Fatherhood, it can be hard.
I watched a basketball tournament today that my oldest son was playing in.
In the first game, his effort levels were abhorrent and we had a hard conversation after the game – there were tears.
In the second and third games, he played much harder and I was impressed at his performance, as was he.
We followed up the basketball tournament with a family trip to watch the Black Panther, which was a very enjoyable movie with a good plot and a solid message.
After the movie, I had to exercise what I have been learning in my Stoic readings, specifically I am in control of my mind, nobody else, in a less than fun interaction with our youngest son.
At the end of the 3D movie, he wanted to keep his glasses and bring them home, versus putting them in the appropriate recycling box. Given he has brought too many pairs home over time, only to be discarded around the house, I took them away and recycled them.
As a result of my recycling his glasses, he had a fit, would not talk to me, would not touch me, and was generally just not nice to me.
A woman observed this in the elevator and heard me calmly talking to him and saying Son, remember, you get to choose how you react to a situation, I don’t make that choice for you. When we were walking to our cars, she said to me You’re a good father. Wow, that is the first time I have heard something like that in dealing with my son and his temper. It felt amazing.
By the time we arrived home, I was still calm and had managed to get the little guy back into a happy mood. He had let go of his anger and was hugging me and talking to me again.
I don’t always make the right choices as a father. I wish I could be better at controlling how I behave with my boys, and even my wife.
Fatherhood, despite at times being hard, it can also be beautiful.
The morning after I wrote this in my journal, I read a great post how to effectively discipline strong willed children.
Financial independence thoughts
When should you start having hard conversations with your children about financial independence? When you do, what should you talk to them about?
- Teach kids to be financially independent
- Tips for teaching kids about financial independence
- Teaching kids about money
- How to teach your kids about money
After reading these, I realize I am deficient in teaching my children about money.
I said to my wife, before we had children, that I wanted to do the following with them:
- Assign them specific jobs to do as members of the household
- Provide a certain amount of weekly compensation for those jobs [an allowance]
- Have regular performance reviews with them on how they are performing in their jobs
- In the performance reviews, discuss what additional responsibilities they might take on and how they could earn additional compensation
- Teach them how to handle their weekly earnings – i.e. teach them the concepts of financial independence, which I boil down to three simple things
- Reduce spending
- Invest savings
- Increase earnings
It’s never to late to realize that we can still do this. Something to consider with my wife.