My dad and I hunted and fished together. How could I get angry at this man who took the time to be with me?
— Dr. James Dobson
My parents always made me feel secure. I can probably count the times on my hand that I came home to an empty house. If at three o’clock when I got home from school my mother wasn’t home, my dad invariably was.
— Jay Leno
When Dad came home at the end of the day, he’d get a little something to eat and then he’d go out and play tennis with us for about an hour and a half. If we wanted to play tennis at ten o’clock at night, my dad was more than willing to do it. Never once did he say, “No, I had a long day at work. I’m tired.”
— Michael Chang
The walks I took with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
Camping, hiking and outdoor activity provide prime opportunities to bond with our families. Sitting around a campfire, walking along a mountain trail or waiting by a lakeside for the fish to bite offer never-to-be-duplicated moments to talk on a deeper level with our children. Just being with them communicates they are loved.
— Gary Smalley and John Trent
Many of the most highly publicized events of my presidency are not nearly as memorable or significant in my life as fishing with my daddy.
— Jimmy Carter
We must beware of packing our schedules by saying “yes” to things which mean “no” to our families. Now is the time to take time. There is no other.
— R. Kent Hughes
When we tell ourselves, “I’ll work hard now, putting in long hours, and after I’ve achieved a certain measure of success, I’ll spend more time with my family,” we may fool ourselves, but we won’t fool our children. They will grow up with or without us, and then when we turn toward them, ready to spend more time with them, they may no longer be as receptive or available.
— Dorothy Nolte
“Sentence me,” said a father in court at his son’s trial for one of the hideous crimes of today. “I have been so busy all his life making money that I did not know what he was about. I alone am to blame – sentence me.”
— Anne Monroe
No time is more special between father and child than the few minutes just before bed. I’ve found that their age doesn’t even affect it. Whether they’re 15 months or 15 years, they are the warmest, kindest and most appreciative of beings during that brief period. Use this opportunity for whatever you like: a bedtime story, a prayer, a discussion. It doesn’t really matter. The important thing is your being there, your giving them your full attention.
— Joe Kita
Quantity time is a prerequisite to quality time. It takes quantity time to build a relationship of mutual trust, and trust is absolutely necessary for real quality time.
— Ken Canfield
Children just don’t fit into a “to do” list very well. It takes time to introduce them to good books – it takes time to fly kites and play ball and put together jigsaw puzzles. It takes time to listen.
— James Dobson
The greatest gift I ever received was a gift I got one Christmas when my dad gave me a small box. Inside was a note saying, “Son, this year I will give you 365 hours, an hour every day after dinner.” My dad not only kept his promise, but every year he renewed it and it’s the greatest gift I ever had.
Emotional bonding comes through the hundreds of “little” things we do with our children.
— Gary Smalley and John Trent
Clear your mind, clear your schedule and really be there. When you can’t give your full attention, tell them so, then schedule a time when you can – and keep it. Turn off the television and turn on the answering machine. If you are truly present when you are together, when you’re apart they will rest assured your love surrounds them.
— Judy Ford
It seems to me I spent my life in car pools, but you know, that’s how I kept track of what was going on.
— Barbara Bush
What will your children remember? Moments spent listening, talking, playing and sharing together may be the most important times of all.
— Gloria Gaither
We cannot set aside an hour for discussion with our children and hope that it will be a time of deep encounter. The special moments of intimacy are more likely to happen while baking a cake together, or playing hide and seek, or just sitting in the waiting room of the orthodontist.
— Neil Kurshan
When parents have little time for children, a great vacuum will develop and some kind of ideology will move in.
— Billy Graham
A weekly date with each child will enhance the quality of your relationships, keep you in touch with the emotional and developmental stages of their lives, and give you an opportunity to enjoy and truly get to know each other. Your kids will be happier, better adjusted and more willing to abide by the rules you set. And you’ll be building close and loving relationships with your kids that will last a lifetime.
— Elaine St. James
At the end of the day when I go to bed, Daddy tucks me in. We talk together about our day. Daddy wants to know what was the best thing that happened in my day. He wants to know if I was a good friend today. He wants to know if I tried my best today. He reads me a story to help me sleep. We pray together. That is my favorite part.
— Amanda Bollard, age 6
Playing catch with my father means much more than most people think.
— Anonymous, age 15
Dust will always be with us, but the opportunity to play with a child, lunch with a friend or walk in the woods on a beautiful day may not. Never let the pursuit of dust and dirt take precedence over life’s more rewarding pastimes.
— Paula Jhung
Once a six-year-old boy told me that the only time his father paid any attention to him was when he got in trouble at school and, since he wanted his dad’s attention, he didn’t mind the trouble.
— Judy Ford
Involvement with our children is not a one-way street. It helps a father know his children, but it also helps children know their father – his values, what makes him laugh, how he drums his fingers at a traffic light. In short, involvement allows children to see inside the heart of their father. In this, there is connection, and connection, if it runs its proper course, leads to a healthy imitation.
— Ken Canfield
My father’s presence at my Little League games, and his constant efforts to be there for me, meant more to me than any milestone he ever achieved in public office.
— Evan Bayh
The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.
— Patricia Clafford
The more time you spend with kids, the more you absorb their attitude, which often includes an unreasonable amount of optimism; their humor, which features a keen sense of the absurd; and their sense of time, which teaches an unusual amount of patience.
— Tom Hirschfeld
My father wasn’t the distant rock that so many of my friends’ fathers were, but a teacher and a friend, a friend who could listen to my woes for hours, and even feel comfortable enough to express his own.
— Renée Fleming
You change the world of your spouse or kids, depending on how you interact with them before you leave the house. A little extra time and attention or a tender moment of affection changes their world that day. And it reminds you of what is important when the mad dash to the office irks you and makes you feel that the day is off to a rough start.
— Mark Sanborn
To grow the best memories, our kids have to know that sometimes we are seeking out their company, not because we know we should, but because we just can’t resist.
— Karen Linamen
I became a father four years ago, and the time that I spend with my son, Lucas, and my wife, Molly, is so much better than just about anything else I could be doing.
— Dean Ornish
Once you have children you really do see things differently. You realize how short a time you have with them, so you want to spend all the time you can with them. You want to love and nurture them. You want to be the best parents you can be.
— Ben Crenshaw
You’re given only one opportunity to raise each child. I don’t want to look back on my life and look at my kids and say, “Man, I wish I’d done that when he was 10.” It’s gone.
— Nick Price
Building relationships with children does not require large amounts of money. Children love daily routines and activities of the simplest kind. They want to hear the same story or the same joke until Mom and Dad are ready to climb the wall. And yet, these interactions are sometimes more appreciated by kids than are expensive toys or special events.
— Dr. James Dobson