sideline parenting (4 of 12) — plan to wipeout

Parenting Advise from the World’s Greatest Coaches (with some Charlie shizzle, my bizzle).

Courage is not the abscence of fear, but simply moving on with dignity despite that fear.   —   Pat Riley (Miami Heat Coach)

That reminds me of “Wipeout Tuesdays”.

Wipeout Tuesday is easily explained. My family gets together each week to watch a show called “Wipeout” where 24 daring contestants of all ages, shapes and sizes go head to head through four rounds of grueling and physically demanding, but wildly hilarious, obstacle courses to win the title of Wipeout Champion and the grand prize of $50,000. In the end, only one contestant will win, while everyone else will Wipeout! his takes place weekly the day after Monday…hence the name we gave it… “Wipeout Tuesday”

There are several things to be learned from this lunacy:

1: You are responsible for your preparation and understanding of what you are about to embark upon. At the very least, you need to know the course you are about to traverse and protect yourself by putting on a little armor and condition yourself appropriately.

2: You need to understand the risk vs. the reward. How much do you have to risk. What do you stand to lose if stuff doesn’t work out so well? Similarly to some of the calculated risks we take every time we cross the street, juggle an egg a bowling ball and a chainsaw, or take another bite of Fugu.

3: You need to commit to your decision and follow it through to the finish. Even when things go wrong, there are ways to get the job done. You have to work harder…but you can still finish with your dignity…kinda.

4: You have to be courageous. All the preparation, understanding and commitment is for naught if you don’t have the guts to get moving. The hardest decision of any of the challenges is taking the first step.

I was thinking about making this blog about the challenges of being a kid and the responsibility that a parent has to prepare them for the journey… …but I changed my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking of what good advice this actually is for parents that are challenged with raising children.  As a matter of a fact, the more I thought about it, the surer I was that these 4 lessons learned from the hysterical misfortune of all but one contestant, weekly, is exactly what we need to keep us on our toes as parents.

So let’s run through the numbers one more time:

1: We are responsible for understanding things from our child’s perspective. We need to understand their thought process and their ability to comprehend from their level of experience. We need to plan out our words and actions and be prepared for a few speed bumps.

2: We need to decide that our child’s physical, emotional, and spiritual growth are at stake and we have to be prepared to take risks. Risks that may degenerate our popularity in the race for “coolest parent of the year” as selected by the MTV Kids Choice Awards, all for the sake of the rewards that will be showered upon them thanks to our efforts in cultivating them into a well balanced decision maker.

3: We need to figure out what the goal is and keep our legs moving until we get there. Do get sidetracked, limit your discouragement, and remember what you are fighting for. Do what you intended to do, when you intended to do it.

4: Don’t be afraid…be a DAD. Our kids are waiting for us, but they won’t wait forever. Get in the mix, be a part of the game, get dirty, get bruised. If we don’t wake up a little bruised, bit sore, and a tad tired, we probably didn’t work hard enough.

Life is full of “Dizzy Dummies”, “Dirty Balls” and “Dreadmills”. But as you can learn from one episode of Wipeout, the most unlikely of the contestants has just as much of a shot of winning as the next.

But you can’t win if you don’t take the first step. (and, of course, start watching “Wipeout”)

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