Don Your Way column: Time not money is the key to being a good dad

Hands up fellas, if you’re still munching through chocolates, sporting jazzy socks and garish ties or dousing yourself in various smellies that came your way on Sunday.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 20 June, 2019, 10:48

Father’s Day has come and gone for another year and dads up and down the land will have woken to the likes of cards telling them how great they are, breakfasts in bed and all the rest from their kids.

While it’s always nice to get something like a Toblerone to nibble on, to me, the presents are by the by.

Spending quality time with your kids and putting them first is something that not enough parents do in this day and age.

That’s not a general swipe by the way – I’m fully aware there’s many people out there who can’t be as hand on as they would like to be when it comes to bringing up their offspring.

I’m also aware that Father’s Day can be difficult for many children, whatever their age may be, and for several reasons, most of which are self explanatory.

I’m lucky. I might be a single dad but I’ve got two great kids who I’m proud to be the father of.

They aren’t perfect (show me a child that is) and they both occasionally have me tearing my hair out over their various antics and arguments.

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But I’ve always tried to be there for them above anything and everything else in life, listening to them, helping them, spending time with them, talking to them and helping to create memories they will hopefully cherish.

The advent of technology, whilst also being a bonus in being able to keep the kids quiet when you need to, can also be a burden, stripping away quality time in favour of both children and parents wanting to stare at phone screens.

It’s also no substitute for love and attention that all children crave.

You can buy them the world’s biggest telly, the world’s best gaming console, but it’s that time spent with YOU that they will remember.

There’s far too many dads (and mums) out there who seem to treat kids as playthings or not their problem, shunted through various short-lived relationships, pushed into the background and left to fester in their bedrooms or called upon whenever its convenient.

Lavishing presents and all the rest is no substitute for being there – and not just for the good bits, but for the difficult bits too.No parent is perfect and we all drop the ball and make mistakes.

But cherish the times you have with your children, make them good times, show them love and support them. The rest can all wait.