The mindshare I apply to aspects of my life shifts with surprising speeds sometimes. I was recently talking to an old friend and it got me thinking about parenting. I am not going to win any awards for #1 Dad. I do make an effort to be present for my kids’ lives. I bring them along when I go places and try to provide fun outings for them. At home I try to create a safe and occasionally even clean environment.
I struggle in terms of healthy activities of daily living. I am not the best example of healthy eating habits or sleep habits. I do well with personal grooming, but struggle to get my girls to brush teeth and look forward to baths and combing hair.
Educationally I struggle as well. I am very apt to turn on the electronic baby sitter (television). I will occasionally read books or do puzzles, but only when I am getting sick of “Tom & Jerry.”
I try to borrow ideas from the daycare they attend. I use words like privileges for activities they enjoy like using crayons or scissors. I talk about making choices when they are demanding irrational things. My favorite is “life skills” which are a reference to cleaning up. At school it is the tables and chairs. At home it is toys.
I am sure that I am not unique. Every parent must feel there are things that could be better. I would like to meet the individual who says “Everything is fine, let’s have them start watching more television and eating more sweets and snacks before dinner.”