“Tuesdays with Daddy” are BACK!

February 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Blog, Fatherhood, Tuesdays with Daddy

In the early days of TrueManhood, going back to the earliest version of these posts in November of 2009, I began writing posts entitled “Tuesdays with Daddy”.  At the time, because I worked lots of nights and weekends, I was able to work my schedule so that I could stay home on Tuesdays, which afforded me special time with my children.  Back in 2009, my wife and I had our first two children; our young daughters… only 2 and 1 years old.  At that point, parenting – especially the aspect of being a great father – was foremost on my mind.  I was trying to figure out just how to parent and wanted to give my kids everything they could ever need, especially a spiritual foundation that was strong in our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.  I wanted to be a super dad.  Now, nearly a decade later, I still want to give them everything, and I work hard to be a super dad, but it looks a bit different.

Experience. Wisdom.  Suspense.  Heartache. Frustration.  Exhaustion.  Trial and error; okay, maybe more error than anything. Lots of words can be used to describe parenting.  However we slice it, life comes at us hard and fast, and kids develop quickly, and as parents, we have to stay on top of our game.  These days, my four children are in such a cool place.  They are incredibly active (involved in great academic endeavors, playing numerous team sports, training in mixed martial arts, studying piano and voice, becoming young chefs, and open to all kinds of activities and experiences!), not to mention that they are all at the ages where we can begin to have deep conversations that are meaningful, formative, and long-lasting.  Their spiritual formation is “on point”, as the cool kids say, and they can reasonably make their way through questions of faith, apologetics, and morals.  They’re pretty young for those types of deep convos, but I embrace it and can’t wait to share more with you!  My wife tends to meet with counseling clients on Tuesday afternoons and evenings, and that means that I find myself back with some special time with them on Tuesdays!  Hence, “Tuesdays with Daddy” are back.  I likely won’t be posting every Tuesday, but when good content pops up, you’ll be the first to read about it.

This first-post-back, I don’t have a radical story from Tuesday.  Rather than take you through the daily grind, I want to share a few experiences that occurred recently and how we worked through them.  First off, my son turned 7 a few days ago, and he received Heely’s from Grandma in the mail.  (Heely’s are shoes with wheels in the soul, like one-wheel roller skate shoes.)  He wanted to take the little wheel-removal-tool and be able to swap the wheels in and out.  I “ixnayed” that quickly because I know that once those wheels come out, either 1. They’ll be lost or 2. They’ll never go back in quite right, rendering the shoe worthless.  But, he’s 7 and likes to push the limits, so… he asked me about three times if he could have the tool.  He then asked my wife where the tool was, “just in case I ever need it”, he said, and then after dinner, I spotted him looking for the tool again.  I called him over, and firmly gave him my clear expectations.  After I laid out numerous reasons why he would forfeit his shoes to me if he took the wheels out, I had him repeat back to me what I just told him.  He heard me, repeated it back verbatim, and I highly doubt that he’ll ever try to take the wheels out.  So, it’s not really about the shoes or the wheels.  It’s not about his age.  It’s not about letting him make mistakes on his own terms  For me, it was about him knowing that I set a clear expectation for him and that there would be a clear consequence should he break the rule.  

Over the decade-plus of my being a dad, I’ve realized that there are plenty of times to take a stand, and plenty of times to let things slide.  The hardest part is knowing the difference.  This brings me to another great parenting point… and I certainly didn’t coin it, but absolutely believe in this principle wholeheartedly… “rules without relationship will end in rebellion.”  If a child only receives rules and punishment when he breaks them, but doesn’t understand the reasoning behind the rules, or the reasoning behind it doesn’t come from a place of love, then they will inevitably rebel.  David Jr. knows from the relationship that we have, that “Daddy is hard on you but you can absolutely live up to the expectation because you are good, you are loved, and you are so stinkin’ awesome!”

Another event that happened on Tuesday was the simple opportunity to cuddle with my 5 year old.  Her name is Maria and she is the “baby of the family.”  She is so incredible, and all she wants is to cuddle into Daddy’s arms and talk, or watch a home improvement show, or just “be”.  To the dads out there who are reading this, are you giving your kids enough physical touch?  They are in serious developmental stages and physical touch is proven to improve their self-confidence, their ability to thrive academically, and their emotional well-being.  Evaluate yourself hard on this and step your game up, especially for that one troublesome child you have, that is hardest to love.  They are the one who needs it the most.

As “Tuesdays with Daddy” pick back up, I hope to bring some practical aspects of parenting to the table, and share our crazy-ish life, hopefully to help others, and perhaps just to make you crack a smile.

TrueMan up!

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