Reflections on the Father of the Year

I know that I often get tunnel vision. I know I can think creatively and “outside of the box” when coming up with ideas and solutions at work. But, in everyday life so to speak, I tend to lose sight of the fact that lots of different options, responses and solutions exist for everyday problems, particularly parenting problems. And, in fact, taking the most conventional response isn’t usually the one that is going to teach my kids what I want to teach them.

Several weeks ago, an article about why Americans kids are so spoiled struck a chord ~ mostly because I realized that I had fallen into the trap of doing a lot of things myself because it was easier for me, ignoring the lesson that my kids were learning. While it is my desire for my kids to grow up to be happy, independent, RESOURCEFUL adults, I was teaching them the exact opposite by doing things that they were capable of doing just because it would be faster or easier if I tied their shoes or got their backpacks together or insert any task.  That article resulted in a dramatic shift in our household that continues to be played out  . . .

And today, something else came along to remind me that I shouldn’t get tunnel vision. That sometimes the unexpected response is the best response. An article about a dad who, when his son was faced with bullying because his son wanted to wear dresses to school, elected not to try to force his son to conform or to try to force the school to police the bullying or any of the other conventional solutions but instead, had his son’s by being different with his son. Showing his son and the world that his son’s choice was just fine, thank you.

So, I am going to take the lessons to heart from this Father of the Year. I am going to keep in mind the lessons I would like to teach and I am going to lead by action. And, of course, I’ll be different with you.