Skip to main content

This Dad - Emmitt Smith - Gets It

Some people get it; some people don't.

I'm an Eagles fan and so Emmitt Smith was never my favorite player. I rooted against him and his team countless times.

But he gets it.

I'll bring up a sort of related point in a minute, but first: When asked if Smith would let his son play football - a big question that former players face these days - he said yes. Here is what he said:
Why would I steal his passion from him?” Smith said. “I never made him play football. He had many choices, options. I love watching him play basketball. Football, I get nervous just like any other parent. And I’m concerned for him just like any other parent. But his goals are his goals, and my job is to help him reach it and protect him when he needs protection. And so to take another kid’s passion from them is just not right. I don’t think it’s right. It’s like me taking your passion from you, telling you, ‘You cannot do this.’ When you want to do it. Especially if it’s right. It’s good for him.”
Yes!

Yes. A parent's job is to help a kid reach their potential and goals, not to fulfill the parents' goals or life - an attitude I call "live like Daddy" syndrome. That means that if my daughter wants to ice skate, I find a way to get on skates, even though I've never been on them myself and am a confirmed catastrophe on roller skates. I know the situation is a little different here. A parent must also protect a child from overly dangerous situations. And yes, that sometimes that means saying no.

But it doesn't here, in this situation. Sure, at some point a kid might need to be pulled from the game or the team. If say, a kid gets a concussion, or maybe gets a second, you have to grapple with the question of "how much is too much."

But that moment is before the child has even started playing. Sure, you a parent needs to make themselves aware of the risks, and concussions are certainly a risk. But not every player gets a concussion. And not playing football doesn't ensure a child won't get a concussion. My sister has never played a down of football and has had at least two.

A parent's job is exactly as Smith describes it: it is to identify goals and passions and encouraging them.

About that little disclaimer above. The related point I wanted to make is this: we shouldn't let our kids do anything. That is the wrong question. Within reason - and that range only excludes truly hazardous things - we should be fostering interests. It isn't our job as parents to let our kids do things, only make sure they are safe when undertaken.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Parenting As A Two-Edged Sword

A) The other day I took time out of my schedule to play dolls with my daughter.

B) The other day, I took time away from playing dolls with my daughter to cook dinner.

Which really happened? A, or B?

From a certain perspective, both are true. As Obi wan Kenobi warned:


What I told you was true… from a certain point of view
In the moment, I considered myself a heroic Dad. Here I was, valiantly cooking dinner for the kids and their Mom while also managing to get in some one-on-one time with one of the kids. And playing one of her favorite things, too boot. That is perspective A. 
But it occurred to me that from her perspective (B), what I was saying might not be true. 
Instead of a Dad demonstrating superpowers of multi-tasking, she might simply be seeing me as too busy to really give her my full attention. 
When I look back in 10 years I might well remember the hectic but great times when I played dolls with her while cooking.
And as a teen, she may well look back as at a Dad too consumed with…

I Really Should...

... write an ode to Yunnan jig tea. It's great, honestly.  Smooth and delightful with just the right amount of punchy flavor.  Not coffee, but nicely caffeinated.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, find some loose leaf Yunnan jig and brew away.  May I suggest something from www.adagio.com?

... creatively write more.  I have a few story ideas.  At least 3, including the one I've already written and desperately need to edit and round out.  But its such a ... chore.  I really like reading, and I don't mind writing.  I actually enjoy writing one-off stuff like I do here.  But putting together 75k-100k in a complete order that makes sense and completes a story arc?  Ugh. Its all ... so much.  Blame my years in journalism, where I write tons of one-off stuff where the narrative is kind of half written for

(Speaking of this blog and writing)

... post more here.  As with all things, I guess, time is hard to find, whilst being a poor excuse.

... think before I agree…

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…