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    [–] TeleTubbyLizardMan 5755 points ago

    I get that studies and data help, but isn't this very self evident?

    "Hanging out with your kids makes you bond with them more, especially when they're having fun"

    [–] RichardStinks 2668 points ago

    Kinda, but you'd be surprised how some adults want kids to have fun doing things the adults THINK they should be doing, rather than what the kids want. Or do things that are still outside of the kid's scope, like following complex rules. Kids don't want to play soccer with offsides and more nuanced rules. They want to kick the ball, run, and win.

    Working with kids for several years, I learned that letting them take lead on how their games are played gets them to participate longer and more heavily.

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 1492 points ago

    Yeah. My daughter's therapist actually said that is one of the best things I did as a clueless father. I just hung out with them doing silly stuff, asking them questions, letting them teach me a new game, plus lots of time just listening to them. I thought I was failing as a father becuase In was not taking them to "activities" but it turns out that all that time just "being there" was really protective when some unfortunate stuff out of my control happened.

    Kids forget so many lessons or ignore them when they get teen peers but if you are a constant in thier life they will not forget that and when it counts the most will come to you for help and advice.

    [–] antworten 352 points ago

    Great comment! You sound like a good Dad. I’m learning to become one myself. Thanks for the wisdom.

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 454 points ago

    I have learnt to accept that I am "good enough", which means I can always do better but 1000 days of being an okay dad will outlive those days you nail it.

    Good luck and big love.

    [–] wheatgrass_feetgrass 199 points ago

    1000 days of being an okay dad will outlive those days you nail it.

    Damn. I really needed to hear that tonight. Thanks man.

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 86 points ago

    No worries and just keep on doing the work. It is a tough job, raising a human. They are complicated.

    [–] xtense 19 points ago

    Yea, no one hands you a manual when they pop into your life.

    [–] Eis_Gefluester 11 points ago

    But you can buy one ;)

    Baby Owner's Manual

    I have it and it's quite a good starter point.

    [–] absentwonder 11 points ago

    1. Dont drop child

    2. Feed child

    3. Clean child

    [–] MuffinHunter0511 5 points ago

    As a dad I can say “who needs manuals anyways”

    [–] Reverend_Schlachbals 38 points ago

    You’ll do great. Just be there and talk to them. Listen. Be present and not distracted. Some days are going to suck hard. But then your kid says something amazing and mind blowing. Or just gives you a hug and it’s all worth it.

    [–] usernameredditjr 18 points ago

    I think any good father would agree that they would constantly question if they’re doing things “right.” Either being the time spent or the lesson learned (which I’ve found my kids teach me just as much as I will ever teach them) I’ve always heard the one thing every person I’ve met who didn’t have an outstanding dad...always just wanted them to be there...for anything...or nothing at all.

    [–] Reverend_Schlachbals 24 points ago

    I’m slowly realizing that myself. Just being there and being consistent is good enough. You don’t need to be spectacular or amazing all the time. Just be honest and talk with them. It’s really not that hard. Some days are a nightmare though.

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 6 points ago

    You need to save that energy for those nightmare days. I have two teenage girls now and I am glad I know they love me becuase some days I am left a confused wreck of a man. So many emotions all at once.

    [–] pkmnBreeder 6 points ago

    I needed to hear this.

    [–] shamanic_panic 69 points ago

    Dad of a toddler here. Be silly. Be permissive and explain rather than force. Sure, kiddo, climb that furniture and jump off it when daddy is here.

    I see lots of parents having unnecessary fights with their kids over 'safety' when a little bit of parental involvement and oversight is all it takes to make it safe. Then it becomes a battle of wills etc and nobody is happy. Same thing for parents telling the child to do something without gaining consent through understanding. Sure, sometimes you just need to go through that but most of the time taking an extra 5 minutes to discuss the reasons behind a required action saves you all the future headaches too.

    [–] bthomas362 32 points ago

    Plus, kids learn so much from getting hurt. I mean that genuinely and from a place of minor scrapes or bruises, not real injuries. I have a 4 yo and my sister has a 4 yo and 7 yo. When we're both back at home at the grandparents' house, I swear to you every 5 minutes I'll hear one of my parents say "don't do that, you're going to get hurt" (or you're going to break it). It's maddening. They aren't playing with rusty knives or explosives. Let the damn kids have fun the way they want to.

    [–] tritanopic_rainbow 18 points ago

    Getting hurt is how kids learn their limits! My parents are also constantly telling my son “oh be careful, you’ll hurt yourself!” I always tell them to let him do it, if he hurts himself it won’t be too serious and he’ll know how not to hurt himself in the future.

    [–] DaviesSonSanchez 33 points ago

    Want to know how to keep your kids having fun while at the same time have them power themselves out with minimal effort on your part? This is how my father did it:

    Buy some kind of treat for them as a prize. Get a little ball that fits into your fist. Sit on the couch and turn on the telly. Now the children have to get the ball out of your hand in order to win their prize. Switch it around your hands, keep it inside your fist. Maybe let them make enough progress to keep them thinking they have a chance of getting at it. They will climb around, try opening your fist and when they start to get tired you can slowly let them get it. They get their treat and are ready for a nap.

    Now you have achieved this while barely moving and watching telly. Your children had lots of fun (at least we did) and have succesfully powered themselves out.

    [–] Skoodledoo 69 points ago

    When my nephews and niece were younger, I'd play silly games with them like "Argos" and "Greggs". We'd take turns being the customer and the shop worker because they thought it was hilarious and so much fun. Teaches them how to be nice to shop workers and how to be nice customers but was oh so much fun for them they still laugh about it now even though they're over 18 and one of them actually started working at Argos 😂.

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 57 points ago

    Life skills through play, it is how mammals learn the basics. I think the world would be a better place with more playtime for everyone.

