If you’re a father, you probably have more than one job and certainly wear many hats. You have your job which provides income for your family. You also have your full-time job as a dad. As a father, you must have the mind-set that being a dad is your most important job.
Most CEOs have certain management responsibilities. As CEO of your family, part of your responsibility is to manage your children well. A father has to have a manager mind-set. Let me illustrate. How do you handle management at the office? You probably meet regularly with those who report directly to you and spend time training them. Your goal is to train them so well that they’ll be able to take your job one day and hopefully do an even better job than you did. You are also sensitive about how they spend their time to ensure they are being as productive as possible. You do your best to manage your time well and help those under your care to manage their time well. That’s what we should want as fathers too.
A typical day for parents can be hectic:
6:00 a.m.—get the kids up
6:15 a.m.—try again to get the kids up
6:30 a.m.—breakfast, get the kids dressed
7:00 a.m.—take the kids to school
7:05 a.m.—go back home to get the homework they forgot, back to school, off to work
3:00 p.m.—pick kids up from school
Then ballet, baseball, football, piano, and help with homework. Cook dinner and clean up, do homework again, then to bed.
So many of us have an “airlines approach” to scheduling. Airlines routinely overbook their flights and often end up having to bump some stressed-out passengers to different flights. We can become a little stressed ourselves when we leave no margin and overbook our children’s schedules and our own schedules. An overly booked schedule can be the culprit that causes pressure in a family. Our busy schedules plus our children’s busy schedules equals missed opportunities to enjoy life and one another. To release some of that pressure, an effective CEO says no to more things outside the home and yes to more things inside. When our children were younger, Susan and I found that youth sports were a good thing, but even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. So our general rule was one sport at a time. Just remember, your family’s calendar and activities reflect what’s important to you.
And managing the family calendar is not just mom’s responsibility. You have many important work appointments on your Outlook calendar, so why not include appointments for your kids? Parent/teacher conferences, sports, extracurricular activities, exams, doctor appointments, trips, work days in the yard, and nights out with your son or daughter should all be part of your calendar as a father.
Do you have ways to effectively manage your kids’ time and activities? Please tell me about them by posting your comments.
Portions of this blog came from my book, All Pro Dad: Seven Essentials to Be a Hero to Your Kids.