As a father, I have always wanted my boys to be just as I was as a child. I want them to prosper on my good qualities, and be absent of my bad. I had so many fun experiences as a child, and I want the same for my kids. I was the type of child who loved sports; I would play football and baseball outside for hours with the neighbor kids. There really was nothing as exhilarating; like a pick-up game of no pads tackle football. I would never do this now mind you; I am far too old and way out of shape. If we were not playing sports I was playing G.I. Joes with my best friend Andrew, we could play G.I. Joes outside for hours upon hours, but for some reason our “wars” always ended up in a fight. If we were not doing these things, we were just outside exploring the neighborhood, and playing miscellaneous games. The funny thing is, as much as I want them to have a childhood like I did; I do not let my kids do half the things I did as a child, in fear for their safety. There is no way I would let them play tackle football without any pads, and I would never allow them to wander and explore the neighborhood like I did as a child.

When I became a father to Austin, he was 3 years old. I wanted him to love football and action figures just as I did, but he really wasn’t into it very much. He also was not big on playing outside with his friends. He is more of a home body, but I am very proud of him, for his intense dedication to football and working out. I must note I am perfectly fine with him being a home body. I think about what I was doing at fifteen, and I can tell you I was out doing very bad things. I felt sad, because I thought he was missing out on all the fun I had as a child. I was confused, because I figured all kids would act and live the way I did when I was a young. My youngest son Dylan, on the other hand is a spitting image of me as a child. This fills me with such joy and such fear.

Once Dylan puts on his football pads and jersey, he will have me set the timer for sixty minutes, and he proceeds to play a complete imaginary football game. He throws the ball around, and catches it; if he is tackled he violently throws himself to the ground. During his imaginary game he does his own play- by-play. He loves it when you sit and watch him, while he plays out this pretend game. When football season is over he turns his attention over to baseball. This kid is amazing, because at the age of six he watches entire baseball or football games. He sits and watches how players pitch or hit, and tries to emulate their movements, just as I did as a child. He is great at reading offenses and defenses during football games. He is also good at calling balls or strikes during baseball games. When I pitch to him he is able to identify the movement on my pitches. He sits and plays entire games of Madden with such joy. I am so proud of him for his intense interest in sports.

He also just recently got into action figures. This Christmas he received a ton of G.I. Joes, and loves to sit and play with them. I am taken down memory lane every time I sit down and play with him. I remember all the characters from my youth, but I am a bit disappointed with how they changed their design. I also don’t understand why they don’t offer more characters. It seems to me they just keep making the same ones with different looks. When I watch him do his thing I see myself playing twenty-three years ago. Like I said earlier this fills me with joy, but I have not yet touched on my fears.  

I was a really naughty kid, and a handful as a teenager. Dylan already shows signs of anxiety and ADHD behavior. My daughter Brianna is also showing signs of anxiety. If they are not properly stimulated they get out of control. I look at Austin, and I am filled with hope; except for his lack of interest in school he is the perfect kid. I am a bit fearful of how Brianna or Dylan will be when they hit their teenage years. I worry if they are not properly stimulated; they will end up going down the path I took when I was younger. I suppose it is karma; if they are a handful. I am sure I deserve it considering what I put my mother through. I just worry about my kids overall quality of life, and the repercussions of my actions and my DNA will be the downfall of my kids. I do not think this is fair. Why should they suffer for my bad karma?

  1. Nicole says:

    Dylan is a wonderful child when NOT with us. I think that says more about us than it does him. He is the baby of the family of 5 (plus the dog makes 6) and suffers the baby of the family syndrome of ..he wants all the attention and we are unable to give him that, so naughty attention is better than no attention. Once that process has started in a child’s mind it is very hard to break. Don’t get me wrong, Dylan as a baby in my stomach was an active crazy child. He did not sleep a full night thru until he was 2, thus I did not sleep a full night for 2 years!! He is very active and always wants to be doing something; he is quickly done with that something and then wants something else. You mix that behavior with the constant need to have all the attention on him and we have a recipe for disaster.
    We have tried all different types of fixes for this…time outs, star charts, talks, yelling, taking things away, ignoring, even to the point I actually spanked him once…I have never spanked one of my children but as a parent sometime you feel you have tried everything you can and a nice swat on the butt may just be the last resort. But it wasn’t because it only helped in that instant it didn’t help in the big picture. Which is where I think we lack as parents, we do the lets fix this major melt down Dylan has now in any way we can.. Not how or what do we do to stop this behavior for good.
    I welcome ANY advice people have for dealing with a child that falls under these behaviors (remember he only acts this way at home, at school and day care we get the utmost praise on his behavior, respect, and intelligence):

