There is joy in being a dad. We’ve been there before and lived the struggles our children are going through (except for this whole pandemic thing…haven’t seen this one before). An example:

When I was a kid, I didn’t want to do anything I didn’t know how to do perfectly. This led to a lot of frustration on my parents’ part because I spent a lot of time not doing things like riding a bike, math, skiing, etc. I wanted to watch; then, after I was confident I could do it, I would try.

This usually took a while.

The first time I rode a bike, my dad took me to a playground. I was probably in 3rd grade or so and had been resisting learning for a while. But my dad was determined and made me go with him. I would get on; he would push me and yell “pedal!”

Eventually, I realized that it wasn’t that hard. I was quite proud of myself. I looked back to see if my dad was watching. Then, I ran into a concrete wall. I still have the scars. The important part was that I then knew I could do it. I just needed a push.

I have now been blessed/cursed with a son who is just like me. When I wanted to teach my middle daughter to ride a bike, I took her to the park and gave her a push. I yelled “pedal!”

She did. It took 30 seconds and she was riding like a pro. She was probably 3–4 years old.

I thought to myself, “this is easy!” Then, I went to my son. He is me. Nope. Not going anywhere near the bike without some training wheels. There is no way that thing will stay up by itself. So, I waited. And waited.

He nearly finished 3rd grade.

I decided it was time.

I told him he was going to learn how to ride a bike. He accepted this idea on the condition that he wanted to learn at the golf course so if he fell, he would fall on grass. I agreed. It took a while, but he got it. Three days later he was faster than his sister.

I’m proud of him. He’s proud of himself. I love watching him because I can see the joy in his face when he rides. He was scared and he overcame his fear and found the joy in riding. I had to push him. That’s what dads do. Literally and figuratively.

We push them to learn, and we push them to challenge themselves, and we push them on a bike. Then, we get to see them bask in victory. That’s why I love being a dad

We enjoy many things about the Ninja Dad life, but one thing we don’t like is repeating ourselves. Constantly. Especially when it has to do with manners, behavior, and general commonsense decorum.

So, rather than nag ourselves hoarse, we developed a genius reminder system to keep our kids in line. They’re called manners cards, and we swear, sometimes they actually work. Check them out here.

Want to read some other dad stories? Check these out:

The Worst Part about COVID-19 According to My Son

Home Projects and Long-Term Homework Assignments Suck

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