Daddy’s child bonding style…deal with it

31 Mar

The balancing act: No harm, no foul

Daddy holds Rocco high in the air

Ever wonder if daddies get pulled aside for a special training of “How to Scare the Heck out of Your Wife by Throwing your Kid in the Air and other great tricks that are sure to make her squirm”? Mommy you are not alone.

Ok so in doing research on the differences between boys and girls for my last post I came across another anomaly. Actually, a friend of mine gave me the idea when I mentioned to him that I knew of a lot of great stories of him and his boy and he replied saying that those were more “differences between moms and dads” rather than differences between boys and girls. My friend,  Kevin Davis, or for those  living  in Sunny San Diego, you might know him as the radio personality “Koffee with Kevin” on KPRZ 1210 AM, is a perfect example of the dad I am writing about, “The…are you ready for this “The Normal Dad”.

On one occasion Kevin epitomized the quintessential of a dad.  New Year’s Eve 2009  gave some of us reason to cringe in our seats and if I am being honest, want to smack this dad and say, “What’s wrong with you!?”.  Our church holds a Talent Show with our New Year’s Eve gathering and on this given day, Daddy Kevin showcased his father-son act, “The Stunt Baby”.  Sitting next to my mother-in-law and my 20 month old son, I remember gasping at the site of him placing little Conrad (his 10 month old son) in the air with one hand, yet I vividly remember Conrad’s big bright smile almost conveying a, “We’re doing it Daddy, just like we practiced!”  I realized at that moment I needn’t call CPS, I just needed to accept the fact that dads are dads, not moms.

Kevin Davis and his son Conrad

 

Another nail-biter act

Here is the evidence for the practice that went into this “Baby Stunt” act that Kevin generously provided footage for. Click on link below.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=135329672946#!/video/video.php?v=135329672946&subj=749317946

I don’t have a profound reason as to why dads do what they do in the name of child bonding, I just know that they are guys and it’s just in their nature to do such things. Maybe their dads did that with them when they were boys or maybe not, but they still do it. No one ever taught me to give in to my son’s somber big puppy-eyed face, but I do sometimes. My husband doesn’t understand why I give in instead of following through with my disciplinary action. Maybe it’s just me being a mommy. I love the fact that my husband doesn’t give me grief about it. He just shakes his head and smirks. I guess this is where there is a balance of parenting styles for us. He doesn’t give me a hard time when I am a “softie” and I don’t nag him about being too daring with the boys. As I am typing this post, my husband is wrestling with our (soon to be) three-year old, body slamming him on our bed and I can hear my son shouting, “Again! Again!” Rockford is obviously having a great time.

Even though I am a mommy and squirm at the sight of some of these risky activities, I know deep down inside this father-son activity is helping my son. He is bonding with daddy doing “tough guy” things. After all, Daddy is who he aspires to be, not like Mommy, he wants to be like Daddy. Just the other day we were at a fair where the town firemen were greeting people and letting us take pictures on their fire truck. Rockford was asked by one of the firemen, “Do you want to be a fireman when you grow up?”  To his and our surprise he answered with a serious look, “NO! I want to be a man like my daddy!”

Let me add one more thought to this subject, a son enjoys these semi-risky activities with his dad, but in order for him to enjoy them there has to be one undoubtedly principle present,Trust. If Junior continues to be dropped, hurt, mocked or let down when he does these activities with Dad, then he doesn’t enjoy the activity and therefore there is no bonding in this moment. Hence, Junior enjoys rough housing with Daddy because his level of expectation with daddy is always met with love, support and a level of safety to avoid (as much as possible) injuries. Trust is key and you will know it when you see it, like I did in little Conrad’s face.

Here is yet another classic example of what a daddy does for fun with the kids that would make a mommy cringe.

I guess I can conclude by stating the same thing I did with boys vs girls. God, the designer and creator of both Mom and Dad, had intent and purpose when He made man and woman so different. I know my husband has no null motive for playing the way he does with our sons. It’s just him being a guy, plus the boys love it because they trust him. Just like if I come home with a “Non-tough” Halloween costume, he knows I just got what I thought was “cute”. So instead of fighting daddy on how he rough houses Junior, I say…deal with it. It’s how the guy shows his kid love.

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4 Responses to “Daddy’s child bonding style…deal with it”

  1. Jeremy Edgell March 31, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    I think that, outside of the bonding, there is one more elemental thing that is going on that you didn’t touch on – risk taking. It’s nature’s way for mothers to be protective and raise children within an environment that provides as high a probability for the child to survive as possible. This, in and of itself, is not a horrible thing – it teaches the child responsibility and restraint, while ensuring the next generation survives to adulthood. Dads, on the other hand, are programmed to be the risk takers and playmates; the ones who teach children how to take risks and explore.

    I will be the first to admit that seeing daddy’s balancing act startled, me, but this simple playtime activity is filling that bonding purpose, as well as giving the child a pretty direct non-verbal message of, “Hey – look what you can do if you try”.

    • Training Up My Boys March 31, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      What a good point you bring up and yes, I agree with you with teaching the child risk taking. I must have forgotten to mention it because I guess in our home I am more of the risk taker–not in the physical Evil Kenevil sort of way, but with other areas such as finances and life changes. My husband is usually the one that will take me through the pros and cons of every risk I want to venture on. I know this is not the norm in every household, but that is why it probably slipped my mind. If it weren’t for my husband I would have probably have us living in another state, away from our family doing who knows what for a living all in the name of “let’s just go for it!” but yeah, I get your point 🙂 Thank you so much Jeremy for stopping by your input is greatly appreciated. 🙂

  2. erika crosthwaite April 1, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    I totally agree with You, both of you. i have to remeber that when Danny falls and scraped his knee i will still be trying to pick him up at 12! Haha he is different around Dad and I respect that, It’s a sacred beautiful bond I have the privlege of sittin in awe and watching it grow each day!! we are working on be more paitent and kinder towards are different and choices we make as CO-parents Its all about the team effort!! Moms are suckers for the puppy dog Eyes! 🙂

  3. Training Up My Boys April 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Erika, Rockford is always different with Daddy. It’s like whinning is not cool around Dad because Dad doesn’t whine. I have to admit I have heard myself whine when I talk and I can see how that is rubbing off on my son. Man, I gotta crack the whip on myself and stop doing that!

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