This past Sunday I taught the Toddlers’ class at church. When the parents returned to pick up their kids after church, one little boy ran past his mother who was waiting expectantly for him, straight to his father, who was standing further back. “Daddy, Daddy!” he said, arms in the air and ready to be held by his dad. The other teacher said to the toddler’s mother,
“Don’t worry. That’s normal for little boys. Dr. Dobson said so.”
“Is it normal for eight-year-olds?” I asked.
“It’s always that way,” she said. And I know she has raised a few boys.
I’m glad she said that. Because my eight-year-old certainly seems to prefer his Daddy. I have never minded. I want to raise a little man, and who better to teach him to be a man than his father? But lately that kid has been saying things like, “Daddy’s the only one who makes things fun.” Well, I was feeling extra sensitive the day he said that for the second time, and that time it hurt my feelings.
Maybe this is why his comment hurt me that day, more than it normally would: He had been complaining because he wanted to be home playing video games, not walking around Silver Dollar City with his parents. I had had enough of his bad attitude. In my head I couldn’t believe we were raising such a brat, even though we’ve put our hearts into raising our boys well. But when our son noticed he had made me sad, he immediately said, “sorry.” We had a nice afternoon at Silver Dollar City with everything forgiven. Then in the car on the way home, he confidently said again, “Mommy, I’m sorry about my attitude.” I could tell he really meant it, and then I realized that maybe we are raising a gentleman after all.
Some days, all the training you put into your kids doesn’t show. But that doesn’t mean you’re not doing a good job raising them. And I think that eventually they will turn out all right. 🙂