Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fatherhood Lessons with Homer Simpson: Playing with Your Kids

Sometimes I am lost for blogworthy ideas about fatherhood. Inspiration is fleeting and I don't know where to turn. Much of my inspiration comes from TV or music. Greater men are probably inspired by historical figures like Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King. Others may be inspired by great authors or scientific studies, but that is not me. As Popeye says, "I am what I am." And I am inspired by Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Vedder, and sometimes even Homer Simpson.

Today's post will be a lesson from Homer about toys and playing with our kids. Watch the video and then read on for my dissection of Homer's teachings.


The first lesson here is that Dads should play with their kids as much as possible. One of our main jobs as fathers is to be the entertainment director for our children. The best way to do that is get right down on the floor with them. Get in their little world and play with their toys. There is no substitute for time spent with your children so follow Homer's lead and start playing.

The second lesson we can learn from Homer is that we don't have to buy the most expensive toys for our kids. If you have the means to buy every toy in the store then by all means do it. Kids, however, are not always entertained or occuppied with a toy box full of toys. Sometimes you have to use other things around the house for entertainment. I use water bottles and the remote control nearly every day. A box works great as well. As any parent knows, kids often like the box, bow, or wrapping paper much more than the actual gift that is found inside. Apply this theory to your everyday play time. I read yesterday over at my friend PJ's blog Real Men Drive Mini Vans that he recently used a box to lure his son back into the play area. He wondered if he was a bad father. I say heck no. You are a great dad.

Finally a lesson for all us dad's that are really just big kids. Never let the joy of playing with toys again lead you to an unhealthy attachment to said toys. We should never runaway with our kids toys like a crazed Homer hiding under the box. I know it is a great amount of fun to play with your kids. Sometimes I admit to having too much fun with Braden's toys and he is only a baby. I am sure I will get more than carried away when he gets older. I already covet the little Star Wars figures I see in Wal-Mart. No matter how much fun we have let's always remember it's about the kids.

My thanks to Homer Simpson for departing his wisdom on us today.

8 comments:

WeaselMomma said...

I know many moms who can benefit from this lesson too. Playing is as important as discipline.

surprised mom said...

Ditto what WM said. I've often wondered if I played enough with my girls. I know my husband did. Thanks to you and Homer for today's lesson! It's a good one!

Jill said...

Yes sometimes a box is more fun than anything. Getting on the floor with your kids is a great way to have fun. Same for being a kid yourself and running through the sprinkler in the summer. My kids always think its funny.

Out-Numbered said...

too late for me. If I tried to lure my 6 year old with a cardboard box, she'd call me annoying and hit me over the head with her ipod.

JonnyTam13 said...

Great lesson! It's amazing what you can use to play with your kids. And in the end, it really doesn't matter as long as you're with them.

seashore subjects said...

LOL! I loved the clip! I spent years working with families, teaching them to get on the floor with their kids. I even brought boxes into the homes! I may have to hijack this clip and send it to some friends still there.

Tom said...

Excellent advice to all dads.

One year I bought a bunch of 1" pvc pipes and fittings and let my kids have at them. They spent hours putting different contraptions together, and it was cheap. And no batteries or noise.

PJ Mullen said...

My son absolutely loves soda and water bottles. If you leave a little water in there and shake it up for him you get hours of entertainment for pennies. I agree, it is very important to spend time down on the floor at their level. Sometimes I feel like I don't do it enough, but we always have a ball when we do. And thanks for the shout out. I did feel a little bad treating him like he was the family dog, but now that he's up and walking he wants to be everywhere he shouldn't.