In last week's post I talked about the benefits of my regular discipline around connecting with my family. In this week's post I'm providing some quick tips for you to start to establish your own practice.
As I thought about my own journey, I realized that many dads were struggling the way I was. They continue to be overworked and overwhelmed with the state of the world. It’s nearly impossible to go a day without hearing about the next world-ending crisis. So, what can a dad to do to help navigate his anxiety around where the world is headed, and still connect with his family in meaningful ways?
This is how I approached the daily time to connect with my family. Maybe, it will work for you too.
As I look back on my experience, I feel like there were some things I had to do for myself to have the focus I needed to engage with my family.
Put on Your Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others:
Exercise is a key component to keeping your mind clear and reducing anxiety, and a sport or activity that gets everyone breathing is always good thing. Not sure how to get plenty of oxygen? Try taking up an activ
ity with the whole family like Archery or Karate where they teach you how to breathe.
The worst decisions I’ve made in my life were due to a consistent ongoing lack of sleep. Unfortunately, it also carried over to daily life in a negative way that broke family connections. Once I recognized this to be the case, I collaborated with my doctor to figure out some strategies to get enough healthy sleep, despite my hectic schedule.
As unprecedented as the events of the past two years have been, this is not the first time our country and the world has been deep in conflict and economic turmoil. Looking back to leaders of the past and their inspiration for navigating tough times can help you see where you are today more clearly.
For Your Family
Dad Jokes, but not too many:
Find a joke or a funny story to break the ice and take the edge off of everyone. If you can get it to a full belly laugh, everyone is getting extra bonus oxygen too. But be aware that too many Dad Jokes in a row can cause everyone to tune out, so use them sparingly.
Finding stories written by, or about other kids is always a winner. Children want to know that they too, might be able to do something extraordinary. So, a quick anecdote about another child can go a long way to building a conversation about doing great things.
Whether it’s a family devotional or just reading through the Bible in a year, connecting with God’s Word helps build a foundation of a shared understanding of the world. With younger kids, memorization is a great way to connect. As they get older, having discussions about how to apply those principles in daily life is more important than rote memorization. Regardless, sharing your faith is a terrific way to connect.
I realize these quick tips come from years of practice. If you would like to kick start your own discipline of connecting with your family, check out the Daily Dad Word podcast on all the major platforms.