I'm still figuring out fatherhood as I go along. The first piece of advice I ever tell my friends who are in the process of becoming first time parents is "Don't let the kids see the fear in your eyes." It sounds funny, and mimics street cred, but there is a touch of truth in there.
Second nugget is: "Be prepared to deliver on all your promises to the children". This links nicely into: "Be careful what you promise", "Don't promise the world", "Always leave open the escape hatch", "Have a Plan B", and so on.
Raising children often feels closer to nudging the trajectory of a lit firework than binding the branches of a banzai tree. Never forget, whatever your actions and words, these will eventually drip feed down and enlighten, or poison, your brood. I keep reminding myself this every time I act and overreact in the home.
So when it comes to spending time with the kids, doing something outside your own comfort zone might not actually be a bad thing. But you need to ensure that you don't go too close to the edge.
Below is a picture of my surfing photographer brother-in-law, Garyth, aka G, hanging out with Team Ricc. Here are my rules if you want to teach your kid how to surf, when you don't surf:
- bring in the experts
- learn to surf alongside your subject
- remove the fear (it's best if your kid can swim comfortably in a slightly turmoiled ocean)
- have fun.
Jake and G confirmed that over the Christmas holidays, Jake rode 103 waves, which included 10 wipeouts and one post-wipeout health trip to the surf doctor to reinvigorate Jake with a cup of hot chocolate.
Lead the way,