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Welcome to this episode of Friday Reflections by Dad.Work!
Every Friday I share the best of what we have been doing in the Dad.Work community, to provide perspective, new ideas, and motivation for you to continue on your journey to becoming the best man, partner, and father you can be.
In this episode, I discuss my top seven suggestions for all dads, including myself, who want to spend more time with their families this weekend. Family is everything, and making time for them shows your partner and children that you care about them and value them.
We go deep talking about:
- Putting your phone away and using that time to spend with your spouse and children
- Scheduling specific uninterrupted one-on-one time with your family to improve your connection with them
- Learning to give gatitude with your family over meals or any other activity you do together
- Rather than reacting defensively, emphasize and validate your triggers this weekend, and share what’s real with your family.
- Going out as a family and connecting with nature to bring reality into focus.
- Making time for yourself and practicing self-care
- Planning the bare minimum for next week based on how everything went this weekend.
Mentioned on this episode:
Curt Storring 0:00
Welcome to the DAD WORK PODCAST. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of dad work. This is episode number 73. Seven Ways dads can connect with their families more deeply this weekend. This is a Friday reflections episode, where I go into what I've been thinking about general thoughts, ideas, ways to become a better man, partner, Father, things that are just coming up and are real in my life. And so today, I'm breaking down seven things that I have done over the course of the last few years that have made a huge difference, specifically on the weekend to get more connected with my family. So I'm gonna walk through seven pretty simple things, you should be able to manage all of them this weekend, they're all pretty simple. It doesn't mean they're easy, though. And so it might take a little bit of work. But hey, anything that is worthwhile, should take work. And I can't think of what's more worthwhile than being a good dad and a good husband. So if these tips work for you, I would love to hear send me a DM on Instagram, dad, work current, or leave us a review on Apple podcasts. I'd love to hear from you. I would love to know how this has impacted your life. I know we're getting more and more listeners every week, I can't believe when I go and check. There's like almost 500 people listening this a day now. It's just amazing. So I really appreciate you guys, everyone who's tuned in from the beginning. And anyone who just found this, wherever you found it, I really, really appreciate that you are the type of person not for listening. I mean greatly. Listen, thank you. But I'm appreciative of you being the type of man who's willing to listen to a podcast like this, over everything else you have to listen to, because this is what will actually impact your life, at least insofar as I've seen impact my life. And that's intense. You guys could be doing anything else you could be chilling out you could be doing, who knows what, with your podcasts or your music listening time. And here you are trying to become a better man, partner, Father, that is insane. So thank you for being the type of man who's doing that. Wherever you are, in your journey, the simple fact that you are starting to think about this kind of stuff, and you're putting it into action bodes extremely well for the future of you and your family. So thank you for that. With all that being said, let's jump in episode number 73 of the DAD WORK PODCAST here we go.
Alright guys, today we're going to talk about seven ways that you can connect more deeply with your family this weekend is going to be extremely actionable. These are things that I have done and continue to try to do in my life, to make sure that I am always staying connected and so that I don't drift apart from the most important relationships in my life. So number one, is to put your phone down, don't turn off the podcast, I know this is impossible for us in this day and age. But hear me out. You know, this is the the most obvious thing in the world, you know how much time you waste on your phone. And yet, it's almost impossible to put it down. Even though we say we'll do it, even though we say we're going to spend the day without it. Usually, we can only get so far as like maybe an hour. And so start there, put your phone somewhere outside of your normal routine. If you wake up and check it, don't keep it in your bedroom. If you go down to the office, and it's sitting there and you're going to check it while you're on your computer, don't put it there, put it somewhere where you're not going to find it in your normal routine, and use the first part of the day, to get some willpower to not check it, it feels so good to not start the day with the expectation of always needing to be on the most cutting edge of news or social media or whatever it is. And it's not real. And here is your family in front of you who is very real. And basically what you're telling them is that you're not important to me, what is important is this screen that is giving me these hits of chemicals in my brain that I am addicted to. And that is what I think is more valuable than you family. So why don't you just piss off. And that sounds extreme. But that's the signal. That is what your kids are literally developing the thought process to be thinking about what you must be thinking about them. And so guys put the phone down this weekend, my challenge to you is to spend literally just one half of one day with your phone out of your hand and see how that feels. Obviously, if you can go the whole weekend, go the whole weekend. The best weekend's I have had is when I do this, and it is extremely hard. I totally get it. I struggle with this as much as anyone else. But when you cut or when I have cut my screentime down, it has made a world of difference in the rest of my life. And I feel like I've got so much time. And then you got to be like, Oh, right. boredom, what does that feel like? And it's actually great if you fill it with other things. So you get to feel the