I get an email every weekday from All Pro Dad. The email includes a short encouragement and a practical tip. I don't follow through on every email, mostly because they don't always apply (and sometimes, to be honest, I don't agree with their approach).
But most of the ideas that they send help me be a better husband and father.
A recent email encouraged me to ask my kids these questions:
“What is the best thing about being (age) ___________?” And then ask, “What is the hardest thing about being (age) __________?
Here is how my kids responded:
- Best: The privileges of being the oldest (like being able to sit in the front seat, and that adults trust her with their own young children).
- Hardest: Being younger than other kids in her grade (at church).
- Best: Flexibility of being able to play with both older and younger kids.
- Hardest: Being in an in-between phase; not a little kid anymore and not a teenager yet.
- Best: Good at hide-and-seek. Sometimes one of older kids in his grade (at church).
- Hardest: Not having as many privileges as older kids have.
Conversations like this help us be intentional with our meal time discussions. If you're a Dad, I encourage you to sign up for the Play of the Day. (And the related site for Moms is called iMom.)
As a side note, before you think that all of our conversations are heavenly, you should know how my kids first started answering the question about what's hardest. They each began listing what their siblings do that bothers them. I stopped them, and encouraged them to be self-reflective, not just reactionary to what others do. Sigh.