A Father’s Day Challenge

A Father's Day Challenge by Joey Watkins
Photo credit: Michelle Butzgy/Paraglide

As we head into Father’s Day weekend, I’d like to challenge you as a dad with something my wife and I were discussing last night.

How is your emotional relationship with each of your children?


I had to give this some thought myself when my wife first brought up the subject to me. You see, it is one thing to spend time with our children, to physically be there in their presence. But just being in the same house or same room with a son or daughter does not mean we are building relationship with them.

A few examples might communicate this better:

Watching tv or a movie together with your son is not really building emotional relationship with him. You are both individually engaged in the activity, but are not interacting.

Taking a nap on your daughter’s bed while she plays with dolls on the floor beside you is not building emotional relationship with her.

Building emotional relationship involves interaction and communication. It involves talking. It is connecting with our sons and daughters at a heart to heart level.

Taking your son to an interactive event or doing an activity together or teaching him a skill or sitting down to talk about a subject are ways to do this. Taking your daughter out to dinner at her favorite restaurant and a casual walk-and-talk afterwards can build emotional relationship with her.

As men, we must be very intentional with talking and engaging our children in sharing their hearts with us. They need this from us. They want this with us. They LONG for it.

I’m not perfect in this. I have a lot of ground to make up with my children. But it won’t happen if I am not intentional.

Our wives are generally “better” at building emotional relationship with our children than we guys are, so here’s a tip: Get your wife’s input on this topic! And let her be an ongoing “gauge” to give you feedback on how you’re doing with each of your children.

How about you? I’d like to hear your thoughts or comments on this topic or questions you may have. Please post them at the FamilyDads blog:

Let’s make this Father’s Day weekend an opportunity to build emotional relationship with our children — and our spouse.

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