Small Talk

Happy Father’s Day!

June 19th, 2009

Paul and Diane Ako

Paul and Diane Ako

As we commemorate this year’s Father’s Day, I wanted to thank mine for just being there. So many studies illustrate the positive impact of fathers on the social, mental and emotional development of their children, and I’m thankful that I have one who has and continues to support me positively in all my endeavors.

My dad, on the left. (No, really? You think? Not on the far right?)

My dad, on the left. (No, really? You think? Not on the far right?)

Whatever I do, he’s always proud of. He might not always like it at first, like when I said I was going to go into journalism instead of law, or move to Mexico instead of getting a real job after I graduated. But he eventually comes around to supporting my decisions. That, I think, is the parenting skill my father does best - warm fuzzies. (My apologies if you are stuck at a table with him and he goes on and on about me.)

At our Kailua house

At our Kailua house

Lived in Connecticut during my youth

Lived in Connecticut during my youth

We’re a little too new at parenting to decide what Claus’ strength is going to be, but for right now, it’s getting Olivia to go to sleep. She’s a pretty good sleeper, but some nights she will fuss at bedtime, or wake up and call for one of us to pick her up in the middle of the night.

My husband is excellent at getting her to go back to sleep. He apparently just walks in to her room and explains in a quiet voice that she has to go to sleep now. I hear her complaining, but he’s pretty firm about it, and after several minutes, he’ll return to our room in a cloud of silence!

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I asked some mom friends what their man’s best parenting skill is, and got a wide range of answers. High school classmate Tina Namumnart says of her husband Michael, “Some mornings are tough to get started. A multitude of activities sometimes result with kids less than pleasant and cooperative in the morning.

My voice signals the time to wake up. Once, twice, three times, then the yelling and crying begins. Dad can often prevent the mayhem when the "tickle monster" enters the kids' rooms. The "tickle monster" may get some moans and groans, but it seems to be more effective at waking up overly tired kids than the mommy "yelling monster." The kids are able to somehow crack a smile on their face as they lug their bodies and bags out of the house to greet the new day.”

My best guy friend, Paul Drewes, is apparently the “fun” parent. Wife Gina says she’s the disciplinarian and the timekeeper, so when it comes to running around like crazy or doing silly fun stuff, she turns to Paul.

Coworker Jessica Hamamoto calls herself the nurturer, and her husband the disciplinarian and sports director for the family.

What about you? What parenting skill does the dad in your life do best?

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