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Friday, June 26, 2009

Ask a Dad

Waxing philosophically (watch out)

Dear Tyler,

How do I know if I'm a good parent? Am I pushing my own agenda on my child

Concerned in Colorado

Dear Concerned in Colorado,

It is fascinating how blurry the line can be between vigilantly guiding your children with noninterventionist encouragement and molding them in to enhanced self-reflections. Even my attempts to describe the difference seems muddled.

WARNING!! Philosophical meanderings. DANGER!!

If I were to live out my dreams vicariously through Emi, she’d be the first person in the history of the world to have a perfect IQ score without suffering from social deficiencies. She’d find the cure for cancer, uncover the mysteries of dark matter in the universe, and win an Oscar for best director in the short film category. She’d turn down a lucrative modeling career to join Greenpeace before marrying an NBA all-star (free tickets and shoes). But that’s just my silly little romantic idea of creating superhuman offspring.

Most of the time, as parents, we’re too busy to ponder the following questions in great detail. We’re too busy living our lives to take time to examine them. And I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing - more or less, just an observation. Personally, I find perplexing questions that appear to have no clear-cut answers intoxicating. But maybe I like filling my head with perplexing questions because I don’t feel like doing the dishes.

These are recurring questions that add to the ongoing adventures in parenting.

1. Am I manipulating or coaching?
2. How do instill healthy skepticism without them becoming jaded, fearful, or intolerant?
3. Should I be candid about my deepest fears and insecurities if they inquire? When is that age appropriate? Should it be age-appropriate?
4. Am I investing too much of my happiness in to their happiness?
5. Am I being too patient with their shortcomings? Or am I being too demanding?
6. Am teaching social graces or causing them to worry too much about what other people think?
7. Am I teaching them how to be prejudice or socially savvy?
8. Am I granting them their due space or merely taking advantage of my own desired space?
9. Is bad behavior a glimpse into worse behavior or will it one day be utilized as an asset? If the latter, how much should we try to thwart this behavior?

The trick to this perpetual balancing act is that it’s highly individualized and ever changing. But that’s what helps to keep it edifying.


Tyler H is a guest blogger and father to Emi. The Three Bay B Chicks have asked him to shed light on a Dad’s point of view under the stern supervision of his loving wife. If you have a question for Ask A Dad, feel free to submit it in the comments section. The Three Bay B Chicks are not responsible for Tyler's "advice."

Check out our very own Francesca as she is interviewed for Friday's Five!
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Randi Troxell said...

great post and also just read the interview - it was great. happy friday ya'll!

Hit 40 said...

I am a good parent if I do not cuss more than once a day at my boys!!!

Eric said...

LOL! "Not responsible for Tyler's advice!" HAHA

Very good advice T...


theUngourmet said...

All of these questions go thought my head a lot! Being a parent is quite nerve wracking and wonderful at the same time!

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

The hubs played pro ball and I'm afraid the little man is going to be strongly encouraged to do the same. Maybe he'll rebel become a fashion designer. Ah ha

Unknown said...

It's all very tricky since the kids didn't come born with a handbook. But these are great tips.
The problem with me is that each kid is different and so I have to relearn with each one!

Claremont First Ward said...

Excellent questions to ponder. Thank you for them.

Kathy B! said...

Very thought-provoking. And I agree it IS a balancing act, and the balance shifts daily. If nothing else, it keep you on your toes!

Helene said...

Awww, the fine line of parenting!! This was a great post to read....those questions left me with a lot to think about!

Anonymous said...

Yeah being a parent is the hardest job in the whole world and also the most rewarding! Great and awesome interview Fran! Loved it!

Kimberly said...

I like this post. It does give you good ponderings. I've wondered a few of those myself.