Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Top five father responsibilities

Fathers have loads of issues with which they must deal everyday. We need to make sure we don't neglect our five most important jobs.

1. Do not let your child get seriously injured through an act of father stupidity.

My biggest fear before having children was that my child would be hurt because of some silly thing I had done. Lord knows I have suffered many avoidable injuries in my time, but at least none were the fault of my parents. (At least none I remember anyway.) I have very nearly violated this rule several times, but aside from one broken wrist (which was entirely Isaac's fault) we have managed pretty well. He did suffer a needless injury once that was not his fault, but I was not present, so I can live with that. A mercury-filled thermometer broke in his mouth when he was a few days old. That was a fun phone call. We were very nervous with the first.

2. Answer every question.

The first couple of years after kids start talking, the questions can get a bit much, but I am glad I hung in there. After answering every question as honestly as possible for the first couple of years (to a fault), we are beginning to see the fruits of our labor. Sure, Isaac doesn't believe in unicorns, but at least he knows arachnids only have two body parts. (An easy lesson in a house with as many spiders as ours).

3. Build stuff with sons and daughters.

This is hard for me because I am mechanically-challenged, but kids should see at least one parent doing repairs around the house. I have even noticed the boys copying my frustration levels when they pretend to fix stuff. I like overhearing them say things like, "This stupid bolt won't turn -- ah!" and then turn to a different plastic Bob the Builder tool. I may as well use Bob the Builder tools because unless something is unplugged, I will likely not be able to help resolve the problem.

4. Foster a positive relationship between son and mother (protect him from nagging).

I think all good blogs are controversial to a degree, so I thought I would start on just my second post. I know from only my own personal experience that moms and wives can, on occasion and usually with good reason, be a little critical of the men in their lives.
They nag. God, they nag.
And it makes it even worse for me when I know they are right. Nevertheless, dads must protect their boys. If you can do it by making sure your son does not err too much, then great. I find setting part of the house on fire as a distraction when Michaela starts in on Isaac for not finishing his breakfast by 7:00 a.m. works best.

Side note: My mom used to wake me up at 6:00 in the morning when I would come back from college and nag me about not doing the dishes and THEN she would call me at college early in the morning to nag about stuff. (Not that I have any suppressed emotional damage from it or anything!)

5. Have a beer, relax and make sure your kids listen to good music.

If you do not drink, I certainly do not recommend you start. A beer now and then, though, I find is well more-deserved than it used to be in college. Along the same lines (leisure time) make sure your kids develop good taste in music. I don't believe in making them worship what you want them to, but God I hate the Wiggles! I am proud that Isaac's first favorite artist was the Black Crowes. From the time he was two he would begin asking for them as soon as we got in the car. Elliot is a HUGE Queen fan. He can sit for an hour watching live Freddy Mercury performances.


  1. My dad and I built the most ridiculous model boat, which only even looked like a boat to us. It was really bad, but I still remember it and I am grateful for the memory.

  2. At least you finished it. I spent years trying to make a go-kart without a dad in the home. Disaster. One of my biggest regrets in life is not making a motorized go-kart out of a lawn mower engine.

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