Family Man

Father Holding Daughter's Hand
Photo by Spirit Fire

I have decided to more completely dedicate myself to my family and nothing else and to do so in an orderly fashion. A thought struck me again about how much more I noticed and recorded in my kids’ lives years ago so that my younger kids have almost no record and the older kids have no recent record. I decided that in order to fix that I would need to spend more focused time with each of the kids. That’s tough to do since things are so busy but I need to do it so I have decided that I will carve out half an hour each day Monday through Thursday to spend with one child. That will allow me to have time with each of my children regularly. On Fridays that equivalent time would be folded into date night (date night is longer than 30 minutes of course). Saturday I will carve out some dedicated time to working on some project around the house (there’s always something that has been neglected which that time could be used for) and then Sunday is dedicated to spiritual pursuits.

How to schedule this in is the real trick. I already get up and do any exercise and study before I go to work which I do before anybody else is up for the day. (Sometimes my oldest will be up reading or one of my younger boys will be up asking for a snack as I run out the door.) Once I get home from work I have to make dinner, feed the family, and do the dishes before getting people to bed. Somewhere in that time I need to allow the rest of the family to coast unsupervised while I create a bubble of attention around the child of the day. We can do an activity, work on homework, or talk during that time.

I hope that the dedicated half hour will help me be more perceptive and have things to record about each child more regularly. I created a rotation that would feel somewhat random to the kids but make sure that they each got regular attention within each cycle. I started this last week and have had time with most of the kids by now and I believe this will yield the results I have been hoping for. A few more cycles should make it obvious but already I can see that the kids are anxious to have time with me rather than seeing me as the big bad ogre all the time.

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About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.

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