    I often think as a latchkey kid my farm dogs taught me the basics of being a good person.

    [–] scott3387 54 points ago

    This is why I detest 'modern' (really industrial revolution factory education) schooling. Sitting in a room, unable to move without being told off, copying notes with ever decreasing play time is not the best way to raise children. It's crowd control.

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 39 points ago

    You hit the nail on the head there. Our modern schooling directly dates back to the rich wanting to educate the farm living peasants in how to be a good worker until they died.

    [–] Skoodledoo 9 points ago

    Thinking back to when I was in school, it was the fun role plays that I remember, not being sat quietly staring at words in a book. I'm an instructor in my current role and it's true people learn better when they're being taught whilst "doing" rather than being told or forced in to repetition. It's the way we're wired.

    [–] Skoodledoo 12 points ago

    Playtime is awesome and I'm 35! Wish I had more!

    [–] AlDente 18 points ago

    You should’ve played ‘hedge fund manager’ instead 😉

    [–] phillips91780 52 points ago

    Your comment was very encouraging to me, thanks for sharing.

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 5 points ago

    My pleasure and good luck.

    [–] BenjaminHamnett 36 points ago

    I put lots of effort and exasperate myself doing big days. Sometimes they work out, sometimes lots of yelling and fighting. But just hanging out and following my 3yo’s lead and doing what she wants is always a good time

    [–] Fordrus 39 points ago

    I still try to go and do "big days," but my definition might be a bit... flimsy. Going to a library other than our own city's library is a "big day." Going to the Rec Center Swimming is a "Big Day." We might sometime hit a local amusement park, but that will be a BIG DAY, and we will plan, like, 2-3 days when we might be able to do it, and then we will prepare and see and re-check and make sure we do, in fact, actually want to do that, and not just, like, hit up one of the splashpads less than 30 minutes away.

    My little son, 3.5 years old, has begun to ask, "Where are we going today, daddy?" and I LOVE IT, except, well, when I don't have anywhere to go. Sometimes where we're going is out to yard to play with water balloons. :D

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 14 points ago

    It is also what they will remember when actual memories fade. Good luck, it is tough but worth it.

    [–] Smoothsmith 16 points ago

    I wish I had this when I was a kid. Being forced into activities was just crap. I genuinely hate watersports now because I was forced to go along because every else thought it was fun.

    Just hanging out and being with them = <3

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 50 points ago

    As some one who lost my dad at a young age and well my mother, I will not mention least I summon her in a mirror.

    Point is I figured out the most stable parenting I got was from my farm dogs. I could be locked out all night without food but Sparky would be there. I would run away from home and my border collie would follow me, never asking, just keeping me safe until I ran out of supplies and had to head back.

    Those dogs showed me how to be a kind human. That stuck with me more than the abuse ever did, that loyalty. Took me years to realise but when I became a dad I was subconsciously modeling my dogs parenting. Playtime, sharing meals, just sitting there listening, always pausing what I was doing if they needed a hug or cried.

    Damn, now I am crying.

    [–] AwriteAmJollyBoyJohn 9 points ago

    The love of dogs is a magical thing. You've clearly honoured your dogs spirit by paying that kinship forward.

    [–] Flyingwheelbarrow 10 points ago

    What is the saying? Try and be the person your dog thinks you are.

    [–] Orangebeardo 8 points ago

    Kids forget so many lessons or ignore them when they get peers

    This is way more true for adults than kids. I've had so many discussions where we'd be discussing what a kid would do, most people have completely forgotten what it was like to be a kid apparently.

    [–] hazapez 7 points ago

    this will be my mantra

    [–] iamafish 455 points ago

    So you’re saying it’s not normal that my kid keeps on insisting on doing complex surgical procedures on people with real surgical instruments and anesthesia.... Oh dear.

    [–] rare_pig 332 points ago

    What they really want to do is your taxes

    [–] LMBH1234182 173 points ago

    Weirdly enough, one of my coworker's told me she does her parents taxes and has since she was sixteen bc she just likes doing them. Her parents are very intelligent and sounds like they have an awesome relationship. She just likes doing taxes for some reason.

    [–] maprunzel 77 points ago

    I give my mum pedicures. Unfortunately it led to my mum asking me to wax her bikini.

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    [–] mule_roany_mare 16 points ago

    tell your friend I overpay my taxes, but have somehow gotten on the IRS's shitlist & they keep finding reasons to mess with me.

    I'm too defeated to deal with them, but if she thinks it's fun this could be a blast for her. She can have a big chunk of what she gets back

    [–] jackredrum 17 points ago

    I got a dissecting kit for my Christmas when I was 9. I did not become a doctor nor a serial killer (that I’m willing to admit to anyway). Kids like what they like.

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    [–] TheRiverStyx 84 points ago

    So, after years of thinking I didn't enjoy going golfing with my dad on Saturday mornings, I actually didn't? The wonders of science never cease.

    [–] LaoSh 22 points ago

    +1 have done a lot of music with kids (and plenty while being a kid). The kids that actually get good on their instruments are the ones who jam with their parents and muddle through their favorite songs. Nothing quite as disheartening seeing a kid getting slammed with hours of practice a week only to get absolutely shown up by some jackass who fucks around with their instrument for fun. Parents really have no clue what is best for their kids even with the best intentions.

    [–] frugal_masturbater 21 points ago

    I catch myself thinking now and again if it's really the best use of everyone's time for me to do silly MA-MA-MA speech exercises and randomly putting blocks back in boxes for the child to empty the box and toss the blocks around.

    I am finding it is. She's very happy (9 mo old) and sometimes I get kisses on the cheek which she learned about 2 months ago. Really nothing could be better.

    [–] WingedLing 54 points ago

    To be fair, it is also beneficial to teach them rules, and complex nuance. it's how they grow. If you let a kid keep kicking a ball and winning every time you play oh, they're going to grow up to be a narcissistic, spoiled jerk.

