I recently had the privilege of hearing from a dad in Queensland, Australia who operates Fathering Adventures.com, a program that offers overnight adventures for Fathers and Sons. Inspired by an auto accident with his oldest son, Darren Lewis started the program to help fathers and sons bond in the wilderness and experience all the benefits which come from a connected relationship with children.
Out of many quotes and statistics which Darren has amassed, I was particularly struck by two of them. The first was a statistic that the average child spends only 8 minutes a day with his or her father. Though a disappointing stat, it’s easy to see how this occurs. Work and providing for family takes priority, while time spent with children is fit into the small blocks of time that might become available. A family life based on happenstance makes the opportunity for meaningful connections less likely. As children get older, and develop their own priorities and schedules, intentional planning for time together becomes a necessity.
Intentional fathering means planning for connecting opportunities with your children. When this is placed on the priority list, both you and your kids will know you can count on this time together. This planned time becomes the basis of your relationship together. Spontaneous connections then become icing-on-the cake for you and your kids. As an intentional father, you’ll fully understand that just about any activity in life can become an adventure for those who take the time.
The quote on Darren’s site put it this way:
To A Child, Love is spelled T-I-M-E. Bronze Bow Publishing
As we celebrated 2011 last night, my son commented that this would be the year he turns 18. As I watched him sleep this morning, I marveled at the man he has become and am thankful for every moment I have spent with him and every adventure we have enjoyed together.
Happy Adventures in 2011!