Friday, May 29, 2009

Fathers, Push Your Kids

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." This little axiom has been in our language for over 150 years. We understand it's meaning. Your children will end up living, believing and doing things very similar to their parents, in particular their father.

Fathers have a special role in the lives of their kids. John Blase has a good point on giving our kids permission:
A mother keeps the child close, sheltering and protecting. A father keeps the child close as well, but he gives permission to step, run, fall or stumble headlong into the great big world. I believe you dads are the primary permission givers.
That makes sense. I try to push my kids just enough to promote growth and exploration. We sign them up for stuff without their knowledge. One year all the kids played baseball. My oldest was not interested but we pushed him. He had a good year but he decided not to play the following year, no problem. I felt he had a good exposure and it didn't resonate with him, that's cool.

I remember when the kids were younger I would sit back and watch them push their boundaries. Of course I was right there to help if needed. But I didn't want to spoil the chance to learn some good 'ole logical and natural consequences.

A couple years ago my daughter was just learning how to swim. She could swim under water but wasn't good at getting to the surface for air, and she was fine with that.

She is a brave little girl. She would swim away then I would drag her back, she would swim away again, same thing. I would reminder her to stay close to the side. So logically she swim away...this time I let her.

I stayed right next to her but just behind so she couldn't see me. She was swimming underwater then tried to come up for air. She made it a little then went under again. I let her get a taste of distress, for about 1/3 of a second she struggled then I lifted her up and brought her to the side. Tears were flowing but lesson learned.

Nothing like natural consequences to teach the kids, and adults good lessons.

Have a great weekend.


  1. I knew you where a good father but after reading some of your blogs and spending time with you I realized you are a great father.

  2. I pulled a let the kid squirm and feel some harmless consequences trick today. I will be posting about it soon, but here's one of the pics.


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