Fun for All
As a young father of a vibrant 10-year old daughter that devotes her entire heart into anything she tackles I love presenting activities that we can enjoy together while burning calories, cultivating character and teaching life lessons. Sometimes I am spot on and other times she clearly lets me know when it’s time to move on. This is why it’s important tuning in to your child’s behaviors, needs and desires.
When she is entertained and engaged you can hear the giggles, see the glowing smiles and feel the energy from her movements. On the other hand, if she is not having fun Xamari is constantly reaching for my cellphone, fidgeting or announcing that classic kid line that we all love to hear, “are we leaving now?” So the context of the message is not always what you decide to do together but more so how you do it. From my own 10-year Fit Father experience, quality time spent engaging in fun fitness activities has been the most rewarding. Here are a few of our pursuits when it is just the two of us.
Hike the Ball
It’s just a 2-man huddle so I whisper with aggression, “5 step button hook, pump fake, then run deep to the end zone and the ball will be waiting. You got that?” Xamari looks over my shoulder to see if the defense (her boy cousins) can hear the play call then leans back and shakes her head with confidence. “On 2 … Ready … Break!” We step out and run the play like we practiced it a million times but it was only the 3rd. Sports are a great bonding activity due to the daily learning curves that come along with them. With that said, my kid and I prefer football over any other sport. We practice route running, catching, play calling, defending and throwing. We can play the game with other kids or simply work alone on drills and skills. This is what we love to do and the blessing of an oval ball bringing us closer makes it that much sweeter.
Let’s Go Rock Climbing
“You did it! Now ring the bell and come down slowly,” was me yelling from the ground up to the top of the junior rock wall. I told Xamari it wasn’t hard to do while convincing her that she wasn’t going to fall the first time. After watching a few rock climbing videos we decided to try it out at an establishment for beginners. She was excited when we studied at home but as soon as we stood underneath the wall and looked up she suddenly became apprehensive. Fear wouldn’t be the right word but she definitely was assessing her risk management. Nonetheless, we conquered it after talking and working together. In Maryland there are a multitude of rock climbing facilities with some designed for experts and others that are geared towards kids. Climbing is a life saving skill which is also great for bonding because there is technique involved. So beware Dads, if your child can show you up in climbing then you aren’t using your muscles collaboratively with your brains!
We Love Ice Skating
Do you want to build a genuine connection and really find out how close you and your kids are? If so then please try something unique for the first time together. While growing up in the late 80s and early 90s roller skating and skateboarding were essentials. But for some reason I never made it to the ice rink and it shows to this day. However, Xamari really wanted to hit frozen waters and I had no reason to say no to the new adventure. The ride to the ice rink was different than other activities since we had no clue what it was like inside a real ice rink. She was still gullible at this ripe young age and full of excitement. Learning to skate, recording the moments and keeping her from harms way made for an afternoon of wonderful memories. She would fall, get up, and fall again… then get up again. It hurt a bit but now we trust each other that much more.
Let Them Shine
Last but certainly not least let them shine. Bonding and creating quality time with loved ones sometimes can be over thought. Find out what your kids enjoy and help them get better at it. Whether it’s reading books on the subject matter, watching tutorials or consulting an expert let them build self-confidence. My daughter loves to dance so Zendaya is one of her favorite entertainers. She has read her book and continues to learn about her story from more levels than just TV. Helping her grow her knowledge base on what she desires is key, but the confidence she gains from the independence you showcase welds strong bridges between parent and child.
At the end of the day get up, get out and get moving as a family unit, but ultimately ascertain that everyone has fun!
Experienced by Styves Exantus