This I Believe

David - Queen Creek, Arizona
Entered on February 22, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: parenthood

I believe my 7 year old son thinks that I know everything, and that is because I have told him that I do. My 16 year old son used to think that I know absolutely nothing at all, and that is because his friends told him so. I am amused at how my oldest son tries so hard to discuss events that shape our lives and he gets angry at me because he thinks I am laughing at him. You see I smile at him a lot and I am not laughing at him, I am merely happy that he has grown to the point where he knows that I don’t know everything and he tries very hard to prove that very same point. He struggles through arguments with me because I begin smiling and this just irritates him even more but I cannot help myself. Happiness is hard to hide when I see this young male becoming a man before my eyes. He is on the verge of greatness, well maybe not greatness, but on the verge of stepping into his future. And his future is bright, I can see that. I believe he can see that too if he can only get past my grinning face. A while back this son told me I was a lousy father. I was hurt and mad so I told him it was because he was a lousy son. I suppose those confrontations are part of the teenage, hate your parents syndrome that most parents go through and we made up a long time ago but I cannot help but feel just a tinge of pain when I think about it. I believe my 16 year old son no longer thinks that I am a lousy father but I do know that he questions many of the things I say and do, not because he thinks I am wrong, but because is is trying understand why, and this I believe will help him become a better, smarter young man.

I believe parenting begins with showing your children that you are their support and that you will protect them from everything out there in the world. In this way you are telling them that you know everything. As they grow, my sons will see my imperfections and they will learn that when they ask “why” and I finally tell them “Because that is just the way it is” they will will begin to understand that Dad does not know everything and that the world is unclear and unsure that is okay. Not knowing everything will give them their own courage to find their own answers; and that is one of the biggest task in parenting. Giving your children the courage to ask questions, to seek answers. I believe I am not a lousy father, but I think of those words often. I never remind him of what he said but I think of them so that I can be a better father. Now if I can just get my 16 year old to quit telling his younger brothers that dad does not know everything.