I had the best intentions of posting this yesterday for Father’s Day, but, well, time won the battle yesterday. But, determined to win the war, I am posting this today – better late than not at all!
Moms are usually deemed as the parenting experts, at least through the eyes of most of society. We are the bedtime routine creaters, the healthy meal planners and providers, the boo boo kissers, the story readers, and on and on. For the most part, moms get the credit and dads get recognized, like they are the supporting cast in this family production.
To be honest, I’m usually guilty of passively accepting this credit. But in honor of Father’s day, I have to speak up and say that maybe a lot of dads are getting shafted. A lot of dads, including my kids’ daddy, are doing a job worthy of a lot of credit. And the moms out there can learn a few things from these dads.
A month or so ago, I was telling The Coach about an awkward conversation with a fellow mom who was making a parenting decision I didn’t agree with. He very matter-of-factly said, “That’s why guys invented sports.” When I asked what he meant, he said guys invented sports so instead of having awkward conversations about parenting, they could say, “How about those Lions this year?” Lesson learned – we don’t always need to talk about those awkward areas of parenting. We can just say, “Cute shoes!” and let it go.
While I am the keeper of the structure at our house, The Coach is sometimes the structure ninja, stealthily steering us off schedule and flinging in spontaneity like a throwing star. And while structure and order and predictability are good for toddlers and young kids, fun and unexpected surprises are good for children, too. Lesson learned – some of the good times only happen when you let it all go.
There are certain character traits that my children and I have that are like oil and water at times. Roo and I are both stubborn and both tend to be more glass-half-empty than we have reason to be. When he gets like this, I lose my patience. I lecture instead of teach; I scold instead of correct. What does The Coach do? He pulls him over and hugs him. When Roo or Monkey drive The Coach crazy, he tries to love them like crazy until the mood or the moment pass. Lesson learned – when you want to push your kids away, pull them close instead.
There are a hundred other lessons I could learn from The Coach, and I hope over the rest of my life I continue to pay attention and see and learn from him. He is by far the best father I know and I could not have asked for more for my sons. So today, the credit goes to The Coach, and I will be happy to stand in the wings and take the place of supporting cast, because he deserves the credit, today and every day. I love you always, honey!
What have you learned about parenting from a dad?