How To Be More Present as a Father β€” What Does Being Present Mean?

parenting Apr 25, 2023
How To Be More Present as a Father

Before we answer the question of how to become more present as a father, we first need to establish what being present means.

In essence, being present means being focused and engaged in the here and now. It’s not being mentally absent or distracted. If you want to become a present father, it’s not only about being physically present with your children. Most importantly, you need to be fully attentive, engaged, and immersed in all the things they’re doing. 

But with your busy schedule and demanding job, it can be extremely challenging to give your full attention to your child. 

We’re going to share some helpful tips and tricks to help you stay in the moment and savor all the time you have with your child. 

6 Helpful Tips To Improve Your Presence as a Father

Much like the work that you do, being a father is a full-time job. You not only need to be there when your child needs you, but you also have to be proactive in any way you can. If you want to improve your presence as a dad in your child’s life, take a look at six tips below. 

1. Put Your Phone Away

Yes, you may be having dinner with your whole family… but you’re busy responding to emails. Yes, you may have driven your children to school… but you were on a business call. Yes, you’re watching over your kids… but you’re watching a show on your phone. 

In today’s day and age, technology is both a blessing and a curse. While it gives us the convenience and accessibility we need to expand our horizons, it also distracts us from the most important things in life — our kids. 

Any time you’re with your family, whether having dinner, driving them to school, or just spending some time at home, make the conscious effort of putting your phone away. Who knows? You may be missing out on some of the most important moments in your children’s lives, which leads us to our next tip: prioritize quality time. 

2. Prioritize Quality Time

With your phone (or any gadget for that matter) out of the way, you can devote 100% of your attention to your kids. So… what next? Prioritize quality time. 

Quality time doesn’t have to be big and extravagant. It can be as simple as asking your kids how their days went and going from there. Having meaningful conversations with your family is one of the best ways for you to show your support and love. 

In doing so, you make them feel heard, understood, and valued. You make them feel like they’re the most important humans in the world (which they are!). 

But, if you want to make quality time extra special, plan activities in advance. You could go to the beach for a fun getaway, take an afternoon stroll at the park, or have a family game night. There are countless ways for you to have quality time with your kids, but keep in mind that it’s about quality — not quantity!

If you feel like your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to have long conversations with your kids at the dinner table, make up for it on the weekend. Prioritizing the time you spend with your kids means putting them first. 

No matter how busy life gets, have dedicated family time every week, where everyone gathers together to participate in one activity. Not only will doing so set expectations for all family members, but it will also give you and your kids something to look forward to. 

3. Practice Active Listening

Initiating conversation is the starting point of getting to know your kids better, but it shouldn’t end there. You need to practice active listening to keep the ball rolling and keep the conversation alive. 

Active listening means asking follow-up questions and maintaining eye contact. It’s sitting your children down and asking them how their day went, what they’re feeling, and if there is anything they want to share. In doing so, you make your kids feel and know that you’re completely present. 

Practicing active listening is important daily, but it’s even more crucial in times when your children are upset. These are their most vulnerable moments, and they want someone completely present to recognize their thoughts and feelings. In such cases, active listening is a must. 

4. Show Them Affection

Aside from providing emotional support, showing them affection through physical touch is another great way for you to enhance your presence in your children’s lives. 

Whether it be through hugs, kisses, or high-fives, physical touch will help build a connection and make your children feel loved and supported. 

It will be easy at first when your kids are still babies or toddlers. Giving affection will gradually be harder as your kids get older. Once they enter their pre-teen to teenage years, they will likely be more hesitant to receive any hugs and kisses from you. In this case, it’s time to regroup and show affection in a way they’re comfortable with. 

This could be a pat on the back, a fist bump, or a simple high-five. But, no matter what, never stop showing your affection to them. 

5. Do Something That They Enjoy

Doing something that they enjoy is one of the best bonding experiences you can have with your children. Whether that’s watching a movie, playing soccer, painting, baking, or something else entirely, adapting to their hobbies and interests is a great way for you to show you’re 100% there. 

6. Lead by Example

As a father, you want your children to grow up as good people. You want them to be respectful, kind, and gracious. But how do you make it happen? Lead by example. 

Instead of telling them what they can and can’t do, show them through your actions. They learn best when they have role models around them, and who better to guide them than you?

Be sure to set a positive example by modeling good behavior. Through consistent action, you will be able to instill good habits in your children.

Final Thoughts

Being present as a father is about much more than being physically present. It’s being actively engaged in all aspects of your child’s life. By implementing these tips, you can strengthen your relationship with your kids and create connections to last a lifetime.

Watch the "How To Be More Present as a Father" video here:

Enjoy this article?
Get unlimited access to Dad University

The #1 educational platform for dads. Join our growing community of fathers from around the world!

Become a Member