens; it’s inevitable. And when crises occur, we’re forced to adopt some new ways of living and relating. So, what has the COVID-19 pandemic prompted you to do?

No doubt, we are washing our hands more frequently, we are more attuned to the vulnerabilities of elders, and we are maintaining physical distance so we don’t succumb to the virus or become a carrier. But how have our communication patterns and habits around home changed?

Here are a few ways we all might do things differently, whether it’s a brand new activity or a re-commitment to something we have done in the past. I hope you, like me, can view these new experiences as opportunities to grow—personally and in your relationships.

Here are a dozen action points or suggestions, and I hope you’ll visit our Facebook page and share your own ideas with other dads.

1. Play board games with the family. Here’s a secret which will pay big dividends: let others win at least some of the time.

2. Put together a big jigsaw puzzle (300 pieces minimum). Consider using decoupage to save it as a memory with your kids during this time.

3. Get some fresh air! Take a walk, tidy up your flower bed or find another outside chore.

4. Create some tasty masterpieces in the kitchen. Identify a dish which has meaning in your family heritage, or just bake some comfort food.

5. Watch some of your family’s vintage videos from when the kids were much younger—even if you have to resurrect some old technology to play them for everyone.

6. View an old movie together, even though you’ve seen it before. Tell any stories or memories of events and places that come to mind from what life was like when you first saw the movie or heard the soundtrack.

7. Get spiritual. Yep, you can do it. Have a family meeting or discussion about the role of faith during challenging times. This always proves to be a winner, because being vulnerable will often open our eyes to spiritual realities.

8. How about concocting a new dessert? We all have favorites, but there’s nothing like trying out an innovative and delicious treat for hungry kids.

9. Pare down possessions. Go through the garage and closets and identify the important heritage-building keepsakes, then donate the excess. Fill the Goodwill, Salvation Army or other local non-profits with fresh inventory as a way of serving others.

10. Write an old-style hand-written letter to someone you love. Tell them specifically what you appreciate about their life and influence.

11. What home maintenance duties have you been putting off for the past few months or years? Focus on one item at a time start making headway.

12. As we prepare for the Passover and the most holy time of Easter, just listen. Let the Creator speak to your heart about your life and situation and possible new beginnings.

Check out more ideas here.

Regardless of where you live and who is living in your current setting, make the most of this time of re-calibration, refocusing and renewal. Be open to learning and growing in ways you never would have expected even a month ago.

How have you been prompted to change and grow personally or as a father in recent weeks? Share your ideas and see what else we’re up to at our Facebook page.

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