The Art of Discipline
I've learned over the years that my personality makes me approachable, and my current position allows for open conversations. Countless times people of each gender and all ages stop by my office or me in the hallway diving into a fruitful exchange. Sometimes, it's surface level but more often than not it transforms into intriguing dialogue. One where I can extract knowledge and emotion regurgitating my perception through colorful language.
A blessing, the ability to ascertain takeaways needed to connect on many levels. Equally, maintaining eye contact and being an active listener. I recently started working with this young dude, solid guy in search of something more. It didn't take long for him to warm up, our conversations ventured past the realm of work and into a deeper intellect.
He made a statement that I admired which set us on the trajectory that we currently travel. He expressed a need to talk about more than what meets the eye, a yearn for open ended discussion that requires thought provoking answers. A quest, for intelligence and the power that knowledge carries.
I was open with him about the dynamic of my relationship with my kids and one day we unpacked the subject of the impact our parents had on us. He spoke about how he wished his father taught him more during their time together. Further expounding he voiced that he wished he could've spent more time with him, but it was more laughs and good times rather than life lessons and navigation as a black man in this world.
Of course, I internalized everything he said especially after he encouraged me to have a balance in my daughter's lives. The conversation was very nutritious, so much so that I chewed the cud for the rest of the day. In my mind, slowly mulling over the genuine words of a man in my daughter's shoes.
How they could potentially view me.
I was forced to look in the mirror and check myself asking if I'm doing my children an injustice or not. Do I show the proper amount of balance in their lives? Am I able to have fun and be a disciplinarian as well?
Apparently, it's not just a me problem but it occurs in most divided households. I truly believe, even if subliminally, that it is a direct correlation to how much time we get with our children. The weekend is already measly, in terms of time, and we don't want to spend it going back and forth. It's almost like we're trying to cram all that we wish we could've in a short span, which sometimes causes stress and anxiety. Wanting to find something that they will like, remember, and ultimately increasing their excitement to come to Raleigh.
There's nothing worse than being elated to see my baby only to be brushed off with tears streaming down her face. Largely in part due to the lack of literal face time, and if you're like me, you'll do anything to never experience another season like that. Now I know that it's normal for babies, but if the trend continues who's to say it won't matriculate into a life-ling sentiment.
At least, that's the trepidation that grips me.
The conversation gave me an idea for the podcast. An episode with a son explaining the backside of parenthood and I was also proposed the idea of having father and son on one together. Both would be great listens and will further open my eyes to the budding perspective of my children. At a later date, I spoke to a stepfather, and he expressed his troubles as if the baby was his own which gave me the idea to expand my scope of fatherhood on the podcast.
I'm starting to cave into the idea of having my podcast on video to match a face with the voice and for more recognition. I even downloaded a TikTok to start posting poetry and snippets of my podcast. I also just stumbled upon a ring light, which further lets me know that this is the path for my LLC. Another avenue I need to exploit is apparel. One of the best marketing techniques is word of mouth, and I know having a hat or shirt will spark interest. When I talk to another father about the podcast in public there's always heads that whip around and ears tune in. Makes me feel as if I'm doing a good thing.
Recently, I was exposed for having a different approach depending on time of year when it comes to disciplining my kids. It's easier for me to be that guy for Amara because I see her all the time, our relationship never had any forced ripples in it. When it comes to Amelia, over the summer, it was easy as she was with me every day. When it came down to the weekends, I'd let her get away with almost anything. I even made the statement that I didn't think she needed much reprimanding considering her relaxed demeanor.
It was made clear, and I agree, that it stems from my fatherhood experience. Honestly, it all feels like it just happened and often times I wake up with that same weight pressed against my chest. Some days I can convince myself it's not real and others I'm back in hell.
I'm taking my first steps in firming up as a father by not picking up Amara whenever she asks. Forcing her to walk or ignore her when she fake cries, and it's not like she tricks me, I just pick her up anyway. I know, I'm horrible, but my love is my love.
Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you.