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Disappointment in Football and Fatherhood

After yesterday’s football debacle, it’s safe to say we here at DadTalk are feeling a bit deflated. Many of us donned our England shirts yesterday afternoon, realistically hopeful about the challenge that faced us in Germany’s group-topping side.

The end of the first half looked promising with Upson’s redemptive header and Lampard’s totally unfair disallowed goal (at least it was on target).

But then came the second half.

Fabio Capello’s Lions looked more like newborn kittens. And we all know what happened next.

Great hope, followed by great disappointment.

Sound familiar?

As dads we get our hopes up for our kids – we believe they can make the football team, ace their exams, get into a good university. We see their potential, and we try to make sure they have all the opportunities they need to succeed where we may have failed. We teach them what we know, make sacrifices to give them what they need, and then hope that everything we’ve done for them is enough.

But what we hope for isn’t always what we get:

Our teenage son won’t go out for school athletics because he’s afraid he won’t be the best.

Our daughter won’t revise for her exams because she’s learned she can do just enough to get by.

And so our great hope is met with great disappointment.

The question is: how do we as dads deal with that disappointment?

(Hint: probably not the same way we dealt with the England defeat)

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