by Chris Read
Hello there. My name is Chris and I blog over at Canadian Dad. I was excited when Candace agreed to allow a Dad to invade Pleasantville and couldn’t wait to share some Dad stories with all of you!
One of the things I’ve noticed in my brief travels as a father, is that Moms and Dads generally have a difference of opinion when it comes to how adventurous we want to let our young children be. The best example I can think of is when you bring your kids to the park. Like an Olympic event, every park station carries it’s own degree of difficulty. The only problem is that they don’t post those degrees at parks like they do on TV.
My wife and I are usually on the same page with our parenting strategies but once we get to the park we turn into completely different people. I am in the “You Can Do It Without Me” camp, while my wife is more concerned about the kids safety and well being. I know how that reads funny and makes me look like a monster who doesn’t watch his kids but I assure you that I am standing very close by while they explore their limits.
In my opinion, the only true way to determine whether your child is ready for the crazy monkey bar stairs is to let them have a go at it. The funny thing about my mentality towards letting my kids try things out, is that I am as afraid of new things as they come. Just the other day I went zip lining for the first time and it took me a good 2 weeks to convince myself that it was a good idea.
It’s entirely possible that this is my logic for letting the kids express their inner daredevils. Don’t get me wrong, I can helicopter with the best of ‘em, I just don’t want my kids growing up with the same fears and insecurities that I have.
We’ve since devised a plan of action in our house, where I will take the kids to the park while my wife stays home to take care of the cleaning. A couple things here; Firstly, anyone who has taken kids to the park by themselves knows that it is no easy task. The second thing is that my wife likes the cleaning to be done in a certain way that I have never been able to duplicate. The setup works out for all of us, especially considering that I am essentially a 33 year old boy and still get excited about the park.
Please don’t misunderstand me, this is not an attack on over protective parents or even my wife. The parental instinct to protect our kids from harm is a very strong one and it’s not easily manipulated. In fact, I love that my wife is so protective of them because to me, her love for them is one of the sexiest things about her! Everybody parents differently and this is just the way I have chosen to do it.
This whole story was brought on by a video I shot at the park the other day. When I showed it to my wife, I laughed at her cringing as my 2 year old daughter climbed a 7 foot tall rock wall, only to go to down slide backwards on her stomach. She has since directed me to never show her videos like that again! As you will find out if you visit my site, I am a big fan of videos and wanted to share that one with you today!
A final funny note. The last 7 or so seconds of the video are blurred because my daughter ran over to a set of stairs that even I find to be a little too advanced for a 2 year old, so instead of hitting stop, I panicked and ran over to stop her. Hypocrite much, hahaha! Here’s the video!
Thanks again to Candace for letting me share a piece of my world with her readers! I’m a huge fan of Life in Pleasantville and this has truly been an honour.
Chris is father to two wonderful toddlers and husband to one of the best daycare providers in the land. You can find him writing at his home site, Canadian Dad, and also over at the PTPA. Please feel free to stop by and say hi on his Facebook and Twitter pages, which are his homes away from home.