Topic “Dad's blog”

The bottom line

I don’t personally believe anything positive is achieved by physically punishing an unruly child.

I was beaten as a child. Not abusively, mind you, but I got the occasional smack for doing something naughty. I recall being chased by my mom and dad, on separate occasions, when they quite possibly wanted to throttle me in a scene reminiscent of The Simpsons. However, I had fast little legs and went tearing off down the driveway, where I sat it out until their anger subsided and the dust settled. I was brought up in a loving home – this didn’t happen often!

Speed bumps

Do you remember those road safety films we were shown as young school children? I recall watching such a film at primary school one day and then heading home to tell my younger sister all about it.

Do you remember those road safety films we were shown as young school children? I recall watching such a film at primary school one day and then heading home to tell my younger sister all about it. She wasn’t at school yet, so I’m sure my eager feedback about the cool stuff we’d learned at big school must have fired her up to get out there and put those safety tips to the test. Or maybe I was the instigator.

Heroes

It’s not nearly as dramatic as pulling someone from a burning building, but it does take a measure of heroism – and perseverance – to be a good parent in a busy world.

A playschool teacher in Mexico was hailed as a hero last year when she ordered the children in her classroom to lie on the floor and sing a Barney song as bursts of gunfire erupted outside their school. She kept the scared children calm by reassuring them that nothing bad was going to happen to them. Outside, drug cartel members were executing five people. That takes courage….

How to be interesting

Being unafraid to try new things and experience as much of life as possible seems to me like a really good way to live.

I enjoy the quirky aspects of life. I guess that’s why stumbling upon Jessica Hagy’s quirky perspective on Forbes.com made my day. Jessica is an artist and writer, best known for her award-winning blog, Indexed (don’t worry, I’d never heard of it either). Her writing has mastered the art of brevity, accentuated with quirky line drawings to illustrate her points. There are lessons in communication, which we could pass on to our children, right there.

Dear Photograph

Photos allow us to travel back into the past.

I have an old photo on my fridge. My daughter is grinning broadly for the camera, with her tiny legs hardly reaching the edge of the couch. I have one arm protectively draped around her and the other is holding our dog, who also appears to be smiling in the photo. It’s a daily reminder of a happy moment. Isn’t that what we all want from family photos? There must be millions of similar family pics taken all over the world every day.

The beach remembered

I realise her childhood is over and that she’s standing on the threshold of young adulthood, but there was something wonderfully childlike about her expression in the sea.

My favourite memory from this December holiday in KwaZulu-Natal is the glorious smile on my daughter’s face as she caught waves on her boogie board. We have stunning beaches in Cape Town, but the water is frigid. The Indian Ocean along the east coast, on the other hand, is a magnificent temperature if you want to swim and enjoy other water sports, such as boogie boarding, without losing feeling in your fingers and toes after 30 seconds.

The beach

I’m headed for the warm waters of the KwaZulu-Natal coast for the Christmas holidays where my parents have retired to the coastal village I used to frequent as a child.

Big Harleys, big hearts

I visited the annual Red Cross Children’s Hospital Harley Davidson Christmas Party for the Oncology Ward on 25 November 2011

I visited the annual Red Cross Children’s Hospital Harley Davidson Christmas Party for the Oncology Ward on 25 November 2011. Each year, around 50 burly Harley Davidson bikers visit the hospital to give children – and a few eager adults – a short spin on the back of their noisy, gleaming machines. The event was extremely well-organised. The bikers came roaring into the car park just after 2pm while a throng of children, supervised by their parents or hospital staff, waited for their turn to ride.

Growing up with superheroes

The comics I poured over as a boy were a far cry from literary masterpieces, but they got me reading. And I was never bored.
I suspect my father thought I was wasting my time – and pocket money – reading comics. I mean, what on earth can one learn from Spider-Man, other than don’t get bitten by a radioactive spider unless you want to spend the rest of your life wearing tight Spidey PJs under your work clothes? But Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, would stash his clothes in a web somewhere high up on a building, then swing around in his tight PJs from nifty webs he shot from his wrists while beating the living daylights out of the baddies.

Just chill

At this time of the year, when high school learners write exams that may significantly determine their future careers, especially if they are matric exams, an unbelievable pressure to succeed descends on them like an ominous cloud.
I informed my daughter that in the US, one in three teenage deaths is caused by motor vehicle accidents, and most of these are caused by the abuse of alcohol. She had a disturbing fact of her own in response: in South Africa, most teenage deaths are caused by suicide. I had no idea (I have not verified this fact either).
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