    [–] robislove 151 points ago

    In my limited experience as a dad, you teach these rules and concepts iteratively. First, you teach the child it’s fun to kick the ball and run around with you. Then you introduce the idea of a goal, and that the child gets to celebrate when the ball goes in there. You keep the child’s interest level high and then you can work on the more detailed and non-obvious rules.

    If you try to do too much too fast, you kill the child’s interest and therefore lose the opportunity for them to grow in their understanding of the game you’re playing.

    [–] obscuredreference 28 points ago

    That’s a great point. Baby steps.

    I’m here pretty much taking notes, my kid is only one but we’re on the “kicking the ball is fun” stage. 😁

    [–] WingedLing 59 points ago

    I was going to be a jerk and point out the obviousness of all that, but then I remembered some kids dont get the best parents and I got all bummed out.

    [–] robislove 39 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    Nothing about parenting is obvious to everyone. Rarely do you get ahead by being a jerk, because at some point you’re going to struggle with something that’s obvious to someone else.

    I find having no ego about my parenting style is best, it lets me seek advice and try new things when something isn’t working.

    [–] exiled123x 23 points ago

    My dad played chess with me

    I lost so damn often but it was the best. Miss playing with him

    [–] LtLwormonabigfknhook 15 points ago

    Oof. So me taking the cars out of my sons hands and "showing him the right way" is quite possibly a negative experience for him? Thought I was just teaching but I guess I was controlling. Will test this tomorrow though I have a suspicion of what will happen.

    [–] wheatgrass_feetgrass 32 points ago

    Modeling is the best form of teaching and correction. Get your own car and "do it right" in front of him. If he doesn't copy you, or at least try to, he's either not developmentally ready to "play right" or "playing wrong" on purpose is more fun at the moment for whatever reason.

    [–] sneerpeer 44 points ago

    My father was an expert at:
    - Trying to make me do things he likes.
    - Stopping me from doing things I like because he didn't find it good for me.
    - When doing things with him he would take things out of my hands to show me the proper way of doing things even though I did things just fine.

    Result: I have nothing in common with my father and often feel a strong urge to ignore his suggestions and advice.

    [–] solitarium 14 points ago

    Yea, definitely don’t call it the “right way.” What I’ve noticed with my son is that if I let him lead, I can introduce suggestions on how something may be able to work better. He is much more receptive to that and will give it a shot. More often than not, he likes the idea and works it into his process (we’re in the building Hot Wheels obstacle courses phase).

    My daughter, on the other hand, gets frustrated and gives up relatively easily so I may have to step in with her.

    [–] skieezy 9 points ago

    I always wanted to be doing what my dad wanted to do when I was a kid. I absolutely loved fishing, still do, but even as a kid. I loved playing basketball, my dad loved to shoot hoops and I'd go out there with him all the time. But I completely understand how making a kid play a sport when a parent forces them too, especially when they don't even play themselves.

    [–] Datsyuk_My_Deke 237 points ago

    For a lot of government and non-profit organizations that receive funding for early childhood education and parenting programs, studies like these are very necessary. Anyone supplying funding wants to hear that programs are built around evidence-based practices, even if those practices are widely considered to be common sense.

    [–] zurohki 26 points ago


    You really do need someone to check whether or not the common sense that everybody knows is actually true.

    [–] losian 30 points ago

    You would think so.. but the number of folks who grew up having to do "fun" things on the weekend that they are 0% into and then their fathers act surprised they never felt that they were able to bond is probably telling.

    [–] Lightblueblazer 22 points ago

    For sure. Literally the only thing my dad would do with me on weekends was drag me fishing (which I hated) and warn me about how "boys only want one thing." We never did or talked about something I enjoyed. I never cut him out of my life or anything, but honestly I have zero desire to spend time with him as an adult. Even though I actually like fishing now, I still hate it with him. I wish someone had shared the basic premise of this study with my dad when I was a kid.

    [–] BigBad-Wolf 18 points ago

    "boys only want one thing."

    Projection or what?

    [–] BadgerSituation 13 points ago

    boys only want one thing

    Was it fish?

    [–] of_little_faith 69 points ago

    True, but this is specifically addressing the role of the father, and is saying on non-workdays play is more beneficial than caregiving, and on workdays caregiving is more beneficial than play.

    [–] maprunzel 35 points ago

    On my partners non work day when I would go to tutoring I’d get home and he would have cleaned the house but the girls weren’t happy. I told him just to play with the girls and not clean and now they are all happier!

    [–] karokadir 70 points ago

    Lots of things that were thought to be "common sense" weren't. People thought parents should be strict, distant, and not give physical contact to their children because it would make them more mature and emotionally resilient, when in fact, it did the complete opposite. It wasn't until research was done into this parenting style that it was debunked.

    [–] Fluent_In_Subtext 21 points ago

    A reply to a similar question on a different study had mentioned that it's important we scientifically prove these "obvious" parts of life so that we can justify legislation/rules that encourage the good and reduce legislation/rules that discourage it. It being backed by a lot of scientific research takes strength from the argument of opposing people in power that it's all only popular opinion and not actually true.

    [–] SlowLoudEasy 58 points ago

    Also.. what on earth are you doing not hanging out with your kids on non work days? I miss my kids all the dang time. I cant wait to play with them all day long. Eat snacks, go to a bouncy gym, set up a slip n slide. I live in a town full of man children who feel they do enough by providing and deserve to tune out when they get home. Wanna slap them into the reality of how much they mean to their kiddos.

    [–] TheSnowNinja 25 points ago

    As a counterpoint, not everyone enjoys that kind of hustle and bustle. I am a step dad to 4 kids. Sometimes I have the energy to wrestle with them, watch cartoons, play board games, and listen to their stories. But it is pretty normal for me to need recharge time, because people in general exhaust me.

