Parenting isn’t always a day at the beach. There are sacrifices to make, lessons to instill and let’s not even think about how in the world college tuition is going to get paid! It’s a pretty scary job most of the time, but once in a while there comes a brief moment of clarity that makes all of the crazy scary stuff wash away, and what is left is better than any day at the beach. The following is the factual account of such a realization made by the father of two Partnership 4 Kids students. *Names have been changed to protect the identity of the family.
“I used to say that I didn’t have time for my kids, but maybe it was just that I didn’t make time for them,” admits Frank, the father of two P4K students.
These days, spending time with his kids has become second-nature for Frank. “I have a great relationship with my kids. Every night after work, I sit down and look at their school work. On the weekends we go to the park or play games at home,” he says.
So what caused this profound about-face in attitude?
“My wife won CoCo Key passes at a Goal Achievement Celebration last year,” he explains. “She asked me to take the boys and I decided to go because she’s always the one taking care of the kids,” Frank continues. Thinking that he was only doing his wife a favor, Frank never expected that one afternoon could completely change the relationship he had with his kids.
“It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” he says. “I realized how much they [the boys] like to be with me. Even now, they still take every opportunity they can to remind me how much fun it was to go to CoCo Key with Dad.”
Frank’s wife adds that the experience has truly changed their entire family dynamic. “He’s around more often, he is more open, and the kids look up to him, they want to be like him,” she says.
She credits the Goal Achievement Celebration for being the catalyst that brought her family closer together, but what she hopes other parents will understand is that it doesn’t take grand gestures to earn your child’s love and attention. “Kids are always waiting for the right moment to open up to you,” she says. “It may just take a walk to the park or a trip to CoCo Key.