May 25, 2010 by David Gillaspie
The Dad Game has plenty of theory. One theory is to say yes to every question. Maybe you know someone raised that way. You can tell by the level of whining:
“Why, why, why…?” As in why can’t I go to that party, or drive the car, or stay out all night. You know the answers don’t you?
You can’t go to that party because I know who will be there. You can’t drive the car because you skipped class. You can’t stay out all night because it ruins the next day.
Not good enough?
You can’t go to that party because I don’t want to find you in the gutter. You can’t drive the car because I’m driving the car. You can’t stay out all night because the only people out after midnight are cops and people cops are looking for.
In theory yes is good. It sounds nice. It makes us feel good. We want to say yes, but it’s not always a good idea.
Another Dad Game theory is making things harder for kids than they need to be. Is it fun having someone throw a ball at you as hard as they can then yell at you for not catching it? Is it fun when you get pushed down then yelled at for not standing your ground?
You can tell people raised like that by their lack of boundaries. They take things too far then look for someone else to bring them back. They say the wrong things and don’t understand why they need to apologize. These are people who need to review their manners.
Most unusual is the Dad Game theory that says if you do good for other kids, yours will be fine.
If you’ve ever been advised to just drop your kid off at a kid team practice and let the coaches do their job, then your advisor isn’t paying close enough attention. Not all Dads do the right thing, but leaving it up to coaches invites disaster. A kid with a Dad on site might be embarrassed, but it sets the tone for coaches.
Best of all is the Dad-Coach, at least then the kid knows what to expect.
If you raise a kid in an environment of negative racial opinions, you can’t make it right by switching your negative opinions to another race.
If you raise a kid in an environment of negative body image comments and you weigh three bills, it just confuses them.
If you raise a kid to turn against their extended family because you have personal problems with authority figures, or feel like you’re a loser and talking aunts and uncles down makes you feel like a winner, you are undercutting your kid.
Being a hero to others won’t make you a hero to your kids, it’ll just make them wonder why you don’t bring your A-Game home to them. The next guy on his death-bed who says he wishes he spent more time at work will be the first. That’s the guy surrounded by his co-workers. Are those the last faces you want to see? They might as well be anonymous nurses on the night shift.
Be honest with your kids, but be honest with yourself first. If you treat your kids like a burden, they will return the sentiment. If you treat them like boarders behind on their rent, they will find a place that welcomes them. If you treat them like property, they won’t appreciate.
Give your kid a lifeline; it’s not the same as giving them enough rope to hang themselves. Give it with love and care and they won’t hang you either.
Be THAT Dad, give Mom the credit, and your kids will have the best chance of doing the same with their kids.
Think of this the next time you plan on making the world a better place.