How Many Times Have You Been Told?

You’ve told them a million times. You told them why they need to study before their test, and they didn’t and they came home with a D. You told them about how their effort is the only thing they control in sports, and here they are, complaining—after refusing to take their training seriously—about why their friend gets more playing time. You’ve told them about manners. You’ve told them about not hitting their brother. You’ve told them why it’s important to keep their room clean.

And yet, and yet and yet…Here you are. Looking at a dirty room. At bad grades. How many times do I have to tell you?, you hear yourself say. Are you deaf?

Here’s a better question, one that might stop you cold: How many times have you been told? Not when you were a kid, but lately. About the importance of eating better. Of the relationship between exercise and weight. About how gross it is to bite your nails. To save for retirement. To read that important book. To update your operating system. 

And yet, and yet and yet…You’re still doing them. Or not doing them. You got a speeding ticket last month that cost you $250 and here you are still driving faster than you should. 

So why don’t you cut them a little break? Or at least be a little more understanding? Just because it’s clear what someone is supposed to do (or not do) doesn’t mean it’s easy. Especially when you’re a kid. Especially when your whole life is people throwing commands and demands at you. So relax. Be kind. Be patient. And maybe try to inspire them by showing them how it’s hard for you too—but you’re still trying.

P.S. This was originally sent on January 17, 2020. Sign up today for the Daily Dad’s email and get our popular 11 page eBook, “20 Things Great Dads Do Everyday.”