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Empowering Dads To Be Intentional About Bonding With Their Kids

Guys, we know that being a father goes beyond providing for your family. It involves nurturing relationships and forming meaningful connections with your children. As dads, we often have to juggle a few big things…from work obligations to household tasks. Being intentional with fatherhood lies in how we prioritize our relationships with our kids.

Strengthening Daily Bonds
One way to strengthen bonds with your children is by planning regular one-on-one connections or activities with them. Whether it’s playing catch in the yard, going to their favorite lunch place, or taking a walk around the park, these moments create lasting memories.

Deepening the connection between you and your child is one of the most important actions you can take as a dad. Establishing time alone with each one of your children will be something they’ll never forget.

During these times, remember to engage in listening and asking open-ended questions. As your child opens up and shares their thoughts and emotions with you, make sure to be fully present and attentive. When you encourage them to express themselves, this fosters trust and closeness in your relationship.

Here are a few one-on-one with their kids examples from some dads I know:
– Jonathon runs with his son a few times a week
– Mike goes camping with his son once a month
– Doug takes his daughter to breakfast weekly
– Jason serves with his daughter weekly
– Jay serves with his son, too (click here to see)

My kids are all grown and live away from home now, and I still make sure get time alone with them individually whenever I can. When they were younger, I’d intentionally plan a monthly “date” with them but also look for additional spontaneous opportunities to connect.

I tried to never do anything alone. I’d ask myself, “Can I involve one of my kids in what I’m about to do.” (gym, shopping, visiting someone, etc) The answer was usually, “Yes!” Looking back, I consider this to be one of the main reasons I have such a close relationship with each of my three children.

How can you make your one-on-one time with your kids more intentional and more special? Think about activities they love and enjoy. Think about questions you’ll ask them or stories about your life that you’ll share. This was one of my favorite questions to ask my son and daughters: “What’s one thing I can do better at being your Dad?”

Being an intentional dad is all about making every moment with your kids count. The time and effort you invest now will build a foundation of trust and love that lasts a lifetime. Embrace this journey with passion and watch your relationships with your children grow stronger every day.


  • Chris Reed

    Chris married his beautiful bride, Tina, in 1990. They have three wonderful adult children, Jacob, Kaylee, and Macie Joy. Chris began pastoring at a church in Los Angeles in 1995 where he was the Children’s and Student Pastor. He was the Executive Pastor of Student Ministries at John Maxwell's church in South Florida before he came to Saddleback in 2008 as our Pastor to 20s/30s. He has since served as Singles Pastor, Small Groups Pastor, Marriages Pastor, and Parents Pastor. He is currently our Extensions Pastor, leading the charge for Saddleback Church start-ups across the US and world. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies and his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

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