Attention Dads: Stay Involved

It seems like a silly statement to encourage dads to remain involved in the lives of their children, but at times we all require a reminder that we need to be involved in every part of a child’s life. Involvement is most of the time a mindless task, in that it comes naturally and is enjoyable—but this is only one facet of involvement. Attention dads–and remember –to stay involved in your child’s educational life, social life, family life, and recreational life.

When our children are younger they bring to us their educational endeavors with enthusiasm and fervor—like only a small child can. However, as we age together the enthusiasm can be replaced by disgusted facial expressions and distracted descriptions. Attention dads, stay involved in your child’s schooling by being an active agent in their homework, scheduling, and teacher interaction. While it will no longer be greeted with the same reinforcing reactions, the staying involved will encourage not only positive outcomes, but also assure a line of communication remains when your involvement will be sought at a future date. Some strategies for remaining involved might include participation in parent-teacher conferences, at a minimum, and potentially developing an ongoing dialogue with your child’s teacher. While this may seem strange, to communicate with the school when it is unsolicited, it sends a message to that school and instructor that you are involved and will continue to be so when times are good or bad. This confidence in your involvement will give your child an edge when it comes to the availability of special attention and overall probability of success.

Children are by their nature curious about all people and social opportunities and we accordingly seek to protect them by remaining involved in the people with whom they socialize with. It might seem a daunting task to remain involved with the various and sundry social opportunities that our children find, but attention dads, stay involved in your child’s social life. We are the models by which our children form new relationships and navigate old ones. By remaining involved at the various levels of these interactions, we can better assure their relationships are healthy and productive. As our children get older, the interaction will be more labored and less natural—as they strive for independence and we cling to their dependence—but remain involved and do so with a sense of duty. Some strategies for remaining involved in the social endeavors of your child include meeting the parents of any friends that they will spend time with outside your supervision or home environment. By making clear to your child that you will approve of the adults they are allowed to be around you are sending a clear message of conduct. Additionally, make sure that your child introduces the friends that spend time in your home and communicate contact information in the case of an emergency.

Finally, it is important for dads to remain involved in the family life of their children. At the end of a long work day it can be difficult to maintain high levels of energy, but it is so important to remain enthusiastic about involvement in your own home. Structure the time you spend with your kids and make sure that you use this time to communicate with them about how their individual lives are progressing. The simplest strategy for assuring this level of involvement continues to setting strict rules about family dinner attendance, in that, all family members are required to be present and involved in the process of cooking, eating, and cleaning family dinners.

Involvement can be scary for some dads because they feel as though it is an all or nothing process. If they are involved they are over protective and if they are not then they are not overprotective. It is all about the method by which dads try to remain involved and for what purpose. Dads can be involved in every facet of a child’s life and still encourage independence, but the main goal of involvement is letting your child know that you are always going to be there for them, in good times or bad.