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  • Writer's pictureSarah Nantel



We’ve all heard the term “man up” in regards to doing whats right. With it comes the idea as dads that we need to somehow shoulder the work load in terms of provision. I wrote recently about “The Shift” in the work place and the opportunity that exists for men to take a greater role as dads. So it’s time to “Dad Up” there is a rise of involved dads in our country. With the rise comes some learning, I like many Canadian sons didn’t have my dad around.

I feel like I can safely say that the majority of new dads out there are looking for direction, as I was when we had our son two years ago. The media portrays dads as unfit, dim and as the punchline for their kids and wives jokes. The truth is that as a dad you are an important partner in the raising of your children! Studies show that dads who are involved in the lives of their kids prove that they will be more active, smarter, confident, resilient and earn higher salaries as adults. (which is nice for when we retire).

So what to do as a new dad. The first suggestion is to find other dads who are already taking an active part in the lives of their kids at various ages and ask them questions. Learn from them and what they did, what worked and more importantly what they enjoyed doing with their kids. The greatest struggle I had to get started was simply where to find resources. There are a few great dad blogs including DadCamp but they are few and far between compared to the mom blog world.

go to your neighborhood park with the dog

Here is a list of simple things to do with your kids: (some don’t even cost anything)

  • Go to your neighbourhood park

  • Get a Lego Membership - monthly free lego days at the Lego store

  • The Calgary Public Library has free memberships, story times, lego play times and lots of other great options

  • Local YMCA’s, Trico, Vivo, City of Calgary Leisure Centres have great programs for both you and your kids. Some of them are free or cheap.

  • Go to Bass Pro (or the Calgary Aquarium as I like to call it)

  • Hook the chariot up to your bike and go for a ride

  • Ride the CTrain

  • Go to Bow Habitat Station and see the fish hatchery

  • Telus Spark (their playground is nuts)

  • Calgary Zoo is a standard

  • In Kensington hit up the upstairs area of the Candy Store for family movie nights

  • Go to watch airplanes take off and land at YYC or Springbank

  • When the weather stinks check out the Devonian Gardens (go on a Tuesday and get a free pizza for the kids at Ripe Tomato Pizza in the Core)

  • Take them to the Car Show

There are great places within an hour of Calgary you could get to:

  • Canmore/Banff (can’t think of anything more Canadian than a selfie in the Rockies)

  • Drumheller for the dinosaurs

  • Okotoks to climb the Big Rock

In the end it is not the things you do that your kids will love, it is that you are spending time with them. Our kids grow up too fast to miss the opportunity to be part of this is tragic.

go outdoor and teach them to embrace the nature

Bryan Goehringer is a husband, father, dog owner & founder of YYCDaddy as well as a Men’s Mental Health Advocate.

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