What the hell should I do now?
As a dad of three small kids I often find myself asking that question. Then I put on the face of knowing the answer to a question.
But maybe I’m not meant to respond, maybe I’m meant to simply listen.
After all we don’t have a whole lot to fall back on when parenting besides our instinct, or what our fathers did or what our fathers didn’t do.
From my perspective today’s dads are more involved than prior generations. More households today have both parents working while working arrangements are more flexible with working from home.
As men we have to learn a lot of these things first hand since the traditional role of the dad was someone who went to work and wasn’t expected to do much with the kids, much less being present with kids.
What Does Being Present Mean?
The velocity of our lives can make it seemingly impossible to be present with our kids. So what does being present mean? By virtue of physical proximity we are close to our kids – we live with them, drive them around – but that’s the easy part. The tougher part is being present with them which means actively listening to them, engaging them in conversation, really being at their level.
To me, being present means reducing distractions, actively listening to what they’re saying, really engaging with them. I don’t have it all figured out and I need as much practice as anyone!
Why is Being Present Important?
Today’s reality is that kids face a lot of pressure, social media distractions, bullying, and more as they try to navigate their way to adulthood. To help them we need to assure them that we are there for them, which can only work if we are there for them – being present. They need to know they can trust us, believe us and know we are there for them. Kids crave that connection.
Stay tuned for the next post which will cover some ways we can be present with our kids.
I know I’m figuring out how to be the best dad I can be, warts and all. Maybe you’re feeling the same and we can learn from each other…if so, check out the intro blog for an overview of what we got goin on over here.