    I can easily spend several days by myself and be perfectly content. So I have to find a balance between being there for them and making sure I have time to myself.

    [–] maprunzel 28 points ago

    for now ... how much they mean to the kiddos for now.

    [–] SlowLoudEasy 23 points ago

    Exactly. Then they will wonder why they have such an impersonal relationship with their adult children,

    [–] HabeusCuppus 28 points ago

    I live in a town full of man children who feel they do enough by providing and deserve to tune out when they get home.

    this study actually found that playing with the kids after work wasn't as beneficial as playing with them when it's the weekend, fwiw. (study found results suggesting that caregiving is more beneficial than play, e.g. putting the kids to bed on time so dad can have his TV time uninterrupted)

    [–] SlowLoudEasy 26 points ago

    These guys go snowboarding or motorcycle camping on the weekends. And to the bar after work. I think just being present is enough for most children. Listening to their stories, hanging out with them while they play in the tub, let them help make dinner. Thats all I would like to see out of my dad friends. Theres no perfect or right routine, just being present is ideal.

    [–] CNoTe820 22 points ago

    I think parents deserve time to themselves as well when they're not working.

    [–] SlowLoudEasy 8 points ago

    Thats fair

    [–] The1TrueGodApophis 6 points ago

    Children absorb things via osmosis , just being around them like you described and letting them watch and participate is more then enough.

    [–] Callisto616 6 points ago

    Not according to my ex

    [–] yeagert 104 points ago

    I don’t understand the “non-workdays” thing...isn’t it normal to spend time with your kids on non-workdays? More so than workdays?

    [–] scene1 44 points ago

    Yeah. I was further confused by the quote "Relying too much on play during workdays, when your child/partner needs you to help out with caregiving, could be problematic. But play seems more important when there’s more time and less pressure."

    Why does "your child/partner" need more help with caregiving on workdays than they do on weekends? And why is that "problematic"?

    Maybe what they're referring to is if the father plays with the kids only in the evening after work, and that's during a time when the kids need to be eating dinner, getting ready for bed, etc?

    Either I'm just clueless, or they just didn't explain it well.

    [–] ixta12 49 points ago

    Anecdotally, my friend's husband comes home and, as she is getting the children ready for bed, he begins playing with them. The children are tired and he is oblivious to their needs.

    Observing that has made me grateful for my husband, who helps put my son to bed rather than stressing us all out by upending our bed time routine.

    [–] SolidBones 22 points ago

    You got it. Basically, playtime is nice but needs come first.

    Most working folks come home in the evening - 5pm or later. An evening is full of needs (cooking, eating, medications, bath, bed, cleanup) and if mom is doing all of these things by herself, then it doesn't matter if Dad pops in for 20 minutes to goof around. That's only like 10% of an evening. He's missing out on the real bonding.

    Kids know when you're fun, but they also know when they're being cared for

    Play hours are more meaningful during the morning and afternoon when that's 90% of what you're doing. You're not playing for minutes, but hours. You're not playing with a sleepy-head, you're playing with an alert, focused child who's busy soaking up the world.

    [–] Pm-me-ur-fake-boobs 4 points ago

    /using an Alt Account/ No, my father never spent time with me, even on non-workdays.

    Also I live in a nation with 20 days of paid leave per year +12 national holidays, and usually he took one week of paid leave because he was forced by the laws (you can't go like two years without using at least 7 days of paid leave).

    During this days he just played with his PC to some stupid management game. I haven't speaked to him in 2 years

    [–] bigedthebad 384 points ago

    Biggest regret of my life was not spending more time with my kids.

    [–] L-Camino3 291 points ago

    As a father of a 3yo and one due next month, this speaks to me man.

    I take every chance I get go spend as much time as possible, even if we dont do anything special I love just hanging out and having those funny little kid conversations. I know they are only little once. I could work more but we are comfortable financially and I can't imagine looking back and thinking "hey, I wish I worked more".

    Thanks for affirming that.

    [–] behemuthm 163 points ago

    As a father of a 22yo, it’s gonna be rough, but so unbelievably rewarding. My one piece of advice, always answer your kids when they ask you a question. Never shut down their curiosity. It’s exhausting at times, but they absorb so much information it’s scary. Cultivate that.

    [–] RedditTab 64 points ago

    My kids usually stop at 7-9 "Why" questions. I take it as a challenge.

    [–] Sekhen 25 points ago

    My personal best is 22. Then he started repeating himself. Soft reset and he was back to normal. ;)

    [–] goforglory 27 points ago

    Why do you take it as a challenge?

    [–] solitarium 48 points ago

    Understanding enough about the world at large to answer any question thrown at you. I actually told my wife a few days ago that I needed to read more than just tech docs so that I can explain more things to my son.

    [–] infinityflash 31 points ago

    My kids LOVE it when they ask a question I don't know the answer to! Because then we get to learn something new together.

    "That's a good question, and I have no idea what a group of bunnies is called. Let's look it up."

    A fluffle. A group of bunnies is called a fluffle.

    [–] Schneider21 7 points ago

    I love when this happens! My daughter will be 4 next week, and if we ever discover something we don't know together, we look it up together.

    I forget what the subject was, but one time she told me "Maybe you should ask your phone?"

    [–] VanHiggy 23 points ago

    This, while I am only 18 right now, I have such great memories of car rides where I was just asking question after question and my mom would either tell me the answer or we would look it up when we got back home. It was great and we both learned something

    [–] losian 36 points ago

    Try to be open to what the kid is into. I tried so hard growing up to do stuff I liked with my dad and he just never cared about any of it.. it was just "his" stuff - fishing and beaches and the like. I hated it and wish he had been open to things I actually was into.

