Poppa Can’t Teach

Right now I  sitting in the grass. My older daughter is in the middle of a golf lesson.  Her, along with a group of about 20 kids are watching and listening to the coach explain the intricacies of a golf swing. I have to admit, I’m jealous.  Not of her lesson, although I could probably use one, I am horrible at golf. I am jealous I am not the one teaching her.

I can’t teach my kids. They just don’t seem to learn from me. Instead of practicing whatever the new skill is, they want me to do it for them. Or, if the fail, they run to me instantly for comfort. Which is funny wince I am the one that put them in this situation in the first place.

Take ice skating for example. I played hockey for over 15 years. I worked at a hockey rink and even taught learn to skate classes when I was younger. But I couldn’t teach my girls. They were scared of falling and would panic the second I let go of them. If I was able to get them moving, the first fall set off another wave of tears and clutching my leg.

I was at a loss, thinking maybe it was just too early for them to learn. But my wife and I really wanted them to know how to do these things. It is important to know how to swim in case you ever fall off a boat. And it is important to know how to swing a golf club so my wife will let me take a kid and go play golf. So we tried a class and the girls excelled. Without me there to provide a safety net they were willing to take chances, which brought them success. the teachers pushed my girls out of their comfort zone and my girls were willing to listen.

I will admit it was tough for me to accept this. Like many parents, I wanted to share things I loved to do with my kids.  They are too young to share my love of beer so I got excited when they started to show interest in things like golf.  I couldn’t wait to do it with them.  But my presence, at least at this stage in their development seems to be more of a hindrance than anything else.

Now a few classes later and I have taken a back seat. I will offer advice when asked, but that is it. I don’t really coach or instruct. I leave that to the people who are being paid to do that job. Teaching isn’t my job. My job is to sit in the stands, cheer them on, and be ready for when they look my way and smile. That is my job, and I am great at it.



Bryan Alkire

Bryan is a Stay at Home Dad from Kalamazoo MI. Every day he is lucky enough to experience the joys and struggles of raising his two young girls. His older daughter, a brain tumor survivor, has just started school. His younger daughter is a ball of energy that always keeps him on his toes. He chronicles his adventures with his girls and beautiful wife on his blog www.kzoodad.com. When not watching the girls he plays golf (badly), enjoys craft beer, and working on that book he keeps promising to get done.

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