April 17th, 2003

Better Dadding practice

At my folks' in LA again. Got up this morning early, went into the office, and Gabe was playing chess on the computer -- and losing, badly. I offered coaching; he accepted. Ten minutes later he decided he'd had enough of chess. Verra' polite kid; he didn't say "Dad, stop bugging me." I wish he'd been impolite; it would have drawn my behavior to my attention more quickly and allowed me to apologize for it. Chess lessons are all well and good, but a kid's allowed to go play an idiot game on a computer at 6am without having to learn something.

That left me thinking about changing things in the family, and homeostasis. I push; things push back. It's not the Evil Forces of Resistance, it's just a standard application of natural law. I want to be able to give him what skills I can; in changing my habits of doing so there's going to be resistance, even if I'm changing from worse to better.

What I want to change is the praise/critique ratio and the humor quotient. More differentiation between on-time and off-time would be good, too.