Bruce Sallan: Okay, so the blogosphere has reacted to my column in which I describe a situation where my teen son got a nosebleed on the
slopes, but I didn't let it hamper my skiing plans. I asked the question: "Am I A Selfish Parent?" ... and many say yes!
No surprise, as this always felt like a gender difference issue to me. I believe moms too often put their kids' needs ahead of everyone else's, to the detriment of their kids and everyone else.
And, I believe sometimes boys AND girls need to be told, basically, to "get over it." I remember hearing a story about a playground incident in which one little boy, without any provocation whatsoever, went over to another and just shoved him to the ground. That boy's mother comes over to him, let's call him Timmy, and says "Timmy, Timmy, what is bothering you?" instead of disciplining him and letting him know his behavior was wrong.
The nosebleed fits in the same category. IF and I emphasize IF there were any real danger, of course I'd leave or take him to the ER. But, I know my son and he has a tendency to give into his feelings of the moment and he has a tendency to get scared. I felt, and I turned out to be right in this instance, that teaching him to tough it out vs. running away was a better lesson.
I believe too many kids nowadays are being coddled and pampered. They need, instead, some reality checks. Maybe that's why so many young adults can't seem to leave the home and make it on their own. As a dad and man, I want to teach my boys to be strong and, yes, to tough it out occasionally without whining and complaint.
My son is now panicked about the swine flu, reading headlines that are designed to inflame. On this, I calmly assured him the risk to us was minimal and we'd be on top of it. I didn't berate him; I just reassured him. With the nosebleed, it felt appropriate to be a little tougher and the result was clearly positive in his joy the next day, all better, on the slopes.
I stand by my words and actions. But, what do I know; I'm just a guy.
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|