I’ve done a few other Alpha Dad posts in the past. Here’s another one I do.
First, my kids love camping. We go tent camping a few times a year to local state parks and will backyard camp by our fire pit a few more times each summer. Getting out in nature does something amazing to their psyche. Watching a fire at night, cooking over the camp stove or fire, making marshmallows…kids love all that stuff and relish in the opportunity to poke around and be a mini pyro, or to hike and find cool nature stuff to look at. In the winter, we usually do a Christmas tree/wreath bonfire, but camping is impossible. Hence, the indoor camping.
We set up the tent in the living room, we’ll cook microwave s’mores and watch movies, or turn out the lights and put on the log-fire from Netflix or a DVD or maybe the fireplace. We’ll get flashlights and read books in the tent and stay the night in there. Though the dog usually joins us, my wife isn’t a huge fan of sleeping on the floor (even with camp pads) when there is a nice comfy bed upstairs, thus it is me and the kids.
The point is, you don’t have to do something super exciting all the time to be an Alpha Dad. Just engage your kids in fun activities, give them attention and stop staring at your phone, and they will grow up thinking you’re the best dad ever. Mini-traditions like campfires in the portable fire pit (I have the one below-click through if you want- it is sweet) in the backyard,
flashlight tag or hide and seek, building snow forts or sledding in the winter, or even board game or card night once a week or month all will be touchstones they’ll remember and may help shape who they are. Being a dad doesn’t have to be hard, but you do have to leave your baggage, work, and other attention-sinks somewhere else and come up with something fun to do.