Admittedly, this is nothing new. When parental exasperation sets in, and inevitably it always does, every Dad around the globe is heard to scream this ageless phrase:
All kids must be banished to the wild that is the backyard every now and then. After all, even the good ones can get bored and once boredom sets in, we as parents don't stand a chance. But, I've got a novel twist to the punishment/experience.
In fact, it's my Dad Law Number 12: GO OUTSIDE WITH YOUR KIDS!
A quick nature walk is a great way to spend an hour or two, and surprisingly, it works to cheer everyone up every time. Our family hit the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary last week to take advantage of the great November weather and to blow off some steam. Trust me, it's a great spot that overlooks both Orchard Lake and Upper Straights Lake and you can easily walk the entire trail in about an hour.
A few lines heard on on the way there:
"I am NOT going on a Nature Walk!"
"Why do we have to go?"
"You lied to me Dad. AGAIN!"
"I'm staying in the car."
And my personal favorite:
"But Daaaaad, we've already seen Nature."
Within 45 seconds of exiting the car, ("Get OUT!"), they were climbing on a huge old dead tree and searching for walking sticks. Yeah, every once in awhile, I'm proud of myself.
The next time the kids are driving you crazy, send them outside.
And go with them.
It's worth it and, after all, being a Dad is about togetherness.
If you're close to Orchard Lake, check out the trail.
It's off of Pontiac Trail west of Orchard Lake Road and Old Orchard Trail.
If not, just blaze your own!
Kurt Schwarz is a happily married man with three awesome children, living and working in Oakland County, MI. His mid-life crisis brought weight-loss, sobriety, and the constant pursuit of happiness by pretending to be a rock star. Now in his late forties, he has decided to become a better person by improving every aspect of his life.
He blogs about Family, Fatherhood, and Fantastic Music Topics.
He strongly believes that real men can be great husbands and fathers yet retain their "coolness," although his kids may not always agree.