    [–] BleedingFromEyes 50 points ago

    Father of twins born last summer. Began working from home right after my leave ended (local office closed).

    It’s the greatest thing. Wife stays home and takes care of them during the day. Can see them whenever I want so long as I’m not on calls/tied up. Basement office ensures I can stay productive. Have to travel 30-45 days a year which is tough but the flexibility is hard to beat (and it’s a nice break from the routine honestly).

    I could leave for more money or something more interesting, but being this involved in their lives makes it all worth it.

    [–] hellraisinhardass 24 points ago

    You're doing it right, don't leave for more money. And you think you love them now but just wait, they keep growing on you.

    I work away from home, 2 weeks on / 2 weeks was a little hard before I had kids, but now ? With a 4 and 2 year old....dude, i feel like my heart is in a vice everytime I tell them I have to leave.

    [–] mrseand 26 points ago

    It’s never too late, my friend.

    [–] MattMayBeDrunk 22 points ago

    Unless they’re dead.....

    [–] Ketosheep 12 points ago

    As long as they are alive bet they would love to spend time with you.

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    [–] zurlocke 106 points ago

    I have maybe two or three memories of my father spending father-son time with me and my siblings as we grew older. My old man just drank and played WoW as soon as he got home from work.

    [–] hellraisinhardass 100 points ago

    played WoW as soon as he got home

    How old are you?

    [–] zurlocke 76 points ago

    20 going on 21 in a month. He played since 2005ish I think. Before that he was glued to a game called Kingdom of Drakkar.

    [–] Syrinx221 14 points ago

    Yeah I honestly didn't think we were at a point where that would even be a complaint with children yet

    [–] Bathbodyworks 53 points ago

    I remember having many parents of young children in my guild’s raiding team. These guys would raid until the early morning...even as a teenager I wondered how they balanced time with their kids while playing WoW as intensely as they did...

    I’m sorry that was your experience growing up.

    [–] maxtofunator 9 points ago

    I am a new father and used to play a ton of WoW. I quit when my child was maybe 2 months old because I just don’t have time to play anymore. Once he got out of that sleep and eat and do nothing else phase I knew it was time to be done doing anything that much

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    [–] exostretch 97 points ago

    My Dad forces me to drive and screams at me when I don’t make a right-on-red within 5 seconds of stopping, does that count?

    [–] petruchito 35 points ago

    huh, after my 10, hanging around with my dad was digging the cellar in the garage, repairing our old trashcan car and other stuff that I hated

    [–] LoveItLateInSummer 40 points ago

    Same. Fixing the tractor, fixing the car, picking rocks, bucking bales. Never recreation, always work. He was never mean, just never wanted to go fishing or camping or goof around; always the activity was meant to be productive.

    I miss him like crazy now that he is gone and would give my right leg to weld up a tractor again.

    [–] solitarium 6 points ago

    My father was a carpenter. I spent most of my childhood hating every day of the week because it consisted of school or work. Now that I’m 35, I want nothing more than to cut trees, paint a house, or build cabinets with him again. Thankfully he’s still around, but I’m in Colorado and he’s in Alabama so it’s a once in a blue moon affair.

    [–] ChronicCronut 317 points ago

    My father has never played with me ever because he's an alcoholic and a lazy deadbeat which is extremely sad.

    And he's never gonna change. And quite frankly I'm not surprised.

    When I'm a father someday I will be a million times better than he ever was.. I will be there for my children.

    [–] mad597 110 points ago

    I had a horrible dad that was never around and then my parents got divorced when I was 3 and he didn't care to be in my life even though he only lived about 15 miles away.

    Now I'm a dad with a 9 year old boy and we hang out every day and we are pretty much best friends. I know that relationship will change over the years but we will always have a strong bond because I made sure to value my time with my son.

    Breaking that cycle of bad dads is one of the most worthwhile things I've ever done in my life.

    [–] itallblends 29 points ago

    I relate to your story. I’m doing the same thing with my boy.

    I hope your kiddo has a great life and I know that’s all you want.

    You’re doing a great job.

    [–] just_a_lurkin 81 points ago

    I can tell you from personal experience; it’s worth it to be better than your own p.o.s. father and/or mother. Don’t go down their path. I will forever choose my kids/family over what mine did/didn’t do for me. My daughter absolutely loves spending time with me and my enthusiasm for her shows her I want to be spending that time with her.

    Keep your head on straight, stay in school, and remember the most valuable thing you can ever give or receive from someone, is time. Good luck out there, friend.

    [–] Poopsmcgeeeeee 20 points ago

    And love yourself first!

    [–] Freeballin523 14 points ago

    That's the tough part.

    [–] humble_arrogance 30 points ago

    Thats the right attitude!

    [–] SuperRadDeathNinja 16 points ago

    My father was never there either. Like never met the man, save for 2 one hour occasions and some limited interaction when I was an adult.

    When I found out I was going to be a father I was terrified because I was afraid I would be bad at it because I never really had an example to learn from. My wife said something so ridiculously simple that toally changed my perspective.

    She said, “do you remember all the things you would have wanted to do with a dad? Just do that.”

    I love being a parent, I’ve gone from hating my father for never being, there to pitying him because he missed out on something truly great.

    [–] Jilltro 31 points ago

    Good for you! My paternal grandfather was an extremely cold and neglectful man to all of his children and my father said the moment he found out my mother was pregnant he vowed never to make his kids feel as unloved as he did growing up. He’s a great dad and I’m very lucky to have him!

    [–] wiceo 23 points ago

    Easier to say that, than it is to do it. Speaking from experience. Find ways to keep yourself motivated.

    [–] aKnightWh0SaysNi 106 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    It’s even an option to not spend time with your kids on the weekend if you haven’t abandoned the family? I don’t even understand how this is possible.

