Ask Dr. Bob

Do you have a fathering related questions for Dr. Bob? Just send it to him at info@GreatDads.org Questions will be grouped into common theme questions and answered by Dr. Bob on this page.

Question:
I know that spending a lot of time with my children is critical. But I‘m just so busy. How do I find the time? And what’s the best way to spend the time I do have with them?

Dr. Bob’s reply:

This question did not come from one particular dad. Rather, it came from hundreds of dads. I actually developed it based on what dads say they are most concerned about. When I asked over 2000 dads “What is the toughest obstacle you face in being a Great Dad?”, dad after dad gave the same basic answer: TIME. Let’s listen to just a few of their responses:

“Spending time with my child when I am not exhausted.”
“Finding the right balance between kids, wife, work, etc.”
“Time, including avoiding resentment that there is so little time for me.”
Any of these hit home to you? It is strangely ironic that this is the toughest obstacle cited by dads since it is the very thing that kids most want from their dads. This is because children spell love T-I-M-E. It’s as simple as that — and as profound as that. For instance, when 1500 school children were asked, “What do you think makes a happy family?”, they generally did not cite big-screen TVs, money, or nice clothes. The most frequent answer was “doing things together.” That’s what nice about younger kids. They tell it like it is and they keep it simple.

So time’s the issue. This brings us straight to our “Startling Dad Fact”. If you spend one hour per week in one-on-one time with your child from the time he or she is born to age 18, the total amount of time you will spend is 39 days.

Let that one sink in. 39 days! That’s it. Sort of puts spending time with your kids into a new perspective doesn’t it?

So that’s part 1 of my response. I want to keep my answers each time fairly short, so come back for the next editions of “Ask Dr. Bob” for parts 2 and 3 addressing this big TIME question. In Part 2 , I will discuss the all-important issue of balancing work and family, focusing on how to achieve the right balance. In part 3, I give you a dynamite guiding principle for spending time with your kids, cite the powerful 5-second drill, and leave you with two tips for some really fun activities to do with your kids.

See you soon,

Dr. Bob