This fun activity got me reminiscing later that evening. As my youngest child is about to be 35, it's been a great number of years since I was playing with my kids. But upon reflection I realized that I've always done it like that. "Justin's got the ball and cuts to the left. He makes a weak long shot and it's a brick! But he rebounds it, cuts in front of Daddy and lands a perfect layup! Score!" And that's just one shot. In retrospect, no wonder the kids couldn't wait to play. However, I never gave it a thought; it's just what you do when you're playing with your kids. But years later I have come to realize, it's not what parents do with their kids. Kids usually play by themselves or with a friend; not with the parent. So besides the obvious entertainment value and the sweet memories created by enthusiastic play with your kids, there are other important lessons to be taught. When a child beats me at a game, I insist they win with class: they need to stick out their paw, shake my hand and say "good game". If they lose, they need to do the same. They are also learning the joy of playing with an adult, a skill they will hopefully bless their children with someday. The tough question arose when I asked two good Daddies if they thought enthusiastic involvement was a teachable attribute, or was it just a personality thing? They were both adamant in their opinion: it was absolutely a teachable skill to teach parents. Who would argue that we want our kids to be skillful, mannerly and appreciative? Not to mention, happy as little birds? Parents, learn how to invent enthusiasm.
John is nearly done with his first essay of two-thousand seventeen! He's excited this may signal the first consistent writing effort of his life! He looks at the keyboard, then up at the monitor: he's done!! Score!"