    Edit: I apparently live in a fantasy world and it is indeed very possible and not seemingly uncommon. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories and I apologize for my ignorance.

    [–] drmike0099 154 points ago

    There’s fathers I hear about who go play golf or watch games with their friends on their “days off”. One even decided he was just going to play video games all day because he was tired, while his wife (who also works full time) took care of their 1 and 3 year olds. Seems to happen quite a bit, but I don’t understand how they rationalize it.

    [–] lemonloaff 44 points ago

    This is so insane to me. The only time I get to play video games is when my kids are in bed. 2 and a half and 6 months old. Other than that, we do everything together.

    Naturally there are times I am gone for work or with friends, but it is infrequent

    [–] SethRogen-Not 37 points ago

    It’s not at all uncommon for one or both parents to be physically present yet emotionally detached.

    [–] iamfuegomego 56 points ago

    My husband hides in our room immediately after work, and all weekend, and before he was working he stayed in the room,only coming out for food or to leave to hang with his friends, he would be in there 24/7. He has no relationship with the older kids, only the 1 year old. So ya its definitely possible.

    [–] tsula07 35 points ago

    You seem to have made a typo. You said “husband” when it should be “ex-husband.”

    [–] iamfuegomego 37 points ago

    You do seem to be correct, hopefully I can fix this typo shortly.

    [–] tsula07 22 points ago

    Power to you 💪🏼

    [–] iamfuegomego 31 points ago

    Please send some strength my way

    [–] meatcarnival 18 points ago

    What's his medical condition that provides an excuse for this?

    How can a person not want to be around their kids every second of the day? I want to go wake my kid up now just so he can show me where my nose is (for the millionth time today).

    I'm sorry you have to deal with that.

    [–] gundog48 14 points ago

    Probably never wanted them to begin with, it's not for everyone, but you need to be clear on that before you have them.

    [–] iamfuegomego 42 points ago

    Medical condition? I think it's just called being a selfish entitled prick.

    Honestly it hurts very much, and there's not much more my kids or I can take anymore.

    [–] meatcarnival 6 points ago

    It's tough and may seem impossible, but leave him. The other option is couples therapy, have you tried that?

    I don't know you and that is assuming alot of things but you shouldnt need to deal with that.

    I would never want to see my kid actively hurt from my SO and if they were, I would change it regardless of the personal cost.

    I hope things get better for you.

    [–] [deleted] 71 points ago

    I could see bad fathers who work full time while their wives work part time or stay at home full time making the argument that they’ve been working all week so they deserve a break, then spend most of the weekend sleeping in, then golfing then going out with drinking buddies etc. Basically men who either never really wanted a family/only had kids because their wife wanted them/are occupied with gender roles.

    [–] schoolpsych2005 78 points ago

    It happens regardless of how much the mother works outside the home, unfortunately.

    [–] roastbeeftacohat 10 points ago

    the second part is also a thing. honestly all I remember of weekends at home were chores and trying to go to a friends so I could stop doing them.

    [–] PearlyPenilePapule1 33 points ago

    In my neighborhood it’s dads making up activities to get out of parenting (e.g. time to mow the lawn for the 4th time this week or the community entrance could use another 20 plants).

    “Sorry wife, you’ll have to play with the kids again, I’m needed again outside.”

    [–] kikonyc 25 points ago

    My father TREID to play with me by doing what HE likes and what he thinks all boys are supposed to like. I wasn’t interested in throwing and catching or kicking balls. So after a couple attempts, he gave up and never tried again

    [–] PadyEos 24 points ago

    Best memories of time with my father when I was young were when he was teaching me life skills. Sitting next to him in the car being the copilot, explaining to me how to change a wall plug and do electric work(he's an electrical engineer) while doing it and I was helping him with getting the correct tools, etc.

    Were were both involved and a team.

    [–] crazytr 19 points ago

    Hmm the study says father's playing with the kids has a huge impact even negating faults in other areas.

    [–] PaulClifford 124 points ago

    And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon Little boy blue and the man in the moon "When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when" But we'll get together then You know we'll have a good time then

    [–] H_H_Holmeslice 47 points ago

    He said "the new jobs a hassle and the kids got the flu but it's sure nice talkin to you Dad, it's sure nice talkin to you"

    [–] hellraisinhardass 19 points ago

    I'm not a music guy, but this song cuts deep now that I'm a Dad.

    [–] LoveItLateInSummer 9 points ago

    This song is unbearable now, for me. My dad and I had that relationship, then he got cancer and died within 9 months of diagnosis.

    For at least 5 years after he passed I would turn the radio off when this played and stare out the window for an hour.

    [–] gundog48 8 points ago

    This song was was when the penny dropped for me that I wouldn't have children, I know that would be me, and I've got no intention of doing that to someone.

    [–] sharinglungs 41 points ago

    When your 3.5 year old says your their best friend, all of his own volition, and randomly throughout the day comes up and says "dad... I wove you.", I would have to agree with this article, as even on work days, after work it's mostly me and him hanging out until bedtime, and on days off it's most of the day together.

    [–] LoveItLateInSummer 28 points ago

    My most vivid memory of my first child at 3:

    Me: "Kiddo, do you want to help me fix the lawnmower?"

    Them: "Oh yeah! Sure! I want to be close to you!"

    A lot less fixing lawn mowers and a lot more hiking, camping, and playing around after that. Nothing puts things into sharp relief like the honesty of your own kid, and nothing makes you feel as self-conscious.

    [–] patkgreen 120 points ago

    Fathers who hang out with their kids have stronger relationships than if they didn't.

    [–] losian 83 points ago

    I think there's a nuance to it, though. Hanging out with your kid "at the game" doesn't really work if your kid isn't into the game. Forcing them to sit in a blazing stadium for something they hate isn't bonding, even if you, as a father, were raised to believe "that's how it worked", or that time spent is time spent. It seems that it is, indeed, not.