boredom, potentially you get to feel the angst of not being able to connect with the rest of the world immediately. And your mind goes to places that might not otherwise do. What are you going to think about? Do you have time to contemplate Do you have time to wrestle with the kids? Do you have time to go for a walk? Can you get more chores done around the house, can you love your wife by spending a few extra minutes with her rather than your phone. So this might challenge, spend half a day this weekend without your phone and see what happens, guys. Number two is to schedule specific one on one time with each member of your family, even if it's just 15 minutes each. And this is different than spending random time, if you will. And on the weekends, most of us at least try to spend a lot of time with our families. But how much of that is specific one on one time, and how much of that one on one time is completely uninterrupted? So I think it's better to spend 15 minutes of 100% Attention time with each one of your kids and your wife than it is to spend two hours of say 25% Attention time because you're watching a movie or you're scrolling on your phone or you're trying to have a conversation, the 15 minutes of 100% attention is going to be the thing that gets them through the next day, the next week, and throughout their entire lives as they can look back and go like Oh yeah, my dad really spend time with me. He asked me questions. He was curious. He really saw me for who I was. And it was because he actually spent the time undistracted just being with me. And guys, like I said, it doesn't have to be a long time. It's about quality, not quantity here. And if you schedule these into the weekend, this weekend, starting tonight, or whatever you're listening to this goes out on Friday. But if you can schedule this stuff into your weekend, weekends, or even into your days, throughout the week, it's going to make a world of difference. And like I said, 15 minutes, so get home from work, wrestle on the floor with your oldest for 15 minutes, go play Lego with your, you know, youngest for 15 minutes, hold the baby and just, you know, be with him for 15 minutes. And then make sure that you get your wife out of whatever she's doing. You guys spend some time if it's safe to do so with the kids, however old they are just with each other. And even if the kids are screaming in the background, even if they're rolling around on the floor, even if they're playing trying to get your attention, just make it completely intentional to be together to look into each other's eyes to share with each other more than just how bad your day was, or whatever. But really go deep. And try to find these these instances to connect, and to share your love and your life. And guys, it's just 15 minutes, if you can't take 15 minutes, you need probably 15 hours as the saying goes. So you should be able to do this, if you got a family of two kids, or sorry, if you got a family of three kids and a wife, that's an hour. If you cannot spend an hour of 100% one on one time. I don't know what to tell you, you need to meditate more or something. But this is what we should try. We tried to do this as sort of the bare minimum. And it's super doable, guys, 15 minutes a person, we can all do this. Number three, is to give thanks and share gratitude, specifically at meals, but also whenever else that comes up. And so one of the things we started doing in our household or last few years is before meals, we will give thanks. And we I mean that literally we will give a gratitude that we have for the day. And everyone does it the kids, my wife, myself. And sometimes it's really basic stuff. Sometimes it's very specific stuff. Sometimes it's you know, existential stuff, sometimes it doesn't really matter at all. And yet we're practicing seeing the good we're practicing, seeing the light, being positive and sharing that with each other, so that we're not lost in thoughts of negativity, basically. And so when you sit down for me on the weekend together, I encourage you to lead with something that you're grateful for, it could be that you can see. It could be the truck drivers who drove the food to the grocery store, that you were able to go and buy without needing to go hunt and forage for your food. It could be that your life today it could be that the relationship you have with your children is blossoming, it could be that your wife made dinner, it could be literally anything. But the point is that you share this. And if you can do this, you can start to share these things along the day. Because affirmations and validations for the day for a father or a husband are extremely important in the lives of a child and a wife. So if you're able to practice gratitude at the dinner table, if you will, that it's going to be a lot easier for you to share this in the moment when it's like oh, man, I'm noticing the work you're doing Babe and you're making dinner for all of us and you're tired. You've been with the kids all day. And yet here you are. Oh man, does that ever make me loved and appreciated? I really am so grateful that you're doing that. Or to your children, you know, you see them hold the door open or you see them share with one of their their siblings. It's like man, I am so grateful with the way you're treating people today. No, you're really encouraging. You're sharing. You're trying to make sure everyone's having fun, you're respectful. I'm really grateful and I'm proud of you for doing these things. This is the more that we share that kind of stuff, the more it's just feeding, it's like fuel for our family, at least in my experience. The fourth thing is that when somebody's got a big feeling this weekend that triggers you or makes you feel like you want to be defensive. I challenge you to empathize and validate and then share what's real for you, rather than going into whatever your normal responses which you know, is typically defensive or anger or something like that. And so if you feel yourself trying to get starting to get triggered, this is a lot easier if you've got some basic meditation practices that allow you to notice things inside of you, which is why that's the first thing that I encourage guys to do is get a meditation practice a breathing practice, a journaling practice. So it's a lot easier when you got those things. But just try this out. If you have it in your mind, it's even better than if you don't even if you don't do any of these practices. So it's in your mind. Now, this little bug in your mind, hopefully will come out at the right time. When something triggers you this weekend, try to empathize with why the person in your family might be doing that. So you could be like, Hi, hear that? That's That's enough. I hear you. I