    • Defiant-
    • Throws fits when he does not get what he wants
    • Demanding- “get me a snack” instead of “mom can I have a snack please” no matter how many times I correct him
    • Hyper-active from the moment he wakes up to the moment he finally goes to sleep he will not stop moving
    • Rude- this however I think he has learned from his older sister over the past few years
    • Constant need to be entertained by someone, always wants someone to watch him or do for him
    • Aggressive- when he gets sent to his room in a time out he throws his stuff all over the room, takes his toys and hits the door.
    • And our newest issue with Dylan- the “plying doctor” syndrome. First time was last summer- with the neighbor boy, who we believe introduced this to Dylan. Since then Dylan has introduced this to two other different kids. We have had serious specific talks with him about private parts, good touch bad touch, inappropriate behavior, personal space, even to the point to explain to him it is illegal- and I think he doest care. Its fun to look at a penis, touch each other penis, and its naughty and not supposed to be done so that much more great to do.

    Tim- I think you also had many of these traits growing up-but how much of it could have been corrected and how much of it was an actual “disorder”..I want to find a way to correct these things in Dylan before its to we welcome and advice out there!!

  2. dp says:

    When I was younger (and by that I mean 2nd and 3rd grade) I would imagine that I showed some signs that caused my mom to worry. My mother, a doctor (psychiatry with specialization in child psychiatry) had me go to the school counselor. I was extremely young, but I vaguely remember playing these block games and talking about interesting subjects (but I can’t really remember all the themes). I also remember the books that the counselor would read to me – some cute little shapes but each had some sort of emotion. Anger, anxiety, etc, etc.

    I have not revisited these memories in QUITE some time. I’m actually considering asking my mom why it was she felt I needed to attend these little sessions… then again, maybe I don’t want to hear the answer.


  3. dp says:

    I forgot to get to the point – I turned out alright.. so maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea. If you notice these things developing in your children, perhaps have them go to a school counselor and spend some time with a psychologist to help your children learn to deal with the symptoms sooner rather than later?

    I don’t have kids, but maybe this is what I would do.

  4. dp says:

    I think half the battle is having the child learn to identify the emotion (I’m still thinking about my little psychology sessions). Once they can realize/reach awareness they are feeling X, Y, or Z. The sooner they’ll be able to learn what the correct or adequate response is and how to control the emotion.

    I think this was the purpose of my childhood meets. 🙂

    • Nicole says:

      DP- I love teh random thoughts comments. And they are all very true. It woudl be interesting to see why your mother, being a specialist in child psych, thought you needed to see someone.

      • Nicole says:

        Let me re-enter that post with correct spelling. Sorry I was multitasking and did not pay attention to my grammar. DP- I love the random thoughts comments. And they are all very true. It would be interesting to see why your mother, being a specialist in child psych, thought you needed to see someone

  5. Hi Nicole,
    Former teacher and educational assistant of behavioral children here, reporting for duty. I also managed to raise two children of my own to be pretty amazing adults (especially considering their parents), so I guess I will have to pass as qualified.
    I have written out some suggestions, but the result really it is too long for the blog format. I don’t see an email address here for Tim, so I invite you to contact me at
    and I will pass my thoughts on to you.

  6. fathernorest says:

    Wow, I wish I had some answers for your concerns. I can give my opinion on why your child behaves with others but acts out with others. I think this is true of all children. They are familiar with the parental units and know we wont physically harm them, yet others may.
    I wish you success in you search for solutions to these behavioral issues.

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