EP36 Dads Are A Little Dumb
When most guys find out they're going to be a dad, they imagine the kid at five years old already... they don't think about all that goes into getting them to five years old!
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Hello and welcome to this episode of, I don't know Jack about parenting where today I'm going to share how us dads are frankly a little dumb.
Hey, welcome to this episode of I don't know Jack about parenting where today I'm going to just talk about how dads we are frankly just a little bit dumb and I'm going to give you the first example of how we are a little dumb. When we find out that we are about to be parents or about to become a father. I would venture to say that most if not all, men immediately picture themselves with their five year old son. For those of us who are athletic, we picture throwing a football, throwing a baseball, maybe some guys who are a little bit more scientific or picturing, you know, breaking up rocks or looking under a microscope, but at the end of the day we're so dumb. We forget that there's five years before they become five and we have to adapt and we still have to be parents to someone who's less than five years old. I just watched something that triggered this for me because it was a a business, a one minute clip on Instagram and the guy talks about how everybody wants to be the first at something. They want to be the first into the next hot thing. Like, man, I can't wait to find the next Facebook. I can't wait to find the next Instagram. I can't wait to find the next twitter. I'm going to be first on that platform. And he says, you guys want to be first, and he thinks have been around for a long time. Why don't you get good at what is currently exists and understand the market and then go check that out.
Stop waiting for these moments
Then I thought to myself, you know what, parents, dads in particular can't wait til our kid gets to be five years old so we can play that game. We can't wait until once he's five, like we throw the ball and it's like, man, well I just can't wait till he gets to know be 10 and he starts getting good at these sports where I could really cheer him on and I can't wait til he starts playing high school sports where there's real competition and maybe a sport or scouts checking them out. I can't wait till he gets that college scholarship and I would say this, stop waiting for these moments and just like this guy said in his business thing, why don't you just get really good at what's current and what's current is today? Why don't you get really good about enjoying your five year old or just get really good and empowering your seven year old. Why don't you get really good right now? I have a 16 month old of just laughing and playing and, and I want to tell you one of my favorite things to do at this point is he brings me books all day long and guess what? Every time he brings me a book, I pop it open and I start reading it and as soon as I started reading and guess what, he walks away to the shelf and he goes and gets another one. And my wife the other day walked in on me doing this. It was in the evening and he brought a of all books.
This was just last night. He brought me his very first Bible where it talks about Adam and eve in David and Goliath and a couple of these stories and they're literally, you know, 10 broken down into 10 sentences, over two or three pages to, to talk to a baby about these stories. And I'm reading it and he's paying zero attention. And my wife says, are you just reading this to read it? I say, he brought it to me, so I'm reading it. I said he's paying attention in his own little way and he's starting to hear these stories so he'll start to like these stories and he'll start to listen to these stories, but I have to get really good about being present with my kid even though he may walk away. He brought me a book. I read it when my 16 month old and I've been doing this as long as he could do it. Whenever he reaches his hands up, he's saying, Daddy, I want you to hold me. He walks up to me, raises his hands, Daddy, I want you to hold me. He doesn't know how to say that other than putting his hands up into the air every time, unless my hands are full for some reason, and even then I acknowledge him. Every time I pick him up now I may hold them for 10 seconds just to acknowledge the fact that, hey, when you need daddy, when you want Daddy, I will not reject you.
Let me just give you the other part of this
And there are times when he does it and let's say my hands are full and I say, just wait one minute, buddy. Let me put this stuff down and daddy will be right there and he hears that tonality and he actually understands it at this point and I'll put things down and I pick him up and he chuckles. Um, being present as it is being a father. I'm being current at what I'm doing and being a parent. And I liked the thing this time around is, it's the second time around I'm getting kinda good at it because I understand the benefits because now that I have a seven year old and I did the same things with him, I see how confident he is. I see that the other day. Let me just give you the other part of this. We talked so much and I said to him the other day, you keeping secrets from me and he like looks at me. I said, I know there's a secret out there that you haven't told me that you just want to share with me. And he looks at me and he says, Dad, it's been bugging me for a couple of weeks. I said, what's the.
