Playing with your kids

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July 30, 2017

Do you guys believe its necessary to constantly be engaging and playing with them nonstop throughout the day? I'm not the typical emotionally unavailable father, I always set some time apart in my day no matter how busy to throw a football, play a card game, read a book with them. And still own my shit around the house when it comes to manly dutues, But they continuously crowd me during the day wanting to "play"

It can be very draining sometimes and I'll send them to go play with each other, I feel guilty for a second then I get the thought that past generations of fathers probably never played with their kids at all. I think its the feminized idea that dads are supposed to continuously be playing with the children like a "kid at heart" How do you feel about this? Would post in Redpillparenthood but it's a wasteland.

Post Information
Title Playing with your kids
Author Throwitaway9293
Upvotes 14
Comments 14
Date 30 July 2017 02:35 AM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
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[–]thunderbeyond16 points17 points  (1 child) | Copy

Dad, 2 boys under 10. Kids crave your time. I dont know where I saw it but someone said that "kids spell love T-I-M-E". I.e. it is your presence they want. It is very true.

Having said that... don't just spend all of your time with them. Spend quality time with them. And also let them see you be a positive role-model by owning your shit.

So its... "no daddy can't play, (such and such) needs to be fixed. Once that's done, we can play." Kids need to be shown that work has to be done.

You can reinforce the "work before play" pattern. Which is going to save you a lot of heartache later on.

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy


There is that word again! You can be "present" on a battlefield 4,000 miles from home or "not present" in the same room.

[–]CrippleSlap3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

Engage with them daily. But not constantly. Kids need to learn how to play on their own with and without a parent

[–]nooomaam2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

You set the example.

And anything can be play time.

WHen the kids crowd and "want it now", I calmly tell them what Daddy is busy with, and what could they do to keep themselves busy until it's play time again.

I then ask them what they'd love to do (keeping in mind what I'd love to do later). I steer them in that direction, and then I set a time and an event. From there, it's all about getting the excitement going.

I list out 4 jobs they need to do to get ready for it. And then when they come back, I ask how it's going, how could they make our time together awesome, and I tell them I can't wait.

And I can't. I'm pumped about having something awesome going on later.

[–]ArthurTheAstronaut2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Ah, it's nice to see other Dad's thinking about this.

I'm 26, and grew up with great, loving parents. But they were young, broke, and stressed so most of my playing was done alone until I was 4, when my sister when born. Then it was just us doing all the playing.

My mom would spend time with me, and Dad would spend time with me when he got home from work, but for the most part, my own entertainment was my responsibility.

Now that I have 2 kids of my own(8 and 6), I hold the belief that it's not my job to entertain them. Of course I love to play with them and spend time with them, but I don't feel it's my responsibility to keep them occupied every hour of the day.

[–]FlyingSexistPig1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I don't feel the need to constantly validate and interact with my kid. I make a point of spending some time each day with her, but it's always centered around a specific activity.

Some times it's going to the park. Sometimes it's a learning activity.

[–]WesternhagenWinner1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Certainly not continuously and constantly. But I engage them and play with them every single day. They don't continuously want to play (they were much more like that when they were younger) so at this point when they do come and ask to play, I usually say yes.

[–]Chinchilla_the_Hun1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Kids will be gluttons for your attention if you let them and it ought to be moderated just like anything else you allocate with them - like sweets or screen time. As you noted, it's important to spend quality time when possible, and to prioritize important events with them (ball game, dance recital, etc.), though you shouldn't need to be an on-demand source of engagement.

I have 4 under 10yo and it'd be impossible to spend time with all of them in the amount each of them desire, so my wife and I encourage a lot of self play or cooperative play. When my folks come kids get drunk on attention because grandparents indulge nearly every whim and are radically available. So much so, that there's a noticeable "detox" period for 1-2 days after they leave.

Whether by their reactions or your own internal musings, you'll feel guilty about saying no. But I think there's a resource somewhere around this sub that addresses that....hmmm

Also, as others have mentioned already, it's a great idea to involve them in your projects or chores ("Daddy needs an assistant, who wants to help?") to the degree they're able to feel useful without getting in the way. You get your shit done and they get time with you. This has potential to increase their skill-set and can be a great platform for meaningful discussion.

[–]screechhaterRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

They will stop the craving at about 14 then it is up to you to carve time for the both of you. Done right, you build a man's man with it.

Don't let this time slip away. Yes get your shit done, but most of all, do as you say.

[–]SgtSilverBack1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Like what u/thunderbeyond said.

I also add some other stuff in. I try to get them to be with me while I OMS. Most of the stuff you do is a teachable moment to young kids that haven't seen all the things you have seen.

Painting over that one nail holes the wife made? Grab one of the kids and show them how being methodical and organized makes things easier. Show him how to paint and patch Mr. Miagi.

Cleaning the car? Show them that taking care of the things you put your money into extends to keeping things clean not just running.

Make it fun. It might take you longer but there will come a time you wish they would want to come do stuff with Dad.

[–]rocknrollchuck0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I agree with thunderbeyond, spend time with your kids AFTER taking care of your responsibilities.

All too soon they will not want to spend time with you anymore as they get older. Listen to the song "Cat's In the Cradle", it will give you some perspective.

[–]stew70000 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Agree with thunderbeyond about quality > quantity. I've taken my son out for a father/son night and spent the 3 hours preoccupied with work, checking my phone, and other nonsense and it's ended up hurting our relationship more than helping it. By contrast, I've set a timer for 10 minutes, put my phone down and focused exclusively on my son (playing ball, wrestling, catching bugs, or whatever) and those 10 minutes end up being the highlight of the day and really strengthen our relationship.

[–]drty_prRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

It's BP conditioning that makes you think it's a necessity to constantly engage your children. Of course you spend time with them, but you're also shaping them into adults that know how to get theirs. When they see you hanging out with friends, cooking dinner, building in the garage, etc; they know that you are a man who knows how to get his. You should feel zero guilt for wanting you time.

A good gauge is if you feel you should spend more time, you're spending enough. If you know you should spend more time, you aren't.

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Helicopter dads are just as bad as helicopter moms.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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