Football Season for Dads

‘Tis the  season!  No, not that red, green, and cold season.  It’s time for some football!  And for many of us that means our Saturdays and Sundays will involve at least some time in front of a TV or listening to a radio.

Some guys have created a man cave for themselves, and that is great, but don’t lock your cave.  Let your loved ones come in and share in your hobby.  Yes, it’s important to get some alone time.  But why not bring your hobby and your family together.

It may take some time to adjust to teaching while you watch, but it feels so good when your wife or child starts cheering alongside of you.  I had the pleasure of teaching my wife the rules of football years ago and now she knows most of the rules as well as I do; and she can sometimes spot the calls that the refs miss.  It’s important to fully understand the rules and strategies yourself when you start sharing with someone else, because you may get asked a question that you would never expect.

Last football season I attempted to have our little ones watch some games with me, and our oldest cheered at times.  But this year I hope to get some cheering out of our youngest and some game comprehension out of our oldest.  Nothing too drastic, but I’d like to see some progress this season (same way I feel about my favorite team—the Detroit Lions).

Don’t Force It

The key is that I don’t want to push it on the girls.  I want to give them a chance to feel out my hobbies without telling them they have to like the same things as me.  If they end up liking football, then great!  But if they decide they want to spend their fall weekends in a different way, then that’s great too.  I do hope they choose football though…

My plan is to ask them if they’d like to watch with me, and then go from there.  I won’t know exactly how I’ll proceed until I know how they want to proceed.  If they give me cues that they are enjoying themselves, then I will keep trying to incrementally increase how much I get them to watch with me. But if they don’t seem into it, then I’ll back off for a bit and try again later.

I want them to make their own decisions, but I will try to steer them a little bit.

Prepare for Audibles

Inevitably there will be changes when you begin to include your children in an activity that they weren’t previously a part of.  You may have your set seat that you like to view the TV from, but then when you head to grab a snack you come back to find your toddler has taken a liking to the same spot.  You may regularly yell at the horrible play-calling, but now a child has fallen asleep next to you on the couch.

Prepare yourself to have a bumpy ride for the first few games of the year until you figure out how best to respond to the audibles called by your little ones.  Maybe this is the year that you actually watch preseason football from start to finish – it would be a good experimental period.

So grab your favorite game-time snacks, find your spot on the couch, and settle in with your kids for an interesting season.

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