As you can guess by the name of this site, I take being a father VERY seriously. Nothing (other than being an awesome husband which....I'm sure Ayren can probably tell you....I'm still a work in progress) is more important to me. So far, my five year old son Trey and my 1 (and a half) year old daughter Eliet are beyond what I even prayed for. They are both very smart (like their mother), kind (like their mother), curious (like their....ok, you get it, they both take after their mother A LOT). But there is one thing they both look like they are getting from me.....smart mouths/talking back. Yep, every 'TREY! If you don't clean this room up, I will take these toys away!' is followed by 'and then what Daddy? Where are you going to take them?....will I be able to see them?' or 'But...but....' I have to say that I have lost my cool more times than I should have at the (what I thought at the time) disrespect. Most of the time, after I yell or get on them (ok, let's be honest, I usually only yell at Trey.....I'm a big softie with Eliet...just saying) I always run the situation back in my mind and instantly regret how mad I got. And I make a point to apologize to Trey when I do. I want him to know that while its ok to get mad or make mistakes to make sure he apologizes when he does. I'll be honest, its kinda hard humbling yourself enough to say 'hey look man, I shouldn't have yelled at you like that, I made a mistake and I'm sorry' but not only do I feel better when I say it, I hope its teaching Trey a lesson also. That I'm and we as parents aren't perfect and will mess up. I always get a chuckle when I watch Chris Rock's standup where he says your main goal as a daddy of a female is to 'keep her off the pole'. While that's funny, I feel that there are other things as a dad to a female or male you should do. Teaching them to be humble and admit mistake is a good one to get them started on early. I already see it (kinda) working with Trey, he says 'I'm sorry' often and sometimes he actually means it! Really though, Trey and Eliet are two awesome kids and I just want to keep that momentum going with little lessons here or there. I forgot where I read it, but the person mentioned that whenever kids fathers teach/tell them something, they tend to keep it. My ultimate goal is to have my kids see me in the same light I hold my parents. While I know my parents weren't perfect, they instilled lessons and skills in me that I'm still using and saying today. I'm thankful for them often.
Make sure to remember to take care of yourselves.
- John Cannady