When it comes to school-aged kids, sometimes dads aren't quite sure what activities to do with them. Other dads enjoy the gradeschool age more than the younger ages. Regardless of where you are on this, there are some key things to remember and consider if you want to really invest in your school-aged kids. Here are some things to think about as you get involved investing in your school-aged kids.
Investing versus Entertaining
It's easy to make the mistake of thinking that, as a dad, if you're entertaining your kids or just "holding down the fort" until Mom gets back from the grocery store, that you've done all you need to do. But while Mom may greatly appreciate your babysitting efforts, just entertaining the kids is not the same is really investing in them.
When you invest in your kids, you make a point of teaching them things that will positively affect their future. Investing implies an eventual return, both for you and your kids. It's about equipping your kids to make a good life for themselves which, in turn, makes for happy parents!
How to Invest - Tips
So what does it look like, exactly, to invest in school-aged kids? Here are some tips.
1. Father-son/daughter fitness
Getting fit is all the rage these days. Why not take advantage of this trend to start a fitness program with your kids? This is an investment, and the rewards are significant - a healthier, happier child and healthy, happier dad! You're teaching your child healthful habits that will last into his or her adulthood.
Without badgering them about weight or appearance, make it a point to take some time each week to do a fitness activity with your gradeschooler. Biking, hiking, walking, backyard sports, etc. all make great activities. Try to tie it in with your child's interests so that he or she will be more likely to stay motivated and enjoy it.
2. Be affectionate
It's not "un-manly" to be affectionate. It's pretty important for men, actually - research has indicated the importance of fatherly affection on childhood development. Once again, this is something that will have a positive effect on your kids' future. Showing affection helps your kids realize they are lovable, and it satisfies their need for closeness with their dad. There's no need to get excessive or stifling about it; but just don't be afraid to hug or scratch a back.
3. Read together
It's so fun to bond over a book. Read a chapter a night or whatever works for your schedule. Gradeschool kids sometimes need help with reading, and getting them interested in a book with dad may boost their reading skills and overall performance in school.
Whatever you choose to do to invest in your gradeschool kids, just remember that you're sowing seeds for the future. And don't forget to have fun!