I’m looking forward to seeing my lad today.
With all due respect to all my other family and friends, he is the most important person in my life and, if I achieve nothing else in my entire life (That’s going spectacularly according to plan then, Russ?), my legacy will be that I have been a good dad to him. (Although I’ve not entirely given up on achieving the everlasting Shakespearian notoriety I dreamt about as a teenager.)
I treat him as a son, a friend and (from the age of 11) an individual and a mini adult. Kids are adults-in-waiting. Treat them as such and they mature more quickly than if you constantly treat them as a child.
My job is to guide him, encourage him and support him in all he does. To praise him when he does well and sometimes reward him for his achievements.
I never tell him what he SHOULD do (you wouldn’t do that to an adult) only advise him as to what he COULD do and leave him to make his own decisions, whether I agree with them or not. It is the only way kids can grow as an individual person.
And, if he fails spectacularly, never admonish him but praise him for trying and be there to catch him when he falls and support him. But it’s all about giving him freedom to fail. Isn’t that how we all learnt?
As a result, he tries his hand at literally everything without fear and I’m immensely proud of him for that.
I’m always there to help him in any way I can and advise and support him in what he does if he ask me. He knows that.
I have never lied to or bullshitted him about anything. I value honesty above all else. And, if he takes that in life, along with other good values from me like loyalty, trust, kindness, generosity, care and compassion for others, unbelievable modesty and QPR supporting (Tough ask, that one) then I would have done my job and my time on this planet would have been worthwhile.
If, at the end of the day, he wants to become a doctor, solicitor, teacher or scientist, that is fine by me.
If he wants to hitch-hike across the world and become a sofa-surfer or beach bum, that is also fine by me, as long as he invites me along too because it sounds great. Although his mum and nan would throw a wobbly.
I’ve taught him he can be whatever he wants to be as long as he is happy doing it and that you only get one life and sometimes it can be unbelievably short, so don’t waste it on the mundane and drudgery like others often do.
In short, and with respect to all others, he is the best part of my life and I love him to bits.
See, and you thought all my parenting skills involved was going to McDonald’s, watching DVDs and making Angel Delight… Tch!
Having said that, when I see him today, going to McDonald’s, watching DVDs and making Angel Delight together is on our list of things to do.
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