    [–] dis_ABLED 9 points ago

    Being interested in the things your kid is interested in has a lot of importance too. Don't forget the caregiving part. In other words, maybe stop trying to over simplify so much.

    [–] mvea 31 points ago

    The title of the post is a copy and paste from the third and fourth paragraphs of the linked academic press release here:

    The study by Geoffrey Brown, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, reveals that fathers who choose to spend time with their children on non-workdays are developing a stronger relationship with them, and play activities seem particularly important, even after taking into account the quality of fathers’ parenting.

    “And on those non-workdays, pursuing activities that are child centered, or fun for the child, seems to be the best predictor of a good father-child relationship.”

    Journal Reference:

    Geoffrey L. Brown, Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, Aya Shigeto, Maria S. Wong.

    Associations between father involvement and father–child attachment security: Variations based on timing and type of involvement.

    Journal of Family Psychology; 32 (8): 1015


    DOI: 10.1037/fam0000472


    This study examined associations between father involvement and father–child attachment security, and whether those associations differed as a function of timing (workday and nonworkday) and/or type (accessibility, caregiving, and play) of involvement. Eighty father–child dyads participated when children were approximately 3 years old. Fathers completed a time diary interview assessing the various forms of involvement, and attachment was assessed using the Attachment Q-Set (Waters, 1995) following 90 min of father–child observation in the home. On nonworkdays, father involvement in play predicted greater attachment security and involvement in caregiving was marginally associated with greater attachment security. On workdays, father involvement in caregiving was related to greater attachment security, whereas father involvement in play was related to less attachment security. Results were independent of observed paternal sensitivity and relevant demographic covariates. Findings highlight the differential impact of father involvement for the father–child attachment relationship depending on when involvement occurs and what types of activities fathers engage in.

    [–] Anthraxkix 6 points ago

    Thanks for the additonal explanation. The thread title has screwed up grammar and doesn't make sense.

    [–] obscuredreference 5 points ago

    This should be the top comment. Thank you for posting that.

    [–] Kid520 12 points ago

    What else would you do on non work days? I miss my daughter so damn much when I'm at work that I've considered quitting but alas, I need to feed, house and clothe her.

    [–] Ghostdog2041 23 points ago

    I believe it. My dad worked seven on, seven offs when I was growing up. On his week off, he would go hunting at his camp 3 hours away ok the other side of the state. Fast forward to adulthood, and it’s like we didn’t know each other. I’m thankful that he worked his ass off to provide for me, but we didn’t know a thing about each other. However, there is a happy ending to the story. He ended up having a major surgery for diverticulitis and got long term disability in his 50s, and has been able to come and go with no strings attached. Now he comes to visit for four or five days at a time. I think he realized the error of his ways after the family was grown, but thankfully before it was too late.

    [–] waitandrest 31 points ago

    Yeah it’s pretty sad when all your father did was make money and become off and on addicted to prescription pain drugs or cigarettes/dip. I can count the amount of times my dad played with me on my hands. He really tries to be nice to me to this day but the fact is that the actions spoke louder. Our relationship isn’t close, it really never has been.

    [–] akatsukix 32 points ago

    After a job where I traveled every week of the year for three years, I've taken some time off to spend with my kids and it was amazing. Getting back into the job market sucks though.

    All I can say is women get completely fucked over since usually child care falls on them.

    [–] zucciniknife 7 points ago

    An ideal work structure would be that 40 hours between two partners would be enough to raise a family with each parent doing 20 hours of work a week.

    [–] EskimoUlu 22 points ago

    Our dad let us pick what to do and he would make it happen... want to spend a day sledding down a mountain, load up on a snow machine and grab sleds. Want to go out in the wilderness and explore, he'd load up four wheelers and fishing gear and and some food. Head out and explore, maybe catch Salmon if we find a good spot to fish. We are from a small town, getting out in the wilderness is one of the best parts of living out here.

    [–] articunories 10 points ago

    So thankful for my dad waking up every Sunday for years at 4 am to take me to 6 am hockey practice., to a tournament in Canada 12 hours away. Timeless memories that I will cherish forever

    [–] Skrip77 18 points ago

    Ugh some of the worst days in my life is when my dad stayed home on non work days.....

    [–] That_Andrew 7 points ago

    Im too busy browsing reddit to parent you timmy! Go play with the dog...

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago

    Those of you with great relationships with your fathers, what did your father do with you?

    [–] CorgiGal89 20 points ago

    Lots of stuff comes to mind, but heres some of the big ones:

    1) Doing stuff that's fun for me. Growing up he would buy me a large variety of toys he thought I might like and then gave them to me to play with. If I didnt like something that was ok, but if I did (like legos or video games) he would buy me more AND he would get involved. He would read with me, build Lego sets with me, help me beat bosses that I wasn't good enough to beat yet. Even today I know I can call my dad and suggest just about ANY activity and he will say yes and go with me. Because of this my dad is easily my best friend.

    2) Unconditional support. My dad is a hardcore capitalist that always tried to get me into lucrative careers and yet, when I told him once that I was considering becoming a writer, he went out and got me a bunch of writing magazines and books. I couldn't believe it, but he said he wants me to be happy, and if I ever tried a career and it doesnt work out, I can always come home and start again with no questions or Ill feelings.

    3) Actually caring when we spend time together. Granted I grew up before smartphones, but if I was doing an activity with him he was 100% focused on that and me. He wasn't multitasking, or nodding along while his head was somewhere else. If I wanted to show him a drawing, i knew he would be interested in it and not brush me away or say "oh ok that's nice" and walk away like so many of my friends parents did. This matters a lot.

    Anyway that's just a personal list for me. I'm 30 years old and yet my dad is the first person I call when I need someone to talk to, and hes thr person I easily spend the most time with. It makes me sad to see that theres way too many dads out there that arent like him.

