Lighten Up, Dad

At lunch today, I stumbled across this article by Kevin Deyoung about parenting.

He hits the nail right on the head:

I was listening to this bit about children from Brian Regan and around the 1:35 mark he tells the story about his son flinging around half-eaten spaghetti from his mouth and watching the sauce splatter across the room. Regan explained that he made a mistake as a parent because he stopped him: “Hey man, knock that off. Can’t you see the paint on the walls is more important than the joy in your heart?!” At that last line the audience burst into loud laughter and applause.

I know, I know, it’s a stand-up routine and a not a sermon. Let’s not take it too seriously. But the audience resonated with the line–and so do many of us I imagine–because there is something uncomfortably and refreshingly insightful about the joke.

I find that I do this most with J out on the soccer field…

The ball will roll to him and he will kick it as hard as he can — STRAIGHT out of bounds. And then, with a huge, celebratory grin, he runs up to me excited about his little contribution/act of rebellion.

I’m not certain, but I’m 97% sure I’ve never responded with a smile or a high-five.

Instead, I find myself trying to decide whether to scold him (for intentionally disobeying) or correct him (for not understanding the game).

What the (bleep) is wrong with me?


Anyways, the article is a great exposition of a lesson I need to learn.

And below is the video he references. Great stuff: