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Two Dads Warmed My Heart

I walked into my son’s hockey practice looking for a place to sit down. I saw one dad with a little girl who looked like Laura Ingles (yes, I am dating myself here). She moved her knapsack over and said, “Here is a spot”. I sat down and watched the warm-up. 

Another dad I recognized sat on my other side with his adorable little girl. He talked to her about her day. I mean, really talked to her. It was an unforced conversation that was not perfunctory. He asked her about music class, recess, the friends she played with, and my heart skipped a beat. This was true engagement and he was attuned to her. 

The dad on my left was drawing monsters with pretty pony bodies. He would draw an outline and his daughter would neatly draw in between the lines. They held a slightly different conversation about colours, favourite animals and shapes, but they were talking. He was equally engaged and happy to just focus on her. I was so happy to witness this and was ecstatic that it was happening.

Both girls interacted with me as well. At various times each dad thanked me for putting up with his child. I explained I was delighted to talk with them and said, “You will have very happy girls who will tell you everything. I am saying this as an older mom with a 17 year old girl. Keep talking to them about anything.”

Both dads are doing such a great job at bonding. One dad commented that “Many parents today don’t sit and talk with their children.” I wanted to share that parents have approximately five to six hours a day (42-45 hours a week) to spend with their children. Now, this includes sports, activities and playtime with their friends, so maybe a little less. Today 30 hours a week of socialization is being cut out by individual technology use by both parents and children. That is a grand total of 18000 hours before the age 18 that we are not spending with our children.




Larissa Mills, B. A., M.Ed. is the founder
of Iparentgen.com. She is a mother of three, a Parent Coach and a 4KIDS Sports & Educational Consultant.


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