Valentine’s day is celebrated as a day of romance and to express our deepest love to the people we care about. Often that’s our wives, our partners or our girlfriends. As a dad though, there is another opportunity for you.
Why not use Valentine’s day as a trigger to express your love to your kids? Now, if you’re like most men, the very notion of expressing love, even to your kids, is probably going to make you want to vomit. Alternatively, you might want to dismiss this with thoughts of, “That’s dumb! Of course, my kids know I love them” or “I already show my kids I love them.”
Well, let me ask you this question: Is your relationship with your kids as good as you want it to be? Is it a source of strength or is it a source of strain? Are you as close and connected to your kids as you want to be?
It does not matter what your answer was. What matters is whether you want to consider using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to improve your relationship with your kids. If you don’t, that’s fine. If you do, then let me offer you a starting point.
Firstly, why Valentine’s Day? My answer to that is simply, “Why Not?” Why not use any opportunity that comes your way to connect more deeply with your kids and build a closer relationship with them? As far as I’m concerned, any excuse will do!
After all, one of the biggest issues dads tell me they have is a lack of time to spend with their kids and even when they do get to spend time with their kids, they find they are totally distracted by work … or their phone.
So, let me offer you a launching pad to use Valentine’s Day as a trigger to improve your relationship with your kids.
Ask yourself this question: What can I do to show my children I love them for who they are?
That’s a simple question, right? Or is it?
After all, to be able to answer this question fully and then follow through with the answer, you’ve got to really know each of your children. I say “each of your children”, because the answer to the above question will be different for each child. You might even find that you have a closer relationship with one child versus another.
Now if you struggle with this question, as many dads do, don’t feel bad! Often as men, we’re so busy working to provide for our kids that we forget to actually connect with our kids. Yet, every study shows that the what our kids want from us is our Attention, our Appreciation and our Acknowledgement. Unfortunately, if our children do not get this from us, they will end up looking for it elsewhere.
So, use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to get to know your children better. Use it as a trigger to spend one-on-one time with each of your them. Talk to them and more importantly, just be with them. Now, want to take it one step further?
Ask them, what you can do to be a better dad! Let your ego down. If you ask without ego, if your kids see that you are genuinely interested, don’t be surprised that they will answer, even if they are young. My 3-year-old will tell me that he wants dad to play with him more.
Of course, one day is not going to be enough and maybe your children are old enough to have their own Valentine’s day dates. That doesn’t matter. This is about you as a man and a father, not them. This is about using Valentine’s Day as a trigger to improve your relationship with your kids. Are you willing to give this a go?
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