“You have to trust the other drivers,” my father said gently.With those words, my fingers loosened on the wheel, my shoulders relaxed, and my eyes refocused on the right side of the road.I was 16 and about to take a driver’s education class, but my father and I thought it might help to practice beforehand. (My mother wanted no part of it.) For many teens, it would have been time to cue the father-son tension. But my father had always been laid-back and hands-off, so I did not dread driving with him.Even though this was his sixth time teaching driving to a nervous teenager (I am the … [Read more...]
This Father's Day, forget the hackneyed concepts about golfing and grilling. Some moms and dads we dig told us what being a 21st-century father means. Enjoy.Being a modern dad means always finding time to be goofy with your children and laugh until your stomach hurts. -- Victor Aragon, Chicago Dads Group, FanDadsBeing a modern dad is sharing all the parenting responsibilities equally with your child’s other modern dad. It's also having the confidence to take on tasks traditionally relegated to moms, and the humility to ask for help. -- Brent Almond, Designer DaddyBeing a … [Read more...]
Does hearing how others fail miserably really make us feel better about our faults or is this like a scene out of Jaws where we all compare our scars to see who has the biggest one of all?
+ + +Every day we fail at parenting in some way.It's not mommy brain. It's not because we are the doofus dad. Here's an awful truth we must all face: We are human and we are going to make a ton of mistakes. Parenting is hard.I recently sat in a meeting with other parents, mostly moms, quietly listening to them tear themselves down. They seemed to think that … [Read more...]
Have you ever labeled one of your children — e.g., the “smart” one, the “clumsy” one, or the “whiny” one? Of course you have! Because you’re human.But as we know now, labeling a child is not healthy. A label often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and even a positive label can constrain a child’s identity by compelling him or her to perform that limited role. Hence, labels could be considered part of a “fixed mindset,” to borrow from Carol Dweck’s celebrated research on a fixed vs. growth mindset.In their recent book, Mindsets for Parents, Mary Cay Ricci and Margaret Lee attempt to … [Read more...]
Prior to becoming a dad, I worried about the effect this new role would have on my relationships – the one with my wife and also with my friends.It didn’t take too long to learn that worrying is as much a part of new parenthood as sleepless nights, dirty diapers and repeatedly singing dull lullabies to soothe the crying baby. Some of these worries are just the result of our own “mental mushrooming” – it’s easy to blow things out of proportion since everything is so new.Then again, some fears are completely valid. Among them are the changes to one’s social life. As scary as it seemed in … [Read more...]