We have all seen FaceBook posts and articles all over the web about how the best parents and the ones that are involved in their kids lives.
GREAT! THATS EASY!!
Ok maybe for some but not everyone. For dads this can be incredibly difficult. Were your male role models super involved in your life? If you were to dive in head first and try to be super dad two things would happen. First everyone would look at you like perhaps dad needs to go to a hospital and Secondly you would grow tired of the exertion and shift back into doing the same things you have always done.
Being engaged is hard work. Just like every thing that is hard, it is best to ease into it. You would not go out and try and bench 250 again if you hadn’t touch a bar in 5 years. You have to work into it.
There are several things that you can do to get started on this process. One is to work from the outside in. Start off by helping out with little things like staging the things they need ahead of time. Of course they need to learn to do these things by themselves but having it ready when the “oh hell I forgot I had to…..” moment strikes will score you big points. Also don’t just ask “Do you have everything?” Ask specific questions, it shows you are aware of what they are doing.
A second technique is to support the other parent. During those limited windows of time when everyone is trying so hard to make sure that homework, sports, activities, events, and all the things kids are involved in get done, It is easy to let things slip. When your child raising partner is running around like a whirlwind and you have a free moment jump in and do some of the things that she typically does when time is available. Start a load of laundry. Put the clothes that she started 5 hours ago into the dryer. Do a quick wipe down of the _________ . It doesn’t take much thought to come up with a huge list of your own. Anything that you do will help her, which will reduce her stress, and in turn provide for a more productive environment for everyone.
This list could be long but it is just a primer for getting started. My third and final suggestion to finding an entry from the peripheral to the awesome is to just listen to them. When they are around don’t play on your phone. Don’t talk at them. Don’t meddle. Answer them honestly. Get to know what they care about. It won’t take long to build a great relationship but it is tough to get started. Start off with the small weights