Bryan Says...

Rants, opinions, and other stuff I find interesting.

So, you read a book about parenting…

I come to you as the world’s foremost expert on parenting. To be more specific, I am an expert at parenting my two daughters. There are many lessons you can learn from your own maturing process that can make you a better parent. Lessons in patience and diligence definitely come in handing when dealing with your children.

There are a few hard earned lessons I don’t think I could ever have learned from a book or other parent’s anecdotes. This is a lesson on individuality. I have two daughters who have been brought up in the same environment, been subjected to similar circumstances, and to tell you the truth, they couldn’t be any more unalike.

My oldest daughter is the picture of civility. She is always calm, helpful, and generally just a great person to be around. I can’t see how anyone could ever have a problem getting along with her. My youngest daughter has a very smart wit. She is extremely observant, and always determined to do things on her own. Seeing as she is just four, you can see how life and her like to butt heads constantly.

I have advice for parents or people thinking about becoming parents at some time in the future: You can’t learn to parent from a book. Sure you can read about eating advice that will ensure your child is growing up healthy. You can read about potential sicknesses, and you can also read about ways of helping your child to learn. You should give up the reading now, if you are looking for a magical cure to four year old temper tantrums or a way to relate to a little girl who is getting ready to be a teenager. My best advice is to be pliant and understand that all reactions are caused by some stimulus. Fix the originating problem or learn to deal with the consequences!

These lessons also also apply to “thought workers”. Software developers definitely fit this description. Personalities differ greatly, Moods are sometimes indeterminate. Sometimes you’ll feel that you just can’t relate. 

Unfortunately, I don’t know of the magical incantation that will allow you to relate to software developers on all levels at all situations. To understand them, you’ll have to approach them like you approach anyone else. You’ll have to understand that their reactions are due to previous life experiences, personalities, and what they did or did not have for breakfast that morning. Treat them like people and show genuine concern when issues arise. Don’t stereotype them with some movie you saw on the television. Make sure to give them the respect you expect to receive.

I’m sure these lessons can help you relate to anyone that you meet that is different than you. Whether it be a different race, sex, or ethnicity. No one can tell you how to deal with any random group of people in any random situation. Take the lessons you’ve learned earlier and apply them generously. Use the failures to create future successes.

This is a lesson from a dad. Something passed to me by my dad. Something I hope my coworkers and children can pass on as well.

Happy Fathers Day!

  • jonathan_wallace

    Excellent intro. As a Dad two times over (about to be three), it cracks me up when relatively new parents attempt to dispense sage wisdom.

    Kids are different. People are different. Solutions are different. Vive la difference!

    The best we can do is share our experiences and use the joy and humor found therein as fuel for patience during those trying times.

  • Shuangjiang Li

    Thanks for the guide, I am new dad and my son is only 2 months old. Will keep reading this from time to time.