see you. That sounds so tough. Must be hard for that to have happened. It's really disappointing when you didn't get that toy. Wow, you babe, you
really want to be up here. 15 minutes ago for dinner, I get that you were must be disappointed with me. I'm sorry. You know, just just empathize and take the responsibility, even if you're not actually responsible for act as though you were. And then what you can do. Because a lot of guys are like, Yeah, well, I need to get my say, and they go back and forth man fighting is you can just, you can still be real. You can be like, yeah, story I'm telling myself right now is that you're mad at me. And you expect me to do something about it. And that scares me. Because I don't know what to do. And I honestly don't want that responsibility. But look, I'm here for you. I'm just sharing my truth. Right. So when this is obviously, you know, different communication than what we're brought up with many of us. And a lot of us have to learn how to do this, which is something that I took a long time to figure out. And some of those books I've read, were nonviolent communication, the art of communicating by Technicon. I think Jason Gaddis, his book, getting to zero has a lot of good, almost scripts, if you will, just to better understand how to communicate without causing fights or, you know, massive conflict. So there's a few resources for you. But the point is, even if you don't get it, why someone's doing something, it must make sense to the person doing it. So like, why are you upset about that? Well, they wouldn't be upset about that if it didn't make sense to them. So just try and get that into your head. Oh, that makes sense. Oh, you're angry? Oh, you're really sad right now? Huh? Wow, yeah, you're disappointed, I can't play with you. I totally feel that That must hurt. Like, all of these things, are the best first responses when you are triggered, and then go into what's what's true for you without blame, a story I'm telling myself is, or I'm feeling uncomfortable, because, or I can sense that anger is bubbling up inside of me. And I just want to let you know that. So I'm going to do a few deep breaths, and then come back to this. Just communicate openly. But next time, there's a big feeling that triggers you try to empathize. Oh, yeah, I get it, I see that I'm not gonna let you do that, you know, for the kids. If it's a boundary crossed, I'm not gonna let you do that. But I totally get where you're going. Number five, is go outside. This is hand in hand with number one, put the phone down, get into reality, guys, the phone, the screens, none of that is real. And outside is. And one of the best parenting acts is just to remove the four walls around your kittens. It makes parenting easier, it makes kids happier. And for some reason, it's like the last thing that a lot of people I talked to go to, we try to spend as much time outside as possible. And it's on you, as a parent, it's on me as father to make sure that your kids know that there are things that are even more fun than video games and screens. Because if you're just telling them to get off the screens, and you're not offering another solution that's going to feel that desire for them. They're just going to be like, well, everything else sucks. I'm just going to do the screen because it's awesome. And so yeah, it kind of sucks for us because we have to go through his parents and make things extra good. Because the allure of screens is enormous. And they're continually getting better and better. With the effort of these massive companies. We're behind keeping our attention completely distracting these screens. And so yes, we've got a harder job than perhaps our our parents did, or their parents, and it's still up to you. If you don't want to lose your kids to the screens. Get outside, do something fun, go for a walk, explore hit a trail, go play sports, whatever your favorite sport is go outside, even in the rain, just dress appropriately and guys, you can always dry off. Hey, that's not an excuse to get outside at least in my house. Number six is to make time for you. And that means filling your own cup so that you can help fill the cups of everyone else around you. If you are drained and you have no time for yourself You're going to be scraping the bottom of your cup trying to find that last drop that you can give your family. And when they're scraping, I'm just thinking about like the sound of a metal spoon on a metal cup. Like that is not the feeling, and the metaphorical sound that you want to be delivering to your family when you're trying to fill up their cups. And so if yours isn't full, that's definitely what's going to happen. So you need to fill up your own cup. It is not selfish for fathers to do things for themselves. Self care as a father is actually self less, because you are serving your family. As much as you are serving yourself by doing these things. When you show up better, if you are less likely to be ornery and angry and triggered and yelling and mean that serves everyone. And so make sure you get time for yourself to meditate. Do like 10 minutes of Wim Hof breathing, just you know, search on YouTube for Wim Hof guided breathing technique. Journal in the morning, read for like 10 or 20 or 30 minutes in the morning, something that you love, make sure you go to exercise my Sunday mornings are usually my run morning, and Saturdays are usually yoga, go for a walk, do literally anything that helps you feel better and ready and recharged for the day and the weekend and your life. It's not selfish, guys, when you got a family and you're the one through whom everyone looks for leadership and support and to be the rock, you got to have something in the tank, otherwise, you're not gonna able to give anything back. And number seven, the last one here is that once you do all this stuff, it is