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Find ways to celebrate fatherhood year round

Each year in June families everywhere celebrate Father's Day.

Each year in June families everywhere celebrate Father's Day. But is this the only day of the year that's devoted to fathers taking time out of their busy schedule to spend with their families?


While today's fathers rank "having enough time with their kids" as a top priority, most are still caught between the demands of the job and the demands of the family. So for today's busy fathers looking for new ways to have a career and still participate in the joys of parenting and fatherhood, here are 10 tips from WarrenShepell to help - all year round.


Prioritise meaningful events in your children's lives

Write them in your day planner and plan your work around them. You book work-related meetings and appointments in your planner, so why not give the same level of importance to activities that are significant to your children?


Promote a family-friendly workplace


Organize a 'bring your kids to work day' or a 'kids luncheon' that all employees and their children can participate in. Have photographs of your family in your workspace and, if appropriate, put your children's artwork and achievements on show for all to see. Not only will this give your work environment a family-friendly focus, it will also serve as a reminder to you about "the most important job of all."


Consider a condensed work calendar.


Speak with your employer about working more hours each day and fewer days overall. Whether this gives you as much as a day each week or as little as one day a month, the bottom line is that you will have this time to spend with, and dedicate to your children.


Adjust your work schedule


Talk to your employer about adjusting your work schedule so that you can start and leave earlier or later. This could allow you either extra time in the morning with your children to hear about their plans for the day, or a special time in the evening to hear about how they spent that day.


Participate in the occasional school activity


You don't have to commit every week; children love it when their fathers get involved in any aspect of their world. By getting involved in the occasional school-related activity, you not only make that event special for your children, but you gain insight into their lives and pick up useful information about their friends and interests.


Remember it is quality and not quantity that makes a difference


If you have a hectic schedule, even 15 minutes out of each day to tell a bedtime story, or a couple of hours each week to watch a Saturday afternoon movie can make a difference. Share responsibilities with your partner
Talk to your partner about sharing household responsibilities such as cooking dinner, doing laundry or cleaning the house. This will help reduce stress and give each parent or guardian one-on-one time with the children.


Be flexible


On Father's Day, and every day, make the most of the time you have together and welcome yourself into your children's world. Be open to change and unplanned happenings. You'll quickly find that the freedom brings out the best in you, and your family.


Learn to play


Too often we focus on rules, routine and the serious business of running a home. Take the time to have fun with your children and make it a part of each day. Children often express their true personalities and feelings through play. You may discover just how imaginative, spontaneous and resourceful your children are.


Get support


Communicate regularly with family members and friends. Don't hesitate to seek support that could help your home and family life run smoother. This can mean extra help with chores, projects around the house or preparing for special events.

WarrenShepell is a leading provider of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and related organizational health and wellness services, to over 3 million employees and their families in over 2,000 organizations in Canada, the United States and internationally. Visit www.warrenshepell.com .