Atlanta Parent talked with Jim Newton, entrepreneur and owner of Great Beginnings of Sugar Hill. He is father to Caroline, 11, and Kate, 9.
What new activity have you and your family started enjoying during this time?
We spent a lot of time with each other from March 13 to May 4, when Great Beginnings of Sugar Hill opened back up. I was home with the kids for seven weeks. We played games and watched family movies and series. It’s been a time of getting to know your kids even better and enjoying them. We’ve played badminton in the backyard or kickball. We had dinner together, and the kids don’t have electronics on them. We carved out quality time to play different games to make them think.
How are you balancing working at home with home/family responsibilities?
One of the reasons I got into this industry is that I enjoy children and mentoring. Fortunately, even prior to this, I’m able to get up early to make breakfast, and I’m home for dinner. The online learning has been easy. We didn’t have to motivate the kids, as they’ve been really good and done their homework.
Do you have any meals that are your specialty?
Cooking a steak on the Green Egg or a cast-iron skillet.
Any funny dad/kid(s) moments from this time?
Kids doing arts and crafts and getting it all over the house. The youngest, she did a sign that said, ‘We’re all in it together’ to put it on street. She likes to draw and paint projects, but talk about destroying the house.
How do you plan to celebrate Father’s Day?
I’m not much of a gift receiver; I enjoy spending time with the family. Go ride bikes if we’re able to, and Christy will make a good dinner. I enjoy good family time, conversation, hanging out with kids. That’s way more important than trying to get somebody something.
Any other advice for dads during this time?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up, but figure out your goal and what you need to do. The most important thing to do is take care of your family. Make sure your household is safe when you go out. Decide on what you need to be doing, and work out a plan. You know you have to go back to work someday—how are you going to do it, how are you going to approach it, are you going to change careers? Put one step forward and move in the right direction.