I have a strong belief in the importance of "dating" my kids. Before I was married I dated my wife. I wanted to express my interest in her. I wanted to let her know that I was pursuing her. I also dated her because I simply had fun with her. We really enjoyed being with each other and going on dates was a way to show that. And, it was in the process of dating my wife that we fell in love with each other and eventually married.
If "dating" expresses interest, shows pursuit, and is fun, to me it just makes sense then to date your kids. If anyone needs to know they are loved, they are pursued, and they are fun, it's our kids.
Literally from the time our kids have been old enough to take out of our house, I've dated them. Sure, the conversation was a bit one-sided at times (I've been on a few other dates like that too) but it was an opportunity for me to invest in my kids one-on-one. They need that. They want that. I have a responsibility to do that and I want too!
Yesterday I was able to take my son to the movies. It was a 5pm matinee and we were the only ones in the theater. It was so much fun! We laughed, we ate some popcorn and Skittles, we talked. It was a blast for both of us. My son went to bed talking about it and woke up talking about it. And, the really cool thing is that I'm not sure who had more fun ... him or me!
Earlier this week I took my two daughters out for a doughnut. We laughed and cuddled and I read books to them while they smothered their faces with doughnut icing. It was so much fun and I loved every minute of it.
As a dad, I have the responsibility of investing in my kids ... not just telling them that I love them but showing them as well. I take my daughters out because I want them to feel valued and to know how they are to be treated when someone begins to pursue them. I take my son out and spend time with him to show him how a man is to act and to let him know how important he is to me. And, our dates have taken on all sorts of different looks ... sometimes it's Starbucks and other times it's a walk in the woods. Sometimes it's an evening at the movies and other times I get to shop for nail polish. Sometimes it's time at our house that I dedicate just to them and other times we're in the back yard playing. It doesn't matter what you do. The important thing is just to do it. Time spent with your kids is never a waste and is an investment that will last through the years.