Using RC Hobbies for Building a Stronger Father-Son Relationship
Many of us fathers find ourselves in a situation today, where our sons have become PC, game console, and social media junkies, and we find it hard to get them away from the screen, and get them to participate in quality time activities which allow us to build/strengthen our relationship with our son. Having talked to many other fathers, this appears to be a common problem in society today where spending time on the PC, Tablet, Smartphone, video game consoles and social media has become a preferred alternative to spending quality time with family members or their father. This can be an even bigger issue if you are a shared custody dad, and have limited time with your son - - you really want to make your time together count.
Excessive screen time leads to a sedentary lifestyle with little physical activity and time spent outdoors. Too much screen time also can contribute to obesity, attention problems, sleep disorders, depression and problems at school. Studies show that 5-6 hours of screen time a day, usually does not have an adverse effect (depending on content), however studies show that many teens spend almost 9 hours a day online, on the phone, watching TV, or playing games.
As fathers, we are not only concerned about excessive screen time, but the influence the screen content they engage with, will have on their values and attitudes. We are also concerned about their vulnerability to cyber bulling, sexting, porn, extreme violence, on-line predators, etc.
So what’s a father to do? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that families designate "media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as kid bedrooms. It is also important to be a good role model yourself, by significantly cutting back your screen time when you are with your kids. They also recommend you set consistent limits and rules around screen time.
Mandating reduced screen time will lead to some conflict, -- however you can reduce this conflict by proactively involving your sons in fun non-screen activities. These could be activates such as sports, camping, hunting , fishing , or a joint hobby such as Radio Control Hobbies. You want to focus on activities that provide a lot of opportunity for you to talk and have face-to-face quality interaction with your son, as this is vital to building a closer, stronger relationship.
A great activity to consider that would engage your son and get him outside, is RC (radio control) hobbies). This is something you can do together, is a lot of fun, and leverages his interest in having a console to control things. It is a fun hobby that provides quality time to build your father-son relationship while getting your son away from the TV, PC, Tablet or cellphone.
RC Hobbies provides lot of inherent flexibility and advantages:
- You can play with RC hobby products almost anywhere, --- in the city or the country
- Leverages your son’s affinity toward remote control
- Provides learning opportunities about engines, drive trains, mechanical skills from repairing the vehicle crashes, as well as racing skills
- Provides many alternatives to maintain interest through races, building race tracks, jumps, obstacle courses, as well as a spectrum of vehicles including RC cars, trucks, drift cars, rock crawlers, Boats, airplanes, and racing drones
- Enhances hand-eye coordination
- Provides opportunities for socialization and skill growth
We have several recommendations if you want to pursue this hobby with your son
- Avoid criticism – your son will make mistakes -- but you want this to be a fun experience
- Buy good quality off-brand vehicles – this will be much easier on your budget, and you do not want to spend a lot at this point, as you do not know how long this hobby will retain your sons interest
- It is best to have a vehicle for yourself and your son, as this provides the opportunity to compete, which will make this hobby much more fun for both you and your son
- If you are a limited custody dad, you want to keep the RC at your premises, rather than let you son take it to his mothers --- this gives him an extra reason to look forward to spending time with you
- Spend some effort in providing variety in how you race/ use the RC -- vary location, set up a track you can race around ( can also build tracks and jumps in the snow in the winter), find or build jumps, invite one of his friends, etc.
- If your son is over 12, you will want to consider a brushless electric or nitro gas vehicle due to the much higher speeds these can provide
- Encourage your son participate in helping repair vehicles that are damaged in a crash
RC hobbies is an excellent option to consider if you are looking for a quality time activity that will help you build and strengthen your father-son relationship, and a closer father-son bond is well worth the investment
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