Spending time with your kids can be difficult. I’m talking the real, intentional time. I don’t mean the time like when you’re in the same room with your kids but you’re on your phone streaming twitter while your daughter plays in the background because you have a job in social media and must retweet that quote from that guy who said that thing about fathering…wait…I flashed-back to last night at my house. Sorry.
Enter The Dad Games of 2012 – the challenge to all of us dads to work toward being the "Gold Medal Dads" our kids need. This week's challenge is to actually spend time and undivided attention with our kids…well, please snap a pic and tag NFI on Facebook/Twitter for The Dad Games program, but after that…actually spend time and undivided attention with your children.
Yes, we're giving dads chances to win autographed sports memorabilia & summer gift sets from Dove® Men+Care® by telling us about your experience participating in The Dad Games with your children. But the important thing is that you’re spending time with your kids.
We know your time is divided among many things, but investing in your children with your time is invaluable for connecting and influencing your children.
If you didn’t print this week’s Dad Games checklist do it now, we'll wait....okay, you're back. Now, Here’s the point behind our seven ideas for this week:
1) Gather the Family for a Meal
Enjoying a family meal together is one of the best ways to connect as a family. It’s an opportunity to discuss the highs and lows of the day and talk in detail about what you’re children are learning each day. Check out our tips to help you make family mealtime easy and meaningful!
2) Read to Your Child
If you have young children, read to them. Use deep voices for some character and high voices for others. Be animated. Your kids need to hear their dad’s voice.
Reading allows for bonding with your children like nothing else.
Think about how close you have to be to read to someone. You wouldn’t sit and read to a stranger on a bus. That would be weird. Reading is a great way to connect with your kids, if only for a few minutes. Be warned, you won’t be able to read only one book. Your kids will beg for more!
Dads of older kids: read the same books your children are interested in. This will take extra effort, but at least take time to discuss the latest book they’re reading. Ask good questions about the books and characters like, "Which character in the book is your favorite? Why?" The point is to connect with your child on a deeper level than asking “how was your day?” Then they answer, “Good.” And then the talk ends.
NFI’s tips on making reading fun will work well if you feel like you don’t know how to get started with this activity.
3) Interact in Play With Your Child
Do something with your child that he/she enjoys. Let them pick the thing. Whether it’s getting on the floor and playing with dolls or trucks, get on your child’s level and play.
For older children: do something they like, such as playing video games or walking around the mall – be invested and interested in your child intentionally for this activity.
4) Dad-Kid Dates
Whether you have a son or daughter, take time to go out for ice cream, eat together or take a walk. The point is to spend individual time with your child. If you have more than one child, work toward children getting their own individual time with you. (If you can pull this activity off with multiple children, please write us in the comments and give your advice on making this happen!)
5) Get Active
Engage your children in physical activity. It will bond you together and help build healthy habits. From riding a bike, basketball, or walking in a nearby park, you can be intentional about getting out from the normal routine and get active this week.
6) Get Creative
This may be as simple as coloring together if you have young children or involving your child in fixing something around the house. Consider cooking together for this activity. From the trip to the store to preparation, use the time to connect with your child and talk about life while you do something that you have to do anyway – eat!
7) Family Game Night
Did you have family game night growing up? Whether your family played board games or not when you were a kid, the idea here is to have fun and get the family together and playing. We have suggestions for games to suit all ages and ideas to make game time fun for kids.
At NFI, we know that children whose fathers are stable and involved are better off on almost every cognitive, social and emotional level when measured by social science researchers. Keep up the good work, dads! Stay strong through the weekend! Go for gold!
Don’t forget to connect with us by commenting on this post, tagging us on Facebook and mentioning us on Twitter. Tell us what you're doing on this checklist and enter to win a prize!
photo credit: kevin dooley
In the spirit of the 2012 London Olympic Games, join National Fatherhood Initiative (@TheFatherFactor) as we host a Twitter Party with awesome prizes to get dads geared up for The Dad Games of 2012!
Get full details about The Dad Games 2012.
Join us tonight at 9PM EST and each Thursday night through 8/16. We’ll share advice and tips for each week’s Dad Games topic. We’ll motivate Team Dad to stay strong in the Dad Games as we strive to be Gold Medal Dads to our kids, our kids’ moms and our family.
This week’s topic is Gold Medal Dads…Spend Time With Their Kids.
Make sure you have our checklist with seven ideas of how you can spend time with your kids.
Get this week’s Gold Medal Dad checklist.
During tonight’s Twitter party, we’ll share stories and ideas of how to win Gold by spending time with our kids.
Bring your ideas and your questions!
Be sure you’re following @TheFatherFactor and using the hashtag #DadGames12 for all your tweets.
Prize winner will be chosen from among Twitter party participants and notified at close of party.
What can you win? See the Dad Games prizes.
#DadGames12 Prize from Dove® Men+Care®:
Dove® Men+Care® celebrates men who are comfortable in their own skin and understand the importance of caring for themselves and others. One Twitter party participant will win an autographed item from a sports legend and the new collection of Dove® Men+Care® products to keep you literally comfortable in your own skin.
#DadGames12 Prize from Gillette:
Gillette has a series of limited edition Olympic-packaged products in suppport of their ongoing partnership with the Olympic Movement and their 25 Olympic athletes including Ryan Lochte and Tyson Gay. One Twitter party participant will win a gift package of Gillette’s Olympic-themed products - plus a fatherhood book from NFI.
