Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My sixth grade daughter is already smarter than I am... but here goes...

A typical imaginary raygunImage via Wikipedia

I wonder what would happen if the Plinky server droids broke into my house, and questioned my daughter directly about how good, or how lame, her old dad is when it comes to giving life lessons. Robotic metallic Plinky server droids, eight feet tall, menacing over our dining room table, where we work on school's homework every week-night, asking my daughter about her estimation of my parental skills. I may end up getting zapped on the butt with a laser gun, because I run off my fool mouth. (I have caught my daughter rolling her eyes more than once...)

Problem Solving

One thing I suffered from as a kid was "learned helplessness". I just saw, too soon and too often, why my problems were completely hopeless. So when my daughter senses a problem, I try to just calmly talk her through some viewpoints where she, herself, can see the logical first steps to solving the problem. Does it help her? My wife and my daughter are strong women, so their complaining about a situation is usually an attempt at initial stress release, before they roll up their sleeves and dive in to solve the problem themselves. So I wouldn't be surprised if my daughter said I just run my mouth. She would not be the first to so accuse me.

Getting Along with People

The social skill of meeting people, not half-way, but *MORE* than half-way. And getting a friend by *being* a friend. My daughter just points out how I don't seem to have too many friends. (Hmm, she has got a point there...)

Hard work counts more than smarts

I had a little bit too easy a time when it came to schooling. A casual observer might mistake me for somebody with brains. But anyway you slice it, you can find a lot of failures that are long on brains and short on hard work. And if you think you have met a successful man who didn't have to work hard, just wait, the situation will soon reverse itself. My daughter points out that for somebody who claims to see the value of hard work, I do a pretty tiny amount of it. (Grr...) She has got the brains, and the hard work, already, so I am confident she will go far.

People with a sense of entitlement never go far

I am not sure I have ever said this to my daughter. I repeat it to myself, over and over, but I don't think I have ever had reason to say it to her.

KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid

Uh, I have never said this to my daughter. My wife says it to me, repeatedly. My daughter has picked it up from my negative example. (Sigh...) I complicate everything I touch, to the point that simple tasks get so complicated I have to abandon them in despair. This Plinky prompt is getting more depressing...

Always be improving your morals and integrity

I talk out loud to my daughter on this, about my own challenges, because I know that I have to actively work on improving my morals and integrity. I guess that is a pretty good way to express this, by honestly and openly working on this yourself, as a parent.

After School Homework with DadImage by NJLA: New Jersey Library Association via Flickr

Neatness in homework counts

I will stop here, because, at last, I have arrived at something where my daughter still has a way to go. Messy, messy writing. Her problem is that she can get good results just rushing and powering through the homework, but I hope she can learn to take time, because the care will pay off.

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