Somehow, I ended up arguing with my oldest child about doughnut holes. Again. My three kids and I were driving to my mom’s house late on a Sunday morning. As is tradition during our hour-long drive, we swung into the drive-thru to pick up coffee for me and a treat for the kids to share. After collecting the bounty, I always pass the cup of doughnut holes to the kids in the back seat and they fight like a pack of agitated badgers over whose turn it is to hold the cup and dole out the contents. Holder of the cup is the highest of honors, so a fair amount of squabbling and thrashing is to be … [Read more...]
“PLEASE GET YOUR SHOES ON! I’ve asked you five times, and if you don’t get them on RIGHT NOW, I’m leaving you home alone by yourself!” It seems those words come out of my mouth once, maybe twice a week while we go through the morning routine. Throw in a "damn" here and there, and it might be more accurate. At some point in one's parenting career, we all experience these feelings. Before you start to call the authorities, no -- I would never leave my son home alone. It’s one of those empty promises we offer our children so that they do what we are asking of them. If you don’t do this too, … [Read more...]
EDITOR’S NOTE: Being a good parent at times takes superhero skills. To help you develop your own, “The Relational Book for Parenting” authors Saliha Bava and Mark Greene offer suggestions from their book. Go here to read more in this exclusive periodic series for City Dads Group. We previously wrote about the power of listening with curiosity. As we get into additional relationship super powers, we'll refer back to previous ones and show how all interconnect and interrelate. Growing these relationship super powers, what we sometimes call our “relational intelligence,” provides us with a web … [Read more...]
“They said they wouldn’t be mean to me anymore,” he said. “They said they’d try to be nicer, unless I did something they didn’t like.” “You don’t put stipulations on friendship,” I told my oldest son. “I know,” he said. “They’re being nicer now.” There was a time such an exchange would have broken my heart. We’ve lived through those times. Lots of them. My heart has broken more than I care to count. Now it only bends as I bite my tongue in frustration, willing the jerks of the playground to get theirs on the nose and nodding carefully at the boy in front of me. “Perhaps you should … [Read more...]
When we see our children experiencing something other than joy, we almost immediately want to change their dial to sunshine and smiles. However, it is important to let kids ride it out.
* * *Emotions are a complicated thing. We all have them, we recognize them in each other, and yet they remain relative and subjective. No matter our basis of empathy or the pulls of sympathy, we can never truly know exactly what it is that another person is feeling. We can only relate to the labels that we have all agreed on. Considering that, when discussing emotions … [Read more...]