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One of the best ways to spend quality time with your children is by setting up a Daddy Day or Dad Day (depending on the ages of your kids) when you schedule a set day and time each week (or month) to do something together, just the two of you. It can be anything from making Sunday morning breakfast together to leaving work two hours early on Wednesday afternoons to be with your kids when they get out of school or even spending a full day on the third Sunday of every month doing special things together.

The most important key to Daddy Day is having a set time each week or month so your kids can look forward to it and you can discuss what you are going to do beforehand (or keep it a surprise). Turning it into a ritual has the added benefit of showing your kids that you are making time just for them. I can’t stress enough the importance of it being a set day/time every week or month – this consistency is what gives the day an identity which is what makes it a cherished memory.

The way I found it worked best was when my kids were babies, it was just the consistency of being together and reading, singing or playing at a set time each week. Once my kids were over age 4, we started doing more of the things I list below, usually on Wednesday afternoons at 2 pm (as mentioned, a day I made it a point to take off from work early). For older kids, which mine are now becoming, it can often work best to pick one day a month on a weekend. In my family, we are about to start doing the third Sunday of every month when I’ll take one of the kids for their turn for a full day of fun. During that day, you can plan a full itinerary of things to do for the day.

You can obviously also do this for younger kids as well if it works better for your schedule. I know you’re busy raising kids and trying to make some semblance of time for yourself and it’s hard to fit it all in. Given this, Daddy Day may seem at first like yet another item to squeeze onto an already hectic calendar – a headache. I have found that it’s just the opposite of that. It’s the item on my calendar that gives me peace of mind. It has become a treasured tradition that my children and I look forward to and that makes our bond stronger each time we follow through on our plans together.

I suggest you start keeping a list of Daddy Day ideas and pick a new one to do each week or month. Also, consider taking one photo for each Daddy Day and keep it in its own album on your phone or computer. It’s a pretty magical way to keep a log of special Dad-Kid times. Here are some highlights of Daddy Days I have done throughout the years, and a few I’m going to do in the future. Ours started every Wednesday when, for years and years, I’d pick my kids up from school. Any of these can be done over an afternoon or even turned into a full day and, of course, you can put your own spin on them!

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