Tag Archives: Huffington

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“And part of it is the idea that what they want them to be is highly successful, in what I consider to be somewhat outdated or useless notions of what success is.”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.

Kids of a different feather

I’m the older sibling, as is my wife, so to be honest I don’t know a ton about the so-called “middle child syndrome.” But this week the Huffington Post had a short post with a photo of three siblings. The oldest is lovingly looking into the youngest’s eyes while the middle child, who was the baby of the family until about a five minutes ago, zones out.

The picture is very familiar to me. Well, minus the middle child. We have one of our kids and it is one of my favorite pics. Maren is holding Brant, who is probably about 4 days old. It was taken moments after we brought him home for the first time.


     Does he have teeth?

Everydayfamily.com has a story on middle child syndrome which “helps explain how birth order affects every aspect of a child’s life. Wondering what your middle child may be experiencing, or how to possibly counteract any negativity caused from being a middle child?”

It’s a neat story, talking about how the middle child can sometimes feel left out, yet can also be the most outgoing at the same time. It can also lead to some rebelliousness. It’s a cool read.

I do find it fascinating how different kids, raised by the same people in same house and with the same values can be so different. It really is all about personality and that is completely a person-to-person deal (I guess the reason it’s ‘person’ ality and not ‘everbody’ ality) In our house we see the big boy/girl difference and to be honest it is very shocking. We have plenty of friends who told us if they had a boy first they would not have had a second child. Brant is more difficult to deal with than Maren, sure. He’s a bit more hot-headed and stubborn. Brant is a bit sensitive – he did run and hide under the table this weekend when I was going to put him in timeout after he smashed his sister in the head with a toy drill – but he’s not the same sensitive as Maren.

Maren has some bounce-backability, but if she doesn’t get her way there will be two outcomes: Someone is getting an earful (me) or someone is going to slam a door while crying on the other side (her). Where this comes from, I don’t know. (Actually, I do, but I will not discuss it further)

But I guess it depends on what the situation is. Brant will cry if Maren takes a toy from him. Maren will let Brant play with Barbies until he’s blue in the face, but if he touches one of her books, it’s on.

So all I know is my kids are different from each other, but they are also very similar. I’m cool with that.