Being the Dad of boys filled with determination can go both ways.
When it is Sunday afternoon of The Masters golf tournament, and the shadows are growing longer, and the 3 day leader just put 2 balls in the drink, and your children are determined to create intricate inventions with Legos, and play quietly in another part of the house – I am not sure there is anything more beautiful than the innocence of a child’s determination.
When it is 9:17pm on a Tuesday night, and you are locked in the corner of a dimly lit basement helping assist (aka begging) your 7-year old to do the 5th page of 1st grade spelling homework, and bedtime was at 8:30pm, and he hasn’t eaten dinner yet, and he is determined to write 10 sentences on dinosaurs, and the first sentence includes spelling Tyrannosaurus Rex correctly – determination takes on an entirely different meaning.
If you want to see a child on a mission, check out my son on a recent trip to his grandparents house for an egg-hunting adventure on Easter:
Have you ever seen a child so serious while hunting plastic eggs? Being determined can be a dual edged sword. Ah, the joys of parenting.
You end up taking the good with the bad. The fun and the anger. Laughter and tears. Scoops and slices.
Determination is a funny trait. We want our children to have the work ethic to follow through and finish what they start. And yet, it is so easy to watch their determination turn into frustration, and have the urge to jump in and help them finish what they started. I am guilty of this myself, but I am trying to change because I believe it is the wrong thing to do.
Being determined builds character. Getting frustrated and solving problems on their own builds confidence. The ability to stick with it is a skill which leads to accomplishments.
Resist the urge to jump in. Give them the space to be determined.
Let them find the eggs.
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