way easier to schedule it in because you know you can do it. And so the seventh thing is when you've done this, and you have had an amazing weekend, schedule the bare minimum next weekend, now that you've experienced one weekend with it, have a look. Think back to how you felt. What are you likely to keep up? What is the sort of bare minimum that you are likely to do without looking at your calendar and being like, oh, no, I shouldn't have scheduled all of that. And so maybe it's 15 minutes a day, on the weekend, Saturday, Sunday for the wife, for the kids each 15 minutes of one on one time. Maybe that's it. And maybe that's a good enough start. Fantastic. Maybe it's waking up a little bit earlier so that you can read or go to the gym or something on the weekend. Who knows, maybe it's asking your wife for an hour, in the middle of the afternoon when the kids are playing, you know, dinners on the stove or whatever, you go out and do your thing. 30 minutes 60 minutes schedule that guys. Otherwise, it's too easy not to do it. Maybe it's scheduling in like a family check in we do that sometimes. You know, how's everyone doing? What's working for you? What do you want to see more from us? You know, are the things we're doing and spending time on? Are they working? That way? You're not just in inertia? And you're like, you know, six months later going, why are we still doing gymnastics? You don't really like it? Or why are we doing? You know, whatever it is. Nobody likes doing this. Let's reevaluate. So whatever it is that work for you this weekend based on these tips, whatever you liked, however, it brought you more connection and satisfaction and contentment with your family. Make sure that on Sunday night, you book that for next weekend, and get in the habit guys, because once you are making this a habit, even a few small steps, they're much easier than to turn into bigger habits and become more impactful, more connected, and generally foster more love in your home. That's the whole point guys, we are just trying to be better men, husbands and fathers. And at the core of that is love. Sometimes love is supportive. Sometimes it's a challenge, but it is love. And if you're not building in the intentional time to do that with your family. I don't know what to tell you guys, but it's not going to last forever without being watered.
weekend for a lot of us is one of the best places to do this. So again, my challenge to you, one put down the phone to schedule specific one on one time with each member of your family. Three, give thanks and share gratitude, especially in meals for make sure to empathize and validate when someone's got big feelings. Five, go outside, six, make time for you and seven. Once you do all this find out what works for you schedule in your next weekend's calendar and continue to schedule it to build that habit. So hope this was helpful guys, it is Friday, March 25. And we are launching this in two days, Sunday, March 27. I'm going to be launching The Village this is our online training and brotherhood community. And I'm going to launch on the 27th on Sunday early only to those men who signed up for The Village waitlist. If we fill it up on Sunday before the Monday newsletter goes out, we are not opening it to the rest of the men who are listening this who are on the email newsletter who have not signed up for The Village waitlist. So if you want to make sure that you get in if you've liked what you've heard, if you want to do this kind of work, do some deep inner work with expert workshops with a 24/7 online community with community calls with a member led men's group with workshops and worksheets and courses If you want to place to become a better man, partner and father, alongside other intentional dads, you got to sign up for the waitlist, go to dad.work/village. On that page, there's like a yellow bar partway down the page, it's got a, it's got a spot for your name, and your email. If you fill that out between today and Sunday, you're going to be one of the first people to get invited to join The Village. And I'm only going to open it up to about 20 or 25. Guys, already, there's 50 on the waitlist up from I think 40 A couple days ago because I sent another invite for that. And so there's already more men on that list than we can fit in The Village on the first round. So if you want to join, I'm almost certain that we will fill up at least most of the spots by Monday morning before the newsletter goes out. And if they're all gone, then that said, I don't know when we're going to open again, I want to make sure it's a really wonderful experience for everyone. And in this honestly, it's not marketing talk, I have no idea how this is gonna work. I don't know what my energy level is going to be with that. I don't know how much time I'm going to need to put into this. So if it's 20 or 25, for six months, that's just what it's going to be. If it's only a month. Well, that's great, too. And hopefully you guys can get in after that. But if this is something that interests you go to Dad.Work/Village, you can learn more about it, it's going to be only 47 bucks a month. It's like a third of the cost of a counseling session, a single one hour counseling session or a coaching session even. So, I'm trying to make it a no brainer, guys. It's going to be the place that we connect dads around the world over the coming years. And I'm extremely excited about it. So get on the ground floor. Start to do the work with other men and I hope to see you inside. Thank you guys again for listening. Hopefully you have a wonderful weekend following these tips. Would love to know how it went send me a DM on Instagram dad work, Curt and we'll see you back here on Tuesday for another amazing episode of the Dad Work Podcast
that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. It means the world to find out more about everything that we talked about in the episode today, including Show Notes resources and links to subscribe leave review work with us go to dad.work/pod that's DAD.WORK/POD type that into your browser just like a normal URL dad.work/pod. You'll find everything there you need to become a better man, a better partner and a better father. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.
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