Between innings, check on your kids. Better yet, teach them the game!
A) Attention > Answers:
We may say a dad should have all the 'Answers'. Well having all the answers for our children would be nice, but we know that is not going to happen. Sometimes you will be able to solve a problem or resolve an issue, but other times the situation will not be that simple. You may not have all the information or skills you need to help. There may not be an answer at all.
What you can always do when your children have a problem is give them your 'Attention'. Let them know that you are concerned for their dilemma. Sympathize with them if it is warranted. Help them put the issue in a perspective they can handle. Show them you care. Help them solve their problem but don't solve it for them. Don't make up answers that may not work, or brush them off just to move on. This is applicable no matter the age your kids may be.
B): Being There > Being Around:
It makes all the difference in the world for children when they can have their dad around. There is a comfort for them that is intangible but undoubtedly there! Children feel your presence when you are near and their confidence and attitudes are unconsciously raised. You don't even have to be directly interacting because an invisible connection already exists. Being around is vitally important.
As important as being around is, it is just a prerequisite to 'Being There'! Being there is being around but with attention, caring and nurturing. A dad being around is passive. A dad being there is active and involved. While your mere presence is an undeniably strong advantage compared to a missing dad, it is when you show your concern that a child blossoms with self-confidence and strength. A caring dad with a caring mom lets them know they are important and of value, something we all desperately need!
C) Consistency > Comedy:
A dad should be fun to be around. When dad is funny, everything in the world is right. Laughing is therapeutic. Problems are placed behind you. The world is a better place with laughter. When dad is balancing a broom on his nose, there is no tension in the home. When dad is smiling, the home is smiling. A sense of humor is invaluable as a father.
While comedy has an important place in the home, it is not always appropriate. What is lighthearted to you, Dad, may be the end of the world for your child, so be careful when you use your sense of humor. What is always appropriate in the home is 'Consistency'! Why is being consistent so important? It means you have rules and values that are a standard for all in the home. It means your children know what to expect from you and their mom, who of course, has to be on the same page. If there is no consistency in the home, then you have chaos and confusion. Without consistency on your part, there will be no acceptance of your words from your kids.
A good dad will have answers (sometimes). He will be around. And he will lift his home with occasional comedy and light-heartedness.
A great dad will do these things also. But a great dad will also be attentive. He will be there for his children when they need him, for troubles and for celebrations. And he will be consistent. His word will be trusted and he will always be counted on to be there as the attentive father they need so badly.
These are the ABCs of being a dad. Of course there are also Ds through Zs. Be the best dad you can be!