He says, I have some, uh, Mikey's bucks, his, his, his rewards at school. They give them fake dollars that they could buy things. He goes during my backpack, he goes, but I didn't put them there and he shares with me the name of the kid in his class who told the teacher that he had took them and nobody threw them away. And then my son a couple of days later is in his backpack and he sees this stuff that he heard was discarded but was actually in his backpack. He says, I have Mikey stuff in and I want to give it back to him, but I don't know how because I don't want the teacher to think that I took it. But the kid who said he threw it out, obviously if his words were throw it out, throw it out in my backpack, I don't know what to do but it's not mine and, and, and I don't want to get in trouble. And I was like, Whoa, that's some stuff.
I'm just getting really good at listening
And he's carrying that with him. But notice what I did there. He jokingly said something. I said, we got a secret. Is there some secret out there you want to tell me? And he knows when he's come to me with difficult things or things where he knew he was wrong and he's told me, listen, when he tells me, when he told me I didn't scold him, but dads we're a little dumb and listen you guys, this is, I don't know, Jack about parenting. I'm just getting really good at listening to what my son has to say, but more important than listening. I'm learning to ask questions so that he knows I'm interested in him. And I said to him, how do you think we could solve this problem? And he says, I don't know. I haven't figured it out.
I said, well, I want to thank you for sharing it with me. How about we do this? You just told me what's going on. Uh, and I am going to write a letter to the teacher. I'm going to put the bucks in an envelope with that and I'm just going to let her know a little bit about what happened without naming names because nobody needs to get in trouble. And she in her own way, whichever way that is, can return the bucks to Mikey and Mikey doesn't need to know that you have it. And at the other kid didn't have it. I'm sure Mikey is just going to be happy that he got his bucks back. How does that sound? Because then I liked that. I said I like it too. So what did I do? I wrote the letter. I put it in an envelope. I put it in his backpack, in the folder that the teacher gets everyday that we have correspondence and I believe at this point Mikey has his bucks back.
I almost want to be like a granddad
We're dumb, but we need to be present so that we can listen and we need to stop thinking about the next step be because before you know it, your kid's going to be off to college and they're gonna be 25 and 30 and maybe you'll have grandkids. And that's not when you want to become present. I almost want to be like a granddad. Well, I'm a dad. And what I mean by that is this. It seems like grandparents have all the wisdom and patience because they've kind of been there, done that.
I don't want to be the cool granddad while I'm still a dad. I want to be the cool dead who almost acts like the Granddad who can just love and pour onto the kid because he doesn't have anything else in his life going on. Now, mind you, dads, moms out there, you know there's a ton of stuff going on and I'm going to share this last little quick tidbit and then I'll end this [inaudible]. Get dads were a little dumb. Somebody gave me some wonderful information and I think we could apply it here. When I was putting myself through college and I was waiting tables in a very high end steakhouse and the manager that empowered a 19 year old to be a waiter in his establishment when most waiters and then establishment were 30 and career waiters. He says, this is all I need you to know you're a business major.
I want you to treat this station as though it's your business. You got four tables and treat them as if it was your business and he goes and I want to share this last tidbit with you and this is what ties in. He says, when you're at a table taking care of a guest, act as though nothing else matters in the room. Be patient with them, take their order, pour into them and you will be rewarded a cause, cause chaos could be going on. It could be Saturday night at 8:00 and in the kitchen is falling apart in the front desk and the line is going out the door and there's other people complaining that their food is not coming out right, but you smile at your guests, you take care of them and you treat them as if they're the only people in the restaurant in. That always served me. I did very well when I was in that profession. Even though there's chaos flying around you and you have job commitments and work commitments and wife commitments and and, and you know, elderly parents who need some help in this and that when you sit with your child, act as if none of that matters. And if you could do that, dad's for 15 minutes a day, I guarantee you, without fail, you will have the most amazing relationship with your children. And I'm telling you, it only takes 15 minutes a day.
Dads were a little dumb and now that you know, there may not be any excuses and you can say, hey, it's not that simple. I guarantee you our children are that simple. We'll see you in the next episode.
About the Author
Ryan Roy is the father of two boys and on a mission to be the dad he wished he had... and to help other fathers be the best they can be too.
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