Posts Tagged ‘ The Five Love Languages ’

Oh Wait… Are We Helicopter Parents? (Part 1)

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

22 months.

Recently at my son’s daycare, I was asked by a fellow parent, “I’ve noticed you carry Jack out everyday instead of walking him out like the rest of us. Why is that?

I didn’t know what to say.

Honestly, I had never thought about it before. I didn’t realize I was weird for not letting my son, who is now nearly half my height, to walk out to the car while holding my hand.

One answer that came to mind was that it’s too much trouble to get out of the building and into the car with him walking in the midst of distractions; that it’s just easier to carry him out. True…

But really, now that I’ve thought about it, I’d say the main reason I carry my nearly 2 year-old son into and out of day care each day is because it’s one of the rare times he actually likes me to be physically close to him; aside from wrestling him.

In other words, if you’re familiar with the book, The 5 Love Languages, my son’s is not physical touch.

However, he does this new thing now where as soon as I pick him up and start walking with him, he pats me on the back. It’s really sweet of him.

(I can’t believe I just said the word sweet. That’s so not my style.)

When I carry my son around, it’s like our designated “buddy time,” I guess.

But yes, it’s completely unnecessary, given that he’s been walking since I can’t remember.

So while it could just be that I enjoy our “man cuddle” time, yeah I know that sounds weird, it could be hinting at the fact that possibly, maybe, I might be a helicopter parent.

Let me unpack this theory, out loud.

When I think of the annoying phrase “helicopter parents,” it never has a positive connotation.

I think immediately of attachment parenting; something I never want to be associated with.

Why? Because I never want to be (or be seen as) an extremist, of any kind.

And when I think of helicopter parents, I think of extreme parents who are “a bit out there.”

With your feedback along with my self-analysis, I am going to try to figure out if my wife and I could possibly be considered helicopter parents.

You decide, after reading “Oh Wait… Are We Helicopter Parents? (Part 2).”

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I, Too, Was Once An Angry Zombie Dad

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

20 months.

During the first 15 months of my son’s life, I was essentially in survival mode.

No matter how positively I narrated this thing, I felt like a souvenir mug that had fallen on the floor, shattered, and then was superglued back together. Everyday.

I was never really one of those dads who went around saying, “I love being a dad! It’s tough, but when you come home at the end of the day and see that ‘little you’ looking up at you with those big eyes, it makes it all worth it.”

Yeah, that was never something I said nor thought. (Especially because my son is not a mini-me.)

Ah, but then my son turned the magical age of 15 months old. My life instantly got better!

Since then, I’ve been getting a better understanding now of why people enjoy being a parent; not just simply learning to deal with their new, demanding responsibilities.

Everyone has their own struggles and “default sins.” One of mine is greed. Not really with material possessions, but with my time.

If you’re familiar with the popular book, The Five Love Languages, then it’s important to note that “quality time” is probably my main love language.

When you become a parent and begin caring for an infant, the concept of quality time basically ceases to exist.

I was so disgruntled by the fact that my wife and I had to sacrifice meaningful conversations that didn’t revolve around our son, as well as, just even getting to hang out with each other on the couch and watch a movie without hearing that annoying “baby buzzer” going off.

Despite being a very outgoing guy, I’d say I’m just as much an introvert as I am an extrovert. I require a decent amount of solitude to function properly, where my deep and random thoughts can be born. So yeah, that pretty much went out the window too when my wonderful son arrived.

But once we were brave enough to incorporate “the cry it out method for our son and he instantly started sleeping through the night, we began getting our lives back.

When my son turned 15 months old, he started making me feel validated as a parent. It was like on Lost, realizing that pressing the button in the hatch every 108 minutes actually mattered and did good.

I finally began seeing a connection between my input as a parent and his output as a child. Man, I needed that.

My zombie days are over. I paid my dues. I have earned the right to have a magnificent son who daily plays “Props” on Whose Line Is It Anyway? with me.

I get to watch him do weird stuff like put a plastic rabbit on top of a toy car as if it’s normal.

And he depends on me to fix his hair in the morning and scare him with a Spiderman mask during playtime.

Oh, and have I mentioned that he loves learning how to “go pee-pee” by watching me? I’m not sure if I’ve written about that before, but don’t worry, there’s plenty more “watching Dada pee-pee” material coming up soon.

But hey, I’d rather being an oversharenting parent than an angry zombie dad.

Grrrrrr! Sorry, just had a flashback…

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