When: Thursday, July 19th at 9PM EST
To get next weeks Dad Games checklist directly to your email inbox, sign up for our Dad Email.
As the nation gears up to cheer for Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics, we're gearing up to cheer for Team Dad in The Dad Games of 2012!
For five weeks we're challenging you to be a Gold Medal Dad by giving you specific actions to build your connection with your children, the mom of your children and your family.
It's important to invest in your relationship with your kids no matter what, but we're excited to make it extra fun this month with great prizes and giveaways - including autographed memorabilia from celebrity athletes and free skin care products for men!
How can you win?!
Every Wednesday for five weeks, the Dad Email™ will focus on a particular topic of what makes a Gold Medal Dad.
We'll provide a checklist of specific actions you can take during the week to build your connection with your children in five areas of Gold Medal fathering:
- Gold Medal Dads...Spend Time with Their Kids
- Gold Medal Dads...Communicate with Mom
- Gold Medal Dads...Affirm Their Kids
- Gold Medal Dads...Balance Work and Family
- Gold Medal Dads...Always Try to Improve
Then, to win one of the awesome Dad Games prizes...
- Connect with us during each week on the Blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Each comment, tag or mention (for that week) will make you eligible for a prize!
Sign up for the Dad Email™ to stay up-to-date with The Dad Games of 2012!
Invite other dads to join in The Dad Games by signing up to create some friendly competition with your dad friends.
Check The Father Factor Blog
I will talk about my participation in The Dad Games along with you. Make sure you're subscribed to the blog and comment with your stories and tips each week to be entered to win!
Follow Us on Twitter
Use #DadGames12 and join us for Twitter parties every Thursday at 9pm EST as TEAM DAD tweets about the weekly topic. One prize will be given at every Twitter party!
Tag Us on Facebook
Post on our timeline, share a picture of you doing something with your child from the Dad Games Checklist, or comment on our Dad Games posts to be entered to win a prize.
Are you ready for The Dad Games of 2012?
Join TEAM DAD and Be a Gold Medal Dad Today!
Visit our home for The Dad Games 2012 for more information.
Swimming, barbeque and a day off work…sounds like freedom to me. But, in the excitement of activities, it's easy to forget the history and purpose of Independence Day. I’ll get to some ideas for celebrating, but first, some history so you can sound smart at the family get-together.
John Adams believed July 2nd was the correct date to celebrate the birth of American independence. He would decline invitations to July 4th events in protest (see History). Adams had an argument, because on July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of resolution for independence.
Realizing that once you read “Continental Congress” and “resolution” in the last paragraph that I lost most of you, I have a more history for you history buffs. It was July 2nd that John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail and explained that the day, "will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival" and the celebration should have "Pomp and Parade...Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." Can you say “freedom?”
Two days later on July 4th, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Even though the vote for actual independence was on July 2nd, the 4th became the day celebrated as the birth of American independence. If you’re like me, barbeque is barbeque; I’ll eat it on the 2nd and the 4th to commemorate this special event.
The Fourth of July was originally celebrated with concerts, parades, firing of cannons and speeches. By late 19th century, people started celebrating with outdoor activities, family time, fireworks and barbeques. Considering I kept your attention with all this historical trivia, here are a few ways you can celebrate this holiday with your family:
Independence Day Ideas for Your Family:
1) Teach Your Kids: For older kids, The History Channel has an entire week dedicated to the “Founding Fathers” for learning about the history and celebration of Independence Day.
Consider reading the Declaration of Independence with your teenager. They may complain, but it’s short and only one of the greatest documents ever written. For younger kids, have them draw and color the American flag or sing along to “The Star-Spangled Banner." Perhaps your kids like face paint as much as mine, paint the flag on their cheeks or for girls, paint their nails in red, white and blue (can you tell I have daughters?!).
2) Get Patriotic with Food: Let your kids help you make Independence Day themed food like American Flag Cake and Patriotic Pops.
3) Get Involved with Your Community: It’s a great time to get to know your neighbors. Attend a festival or parade and grill out with friends.
4) Remember the Troops: Write a letter or send a care package to a deployed service member to let them know you appreciate their service.
How are you celebrating Independence Day?
photo credit: *Micky
Father's Day is over. June is on its way out the door.
But NFI made a promise, we are holding to our promise of "Celebrating Father's Month."
This is our last video interview and the last is ceratianly not least. In fact, we saved our very own NFI President for last.
Remember what this campaign was about - we at NFI think dad deserves more than one day. We featured dads throughout the month, simply as a reminder to celebrate the dads in our lives.
Today, meet Roland Warren, NFI President and Chief Dad.
Roland has two sons, ages 27 and 29. Watch Roland talk about the lamest gift he ever gave his dad, why clothes are so important for fathers (yes, clothes) and what he's most looking forward to at this stage of fatherhood (watch out Warren men!).
When you see Roland talk fatherhood, be inspired to celebrate the dad in your life today.
For tips and tools on how to connect fathers with kids during this month and beyond, sign up for our Dad Email.
Meet the rest of the NFI Dads who are Celebrating Fathers Month.
During June, NFI is "Celebrating Father's Month" because we think dad deserves more than one day! We're featuring dads as a reminder throughout the month -- to celebrate dad more than one day.
Meet Michael Yudt, NFI Programs. Michael has three boys under the age of four and apparently has a huge Cleveland-Browns-apple-pie-loving dad. Watch Michael talk sons, fathers, apple pie, and all things in between right here:
For tips and tools on how to connect fathers with kids during this month and beyond, sign up for our Dad Email.