*Knott’s Berry Farm offered me a Brand Ambassadorship to work with them on their blog and assist in the promotion of their themed park.  This includes passes to the park and invitation to events.  Nevertheless, I have not been compensated with money, and all of the views herein are strictly my own.

Welcome to another in our perspectives series for the month of January on the Single Dad’s Guide to Life.  We have partnered with the amazing Brandi Kennedy from Brandi Kennedy: Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman.  She covers the issues from a single mother’s perspective while I cover them from the view of a single father.  Although sometimes we have written pieces where we talk about two different things part of the same event.  Like when we covered National Whipped Cream Day.  (A food holiday we thought too good to pass up.)  Today we are spending time going over favorite products or things we love.  My Friday Find will include the 2018 Season at Knott’s Berry Farm.

I suppose being a Brand Ambassador for Knott’s Berry Farm isn’t exactly a product that I can quantify and explain why I find it so very useful in doing something.  And yet, I think Knott’s has been invaluable to me when it comes to my relationship with my daughter and the things I have been able to do for her.  I can say this as my definition of what it means to be a good single father has changed markedly.  Because as a divorced parent, attempting to co-parent his child, there are so many things I have to worry about.

When separating from my ex, the biggest thing I worried about was not the amount of money I would get from the divorce, even if I was concerned about it.  And I didn’t worry about whether or not I would be getting to remain in the apartment we had built as a home for our family.  What I worried about most was the loss of the relationship I had with my daughter.

Unfortunately, I realized, shortly after splitting and having my own time with my daughter, the relationship with my daughter had already been damaged by some of the goings-on at the end of my marriage.  I don’t think to relive them or rehash them here helps.  But this realization meant I needed to work on the personal relationship I had with my daughter.  I would do whatever I could to work on this.

I could make dinners, try to sit at home and talk, get gifts, or do whatever I possibly could to get my daughter to open up to me.  When one is at home, between TVs, electronic devices, smartphones, and every other distraction known to man, the conversation you have with your child doesn’t seem to happen very easily.  Whether it is solely a matter of distractions or just feeling like you don’t want to go outside of your comfort zone when at home, I found it difficult engaging with my daughter.

As crazy and difficult a truth as this was to realize, I knew I needed to do something to change the dynamic.  I needed to find a place to get outside of myself, and to enable my daughter to talk comfortably.  And remarkably I found this at Knott’s Berry Farm.  There are all kinds of things to do there that help you engage your kids as a father or as a parent.  As much as I hated the idea of being a weekend father when I split from my ex, there were some things I realized I needed to help the relationship with my daughter becoming the fun dad helped with.

When we got the annual pass at Knott’s, things began to turn around as a parent with my child.  Not only would I get quality time with her, but she would begin to open up to me about the things going on in her life.  The relationship improved in ways I cannot begin to express.  As a result, I have become very thankful for Knott’s and all of the amazing things they have provided my family.  So I want to tell you five ways Knott’s Berry Farm has helped with my relationship with my daughter and is a blessing in my life.

5 Ways Knott’s Berry Farm Blessed My Life And Made My Relationship With My Daughter Better

1)  Adrenaline Made My Daughter More Open To Talking

I didn’t think about this when I bought the annual passes.  Honestly, we were just looking forward to seeing Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies Show.  We loved them from when they were at the other park in California and they dumped them unceremoniously.  But their loss was our gain when it came to Knott’s.  We loved the history and the beauty of the place, but the big surprise was when we started to ride the rides.  All of a sudden my daughter would start to talk after we went on one.  Just the rush would get her to want to talk about things.  And once she opened up about some things, she was more open about other things.  Adrenaline magically transformed my daughter into quite the talker.

2)  Knott’s Berry Farm Represented A New Unique Experience All Our Own

My ex-wife was never much of a Knott’s Berry Farm Fan despite the price.  Even having Krazy Kirk come there did not inspire her to purchase annual passes.  So when my daughter started going there we found something unique to us.  This is part of the beauty of Knott’s Berry Farm.  It is truly one of the most unique amusement parks out there.  Not only do you have rushes of adrenaline from the thrilling rides, but you have various adventures like the Boysenberry Festival and Scary Farm, and you have historical adventures like at Ghost Town or outside the park on the grounds at Independence Hall.  Nothing out there like Knott’s seems to exist.

3)  Knott’s Berry Farm Makes Education Fun

Like the best amusement parks, Knott’s Berry Farm transports you to another world.  But what’s better about this world is it represents a real historical one.  It’s a very specific part of the American past.  From Wild West Adventures to remembering the birth of our nation with our founding fathers and the signing of some of the most important historical documents in our nation’s founding, Knott’s allows me to give my daughter a real historical experience she can’t replicate.   And what’s great is half the time my daughter loves to engage in with the old buildings like the schoolhouse, or the leather makers and glass blowers.  I get to bring history directly to her.

4)  Knott’s Berry Farm Taught My Daughter To Expand Her Boundaries

Far too often in the world, we have helicopter parents who try to manage all of our children’s experiences.  It’s like they want to make sure they test everything before their children can.  And then anything they are afraid of for their children, they pass the fear on.  Unfortunately, I have dealt with this to a certain extent.  And I certainly do not claim to be an expert on parenting or avoiding becoming a helicopter parent.  I know I can be one at times as well.  But I do think our children need to broaden their experiences.  Going to Knott’s has allowed my daughter to push her limits.  She has gone on bigger and faster rides.  And she has allowed herself the freedom to do the things she wants to without worry for what other people expect of her.  It’s a beautiful thing to see my daughter find herself there.

5)  Knott’s Berry Farm Helped My Daughter Expand Her Food Choices

I know it can be crazy trying to get your child to expand their choices.  I know some kids who will only eat hamburger and pizza, and nothing else.  Hardly the healthiest of food choices.  It’s not that Knott’s has the healthiest of food choices, but they do have some pretty good ones.  And with Knott’s Boysenberry Festival, Knott’s Merry Farm, and their food pass, my daughter has been encouraged to try foods she never did before.  She has expanded into Chinese fair, Carne Asada, BBQ, Ham, Roast Beef, and a whole host of other foods she would have avoided before.  She has taken this new adventurous spirit about foods into other areas and I have been able to bring more healthy food choices into our repertoire.  I am so grateful Knott’s convinced my daughter to think more health conscious and out of the box in her eating.

Continue The Conversation

I have to add, I am so excited Knott’s is adding one more themed adventure to their calendar with the Knott’s Peanut’s Celebration.  Beginning June 27th they will add this celebration of all things Peanuts.  Who can get enough of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and the gang?  Are you looking forward to going to the celebration?  And what is your favorite Peanut’s character?  I always love to hear from you.

One last little bit I didn’t add about today, It’s actually my one-year blogaversary.  I can hardly believe it’s been one year to the day of posting my first blog post on Blogger.  I know I have changed my server a couple of times.  But I am very thankful for the journey and where it’s lead this far and thank you for all you do as well.  You have been an inspiration.

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Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life