If the coronavirus has taught me anything, it’s that we live in a time where kids are expected to have a bunch after school activities in addition to actually going to school (whenever that happens again).

Every second of every day seems planned. Soccer, basketball, parkour, karate, and music are just some of the activities my kids participate in. As a Ninja Dad, sometimes I feel guilty if I’m not “doing” enough. Hiking, teaching them to cook, or just explaining the world.

I have come to a realization though. Especially after being forced to slow down. Although it is important for them to learn, sometimes you just need to take a weekend off to sit around and do nothing.

The other day, my daughter Sofia had a playdate, and I was able to just hang out with my son. He didn’t want to go out that day. He just wanted to hang out with me to play video games and watch a “not one of those old movies from when you were a kid” movie (we had watched The Goonies the week before). So, we did.

We ordered pizza and just spent the day on the couch together playing video games and watching movies. It wasn’t productive at all. We didn’t learn anything, but we spent the day together. My son is 9 and he still likes to lay his head on my chest when we’re sitting on the couch. That is a gift. I remember laying my head on my dad’s chest when I was his age. That feeling of comfort will never go away. Having your dad around is important. My heart breaks for all the children who don’t have a relationship with their fathers.

So, it’s ok to take a break and just be with your kids without teaching them something. Sometimes the gift of time is the most important gift you can give. Life goes by really quickly. It’s nice to slow it down and relax every once in a while—without feeling guilty about it.

It’s also an excuse for a grown man to play video games. Because in reality, we’re all still 9.

Want to Be a Ninja Dad?

We enjoy many things about the Ninja Dad life, but one thing we don’t like is repeating ourselves. Constantly. Especially when it has to do with manners, behavior, and general commonsense decorum.

So, rather than nag ourselves hoarse, we developed a genius reminder system to keep our kids in line. They’re called manners cards, and we swear, sometimes they actually work. Check them out here.

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