Family First: Finding Ways To Connect and Father’s Day Bonding


Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, and one of the silver linings of Louisiana’s Stay At Home Order this Spring was parents having some extra time to spend with their children.

Even the busy dads out there found some unique ways to pass the time.

Dr. Stephen Sanches, a pediatrician with Baton Rouge Clinic advised, “Find the positive spin on the new normal is probably a more appropriate approach than trying to insist that things are normal when even the youngest of kids can tell if they’re not.”

The new normal for Brandon Kikendall and his 5-year old son Thomas is on the golf course.

“He was hooked,” Brandon Kikendall said. “From that day on, because then a couple weeks ago he made his first 18 holes with me and my dad, so he’s ready to play. He wants to play as much as he can.”

Thomas Kikendall said he enjoys hitting golf balls with his dad, putting and eating candy.

When Covid-19 shut down schools, parents looked for new ways to connect with their kids and keep them stimulated during quarantine.

“We have all this free time I work staggered at the beginning we didn’t really know what was going on so the kids are sitting in an in house bored,” Brandon Kikendall said. “Fortunately we live on a golf course and were able to go out in the backyard and play a couple holes and spend some hours outside of the way from the TV away from electronics and have a good time just being with Thomas and my other son Harper hanging out. And show them what I like to do, and they enjoy it so it makes it fun.”

Staying socially distant and safe comes naturally in golf. BREC courses like Santa Maria are great resources this summer.

Dr. Stephen Sanches added, “Helping them understand there’s siblings to play with them in the house or that mom and dad maybe because they’re working from home a little bit more can play with them more than they usually can, finding new adventures to go on that maybe spend more time at the park than you might otherwise have done or finding new games around the house.”

As young Thomas continues to improve his golf game, even logging a legitimate bogey last month, a friendly sibling rivalry only fuels his new-found passion.

“As young as he is he’s pretty competitive,” Brandon Kikendall said. “His brother beat him a couple days ago, and he went out there every day since to make sure that he could beat on his shots again better he makes sure that everyone knows he wins.”

Ultimately, it’s quality time together doing what they love.

“It’s very fun to watch him want to get better. You don’t want to push him, you want him to do it on his own. Him constantly asking, Can we go hit golf balls? Can we practice putting and hitting the wedge? It’s a lot of fun, it’s a little weird me because he’s five, but he wants to get better all the time. He will beat me soon I’m sure.”

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