How do I get my Dad to actually spend time with me...
|How do I get my Dad to actually spend time with me, he never wants to do anything.
Hi there and welcome to Ask Alex!
Thanks for contacting us. It seems you would like to know how to improve your relationship with your dad. We are sorry you feel like he doesn’t want to do things with you. We hope you have in mind that a relationship works both ways, and so each one of you has a responsibility on how the relationship develops and evolves. We, of course, have no idea how the relationship with your dad is, but we will try to cover as many possibilities as we can.
Given the fact that we cannot control someone else’s behaviour or their decision making, we must focus on what we can control. That would be our behaviour and attitude towards that person, our thoughts, how well and how often we communicate with them, and how we communicate both with what we say (talking) and what we don’t say (body language). There is another important factor in the matter, which is empathy, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and trying to understand why they act the way they do, from a kindness point of view.
It would be very useful to let your dad know how you feel. You could say something like “I feel we don’t spend much time together and I would love it if we did”, or “I miss spending time with you”. If talking face to face feels hard, you could use alternative methods such as text messages or post-it notes. It is possible that after sharing how you feel, they experience a range of feelings themselves that could be expressed in different ways, such as reaching out to you, making kind gestures or even that they feel shocked and that they don’t know what to do.. If the last case happens, give them time and be kind. Continue to express yourself kindly, give them easy ideas on how to improve the situation and listen carefully to what they need as well.
When it comes to thinking about “things to do together”, sometimes we believe we should be doing big things, and while sometimes it is great to escape the routine, the truth is what makes a relationship stronger is being present, constant and those every day little life moments that we share: having meals together, sharing the living room while relaxing after a long day, sharing how our day went, going for walks together… Those every day conversations help us get to know the person a bit better and realize what they like to do, what they enjoy, how they think, and what they need. Maybe you are very different from each other or think differently about a million things, but then again you could have a shared interest in music, sports or food, to name a few, and that can be used to improve your time together.
If you feel you need support understanding or managing this, you could reach out to people you trust, such as another family member or teacher. You could also call 1800 666 666, text TALK to 50101, or you can visit www.childline.ie they will be there for you 24/7, 365 days a year, and they will listen, support you and guide you through it.
We hope this helped and we wish you all the best in the matter!