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Today is: Jun 25, 2019
Post From: Feb 11, 2019

Dads And Daughters

Well, my last post was quite some time ago - it would be nice if I could get into a regular rhythm. I think this is an example of how easy it is to procrastinate when you are setting your own deadlines . . .

Anyway, this time I want to write about something pretty basic - I want to describe an interaction I had with one of my daughters. The purpose of this blog is to create space for reflections about the way honor (recurring shameless plug: I have written a book about Honor) plays into everyday life. This interaction was nothing big, nothing momentous - heck, I am not even sure I handled it well or correctly or whatever. But it gave me a chance to reflect, and I thought that might be a valuable thing to share.

The interaction took place at a volleyball match - Creighton University has a strong women's volleyball team, and my daughter and I have gotten season tickets the past couple of years. I love the sport of volleyball, having tried to play it in college (I was not very good), and my daughter likes to do things with her dad. I think it is not too far wrong to say that her primary interests at the volleyball match are 1) the concessions (nachos, a Mt. Dew to share, and Starburst) and 2) the souvenir balls thrown out by the members of the team during player introductions.

Honestly, I am not sure that I have those in the correct order. From the first time she saw those souvenir balls, my daughter was intent on getting one - to the extent that we had tears on a few occasions. Never mind that we have a less than 1% chance of catching one - she was certain we would catch one, and she often was very sad when a ball did not come our way.

This season, when we came for the first game, I encouraged my daughter to go ahead and go over to stand over by the team, right in front. My logic is that college girls, seeing a younger girl right there, will make an effort to get a ball to her - her chances of getting one would be better.

She shook her head at that idea, so I offered to go over with her, if she felt shy. She still said no. At that point, I was not sure what to do. My daughter is very reserved, very self-conscious, and I am torn with whether to push her to overcome those reservations or to just meet her where she is, in terms of her reservation. I remain torn - as I said at the beginning, I am not sure I did the right thing, in this case.

Thinking that maybe this was a time to push - she really did want one of those balls, and sometimes you have to come "out of yourself" a little bit to get the things you want. So I took her hand and started toward the place I thought we should stand, and I actually pushed her a little bit when she continued to resist. She dug in her heels - literally, as it turns out - as I pushed.

Having managed to bring my daughter to tears - which is the unfortunate result of many things that I do - I picked her up and hugged her. At that point, I still was not sure whether I was handling things correctly. Should I still push? Was this a block we needed to overcome in order to build confidence? Was I pushing my little girl too hard - meaning that I should back off and let her just be?

So I hugged her and waited for the tears to pass, and I tried to explain my dilemma to her - I try to be straight with my kids, so I told her exactly what I was thinking, that I did not know whether to push her a little or not. Eventually, we decided we would just stay where we were - that she was most comfortable there.

As I said at the beginning, I still do not know whether I handled this situation the right way - but that may make it even more valuable as grist for discussion. How does an honorable man respond to a situation like this? I mean, I would like to be an honorable man - so what does it mean to be honorable, in a situation like this?

I want my daughter to be strong and confident, to be willing to come out of herself and take a chance. So I work to show Compassion - I believe that the best way to build my daughter's confidence is to provide her with the certainty of my love for her. I also want to show Industry - I want to take action, to push her when it is right to push.

I think I can speak for most fathers - we strive to build our children, and we struggle to find the right balance between Compassion and Industry and Discipline on a daily basis. And I don't know what the answers are - or whether I found the right place to be for that situation . . . and that uncertainty helps me to make sure that I am connecting with the virtue of Humility.

Read more at The Honor Blog.

About Charlie Collins

Charlie Dressed Nice

Dr. Collins received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from the College of William and Mary in 1989, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude. He went on to pursue a doctoral degree in Physics at MIT, with a focus on Theoretical Astrophysics, receiving his diploma in 1996.

To begin his professional career, Dr. Collins went to work for ACI Worldwide, a software company best known for its on-line transaction-processing products. There he performed a variety of technical and market research functions. Upon leaving ACI, he re-connected with the field of education, first spending a year at his high-school alma mater (Mt. Michael Benedictine in Elkhorn, Nebraska), then spending twelve years teaching information technology at a local college. Currently, Dr. Collins serves on the faculty at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, where he teaches Mathematics.

In addition to those endeavors, Dr. Collins spends as much time as he is able pursuing a variety of writing projects. Many of those are reflected in these pages: Take a look at the Books and Publishing page for information about the fantasy trilogy The Roc and the Griffon, as well as for work which is under development. In particular, please look for information about Reawakening Honor - not only is this book worth learning about in its own right, but Dr. Collins hopes to use it as a way to experiment with alternative approaches toward publishing.

About Creative Impulse

Creative Impulse is a very small (microscopic) publisher located in Omaha, Nebraska. True to its name, the company works in a variety of creative areas - web design and development, speculative fiction, and a little bit of philosophical discussion. Feel free to explore the site and learn more.

Contact information:

Creative Impulse
7004 Farnam St. Suite 101
Omaha, Nebraska 68132
questions@creativeimpulse.biz