The Dad Games of 2012 came to a close on Tuesday. We hope you dads have been challenged and encouraged as we have during these games. We enjoyed sharing stories and connecting with other dads.
We expect that you are connecting with your kids in a deeper way, are being the best husband (or ex-husband) to the mother of your children, are armed with ideas for managing work and family priorities and have set goals to continue training and improving in being the best dad you can be.
Let's take one last look back at highlights of what dads like you said over all five weeks of The Dad Games. Below are quotes from actual dads who took the challenge to be Gold Medal Dads.
Week 1: Gold Medal Dads Spend Time with Kids
"Love the idea of the 2012 Dad Games! Had a ball yesterday riding the go-kart, bike riding, reading, etc. Summer has been great overall, but it's nice to have the "challenge" placed in front of me as well as other Dad's." -Tim
"Dad Games 2012. Great idea to inspire us guys to be better fathers. My little girl is 1. I read a couple of books to her today. The most important time to me is when we both can take a nap together during the day. Lets do work DADS!!" -Robert
"My son and I have colored, played Batman, fixed the kitchen tile in my grandfather's house, read a few books, and the week ain't over yet. :) Thanks for the fishing tips. My son is afraid of pretty much every animal so fishing is a no-go for a while anyway." –Maury
"My daughter Savannah and I spent all weekend at a Girls Scout camp for Girl Scouts and their family members. We rode horses, hiked, did crafts, archery, low ropes, and just enjoyed each other's company. It was one of the best times ever!!!!!"-Mike
"Yes, from bringing them to work to having "special lunches" while @ work to fun dinners, late night dips in the pool . Movies ordering pizza late at night to all falling asleep together on the same couch.. Loved every second of it! -Will
"Saturday mornings we go get bagels and give Mom the morning off!" #DadGames12 @bfalvey
"I was missing too much so left high-paying job so could work part-time & spend more time raising my kids." #dadgames12 @GeekDad248
"Making up dance moves to songs like Call Me Maybe in our chairs once dinner is done." #DadGames12 @cdel58
"Meal time is our listening and giggling time. 3.5yr old tells antics of day. Sometimes tattles on herself" #Dadgames12 @jon_wilke
"My son and I read a National Geographic Kids magazine last night and a dinosaur alphabet book." #DadGames12 @candyland0606
"Singing The Duck Song with my kids. Grand time quacking together before bed time." #DadGames12 @JasonBruce
"Getting spanked by my kids in UNO." #DadGames12 @ctramosono
Week 2: Gold Medal Dads Communicate With Mom
“Wonderful reflections! Thank you! One of the programs our agency facilitates is "Cooperative Co-Parenting" for divorcing couples. If only these couples addressed the healthy of their relationship before it was too late! It's critical to keep those connections fresh and loving day by day!” –Jan
“My wife and I have been married for 6 years and together for 12 years this September. First and foremost, we are best friends. I can say that honestly. Second, we talk and respect each other. We know each other's buttons and we try not to touch them during disagreements. That is huge in my son's life and will continue to be a big influence on his future relationships. As hard as it might seem, your wife comes first. After God, of course.” –Maury
“Alot of good ideas here…As far is my advice...it's the little things that count. My wife most appreciates signs of affection, gentle touches throughout the day, hand squeeze, hugs for no reason…It keeps us close. Plus it's good for the children to see their parents expressing that closeness.” -Jay
“You have to make it clear to your kids that they are important, but your wife (husband) are first. We still have date nights. I count down the time the kids have left before they move out.” -Charles
“Does shoe shopping count as time together? : ) We have been looking for hours.” #DadGames12 @cdel58
“Gold medal dad weekly activity 2. Had a date night last night going to see batman and dinner with my wife.” #DadGames12 @TheDadpreneur
“Marriage retreat will score you 100+ man points.” #DadGames12 @JasonBruce
