As a divorced dad, I am constantly focused on involvement and presence. Don’t be left out of your kids’ lives… I think about this every day. Step up and commit to being available for your children right from the beginning, and make yourself available even on a moments notice when possible. Even if it is taking the train into the city, waiting for her to go to a concert, and then taking the train back with her late at night. Last night I had one of those opportunities present themselves and a smile lights up my face. Dad… can you pick me up from a party after 11pm, Mom won’t. My answer (if/when i am in town)… anytime, anywhere, for any reason. I look forward to those “moments” of connection. Just the conversation on the way home, the comments about what she did, or even the whining about what she has to do tomorrow, is enough to carry me for days.
When my 16 and 18 year-old daughters lost the simple feeling of, “I love my Daddy,” parenting became more difficult. But no matter what, I stay present. When they ask why they have to be at my house, go on vacation, or have dinner with me when there is someplace else they would rather be, and when all they do here is stay in their rooms or watch TV in the den (while doing their best to ignore me), I tell them that just being together with them, near them, is enough.