I wrote about this extensively in my book, “The Power of Dadhood: How to Become the Father Your Child Needs”.Therefore, I will use quotes about ‘being there’ from my book to emphasize the importance of a dad and his interactions with his children.
“The importance of just being there with your children is never to be underestimated. By being there, talking together, you are connecting. Being there shows caring and creates quiet moments for teaching, encouragement, and love. Your simple presence and those quiet conversations, because of who you are and how impressionable they are, will have leverage beyond most other experiences and will be life-changing for both you and your children.
Being there sets the stage for creating strong footings in your relationship with your children, even if they don’t consciously remember these specific moments…….The impact is in the sincerity and the interplay that tells your child that you are there to help and watch over them.”
From Chapter 8: “Be There!”
“The key to being an effective father is being involved with your children, thereby showing that you care. But “being there” is much more than just showing up. “Being there” is built on practicality and emotion.
By practicality, I mean being involved in your child’s physical safety, discipline, physical needs (such as helping with bathing and dressing when they are little), homework, car pools, and so on. By emotion, I mean listening, holding, sharing, teaching, caring, giving encouragement—all the things we need and deserve to lead full, healthy lives.
Being there goes beyond physical location. It means being intuitive— anticipating problems before they occur—and having the empathy and sympathy to understand what your children can’t explain. Being there also means having the wisdom to see the connection between seemingly unrelated events and discovering new ways of defining or solving problems.
Lastly, being there means knowing when to establish new rules when new situations arise; for example, when a newborn comes home or when school begins. This sounds like a lot to ask, but the rewards make it all worthwhile, and it will happen naturally if you are just aware. Don’t make it more difficult than it is; make it easy by being aware.”
Time for yourself
“….it’s important to recognize that you’ll be a more attentive Dad if you also take time for yourself. Beyond being fathers, we are many things—husbands, employees, friends, hobbyists, sports fans, artists, and individuals. If we feel we are slaves to our children, then we will develop a grudge, most likely subconscious, resulting in guilt and weaker relationships with our children. We need time to ourselves, for our business and other responsibilities.
“Being there” means as much as is practical and necessary, especially for the important events in your kids’ lives, and being available when needed.
The key is to balance fathering and pursuing other needs and goals. You must be aware of conditions and situations that will take you away from your children, even if you are physically there. When you are too busy, or your mind is too occupied with nonessential worry or fretting, you will not be there for anyone.”
Thanks for reading and please suggest my book to every dad you see!