“Hi, Elena!” a girl said to my daughter. “Who’s that?” I asked. “That’s my friend Julie.” I had never met Julie nor had I even heard about her. So, I asked my daughter a ton of questions about their friendship. For the last several years, I’ve been a team captain of an All Pro Dad chapter. The conversation I had with my daughter happened because I was at her school setting up for our chapter meeting in the cafeteria. I learned a lot about Julie, their friendship, and, most importantly, my daughter—all the things I never would have known had I not been there.
Leading and attending our All Pro Dad chapter is a natural way to grow closer to my daughter, talk about character, and tell her why I’m proud of her. All of these are great reasons to attend or start a local chapter of your own. But more than anything, it put me in a place where I could get to know her more. Sometimes, putting ourselves in certain places gives us the best opportunities with our kids—opportunities to create memories, have enlightening conversations, or maybe even just give them the security that only their dad can provide. Here are 5 places kids need their dad to be.
1. At School
Think of your kids like they’re from a foreign country and you are an ambassador. What would you do first as an ambassador? You’d move into that country and get to know the culture. School is your child’s world (well, school and probably online gaming—I’ll get to that later). In order to know our kids, we need to step into their world as much as possible. Drop them off and pick them up from school as often as you can. If your kids are in middle and high school, go to Friday night football games. If you are brave enough, sit near the student section. Start or attend an All Pro Dad chapter. Do what you can to get into their world.
2. In the Doorframe of Their Rooms
A kid’s room is his or her safe space, especially as kids become teenagers. Stopping by their rooms and standing in the doorframe is a great way to have a conversation. They tend to be relaxed in their rooms, especially if it feels casual. Take advantage of the opportunity because kids will probably start sharing things you never expected.