Father’s Day is Coming Soon…

… and this year, my early present is — GUILT.

You see, Friday was Library Day. I didn’t get to go, so it was just Ms. Kaz and our daughter (and our son, but he has no choice but to go where Ms. Kaz goes). They made some great selections, but the one I want to focus on today is Because Your Daddy Loves You, by Andrew Clements, illustrated by R.W. Alley.

Daddy BookMy daughter seems to be really attached to me lately. She loves her daddy. And so, Ms. Kaz thought this would be a great book for us to read together. And it is. The drawings are very nice, and the story is a nice story about how daddies love their little girls. The book is filled with incidents where the daddy could say ______, but instead does ______.

For example, the little girl’s beach ball floats away into the ocean. The daddy could say, “Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves?”. But he doesn’t. Instead, he wades out into the cold water, hurting the little girl’s chances for a baby brother or sister, and retrieves the ball for her.

Or, when the girl wants a piggy-back ride up to bed. Instead of saying, “Oh, I can’t. I’m too sore because I am too old.” Oh, wait, that’s what I would say. Anyhow, you get the idea.

It is a very sweet book, but… It also builds up expectations in kids that their daddies will never say these things, and will always sacrifice for their kids. That’s just not realistic. Not without daddy having a breakdown.

But I do have to admit. A couple times since reading that book, when my instinct has been to tell my daughter, “not now,” or, “maybe some other time”… I’ve gone ahead and done what she’s asked.

(You can purchase Because Your Daddy Loves You at bn.com for just $16.00, hardcover. Guilt and Shipping are free.)

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4 Responses to Father’s Day is Coming Soon…

  1. Devra says:

    I agree with you, that it can set up a scenario where a child may have an unrealistic expectation of a parent. However, we also live in a world where “no” or “not now” is the easier answer because often we fear that we don’t have the time to give our kids what they need, or we think what they need will take a lot of time. Saying “yes” more often and being able to defend your “no” when you use fosters confidence in your child. We all dont’ need to become enslaved to our kids, I definitely agree with you that there are times when we just can’ wade out into that water and get their ball, but I think there are more times than not when we could stop the “knee jerk” reaction to tell them “no” and go with their ideas too.
    I would guess your guilt-o-meter doesn’t run as high when you’ve incorporated more “yes” into your interactions with your daughter. But you are right, the power of yes must be used for good, not evil ; ) No one should become a doormat!

    [Kaz: Welcome, Devra! I like the way you put that -- it really is about finding that balance, and that's one of the things that I think is difficult in parenting. I know I tend to err on the side of spoiling because she's my little princess. But there are also times I do need to think of myself. And there are times when I need to stand firm so as not to let myself become, as you say, a doormat.]

  2. Dan says:

    The next book she’ll bring back will be “Because your daddy loves you II: This time he brought his credit card

  3. Dude, I thought that Hop on Pop was bad enough. I think Dan’s onto something with his series idea. I believe the next installment will be “Because Your Daddy Loves You III: If he really did love you, he’d buy you those Manolos, that ring, and that car, not some book.”

  4. L.A. Daddy says:

    Yeah, it’s bad enough that the books are full of lessons for kids, now it sounds like they’re giving lessons to the parents!
    It sure is a tough balance, though. There are times when I have to do something… and she’ll insist. To not be a doormat, sometimes I’ll make her wait a bit. But still do it.

    [Kaz: Well, I am glad it is not just me. I don't mind her being my Little Princess now, but when she's a teenager...]

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