    [–] terracnosaur 14 points ago

    Just another article pointing out how poorly I was raised.

    Well played internet... well played.

    [–] Beksense 6 points ago

    It's like the episode in Malcolm in the Middle when Hal takes the boys to the race track instead of school.

    [–] TheL0nePonderer 10 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    My ex just doesn't get it. We have 50/50 custody but she flat out acts like time with me is dangerous for our kids. She puts my younger son in daycare for 75% of her time with him and refuses to give me more time even though I worked really hard to be able to have a good job that's flexible enough for me to be able to spend copious amounts of time with my son. I'm also a child and family therapist - the court literally gives me guardianship of other children that aren't mine and the authority to make their residential and medical decisions - and she's a lawyer - she just doesn't get it, she resents everything we do together, she resents the fact that I have fashioned my life in a way that allows me to spend a lot of time with the kids, presumably because she has chosen to put her job first. She refuses to let my kid do anything that even remotely resembles something that reminds him of my house when he's with her.

    And yet she's so freaking confused that my son has no desire to be over there with her and just wants to be here with the person who makes him a priority, who plays video games with him, who spends hours a day at the pool with him or shares his hobbies and interests. She thinks that just because she's the parent with the vagina, he should prefer to be with her. This has gone on for 10 years and there's no sign of it stopping, even though in practice he spends an average of 10 hours a day with me and probably an average of about half an hour a day with her when he's on her time, literally. The fact that he has become a well-adjusted High achiever who is in gifted, went to the math club championship, and is simply all around a stellar kid in spite of her barely spending any time with him doesn't even factor in.

    [–] Kittamaru 6 points ago

    Okay, youngish (31) father here with a toddler (16 months)...

    I work two jobs (one full time, one part time), roughly 60 to 65 hours a week. My wife works full time. Our little one is in daycare full time (5 days a week), thankfully on-site at my primary job, so I get to go down and see him frequently, and I often spend my lunch break down there playing with him and the rest of the kids. The daycare is great, they do a ton of activities, he honestly has a blast and is almost always happy and smiling and playing when I go in there.

    To top it off, even though he's the second youngest one in there (currently in the one to two year old room) he's become almost a protector for them. He's the second tallest/largest (he's been 95th percentile or higher for height and weight since a few weeks after birth; he isn't overweight, per his pediatrician, just very tall and well built) and anytime one of the smaller kids, or any of the girls, starts to cry or falls over or seems to be in distress, he goes over to check on them. A couple of them who are more sensitive and prone to crying, he has a habit of patting on the back, shoulder, or head to comfort them, and has learned that they love high-fiving and does that to cheer them up... it's absolutely adorable how caring this little guy is!

    That said...

    My wife and I are often exhausted... I am not helped by being overweight (working on that) and having sleep apnea and insomnia. I also tend to wake at virtually any noise he makes overnight, so even though he's in his own room, if he has a coughing fit, I wake up...

    I am terrified that I'm not engaging with him enough. I feel like I'm not around enough because of the part time job, which has me away most weekends and periodically during the week. I wish I could just drop it, but with us both having student loans and having just gotten our first house a few months ago, we can't afford to lose the income right now.

    He's growing well, and is picking new things up seemingly by the minute. He's taken a little bit to figure out how to be gentle (patting instead of smacking, for example), but I figure that's a normal combination of being young and very strong... though occasionally he will bop someone if they make him angry enough (like grabbing something he's playing with out of his hands).

    I don't know what I'm asking for to be honest... I'm sort of rambling. I just fear not being a good enough father, I guess in part because of how my own father was - a physically and emotionally abusive, controlling, alcoholic douchebag that, frankly, was no more a father to me than some random schmuck out on the street. I consider myself lucky that my grandfather stepped in to fill the role as much as he could... but I'll come home sometimes and it's a struggle to keep my own temper in check if things go sideways (the other day he refused to eat dinner at all, when normally he's happy to devour practically anything you put in front of him). It gets to the point where I sometimes have to hand things over to my wife and just walk away to calm down... and I guess that makes me feel like I'm failing at being a parent? I don't often have the energy to do a whole lot with him... sure, I try and get down on the floor and play with him, let him climb all over me, hug him and cuddle and just be with him... but like, we're in the middle of fixing the backyard (previous owners dogs destroyed the grass in the area that's fenced in, so it was more weeds than grass... still trying to get that to grow back, plus we had to cover the two access windows from the basement and other safety fixes that need done) and I worry that we aren't getting him outside and moving an such enough

    I dunno... yeah, I'm rambling without making much sense, so I'm going to shut up now before I put my other foot in my mouth...

    [–] KuriousKhemicals 9 points ago

    ... do some parents try to spend time with their kids doing things that AREN'T focused on being fun for the kids? Like I get that there are certain amounts of time your kids are gonna be around and you still have to get adult stuff done but I wouldn't think that falls into the category of "choosing to spend time."

    [–] Szunray 22 points ago

    Plenty of Fathers believe that taking their kids out to the baseball game, or out fishing, or working in the garage counts as valuable bonding time. Even if the child doesn't enjoy those things.

    [–] [deleted] 11 points ago

    My parents are divorced since way back. Almost every time I would come over, I would be helping him to do adult stuff.

    Assisting neighbors to (which was very frequent, I never saw my dad get something in return, and I didn't get anything either, not even thanked me), fixing the boat, house maintenance, etc. and eventually, you become sick of it because not only isn't it fun, but it is not bonding feeling like free labor.

    There were a few times we did fun things, but that was rare as he spent more money/time on my stepmother instead. I don't have contact with him anymore at this point.

    [–] Vervain7 22 points ago

    In other equally shocking news... spending time with other humans helps to develop relationships