Ask any Dad what they want most for Father’s Day, and you’ll get a broad variety of answers.
Hint: not too many are going to say “a new necktie”.
It’s likely that the answer will vary according to the stage of life he is in. Fathers of younger children may say that what they most want is to have a nice family dinner together where no mashed potatoes get thrown at anyone. Middle-aged dads may tell you they would want to spend time with the family and not have their teenage kids’ noses buried in their smartphones. Perhaps they wish for a day together with the whole family where they’re all engaged in an activity that is fun for everyone, and no one whines about being bored. Older dads will likely tell you that what they want most is to simply gather their whole family. Kids, grandkids, everyone together having fun.
Turn Your Wish Into Reality
Father’s Day is important, because it’s really a microcosm of what dads want for their family 365 days a year. We want our kids to enjoy being together, to do things that they’re passionate about, and to excel in them. We want them to be be smart, hard working, humble, and patient. We want them to be fun to be around, and have fun being around us. We don’t often stop to think about actually wanting those things, but on Father’s Day our routine is interrupted, and we reflect on what we really want for our family.
Modern life doesn’t make it easy to realize any of these Father’s Day goals and desires. There are so many things that can get in the way of the whole family getting together and spending time enjoying each other’s company. Smartphones, TV’s, video games, sibling rivalry, broken relationships, girlfriends, boyfriends, failed marriages, and stress all stack the deck against making really sweet memories together.
As a Dad, what are things we can do to create the kind of environment where are kids will truly enjoy being together in the way we desire? I’d like to suggest that living the cabin life is one of the best ways to do this.
The Cabin Life Effect
Living the cabin life is a ‘pattern interrupt’ that can help overcome some of the distractions and baggage that we deal with as a family. When we get out of the rat race for a few days, a few weeks, or perhaps permanently, something begins to shift inside us.
Why does the cabin life cause this shift? It will help you:
- Improve Your Health
- Develop Positive Behavior in Your Kids
- Create Better Memories
Improve Your Health
Living the cabin life often involves being outside more. Being outdoors has been linked with massively improved psychological health.
According to a study published by the NIH, being outdoors causes increased brain activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability, and love. In contrast, being in an urban environment causes increased brain activity in the areas responsible for fear and anxiety.
Sounds like spending time in an outdoor setting could lead to a better family environment – not just on Father’s Day!
Develop Positive Behavior in Your Kids
The National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse has shown that children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to try cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana.
An overwhelmingly positive indicator for a child’s future well being is how many meals they share with their family. Kids who are in families that eat dinner together are less likely to experiment with dangerous substances or harm themselves in other ways.
When you’re living the cabin life, every meal is a family meal. When everyone is a happier and more relaxed, conversations flow freely. These conversations are not only strong positive memories for children, they help equip them to deal with the challenges and temptations they face day to day.
Create Better Memories
No dad wants his kids to grow up and have memories of him being glued to his desk, or his smartphone, or stuck in his reclining chair. We all want our kids to remember us as our best selves, and we want to serve as an inspiration to them to explore and pursue their passions. Spending time together at the cabin is one of the most powerful ways to disrupt your bad habits and engage in activities with your family that will stick with them for years.
It can be as simple and silly as playing Wiffle Ball in the yard, or as involved as a week long canoe trip down your favorite river. What the activity is matters less to your kids than the fact that you’re engaged in it with them, and are excited to spend time with them.
What’s Your Passion?
Here are some activities that you may decide to engage in as you live the cabin life and set out to make better memories:
- Fly fishing
- Trout fishing
- Bass fishing
- Deer hunting
- Bear hunting
- Elk hunting
- Small game hunting
- Turkey hunting
- Clay pigeons
- Target practice
- Long distance shooting
- Kickball / Whiffle ball
- Creek rambling
- Outdoor grilling
- Dutch oven cooking
- Campfire cooking
- Front porch sitting
- Bird watching
- Laying in the grass looking up at the sky.
There are hundreds of possibilities, and I won’t be able to list them all here. I hope this inspires you to not only have a wonderful Father’s Day, but to think about how you can build a life for your family that truly does build great memories, and great relationships.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, live the #CabinLife and make great memories with those you love.