I realized this week, not for the first time, that as a Dad, I’m playing the long game. A very long game. The kids will get annoyed or exasperated with me when I ask how their day was or what happened in school or how so-and-so is doing and I try not to take offense at the huffy answers or the eye rolling replies. I’m playing the long game and hoping that this gentle interest will pay dividends in the future.
They might think they know it all but in reality they don’t have enough experience or perspective to know how they are feeling or if they are actually struggling. And they certainly don’t have enough maturity to open up on their own. At least my kids don’t. They’re probably afraid I’ll bring out the feelings flashcards.
So I play the long game. I try to not just be there but be proactive in the most lightweight way possible. I’m not above using Dad jokes or Dash to get them to smile. That’s the job.