Research by the National Center for Fathering has helped us find ways to measure how involved dads are in their children’s lives. If you want to see how you’re doing in this area, here are seven statements to consider. How well do they apply to you? This seems like a no-brainer, but for too many dads, it’s a no-clue.
Can you name your child’s three closest friends? Where would you start looking if she was suddenly missing? What’s his favorite ice cream? What career does your child dream of having when he or she grows up? We need to continuously update our mental profiles of each of our children. We want our children to think, My dad really knows me.
Here are some ideas:
- Create habits that help you connect with your wife and kids, such as phone calls from work or special “daddy” time when you walk through the doorway at the end of the day.
- Be the one to jump up and help when your child has a need. Those are priceless opportunities — and Mom probably could use a break!
- Be involved in your child’s education — including helping with homework, practicing for sports or other activities, and attending school meetings and events.
- Listen to music that your child enjoys — keeping an open mind.
- Plan special rite-of-passage events when your child reaches milestone ages like 13, 16 and 18.
- Tell your child you’ll pay if he goes to a movie with you. Afterward, ask questions about the film’s themes.
What do you think? Do you have any tips to contribute to this list