Sunday, June 3, 2012

As a Dad you're probably going through something simliar

I often sit and wonder why I'm the only Dad with challenges in raising my kids. I understand there's going to be challenges, that's what makes being a parent so great. But why all the other stuff ?

After all, I was a perfect child who never gave my parents a lick of trouble ever, so why  do mine ? *

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Simple things like getting them to clean their rooms through to complex things like putting more effort into school assignments seemed to be a never ending source of debate  and discussion and you start to wonder  - I am even doing this right ?

And after having another heated discussion with The Eldest son about levels of effort in his homework, I was feeling pretty down. Some days just seem like a never evening military campaign to illuminate the locals and set them on the path of economic freedom. Let us win your hearts and minds or we'll burn your damn huts down, sort of thing.

I wasn't the greatest student so I want to ensure my kids don't make the same mistakes I made and I'm keen to not let them suffer through some past misadventures that I should have definitely have been warned about.

Now the Beloved and I are a fearsome team. We are absolutely on the same side when it comes to the minions. But sometimes being a Dad is kinda like being a light house keeper - You know your job is important, but you never really know if you are doing it right because it's just you.

So what to do ? Who do I talk to ? It's been previously discussed on this blog about the difficulties faced when meeting / talking to other Dads. You certainly don't want to go around exposing your issues to all and sundry.

And I can't talk to Grandpa on the Go about it. The issues he faced with me were different. Or is it just me wanting that to be the case - it's all too hard, so don't worry just keep going .

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What an eye opener it was when I accidentally had lunch one day with another Dad and he confessed to me about having an argument with his son. It was exactly the same argument over exactly the same piece of homework with his son that I had had with mine. We ended up chatting for the entire lunch about these challenges and swapping war stories.

And with that small piece of revelation I started asking questions at every opportunity. Listening and realising that we were all going through the same thing.

Too much {insert video game name here} not enough homework.

Arguing over Internet usage.

Getting them to do chores around the house. It went on.

I  like to see myself as a pretty easy going guy and I try not to be an overbearing Dad. But you have to teach (boys especially) that their are boundaries and limits. And now that I know we can't solve every challenge / crisis but at least there are other Dads with some advice or at the very least a sympathetic ear, I'm back on track.

So now I attend the dinners with other Dads. I'm even thinking about setting some up. And I listen and ask questions every time.

So let me give you one task to do this week - Go find another Dad with similar aged kids to yours and talk to them and even more importantly - Listen.

Who knows you might just be surprised.

* May not be accurate statement

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