My son Nick, aka @BigRunkDaddy in the twittosphere, and I are on our annual Thanksgiving week deer hunt. We’re sleeping in a ratty old camper, eating insanely unhealthy food, and having the time of our lives! It is one of the coolest blessings of my life that my 15 year old son wants to spend a week in the woods with his Dad.
Having a shared passion with your teenager is one of the greatest parenting tools any parent can have. It gives you the opportunity to have the “quantity” of time required to open the door for “quality” time to happen. I think the old adage, “quality time is more important than quantity time” is a load of bull because you can’t just decide to have quality time and magically make it happen. If you want to have quality time with your kids you have to make the effort to spend a ton of “quantity” time to get there. That’s why a shared passion is so important.
When I was a teenager I always thought my Dad was the biggest dork on the planet except when we were hunting together because we both loved it so much. Somwhere in the middle of all that “quantity” time in the woods the walls would come down and “quality” time happened. Some of the most important talks I ever had with my Dad during my crazy teen years took place over the hood of a pick-up in the middle of nowhere. Now I’m having that same experience all over again from the other side of the pick- up. As cool as I like to think I am I’m almost certain that Nick thinks I’m an idiot most of the time but when we’re out in the boonies sharing our passion for hunting I’m still his hero and that has opened the doors to some pretty awesome life changing conversations.
If I have any parenting advice to offer its this: include your kids in the passions of your life. Never leave them at home when you go do whatever it is you love to do. Figure out what they’re passionate about, get passionate about it, and get ready for some awesome, life changing experiences with your kids. Trust me, it is so worth the effort for them and you!!
Now, I’ve got to get out of this deer blind and go help Nick clean the hog he just shot. Maybe we’ll get to have a talk about life while we’re at it.
God Bless Y’all – Runks