On Being A Single Dad

Fun Ways Single Dads Can Spend Time With Their Kids

On Being A Single Dad

Father's Day is almost upon us and I'm going to suggest some innovative ways to share this very special day with your child(ren).

Here are some great ideas that I experienced with my own terrific son:

  Rent and ride a bicycle built for two together
I remember pulling up in front of my Ex's house on a bicycle built for two. My son was six years old standing on the porch and his eyes got big and round with a huge smile on his face.

A bicycle built for two is like a mini amusement park ride. It's different and unique. There's a good reason one of the most famous songs about romance is about a bicycle built for two - because it is romantic. And I say this unequivocally- there is nothing wrong with applying the R word to your children. It connects two people in a fun yet meaningful way.

If love is an activity, a bicycle built for two is a great way to experience it with the most important person in your life.

  Build and launch a rocket together
This is one of the coolest, most amazing, yet easiest thing a father and child can do together. Go to a hobby store and find a rocket-making kit. I prefer the rockets that fly real high because there's the added sense of reality to the project. You'll lose more rockets this way but I'm all for immediate gratification.

There's a tremendous sense of bonding you get from building and launching a rocket with your child. However simple the process may be, you'll see that you and your child will feel like real scientists, as if you accomplished something very few people actually do.

But what I love best about rocketry is when you build something that leaves the ground in such a dramatic and passionate way, you'll get a sense that anything is possible in this world. If you're a single dad who's been through the ringer with your Ex, this feeling of flying above the trials and tribulations is a healthy one. And the same applies to your child. Often our kids witness too much earthly challenges and battles - so it's great to do something together that allows them to fly above the clouds.

  Get a telescope and watch the sky together
I'm a big proponent of consistently reminding your son or daughter there are far bigger things to ponder than what's the next great thing designed to make you happy.

I'm sure you have looked up and seen the moon, but I can tell you - if you go out and buy a telescope, you all will be seeing the moon for the first time, as a family.

With most telescopes, depending on the power, you'll be able to see the moon and its craters in incredible 3D detail, Mars to some extent and even the moons of Jupiter. Telescopes will run you anywhere from $69.95 to thousands of dollars, but you don't have to spend a lot of money to make gazing at the night sky a fantastic way to spend Father's Day together.

  Go up to the big country to fish and camp together
You're in a boat and tent together. There's no computer, cell phone or email. You're sitting opposite those you love the most in the world, face to face, all trying to do the exact same thing - catch a fish.

So I ask you, what could be better?

Not only do you get out in the fresh air, you're participating in a great primal event attempting to catch food for the dinner table. There is a sense of self-reliance which comes with this great outdoor Father's Day experience that is so healthy for your children. They will also learn to better understand the rewards that can come to them if they're patient. Fishing is so Zen!

Bring along a bunch of great things to eat, plenty of water, hats, sun-block, bug repellent, matches etc. and of course good fishing and camping gear. And I say good gear because fishing and camping with bad gear sucks.

With Father's Day approaching, let's pay tribute to the great single dads out there. You are involved, connected and demonstrative regardless of the challenges you face. The world is a better place with you in it.

Happy Father's Day guys!

Peter Ehrlich is a marketing and communications guy who works in Toronto, Canada. He is a proud single dad to Noah. Peter has been interviewed extensively on television, radio and in print for his take on the paradigm of the fastest-growing family type worldwide: the hip, sexy and nurturing single parent. If you'd like to talk to Peter about working together or just want to say something, he invites you to write him at [email protected]