"One new thing we started this week was communication mirror. Everyday we use our bathroom mirror and white board markers to display messages to eachother. Things like "I love You" "You are beautiful" or a simple prayer. It is amazing how much we both enjoy getting up each morning to see the messages that have been posted. Feels like we are writing love notes to each other just like in high school." -Chris
Week 3: Gold Medal Dads Affirm Their Kids
“Tell your kids several times a day how much you love them. Show your love for them. Be respectful to their mother.” –Ian
“Didn't have to be in court till 1:30 other day so took kids 2 playground in morning-many women asked if I was sick or unemployed." #dadgames12 @GeekDad248
“Cheer practice now. Can't imagine 5yr olds learning 50 cheers. We shall see what happens. Good luck to coaches." #DadGames12 @CDel58
“I hug my daughter daily." #DadGames12 @BrianTooley1
“Taking daughter to see the movie she has wanted to see all summer-Diary of a Wimpy Kid. She thinks we have errands tomorrow but NO!" #DadGames12 @BrianTooley1
“I knew my dad loved me from how he treated me but he never said the words - I make effort say "love you" to my kids." #dadgames12 @GeekDad248
“Even though parents divorced, Dad never said bad word about my mother." #Dadgames12 @Jon_Wilke
"I'm working on leaving the laptop off when I get home from work so I can be even more present with my twins and planning activities for the weekend for us as a family." -Steve
"You know you are a daddy when you stop watching the opening Olympic ceremony to go read a Dr. Seuss book to your loving daughter when she is calling you to read to her… “The Nose Book.” -Allan
Week 4: Gold Medal Dads Balance Work and Family
"This is awesome timing with it being the first week of school for me and as a teacher I have to juggle a lot. My son calls my students my kids, too. I have always strived to keep "Mr. Wood" at work and let Daddy and Maury come home. It's hard to separate the two but it is something that takes effort. It doesn't just happen. Once again, awesome timing!" -Maury
"I'd say I'm about an 8 or 9. I can't be there every minute but I make a whole-hearted effort to be at every game, performance, and event I can, even if it means going straight from work or driving back and forth to overlapping games. I'm making more of an effort to leave the computer & phone off at night and we always eat dinner together with no electronics at the table and no TV." -Steve
Week 5: Gold Medal Dads Set Goals To Improve
"Great tips. This summer has been a blast with the kids home but when I get home from work they want to tell me all about what they have been up to. They don't care (and I shouldn't even bother them with) my job's day to day droning. I love catching up wIth them, but I have learned its vital to listen to the wife too!" -Kevin
"This was a great program. I hope it becomes an annual event. Great tips and advice." -Thomas
"I agree with Thomas..... Very well organized and brought a lot of dads closer to their children. Nothing better than that." -Robert
"Sad we are wrapping up - stay in touch guys!" #dadgames12 @GeekDad248
"Any more plans for twitter parties in the future?" #DadGames12 @maurydwood2
Thank you, Team Dad, for joining us in The Dad Games of 2012!
We encourage you to keep training, keep connecting and consider being a Double Duty Dad. Stay tuned for more information on our next big project.
Connect with The Father Factor by RSS, Facebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.
Go Team Dad!
We have 24 hours in a day. For the most part, we decide how we spend those 24 hours. A good dad manages work and family. Dad, you must be intentional about how you are spending your time between juggling your work and family priorities. Often, us dads can fall into the trap of letting priorities at work overtake priorities at home.
It's not easy to juggle everything all of the time. However, we can do a better job of working hard AND showing our families we love them. It is absolutely vital that our wife and kids see us as the people who “get things done." How we prioritize will make all the difference in whether our families view us as leaders and influencers or not.
Here are seven ways you can begin balancing work and family:
1) Resolve not to take work home
Challenge yourself to either not take your work home or do it after the kids are in bed. Unplug mentally and physically before you get home. Honestly, I’m the worst at this. The days I do this best are the days that I make myself stop in the driveway, and detach from the day's work.
