Free online course for separated parents
Forum - Ask questions. Get answers.
Free online course for separated parents | DAD BLOGS: Mrunal | What we teach our children

What we teach our children

When we become fathers we are gifted the most wonderful opportunity imaginable. Here, in front of us is a beautiful creature whose life we will shape and that we can fill up with all of our love, our knowledge and our wisdom.  The problem is that I am not a particularly wise or knowledgeable man, so I have decided to borrow my wisdom from some of the great philosophers, thinkers and leaders from history. But when I looked at the list, I realised that most of my favourite sayings and quotes are a great credo for an adult but an absolute nightmare if your children take them to heart. Let me give you a few examples…

John F Kennedy famously said, “We choose to… do… things, not because they are they are easy , but because they are hard”. Kennedy was talking about the plan to put a man on the moon. His point is a good one- most of the things that are worth doing involve some risk and a lot of effort. Taking the easy option is rarely the right choice. However, when Arun is refusing to have his nappy changed and I utter the infamous words,” We can either do this the easy way or the hard way,” I really wish he would take the easy option.

Winston Churchill came up with many famous quotes but one of my favourites is “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”. I know what the cigar munching Nazi baiter meant and it was almost certainly not the attitude that my twenty month old daughter demonstrates when I try and put her into the buggy when she doesn’t want to go. As a general rule, the less attitude I see from my children the better. 

George Bernard Shaw, playwright and leading light of the Fabian society memorably said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”  When Arun and Meri are trying to change the world around them by throwing a tantrum in the middle of a Clarks shoe fitting I would be very happy for the world not to make any progress for a little while.

Gandhi, whilst leading the Indian Independence movement said, “Action expresses priorities.” Frankly, come 5pm in my house there has usually been far too much action and I would be grateful if my two perpetual motion machines could de-prioritise dragging their poor dad up to the loft for the tenth time that day just so that they can drag him back down again five minutes later. Why can’t inaction be a priority for just five minutes so their rapidly aging father can have a quiet cup of tea?

Finally, Bob the Builder said, “Yes we can!” and some bloke in America stole the line. In my house it is very much more a case of, “No you can’t!” as Meri tries to brain herself chasing a ball under the dining room table and forgetting to duck.

 In fact, I think I am going to have to change my children’s names to “Stop it!” and “No” because these seem to be what I say to them most often. In truth these are probably the best maxims I can offer them at the moment.


Related entries

Too old for this

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

Too old for this

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

Too old for this

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

County lines: what is it and how can you protect your child?

County lines: what is it and how can you protect your child?

You may have heard the term 'county lines'- it describes criminal activity involving the exploitation of children. Sadly many thousands of young people become embroiled in county lines every year. Here's a guide to what you need to know and how to protect your child:...

Pin It on Pinterest