For the fathers out there, when I say the sentence, “Make your child the captain of their own destiny”, you may literally imagine a captain. I did. A boat, a beard, a brash sense of humor. Stoic.
And that’s actually what I’m going to recommend you fathers do – envision your child as someone important, making decisions, steering his ship.
Except this ship is metaphorical.
So pick your issue. Bravery at drop off. Clearing that plate. Conquering that diving board.
First let me link the article I got this inspiration from in the show notes. It’s a fatherly.com article and it was about sleeping. Specifically titled: “I Let My Kids Determine Their Sleep Schedule and Bedtime Became Peaceful(ish)”
And its premise is simple. Give up control.
Give up control to your kid and see what happens.
Now think back to your issue: Conquering that diving board? What would happen if you gave your kid control?
Maybe they’d stand off to the side and watch 35 of their friends jump off of it, then walk up on it.
Maybe they’d go stand halfway and sit on it.
Maybe they’d turn and never look back.
But I bet in the end giving them that control is more beneficial than any other rules/requirements/or/recipes for success that you have.
That control is what we should be doing as fathers. Giving a little.
So what happened to those kids after their father announced that for a week, they could go to sleep whenever they wanted? Turned out to be fine. They fell asleep at reasonable hours.
It turns out kids can deal with their own control when you’ve built a supportive, understanding world around them.