Thursday, April 14, 2005

I will make a great Dad

No, this isn't a profile on jdate. I really will. Kids love me, it must be because we communicate on the same level. I also love a lifestyle of sleeping, eating and one or two other things that I won't bring up here. But also I'm fun with them, I make faces, I can make them laugh, I can empathize with older kids, especially when it comes to education. I know what it's like to go through an education at school were no one really takes an interest in what you have to say, the questions you need answers for.

I hope I'll make a great husband. I'd like to think that I am kind, thoughtful, intelligent, caring, loving, passionate etc. I have bags and bags of love to give. Truckloads. Oceans full. Galaxies worth. But I don't know how good a hubby I'll be. And I'll make plenty of mistakes while I am at it.

A brief digression: One explanation for the longevity of the human race at the beginning of time according to the Torah (if we take it literally) is that the first humans had to learn everything from scratch. They had to work out what the limits of the human body are, when to eat, sleep, how to hunt etc. It took them years till they worked it out. That could explain why they waited hundreds of years before having babies.

We now are lucky enough to have the ACCUMULATED KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN HISTORY up till now. That's why learning and studying is so important. We can learn from our elders, from those with more experience, from people who faced the same challenges as us and made the same mistakes we are about to make. Too often we are not willing to listen to others and learn from them. But we should.

Back to my point - the institution of marriage and parenting seems to be failing on many fronts for a multitude of reasons. I don't have any magical solutions, but I think there are lessons to be learnt. As good a dad and hubby I think I will make (one day, when Rebbetsin RK gets round to making herself known to me) I am sure that there are things I can learn about communication, parenting, education etc. There are probably millions out there who will make worse parents and spouses than me, who could definitely do with some lessons.

I'm not sure where to run with this idea - parenting lessons in high schools? Give high school students a younger kid to look after? It may be better to include communication lessons and parenting lessons in the run-up to marriage amongst the general populace - mandatory parenting lessons? Can that work? Will it have an effect? At least in the Jewish world the Rabbis should include it in the pre-wedding requirements for a chatan and kallah. It can't hurt can it? We can't screw things up more than are doing now.

Thoughts?

TRK

6 Comments:

At 4/14/2005 7:45 AM, Blogger Malka said...

TRK,

You seem like a total sweetie and I'm sure you'll make a great Dad one day!

Many people approach parenting with a view to doing things differently than their parents did. That being said, one needs to keep in mind that the context we are now living in is vastly different than that which our parents faced when bringing us into the world. Things just aren't the same.

I have no children of my own (yet) and often find myself offering parenting advice to my younger sister, based on common sense and how I think things should happen. She often tells me that I have a very "Mary Poppins" perception of what being a parent is all about. However, I think that one can be miserable or have the Mary Poppins lifestyle but that it boils down to choice. You either work at being a good parent or you end up miserable and raise little monsters!

I agree with you that there should be some kind of more formal teaching in terms of parenting since not everyone is suited to it and it's got to be one of the hardest (albeit most rewarding)things to do!

 
At 4/14/2005 9:28 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Malka,

Being the meat-eating beer-guzzling male that I am, sweetie is not a term I want publcized, but thanks.

I imagine many of us without children yet have a fairy-tale view of what child-rearing is all about, all smiles, gurgling, and finger-holding. We don't perceive the diaper-changing, middle of the night screaming and house-destroying.

TRK

 
At 4/14/2005 11:45 AM, Blogger Malka said...

Even beer-drinking, meat-eating ogres make great fathers! For some reason Shrek pops into my mind just now. But that's neither here nor there.

I guess it's fair to say that most of us singletons haven't the faintest idea do we?! That being said, I am looking forward to the sleepless nights, the poopy diapers, the screaming and house destroying that comes with having my very own bundles of joy! That's what life is all about.. no?!

 
At 4/14/2005 2:42 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

there was a scheme in the states a while back whereby they gave highschool students a doll to take home for two weeks. At intermittent times in the night the "baby" would cry pitifully and the only way it would stop was if the teenager would get up and insert a key in the back and turn and turn and turn it until it stopped. After about three days most kids gave up. This was to deter teenage pregnancies. Amusing?

ps my kid is two and a half and i don't remember getting up in the night for her, it feels like ages ago, G-d has given us the gift of forgetting...... otherwise nobody would ever have more than one child! Even when my child was one and friends had newborns and asked me questions I just couldn't answer them.

 
At 4/17/2005 3:22 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

malka,

good luck with that. Haven't had time to respond to your conversion questions on your blog, will try and get round to it soon.

kish,

I heard of that experiment. I wonder if it worked. And how widespread it is - it is just one of the ways we need to educate and be educated. I won't be coming to you for questions when I have my little Rabbi's Grandkids then! (Just kidding - though I wouldn't sit around waiting at this rate).

TRK

 
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