“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want the most.”
This past weekend, I spent a couple of hours by my parents house to celebrate father’s day. This got me thinking about what it means to be a father and how fortunate I am to be able to celebrate such a “trivial” holiday. I began to wonder if I was a reflection of my dad; not physically but mentally. Growing up, my dad was as strict as they come. Having four siblings, the oldest got the hardest of the parenting and the youngest pretty much got to do whatever he wanted. Maybe my parents got tired of arguing with the older kids. Being the middle child; along with my sister, I got to see a little bit of both sides of my parents. When I was in the third grade I remember begging my parents for a puzzle. I wanted something I can be proud of and hang up in my room. I wanted a sense of accomplishment knowing that I completed a puzzle. My mom finally gave in and bought me the puzzle I had been begging her for. When I got home I remember opening the puzzle and about a thousand pieces must have spilled all across the dining room table. I remember feeling instant regret; there was no way I was ever going to finish that puzzle. On top of that, a couple pieces had fallen into an air vent that was on the floor. For the next couple weeks my dad would ask me how the puzzle was coming along. I told him that I hated it and it was too hard. He made me sit down for a couple hours each day to work on the puzzle. It became a nuisance instead of something I can be proud of. That was the first time I remember my dad disciplining me. Things didn’t get any easier. My dad taught me how to be punctual, work hard, not to complain and get your priorities straight even though you may not want to; well at least he tried to. At the time I didn’t realize why my dad was so hard on us, on me. I used to let what he said blow over, and try not to let it get to me. Over the years I’ve realized a lot of those moments and things my dad taught have helped to shape who I am today. Those moments and lessons have stayed with me. All of this makes me think when the time comes, what kind of dad will I be? How much discipline is too much discipline. Will they resent me if I’m too hard on them? What if I’m too lenient on them? So many question pop into my head about parenting and I’m not even a parent. I’ll leave you with this Michael Scott quote, “Would I rather be feared or loved?....Both; I want them to be scared of how much they love me.” Lol.