In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I’ve Become My Parents.”

When I’m holding The Boy’s hand I find myself moving my little finger backwards to rest on the other side.

My dad did the same to me and I remember at least one time getting very annoyed by it!

It’s funny, and nice, when having your own child reminds you of little insignificant things like that 🙂

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Giving Children The Freedom To Dream

This reminds me of a line from one of my favourite films, The Pursuit of Happyness, “Don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t do something. Not even me.”

Dad Without A Map

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s a question all children are asked by their parents or teachers. And there are a few classic choices: a doctor, a firefighter, police officer. And the biggest one of all – an astronaut!

NSPCC Alfie the Astronaut _hero shot. Photography credit Jac Martinez. The child pictured is a model 15.09.15

But how many of us go on to follow the career we dreamed about when we were children?

Today a YouGov survey for the NSPCC has revealed that the UK’s most popular childhood dream job – for one in ten adults – was to be a doctor or nurse, followed by footballer, and teacher.

And nearly a third of adults who wanted to be a medic achieved their childhood ambition. Others who got their dream job included teachers (27%), writers or journalists (9%), police officers (6%), and actors (5%).

The survey results are revealed as the NSPCC unveils a new film; Alfie the Astronaut.

This is a heart-warming story…

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Giving Children The Freedom To Dream

Stubborn and uncompromising

No, not the children.

Me.

With the constant adaptations in behaviour that the little people demonstrate it’s impossible not to constantly think about how to deal with the different, and new, kinds of behaviours.

Being on holiday for a week with other family has been interesting because the way I deal with The Boy has been on show and so subject to ‘peer review’ if you like. Talking about the way I deal with The Boy and his various behaviours made me realise I’m using my own trademark stubborn and uncompromising stance to deal with him.

Coupled with a few principles, it actually seems to be working well.

I don’t pander to any whining he does when things don’t go his way. I just leave him to whine and ignore him. Eventually, he realises he’s getting nowhere, stops, and finds something to entertain himself.

When I sit him in front of some food and refuses to eat I just leave him there. If he leaves his chair I ask him to get back on and swiftly return him when he doesn’t. He stays, and he stays until I let him go or he eats, and he generally eats in the end.

Sometimes it feels too easy. But that’s kind of the point. Part of why I do it the way I do is to not stress myself out. I want him to eat well, and be happy, but I know that to get into a battle with him multiple times per day is worse for our relationship.

I tell him, or instruct him, and if he chooses to play up, he gets upset and I just remind him of the boundary and carry on with my own thing. He gets nothing from me in those situations, and now quickly gives in and accepts that I’m boss.

Which is lovely.

I’d make a great dictator.

Disclaimer: it is not all roses.

Stubborn and uncompromising

New experiences

The other week I was trying to decide what to do with the boy on that weeks ‘designated day out’.

All of the usual places went through my mind but I just want really feeling any of them.

Then I remembered I had a list!

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I’d started this list months ago and although we’d done a few already, I hadn’t looked at it in weeks.

A light bulb flicked on in my mind – this list needs to be huge! It’s my job to introduce The Boy to as many new experiences as possible, as often as possible.

And now I’m even more excited about our days out, too 🙂

Where else should we explore? What else should we do?

New experiences

Father’s Day

My second Father’s Day as a father, and my first as a single parent.

The court guaranteed me time, thankfully, and I took The Boy out for the day. We had a wonderful time 🙂

One thing I’ve certainly missed out on is the benefit of having a partner. The Boy’s mother didn’t do anything to mark the day, and so I had to make my own day.

While we had a fantastic day, it’s nice to have surprises and when they’re this young, a little help from a partner to make it that bit extra special is certainly welcome.

Father’s Day

Children are a drug?

Being a reluctant Dad doesn’t change the fact that my two little people are by far and away the best ‘things’ to happen to me. As I’ve talked about before they’ve brought me joy like I’ve never known before.

Now that I’m single and no longer worrying whether I’ll see the kids or a court case I’ve been wondering whether finding someone new to enjoy life with. At 30 years old though many ‘potential suitors’ will be thinking about having kids and so I’ve been thinking about that too.

What if I do find someone who coaxes me away from the freedom I’m enjoying being single, and that person wants kids of their own?

Since The Boy came along I’ve suffered from depression, and I sometimes wonder how much more I would have enjoyed that first two years had I been in a trusting, loving relationship.

I’m missing out on a hell of a lot with The Girl now, and I think back to how wonderful it was to watch The Boy grow and learn every day. I want to experience that with her. I want to play with her every day and see her learn new things all the time, but that’s impossible in just the few hours I get to see her each week.

While I was a reluctant dad, I’m certainly not reluctant about being a father to my kids. On the contrary, I find it exciting and rewarding and wouldn’t give it up for anything.

But I may even be developing a desire to have more children. The prospect of being in a good relationship with someone I love and can trust and with whom I can raise a child every day and enjoy that incredibly rewarding experience is definitely appealing.

Maybe.

Children are a drug?