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Brilliant Dad!?

Recently I was featured as a “Brilliant Dad” over at That isn’t to brag.

I think the bar for parenting is pretty low.  Despite this, I don’t feel very brilliant most days.  That is the truth.

I see so many posts on twitter and on blogs about parenting by “instinct.”  But what if my instincts are all wrong? As I said in my Brilliant Dad feature, I’m not sure I’m constructed to really parent well.

I’m a bit of a loner; I’m a bit introverted; I need alone time to “recharge,” and without it I can be short tempered. I’m frustrated when people can’t follow directions. None of these are great qualities to have as a parent.  That last one is pretty much the definition of four year olds and nothing will make you butt heads with a four-year old faster than acting like a four-year old.

And so my instinct is to do it myself; at least when I’m not sighing and expressing anger.

Because I need that recharge time, I find myself struggling sometimes with frustration.  I find myself distracted sometimes when I haven’t gotten that time.

Doing something for my kids is faster.  But am I really doing my kids any good?  How is putting their shoes on for them helping them?

As for sighing and expressing anger, well, THAT can’t be good.

So what is a Dad to do?

I try to find recharge time.  Because stressed parenting does not equal good parenting.  But if you are reading this you probably have kids.  You know how “finding time” goes, right?

As for my instincts? I waffle between giving them everything they want and nothing.

Don’t want to wear socks?  Fine.  Don’t want to put your shoes on yourself?  We can’t go outside at all.

My wife constantly reminds me to pick my battles. Its good great advice. Its figuring out which battles to pick.  Is Battle A the difference between them being able to function well, or is it Battle B?  Will giving in on A or B result in some pretty annoying behavior down the road?

I’m not sure it makes any sense to me, let alone them. 


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