With our busy schedules even outside our 9-to-5 job, it’s hard to be active and present in our children’s lives all the time. By the time we know it, we’re missing out on so much, like their first goal in soccer class, their recitals, or their science fairs. Sometimes, our wives are even at the receiving end of our lack of time. We begin to innocently forget small things and, eventually, start missing out on anniversary dates, birthdays, dinner parties, and such. Although fathers present their love and affection in multiple languages other than presence, this can have undeniable effects on our kids still.
Fathers are not just providers. While we must focus on ensuring we have food on the table, we also can’t deny that our fatherhood is compromised at times. No dad wants this, so this guide below can help you thrive at work while also being present in your wife and child’s life.
Deciding what kind of father you want to be is important and laughable at the same time. Laughable because the days, weeks, and years are unpredictable. Having a co-parent may make it easier, but it also introduces the unpredictability of another person. — Justin Lioi, LCSW
Fathers should not be the only ones who assume the role of the provider. Sometimes, fathers tend to detach themselves from other responsibilities because of work. They think that, because they are earning for the family, they are already relieved from other house tasks.
We must realize that these all fall to our wives, who are carrying the load we should be sharing. Delegate and agree on specific household tasks that you and your wife should be responsible for.
It is easy to be ignorant about what our wives feel. But one great way to start being a more hands-on dad is to be a hands-on husband too. Empathy is vital in making a family work. Realize that you are not the only one tired from a long day at work. With this understanding, we can start to share the same empathy with our kids.
Children who live with their fathers have better physical and emotional health, better academic achievement, and lower incidence of drug use and delinquency. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.
Don’t wait until you no longer know how old your child is before you start making efforts. Make it a point to at least maximize whatever free time you get with your family.
After work, try to spend at least 15 minutes to play with your kids or ask how your wife’s day was. Help in washing the dishes, taking out the trash, or putting the kids to sleep. Read them bedtime stories when you can, or initiate a movie night.
Weekends should mainly be a work-free time dedicated for you to bond with your family. Try planning a lovely family day occasionally to remind your family that you are still present.
Most fathers today are keen to experience both the joys and challenges of parenthood, derive satisfaction from their parental role, and consider active and involved fatherhood to be a core component of their self-identity. — Edward Kruk Ph.D.
Be Available, Accessible, And Approachable
Sometimes, being physically present alone won’t do. You must make sure that you are there in the moment physically, mentally, and emotionally.
We underestimate how much our kids sense our interest (or lack thereof). Being mentally absent is sometimes even worse than not being there at all. Fathers must maintain a positive and loving attitude whenever we’re with our kids. Do not project stress from work onto them. Instead, think of family time as an escape from all the work-related problems you might be facing.
When you are with your kids, involve yourself as much as you can. Do not just stand there waiting for them to finish so that you can go home. Immerse yourself in their activities. Through this, they will start to feel that you genuinely care about their interests.
Once you follow this guide, you will realize that fatherhood is not a chore, and you should never treat it like one. Enjoy it and love your kids to the best of your abilities!