I’ll catch you

I’m a firm believer in not using what I like to term “famous last words.”  I don’t say things like “Hey, watch this…”

So sure enough, this past weekend swimming in the pool, Brant yells at the top of his lungs “Dad, watch dis…” as he tries to jump off a raft.

You think anyone's gonna notice?

You think anyone’s gonna notice?

You have much to learn my young Padawan.

As I’ve said before, my wife and I have somewhat different parenting techniques. My kids trip and fall and, at times, I chuckle. My wife gives me the evil eye.

I guess it’s the man vs. woman thing. Dads try to toughen kids up quicker. Moms console them to oblivion. Neither is completely right. But neither is completely wrong.

In a lot of ways I am as hand’s on a father as I can be. But I’ve always learned best by trying things, so I tend to let me kids do that, too. Sometimes it’s best to learn something by going full speed.

This week I read an article on the Huffington Post about mistakes parents make raising their kids. I read stuff like this because I make mistakes all the time, in every aspect of my life. This story featured development psychologist Dr. Susan Engel discussing how to raise a “successful” kid.

I hate the word success when it deals with arbitrary things. Success in life is much more difficult to define than say success for a football team.

I have no idea how to raise a successful kid because I have no idea what defines it. There are a bazillion things that go into it, but if my kid still wants to give me a hug at the end of the day, I’m pretty darn successful.

I try not to freak about everything because there are too many things in life I don’t have control over. I do what I think is right for my kids in terms of teaching them values, education and more. My right may be way different than your right, but that’s cool. That’s how it is supposed to be, according to Engel.

“Part of it is the idea that if they just do everything right, they can make their child exactly what they want them to be,” she said, “And part of it is the idea that what they want them to be is highly successful, in what I consider to be somewhat outdated or useless notions of what success is.”

According to the Huffington Post, Engel later “explained that the secret to having a happy, healthy child largely involves letting go and recognizing him or her as an independent person.”

You know what Brant? Go right ahead and jump off that raft. I’ll catch you.

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