American singer / songwriter John Denver (yep, check out the link if you’re born post 1970!) famously sung “some days are diamond, some days are stone”. Whilst this accurately depicts life generally my experience tells me it is particularly apt for fatherhood.
The diamond days are characterised by a parent and child sharing a common agenda, high level of engagement from all parties and collective positive expression of energy. Stone days are quite the opposite when you wonder if these children could possibly have been mistakenly swapped at birth and do, in fact, belong to someone else…
The bottom line for me as a dad to four boys with very distinct personalities is to not expect every day to be diamond. Just as I can have an “off” day so too can my boys. The funny thing is though, when I have an “off” day the likelihood of at least one (and usually 2 or 3) of the boys sharing this “off” day with me significantly increases. Talk about kindred spirits!
It took me some years (ok, slow learner here) to realise but if my boys don’t live up to my behaviour expectations, I need to first look at my attitude. If I’m engaged with them, smiling, positive and setting an expectation for fun then there’s a much greater chance that this is what will transpire. There’s also a chance it may not – some days are stone after all!
So if you’ve endured a stone day, set an expectation and attitude for a diamond day tomorrow.
LET HOPE RISE.
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