AS a dad I know just how important it is for dads to carve out time with their children.
Many of us now work incredibly long hours every day, and – if we’re honest – we might only manage a few minutes of quality time with our children each day before they go to bed.
Moreover, while they definitely appear to enjoy the regular ballet lessons or football training that we take them to at the weekend, that just isn’t really the same as being able to spend one-to-one time with them; it is something that I personally feel very strongly about.
That’s one reason why we started a free, regular group for dads and their children at our church.
‘Who Let The Dads Out?’ is a chance for dads or male carers to spend time playing with their kids, without any other pressures. Another upside to it is that, of course, it can also give mums a much-needed break on a Saturday morning.
It’s designed for children up to the end of Year R.
We meet in the church hall, next to Christ Church on London Road, from 9am-11am on the third Saturday of each month.
Our next session is on April 15.
We get out plenty of toys and books, we serve bacon butties and coffee to the dads, and just give everyone space to play together.
One of the best things about it is that it gives the dads a chance to meet other dads and talk to others who are going through the same kind of experiences.
We have a core group of regular dads who make it when they can.
That being said, there is never any pressure if someone can’t make it for whatever reason.
Something that is really encouraging to hear about is that some of the dads now also meet for a beer in the pub or a curry on Friday nights.
It’s just one of the many ways that our church is trying to serve its local community. Helping families is a big part of what we’re about.
We welcome children to our Sunday morning services and have special activities for them.
Two toddler groups also meet in our church hall during the week.
Hopefully we can all help each other to bring up our children with the values that will inspire them to be serving their communities when they are older.
For more information about what we get up to at Christ Church in Portsdown, you can either call us on (023) 9237 5360, or visit our website christchurchportsdown.org.
Andy Wilson is the vicar at Christ Church, Portsdown.