I consider myself a very good father. Still, there are times when I feel I am doing my daughter a disservice. We try and yet sometimes we still fail. We teach only to fail again! I encourage you – my fellow parents – to share your “sins” with us as well. Here are mine.
1. Energy Drinks
I do my best to practice what I preach. I know kids are sponges that absorb everything that we do. I also know they see better than the NSA! But, there is one thing I cannot seem to defeat – the energy drink. I know they are not good for me, and I tell my kid – don’t do it! Yet, I still have to take them from time to time, because of my crazy schedule – professional and parental. Since I am marathon training, I try to frame it around my need for an dramatic boost in energy. Secretly, I think she knows that I am overworked and stressed. Maybe depressed, depending on the day. Still, I extoll the glorious virtues of natural energy, despite my hypocritical ways!
I can’t help myself. When I reflect, I often wish my parents had pushed me harder. I never quite got to being great at anything, because I had some form of ADD that wouldn’t let me master anything. To this day, I am an art school drop out. Anyway, I will have none of it with my kid. She is going to operate at a high level, whether she likes it or not. I feel like the parents from the 1960’s or something. Muhammad Ali started boxing at the tender age of 12 and his reign continued for decades. Understand, these kids don’t always have the inmate desire to be great. I think you have to consistently remind them they are supposed to be great and obligated to do better than their parents. I know there are times when my daughter hates me for keeping her out of her comfort zone. I gotta do what I gotta do. Oh yeah – she can box too. And run 10 minutes miles.
3. Forcing Frivolous Values On The Child
There are several things that are important to me. The Philadelphia Eagles are important to me and thankfully my daughter is now a die-hard Eagle. She’s also into comic books even though after I gave her a Spiderman shirt, she asked if she could bedazzle it. Uh, yeah. Anyway, there are a few other frivolous things that I want my daughter to be into, even though they really have no real importance in the grand scheme of things. To me, the Eagles represent hard work and dedication despite insurmountable odds. Comic books have a plethora of benefits even though most people see them as mere fantasia. Sorry to disappoint…nothing reality TV related here.
4. Overruling The School Education
At some point, my daughter’s teachers are probably going to hate me. I came up in the 80’s and we questioned just about everything under the sun. We were not about that [President] Reagan life. We were not just accepting any authority. We realized the truth about everything that was enforced like, uh, Lincoln freeing slaves. My kid comes home one day talking about September 11, with a very basic worksheet. I felt the sheet was far too basic for such a complex topic. After listening to hear read the page, we ended up talking for hours about everything from September 11 to Hiroshima to how Bin Laden was once a CIA…well, nevermind. The point is, I seek to have a very well-educated kid. Not a well-programmed kid, but someone who seeks knowledge and wisdom instead of only good grades.
5. No Candy And Crap!
For years…for years…I would take my daughter’s evil Halloween candy and eat it for myself. I would tell her how horrible candy was and turn around and succumb to my own confectionary addictions. I have gotten myself off candy (like some get off crack), but now there are times when I feel guilty. A part of me thinks she should enjoy the candy she obtains. Nah. Nevertheless, there is a part of me that wants to succumb to the evils like fast food, which I consumed in my brokest, most formative years. If I can help it, my daughter will live to be 375.5 years old, because she has not eaten crappy food since age four.
We all have vices. Just do the best you can and when you come sort of perfection, know that the rights far outweigh the wrong.