Dads often struggle making a parent connection.
Yet, never fear, you CAN have an incredible parent connection with your kids!
Dad’s – Here is the help that you have been looking for!
In this article we are promoting biblical manhood by emphasizing your role as father. Dads, if you don’t have a strong parent connection with your children, how can you fulfill the biblical mandates God has given to you?
Perhaps you have heard the expression, “Rules without a Relationship leads to Rebellion”.
Before we get into the strategies, let’s take a look at some biblical mandates for Dads:
- Teach Your Children
Deuteronomy 6:5–9 “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.“
- Train Your Children
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
- Raise Your Children
Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.“
If you as a Dad, are going to accomplish these God-given priorities in your life, you are going to need a great connection with your children. However, this can be a challenge for men who are busy being a provider, or pursuing their own interests.
Yet, while some men are just at a loss for ideas, on how to build that parent connection, you don’t have to be. We want to help you make that connection.
So here they are…
7 Amazing Parent Connection Strategies for Dads
Strategy #1: Leverage your time by combining activities.
For example, if you like to work out (or need to), get some time in with the kids while you do it. Finding combined activities to accomplish your duties and get your family time too, is a great strategy for connecting with your kids.
Check out this great 3 Minute Video about the “Dad Workout”.
Combine activities that you are interested in, and involve your kids. As a result, they will absolutely love it, and you will get stuff done too. Whatever it is, involve them.
As another example, do you need to go to Home Depot to pick up some items, take one of the kids and show them around. Maybe buy them a candy bar on the way out, or let them pick a drink. Ask them to help you unload, when you get back to the house.
You get the idea.
Strategy #2: Engage your kids in their own interests.
It is very common for busy Dads to get task oriented, and miss out on their children’s interests. Yet, there is no better way to make a HUGE parent connection here. Therefore, don’t underestimate this strategy.
A Personal Story about Rasberry Pi:
Recently my 13 year old son, expressed an interest in computer programming. After missing several hints that he dropped, I finally got it. I sure am glad that I did. We made a great connection on this.
We got online together and discovered the “Rasberry Pi 3”, a very cool little pocket size programmable computer (below), so I bought him one.
When it arrived, we went over to Barnes and Noble together, and hunted down some great books on how to program it. Come to find out, these are serious programming languages, and my son has taken off since then.
HE IS NOW PROGRAMMING IN SEVERAL COMPUTER LANGUAGES!
Whatever your kids have a real interest in, it should be your interest. When you make a connection using this strategy, it’s a real one. Your kids will feel and experience your undivided attention, and that goes a long way!
Strategy #3: Start a Great Family Night.
Start a family night at your home. Pick a night that everyone will be home. How often you do it is up to you, but I recommend you do it at least once a month. Figure it out, and put it on the calendar!
The intention here is to gather the whole family together, and do something together. Here’s the catch, no movies, no devices. Put that stuff away, and CONNECT with your kids! There is plenty of things you can do.
FOR EXAMPLE: When my children were younger, we had a family night and gathered together all their stuffed animals. I brought the kids into the living room, and told them to wait there. Then I hid the stuffed animals all over the house. Some animals were very well hidden.
I went back into the living room, gave them all flash lights, and told them that whoever “catches” the most stuffed animals on our “safari”, in 30 minutes, wins. Then I turned off all the lights, and set them loose. We had a blast!
Here are some suggestions for a Great Family Night:
- Build a blanket tent, and do an indoor campout. Roast marshmallows and make s’mores outside on your bbq.
- Look up some star maps on Google, or download the Star Gazer app, then go outside and spot as many as you can. (use a hammock if you have one)
- Have a build your own pizza night and learn how to speak some Italian. Look at the map, and teach them about the country. (You can do this with any country – Mexico, China, France, etc..)
- Invent a pretend family business together, come up with a cool name, and plan it through with imagination.
- Have a fashion show, pick someone to be the designer/wardrobe coordinator, the models, and the of course the paparazzi!
(If you are looking for a great family project, check out our post on Family Volunteer Opportunities)
Strategy #4: Put Father/Son, or Father/Daughter dates, on your calendar.
