Friday, November 30, 2007

Oy

My 2-year-old son recited an entire book to me tonight. I gave him a handful of prompts, turned the pages, and did nothing else. It was frightening - even though I know he's listened to that story 8,000,000,000 times - because I wouldn't have the slightest chance of repeating anything in that story from memory. And I can read. And he can't. I think.

I know my kids will eventually be better than me at lots of common tasks, until eventually they dominate me in things like bowel control and saliva removal. But I'm disappointed that I'm losing ground already.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

This is about you

Scientific American has a great article about how kids learn. There are nuggets in there for everybody. No matter how old you are, if you think this story doesn't apply to you, you are either deceiving yourself or you are very very very well-adjusted.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The (possible) Dungy Exception

An addendum to my previous post on parenting:

Some professions require a lot of time away from family. Sometimes, these situations are unavoidable - either because of unfortunate circumstances or because of a spiritual calling. These parents have a doubly difficult task: to work hard at a demanding job, yet be physically, emotionally, and mentally connected to their spouse and children as often as possible. It can be done, but one must be always on guard for warning signals and open to changing course, even if it means overcoming fear or ego.

Consider yourself blessed if you never find yourself in this position.

Book Review: Tony Dungy's Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life

Tony Dungy's Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life is a memoir about Tony's faith and NFL coaching career. His story starts slow but hits a quick pace by the end, where Tony enters some of the most emotional moments in his life: his son's suicide and his Super Bowl season.

I agree with Tony's values, but there's a disconnect between his message and his actions. The demands of his job make it nearly impossible for him to be an effective father. He discusses this in the book and surely continues to struggle with it.

In almost every other aspect of life, Tony is a great role model and his words contain important messages for all Christians, particularly fathers. But fathers should be cautious to do as he says, not as he does. Be there for your wife and children.

Life's Little Priority List

1) God (if you're a person of faith)
2) Spouse (if you're married)
3) Kids (if you have them)
4) Extended Family
5) Friends and Community
6) Career, Hobbies, pretty much everything else

If anything gets out of order, especially for a long time, and especially high up in the list, nasty long-lasting problems occur. If you keep this list in mind and act accordingly, your chances of having a supremely happy life go way up.