Sunday, October 09, 2011

They're Not Your Dad

Dads with kids Jada's age, are you starting to get this line: "So-and-so's dad lets her do such-and-such." When Jada pulls this with me, it irks me to no end. After all, she lives like a princess, so for her to complain rings hollow to me.

I've said something to that effect a couple of times with Jada. But usually, I go with something else. "Well, so-and-so's dad is not your dad. I'm your dad. So what I say, goes."

Thankfully, Jada hasn't gone into full-on teenager mode yet. This statement seems to matter to her, enough so that when Aaron says something about her teacher or some other important adult in his life, Jada is quick to say, "That's nice, but they're not your dad. Daddy's your dad so what he says, goes."

As much as kids have it in their nature to want to rebel, to be independent, to desire more than what their parents give, I think kids do really want boundaries and structure and rules. One can go overboard, of course, but by and large I sense that Jada is happier when I am firm about my position of authority. She knows I love her (which I do), and she believes I know what I'm doing (which I do more often than I don't, at least), so there is a comfort level when I am clear about what I think is right and not right.

There's a life lesson in there somewhere, but let me just leave it at that. For now, I'm just glad I rein in my desire to go bat crazy when Jada pulls that line on me, and glad also that she's not yet a teenager.
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