The answer is simple: You can be there. A lot. There is a joke that the word “love” is actually spelled “T-I-M-E.” It’s true. We’ve talked before about the importance of quantity over quality. There will be less pressure on “finding the words” if you are having an ongoing, regular conversation with your son. There will be less pressure on letting your daughter know you care, if you are showing her how much you care by your presence, by prioritizing your time with her over everything else.
A comedian gets better the more stage time they have. A baseball player gets better for every at bat. A writer gets better for the hours they put in. So it goes with any kind of mastery and so it goes with parenting. Put in the time. Be there.
Being a great dad is not just about pivotal moments. It’s not this one instance where you reach them. It’s not this one split second where you save them from stepping into traffic. It’s not just providing for them or getting them into a great school so they can get ahead in life. It might also be those things, but it is mainly, and mostly, the day to day T-I-M-E. It’s the modeling, each morning and each moment, of what being a good person looks like. It’s the showing, each time you see them, that you care, that they’re important, that they are loved.
It’s about being there. A lot.