Great Dad Tip: How Much our Kids Want our Time and our Hugs

Last week, I sent you a note sharing a great dad tip that came from one of the men in my small group coaching program. He said to never be the one to end the hug with your children. Just hold on until they are full and they let go. Awesome idea! I posted this on my Facebook page. Steve Dershimer posted this comment

This is gold. My four-year-old Tessa wants hugs often throughout the day. Hugs, hugs, “Put your hand on the back of my head, Daddy.” Yet I am always the one to end it. Perhaps if I drop my “We got to get this and that done” mentality and let her be the navigator, let her get her need, she’ll be assured that the well never runs dry… Thanks so much for passing this along, Keith. Such important wisdom.

Do you realize how much your kids need and want affection from and time with you?

A few short stories and quotes to ponder this week:

A thirty-eight year old businessman who had amassed several successful businesses was planning to retire early. Asked by a friend of his while they were en route to their 20th high school reunion if he felt he had enough now to make him happy, he replied, “Happy? What’s that? My community thinks I’ve succeeded, but I’ve blown it with my kids. They have almost nothing to do with me. I mostly sign checks for them now. I missed the important things in their lives, like the times when they needed real stuff from me, not just money, but time and ears and someone to help with the feelings they poured out. I thought I was doing it right—like my dad did with me. But it’s a real heartache for me now.”[i]

Art Linkletter, radio and television personality for more than sixty years wrote, “I will never forget the gasp from my TV audience when I asked a six-year-old boy what he’d take to Heaven if he had his choice. He replied, ‘My mother and dad, because I think they would have more time for me up there.’” [ii]

As the founder of the National Center for Fathering, Ken Canfield is a researcher who has been studying fathering in our country for more than 25 years. He puts the matter plainly: ‘The facts state clearly that effective fathers quite simply spend more time with their kids than do ordinary fathers.” [iii]

Canfield claims: “Most of us will not be greatly surprised by these findings. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand that involvement is critical. Asked for a quick answer on how to improve a father’s relationship with his children, any reasonable man will almost certainly say, “Spend more time with them.” The simple, instinctive reaction of a committed father is to be involved in the lives of his children. Involvement is so basic that you can’t even be an average dad, let alone a good or highly effective one, without it.” [iv]

Remember, great dads shape great kids. Be a great dad today.

[i] As reported in Pruett M.D., The Nurturing Father, 18-19.

[ii] From the Foreword to Cathy, It’s Better to Build Boys Then to Mend Men, 8.

[iii] Canfield, The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers, 44.

[iv] Canfield, The Heart of a Father, 95.

To read more from Keith, take a look at his book:

Large Book with Outline



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