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How Dads Being Available and ‘Present’ Can Lead to Surprising Gifts

Be Present  –  the rewards will come

Easily said, but tough to pull off. Constant distractions and competing forces for our mental energy.

Being present is one of the hardest things to achieve, but one that has proved the most rewarding.

While I’ve liked to think I’m present when I’m with the little one, I had a lesson that there is an extra layer of presence to achieve.

Case in point. On a recent afternoon we were out in our communal gardens with the bubbles and scooter. For some reason, my daughter must have sensed my extra presenteeism – we were having a good laugh scooting around, but the fun went on much longer.

It can’t be a coincidence that it was this occasion that she chose to explore the country paths around our development. She wanted the outing to continue. Being in the moment, rather than try and stop and usher her back to the familiar surroundings of home, I simply stepped back and allowed her to exercise her curiosity.

I allowed my daughter the chance to be curious – usually, I’d be ushering her home.

Ordinarily I would try and get the little one to walk – but she prefers to be carried. This time, she kept wanting to walk further and explore. She led, I followed and made sure she stayed safe. What I would usually try and get her to do – walk and explore, she did herself. I simply was present and gave the space for her to do what came naturally

On our walk we chatted away and explored the different plants, flowers and animals we came across. While my botanical knowledge doesn’t extend to be naming any of the former, we did see horses, bees, birds, ducks.

Give your child the chance to explore

What was intended to be a 20-30 min outdoor playtime turned into a 70-80 min adventure, and a priceless memory.

And its the gift that keeps on giving.

The same walk has been done again and again, and with the wife joining. Being present benefited the whole family.

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Written by Kamal Agarwall

Kamal is the doting father to his 4 year old daughter. When not parenting, Kamal is usually working in his job as a chartered accountant or spending time with his wife who works as a veterinary surgeon. Kamal is passionate about helping other dads smash through stereotypes, becoming a certified coach to maximise his contribution.

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