The number one component to raising healthy children is love. As a dad, it’s important to provide that love by being involved, and giving time to your children. When children are loved, they feel secure no matter what happens and what circumstances they find themselves in.
Another expression of love is hugs. Men are not always known for showing affection through hugs. The first interview in this chapter talks about the family hug, and family time at bed time. Bedtime family time is a constant through all the dads interviewed and is definitely a time dads take advantage of to be with and involved in their children’s care. When that time is accompanied by a hug you are providing the reassurance your children need to know they are loved.
Drew’s web site is BenSpark.com. Drew has taken a photo a day for 2423 days. He was the first interview of the DADvocate project and is a really great guy. I have a lot of respect for Drew as a dad, husband and man and I’d like to congratulate him on his new addition. If you would like to learn about documenting your family have a talk with Drew. You can find him on Twitter @BenSpark.
Kevin: Can you tell us about your children?
Drew: I have one daughter. Her name is Eva. She’s two years old right now. She’ll be three in October. I’m a proud father. She’s the world. My wife is away this weekend so it’s Eva and I for the weekend. We’re having a good time. We did all the fun things today and really wore her out as much as possible. She’s a smart kid and funny as hell. She comes up with things and has this comedic timing that I don’t know where she gets it.
Kevin: What is your favorite experience that you’ve had with Eva so far?
Drew: It’s family hug time. I really treasure the nighttime because I work 9:00 to 5:00 or 7:30 to 4:00 whatever. I don’t get home until about 5:00. So that means I have two and a half hours to spend with Eva at night. So the nighttime rituals are really the most important. I get home. We play. Then we have dinner. After dinner sometimes it’s tubby night so I do the tubby. Then it’s time to put her to bed. We read probably about four or five books and then it’s bedtime.
Bedtime ritual is: diapers, pj’s, brushing teeth. If she’s had a tubby, then drying her hair which she hates. Then time for books and bed. At bed time is the family hug. We put her down. We say her prayers and she knows them, and says them. We put the cover up and she’ll turn and she’ll go, “Sing me a song.” So we have to sing her the original Mickey Mouse Club song. Right before we walk out she asks for the Family Hug. It’s awesome.
Ron is an author, blogger, freelance writer and Social Media Consultant. His book is “Sugar Milk: What One Dad Drinks When He Can’t Afford Vodka.” Ron is a great guy, excellent writer, sometimes opinionated, and almost always funny. His blog can be found at ClarkKentsLunchBox.com and you can chat with Ron on Twitter @CK_Lunchbox.
Kevin: What’s a favorite experience you’ve had with your kids?
Ron: One of the best experiences was not this past Christmas but the Christmas prior. It was one of the first times we had all the kids together. We spent some time in Chicago between Christmas and New Year’s and went to the Science and Industry Museum and a couple of other places. Just one of those times as a family where everybody’s together and everybody was having a good time and enjoying everyone. Just a lot of opportunities for little, special moments and special memories. It’s still a time that I like to pull the photographs off the computer and run through them and look at them again to see the joy on all the kids’ faces.
Kevin: What’s one of your biggest successes as a parent?
Ron: The greatest successes are the ones yet to come. Right now the success that I see is knowing that the kids feel secure, even with all the crazy circumstances and the geography and some of the issues that blended families take on. Seeing how secure they are, because they know that their parents love them, I would have to say is the biggest current success. But I think the real biggest successes are still yet to come in terms of how they turn out when they’re adults on their own.