Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Dad's Job

This will actually be a decent Father's Day for me.

My ex-wife offered to let me take my boys for the weekend. I took Thursday and Friday off and drove up to Jersey to get them. I brought them back Thursday afternoon. It's about a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive one way. I have to take them back this afternoon.

So I got to spend the weekend with them. I took them to see where I work (and how long I have to spend stuck in traffic to get there and back) and went to the National Museum of the Marine Corps. I also rented them a game from Redbox (I'll never rent another single-player game again).

We also did some talking and fighting. I played the highest- stakes game of Monopoly of my entire life with Caleb. I bought a Monopoly app for my iPad. I like it better having the computer keep track of everything.

One thing I've noticed about women is they tend to be nurturers. And that is generally a good thing. But it has to be balanced. I notice both my ex-wife and my girlfriend will tend to do too much for their children. How are children, especially boys, supposed to learn how to do things for themselves when their mothers just do it all?

A couple years ago, before the marriage totally disintegrated, I went home for a weekend. When I started working in Virginia, I used to go home every two weeks after payday. I took the boys to a park. There were swings. They wanted me to push them.

I said "You guys are way too old now to be pushed on a swing. You should know how to do it yourself."

So I sat on a swing, deconstructed the motions of swinging into repeatable steps, and showed them how. Then I coached them until they could swing for themselves.

I do this with other things as well. "Dad, can you do this for me?" "No. Get your butt over here and I'll show you how to do it for yourself."

I do the same thing with my girlfriend's son. I don't do very much for him when he asks. I show him if it's a new skill, then leave him to do it himself.

It takes a man to make a man. It takes a lot of time and patience. It used to be when I was working on things around the house, my boys would want to help. It took a lot of extra time, but I'd let them put their hands in and turn the screwdriver and explain what I was doing until they got bored and went off to other things.

That's part of a dad's job. Teach them to be self-reliant. Teach them patience and restraint. It has to be modeled.

You also have to teach them how to interact with women. My dad didn't do that for me. He let my mom walk all over him. The model I had didn't help much in my former marriage. Thankfully, now there is an entire body of work on the Internet, called the "Manosphere" to help with this. I notice the "Manosphere" is very weak on the topic of fathering, since most of those red pill guys are younger and single, or older and committed to not having families. Guess I'll have to see if I can contribute to filling that gap.

I haven't seen them much over the last year do to finances and distance. A frivorce is very expensive, and I'll probably be paying on it for a long time.
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