If you want to really see what daily life is like for your kids, follow the examples of Patrick and John, and have lunch with the kids at school.
Both are fathers of elementary school students and take the opportunity to periodically join their kids for school lunch. They then join them on the playground for games of soccer and football with the other kids. As Patrick stated, if you really want to get the kids united, score a goal from across the field and they’ll mob you.
It’s not a practice that the overwhelming majority of parents use, let alone fathers. But it does serve several purposes.
- It allows you to meet the teacher on more than just the periodic parent/teacher conference and see how he or she handles the class.
- It allows you to meet some of the other kids and put faces to names that you’re hearing repeatedly.
- It allows you to see how your child interacts with the other kids, and how they interact with him. Your kid will most likely become so involved in play that he’ll forget that you’re watching – or even playing – and you can see the real kid come out. It can be eye-opening.
- It allows your child to "show you off" as a father. There are children out there with little, if any, knowledge of what’s it like to have a father so any modeling that you can offer – even as minimal an amount as this – is beneficial.
It really isn’t difficult to do this and greatly worth the time. Contact your local school and inquire about the procedures, which will probably involve registering at the office and using a clip-on pass. Also let the teacher know ahead of time so that they have a "heads up".
And then, go play.