One on one time is a must, if you are going to build a great parent connection with your child. So, I recommend that you make time for that individual investment in their life. Here’s the key: what doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done.
This doesn’t have to be an all day event, but it can be. Mix it up a little bit by doing something local most of the time, but do something big once in a while. These dates with your child are intended to make a personal one on one connection, so do best to minimize any interruptions.
Legacy Tip: When your children are grown, they will remember the things you did “all the time”, and the “big things” you did TOGETHER.
It would be ideal for you to have a regular “parent connection” time, for those “all the time” memories.
Then, it would be good for your family to have some BIG activities together, from time to time.
Here are some suggestions for “all the time” activities”:
- Pray together daily.
- Go to church weekly, and get donuts together at the same place every week, on the way there.
- Have a favorite pizza place, and go monthly.
- Make some holiday traditions that you do every holiday season.
Here are some suggestions for “big things”:
- A once in a lifetime family vacation.
- Annual camping trips.
- Visiting distant family.
- Summer Camps for the kids.
Strategy #5: Ask open ended questions and LISTEN.
Examples of Open Ended Questions You Could Ask:
- What did you do today? (don’t accept “nothing” as an answer)
- How can I be praying for you?
- What do you think about (fill in the blank…the new neighbors, a camping trip, the best pizza, etc.)?
- How do you feel about (fill in the blank)?
- How’s thing going with your (fill in the blank)
- What did you learn in Sunday School?
The key here is getting your child to talk to you, and the LISTENING to them. Keep them going as long as you can by asking clarifying questions once the get talking. This will show them that you are actually paying attention to what they are saying, and that you really are trying to understand them.
The biggest family problem today is a lack of communication.
With all of the smart devices, and social media, we think its okay to just interact with those devices all the time. The days when that was considered rude, are gone. It is the norm now, unfortunately. So it takes some effort for you to overcome that.
DAD – take the initiative here. Put your device away, and ask your child to do the same. Then use this powerful strategy to connect with your child in an amazing way. They will love you for it.
Strategy #6: Praise them publicly, correct them privately.
Dads are most often the disciplinarian in the family. It is in our nature. This has to be done, but it can be done a some counter productive ways.
It has pained me on so many occasions to see a parent ripping into their child publicly. This is humiliating to your child, and causes them to shut their emotional window, on YOU. We are trying to get that window open here, and keep it open as ling into their teenage years as possible. Into adulthood is the goal.
Furthermore, correcting your child should be done, but as much as possible, it should be done privately. This gives the child a more thorough correction since they are not worried about the people that are watching.
So, it can’t always be done privately, because there are immediate dangers in life that require on the spot corrections. Yet, since most corrections can be made privately, they can be dealt with in a way, that preserves your child’s dignity.
Strategy #7: Pray with them daily.
DADS – DON’T SKIP THIS STRATEGY!
So, go back to the introduction of this post, and discover the goal and purpose again. The intention here is to connect with your child, to teach them about God, in hopes that they will come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Therefore, praying with your child on a daily basis is vital! It puts your relationship with God right out there for your child to see. Your prayers will be listened to closely by your child. They will hear your words, your pattern of speech, and the expression of your heart.
Because of that, your relationship with the Lord serves as a model for them to follow. Therefore, if you don’t have a strong walk with God, then it will become obvious here in this strategy. Sometimes, we are confronted with our own shortcomings, as we desire to be better dads.
Consequently, if you don’t have a strong walk with God, you need to develop one. So, I encourage you to begin developing some personal prayer times. There is a great post that can help you with that called “7 Powerful Steps to Better Prayer Times”.
We hope that these strategies will be helpful to you! You CAN have a GREAT PARENT CONNECTION with your children.
7 Amazing Parent Connection Strategies for Dads
- Leverage your time by combining activities.
- Engage your kids with their own interests.
- Start a great family night.
- Put Father/Son, or Father/Daughter dates, on your calendar.
- Ask open ended questions, and LISTEN.
- Praise them publicly, correct them privately.
- Pray with them daily.
The key, is to start now, and take the biggest step that you can, in the right direction.