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Happy grandfather watching his son piggy back his own son with arms oustretched in yard.

The Three P’s to Being a Dad

Fathering a child is different than being a dad. A father is defined as a male parent of a child, one who shares DNA with the child, but may not share responsibility for the child’s growth and development. “Dad” is a term of affection and familiarity, and dads actively participate in their child’s life. To achieve the title of Dad, we must learn to apply the three p’s: provide, protect, and be present.


Children are the primary recipients of the fruits of a dad’s labor. There are so many expenses for the needs of a child, which include adequate housing, clothing, food, and medical care. Additionally, children have many wants – from buying toys and electronics to playing sports and taking trips. The act of providing is dependent upon receiving income, which typically occurs outside of the time with children. The more you can strengthen yourself in your career or field, the better position you will be in to provide for your children.


So many factors today can harm your children. Bullying, human trafficking, and discrimination are just a few risk factors dads need to consider. Some threats are clear, while others may not be immediately apparent. Dangers can be subtle and challenging to detect. Paying close attention to the actions and location of your child and fostering an environment for open communication will be your best chance at identifying unknown dangers. You must apply the third p in order to accomplish this goal.


Being present is the most important of the three p’s. There is nothing more important to a child than being physically and emotionally available for them. I once read a quote, “Children don’t just need your presents, they need your presence.” It is important that some of your children’s fondest memories and experiences include you, their dad. If you are not around, you will miss their life’s milestones and achievements. Time passes that you cannot get back. Nothing can substitute being present in your child’s life.

Implement these three p’s and you will qualify for the title of Dad, one of the best things you can be considered in the world.

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About Jabari Colon

About Jabari  Colon Jabari Colon is a single father to four children aged 7 to 18 years old. Jabari coordinates a program that aims to increase community college acceptance rates for high school graduates. He also serves as a family support specialist and positive behavior specialist for at-risk youth and their families and leads and facilitates a psycho-social self-development program for youth and parents. While he assists parents by teaching and sharing best practices, he continuously seeks opportunities to grow as a father himself.