37 of 100 Dads – Just Chat

Chris is not only a proud Dad, he’s also a self-described “Household Goofball.” He loves the name Dad and the depth of love that comes with the title. With one young son, Chris is enjoying both the quite times and the incessant chatter.

Chris confesses when struck by the intense responsibility of parenting, the awareness can be a bit overwhelming; however, with the guidance and support of his “amazing wife” he has no question he can handle the job. Laughter and learning are at the core of his parenting values.

Chris, “Not everythingo of your mouth must be some momentous or a pontificating life lesson. More can be learned and shared between both you and your child in a casual conversation.Tip 1

Chris’ tips sure did bring me back to the early years. From choking hazzards to nature hikes there is so much to cover. It was interesting to reflect on his cautions regarding the intensity in parenting, accompanied by encouraging simplicity. I haven’t mastered this balance, even after almost 30 years later.

I appreciate his mention of casual conversation. I’ve come to recognize,  it’s not something I’m generally good at. Particularly in my parenting days, I looked at my role to be primarily teaching and sustaining life. Maybe casual was not within my reach or had never been suggested. I love the suggestion.

I recall seeking teachable moments in all activities, from morning routines straight through to bedtime rituals. I was attempting to cover all topics and expose Michael to everything within my reach. I rushed to the playground to ensure I could check it off my list. I carried him to the top of a tree because I had never climbed one myself. I assigned meaning to each interaction. Everything was purposeful.

I asked Michael about his day primarily because I was seeking to teach him about daily management. I wanted to assist him with problem solving rather than celebrate the happenings.

In my case, my own childhood was so bleak, I was ensuring Michael’s memories would be plentiful and vibrant. I rarely sat quietly. I rarely felt calmness.

I did accomplish my goal of providing Michael a rich and memorable childhood; however, in hindsight, I recognize I maybe didn’t have to be constantly seeking, doing or pontificating.

Now my little boy is a grown man, with a family of his own. I must admit, I still seek to teach and still pontificate. Often time a casual conversation leaves me just wanting more, or believing Michael wanted more.

Forever learning, I will take Chris’ first tip under advisement. I do believe, as he states, “More can be learned and shared between both you and your child in a casual conversation.” I really didn’t think of things in that way.

Thanks Chris. I will work more to appreciate the casual time.


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