My son recently turned 6 and while there are so many awesome new first experiences, I’m still a little sad on what I missed out on while working late or not making it to an event or two.
I’m trying to make up for those times and recently gave up a lot of overtime to de-stress a little and reconnect with my son, Oliver. A colleague helped me make the decision when she told me, “Matt, you need to leave earlier, go home and wrestle with Ollie. Throw him around a little”. With wrestling being one of my son’s favorite things to do, when she said that to me, I instantly imagined the smile on his face. So that’s what I did, I gave up the extra work, I’ve been coming home earlier and wrestling more – and life is better.
Aside from the job that pays the bills, since my son turned 3 he’s known exactly what my two most important jobs are:
- To keep him safe
- To help him become a man
Oliver loves to reverse the priorities of these jobs insisting that I must help him become a man first (often as he’s jumping off the bed or over the sofa). We laugh and it strengthens our bond – I think he appreciates me being explicit about it as it’s a great reminder to justify why I nag him about how to hold/walk with scissors or why we have to clean out the sugar bugs.
Earlier today I saw National Geographic’s tweet:
Watch this adorable baby elephant struggle to get on its feet—with a little help from mom pic.twitter.com/UItOn7sd42
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) July 8, 2017
No matter if human or animal, the instinct to help our young ones stand and remain on their feet is programmed in us as parents. I think it’s also programmed in our young to want to be helped. Sure, they may become stubborn and independent in at times (which is growing and development) but they need to know that they have someone around to help them overcome their challenges.
So far I think I’ve been effective however, my mailman and neighbors have told me it’s easy at this age when they see their father as the king and I should wait a few years – I guess I’ll find out.
How do you let your kids know you’re the king or queen? What changes have you noticed after age 6? Please leave a comment to help me prepare!