Recognize that once you enter the house, you’re on borrowed time. It’s not your time to fall on the sofa and rest. Your day is not finished. It’s time to cook, clean and be with the kids. Hug and kiss the wife (before the kids!), hug and kiss the kids and keep working.
Work to be present with your family and not checking emails from your sofa! I’ve done this and I’m repenting as I write (I can do this, I’m a professional!). I don’t want my life to be this way. Only I can change it. For you, it’s your choice. Save the work for after the kids go to sleep, or until the next day!
2) Make sure you come home on time this week
This challenge may sound easier than it is. Dads, this may mean you need to work harder during the day in order to leave on time! This will take planning and purpose on your side to prioritize your day with the end in mind.
3) Get to the office early so you can attend special events
Every week there is something to attend whether it’s a practice or family game night. If you look at your kid’s schedule, there’s probably something you’re missing. Dad, make the extra effort to be physically present and spend time with your family. Go to the practice or take the kids on that boring errand with you.
4) Put your family's schedule on your calendar
A wise man once said if you don’t plan to succeed you plan to fail. Prioritize your duties at work and home. Not that I’m perfect at this, but something that seems to work for me is that I use one to-do list for work and home and one calendar for work and home. My simple theory: If I’m with family, I can’t be doing work and vice versa. Get with your family and review the upcoming months. If that’s too much to ask, start with next week. But be intentional to add the events to your calendar and mark them as the special days that they are. This doesn’t need to be only major events like recitals and family vacations. Mark time in your calendar for down time on a regular Thursday evening at home with your kids. Plan for success!
5) Bring updated pictures of your kids to the office
Take a look at the pictures in your office. My guess is that if you have teenagers, your pictures aren’t of teenagers. If I walked into your office, I’d probably think you had a newborn! Dad, admit it, you’re pictures are old. It is time for an update.
6) Talk to your kids about what you do at your job
My five-year-old asks me daily, “Daddy, did you win at work today?!” I haven’t quite figured out how best to answer her wonderful and uplifting question. So I say, “Yes dear, daddy ‘won’ at work today!” Apparently she thinks I should come home with trophies or something. Regardless, my point here is that your kids may be more interested than you think about what you’re doing when you’re away for hours. Be intentional about explaining what you do on your child's level.
7) Learn about your office's work-family balance policies
This may require you asking for your company’s human resources manual. Scary, I know. The point is you may have extra time you can use to re-prioritize and be with your family. From use of sick time to flextime, there may be ways to take time off from work and be with your family.
Question: On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being “I miss everything or am usually late!” and 10 being “People often ask me how I get everything accomplished!” How would your family rank you? Why?
Visit Gold Medal Dads…Balance Work and Family for tips on how to rethink your priorities. Share and connect with other dads on our blog, Facebook and Twitter (#DadGames12).
Find more tips and advice for all dads, including dads who travel for work and military dad at Managing Work and Family Priorities.
photo credit: Ian Sane
Every Thursday night of The Dad Games has been a great time to connect with dads, ask questions, get answers, and share tips on how to be a better dad.
Join National Fatherhood Initiative (@TheFatherFactor) tonight as we host a Twitter Party for week 4 with great prizes to get dads ready to Balance Work and Family this week!
Get details about The Dad Games 2012.
Dads have a lot to juggle with work and family responsibilites. Join the party tonight ready to answer questions and share tips on how you manage the responsibilities of being a dad and leader.
This week’s topic is Gold Medal Dads…Balance Work and Family.
Be sure you have our checklist with seven ways you can be challenged this week.
Get this week’s Gold Medal Dad checklist.
Follow @TheFatherFactor and use the hashtag #DadGames12 for all of your tweets.
Two prize winners will be selected from among Twitter party participants at random within the party hour. You must be active at the party to increase your chances of winning!
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 sports item from a 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, August 9, 9PM EST
Get next weeks Dad Games checklist in your email inbox by signing up for our Dad Email. Go Team Dad!