A little thought can make all the difference

Fatherhood Is Earned

I love my life. I really do. I have had many blessings,and if I could list them all, I would probably not recognize half of them. So much taken for granted. And that’s what this post is about.  – In safety, what do you take for granted?

This Father’s Day, like many other Sundays, I suspect that I will see families out and about enjoying outdoor activities together in the nice weather. If I take a ride to a local park I will find picnics and ball games. Down by the river I’m sure I’ll see some folks canoeing, swimming, fishing and just enjoying the water. And in just about every neighborhood, I’ll see some family bike riding taking place.

Just about every modern parent sees the value in making certain their child is wearing a helmet when on a bicycle, even if the bike has training wheels. Helmets are inexpensive and can prevent serious injury.

I have to wonder though when I see about every fourth or fifth parent riding without a helmet. What are they thinking? I have to imagine that they believe that their riding experience makes them less likely to have an incident. Probably true, but it in no way reduces the potential severity of an injury should the unlikely event occur.

One of my old friends used to refer to her ex as the sperm donor, and not as the father of her children. True fatherhood is earned. I have seen fathers with their children playing with them, teaching them and guiding them, and yet this potentially simple lesson becomes one where the example does not always meet the instruction.

Fathers, we earn our respect for the kids each day, and we earn that respect by walking the talk. Your family has so much at risk if you are injured, and wearing a helmet when you ride is a simple gift you give your children. Don’t take your safety for granted. When you put the helmet on you tell them that you are important, and when you help them with theirs you tell them they are important, too.

Happy Father’s Day to all men and women who have earned the right to be seen as a Father.

Thanks, and let’s be careful out there.

2 Responses to Fatherhood Is Earned

  1. I like your attitude to fathering. The specific example is a bit of a shame. The trouble with bike helmets is that the figures don’t show that they work – helmet laws have stopped a lot of people cycling and have done nothing for head injury rates, see Robinson DL. No clear evidence from countries that have enforced the wearing of helmets. BMJ 2006;332: 722-5. http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/332/7543/722-a. It appears that helmets break easily, but don’t absorb the impact, see the engineers quoted at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet. A broken helmet has simply failed, and the widespread anecdotes on the theme of “a helmet saved my life” seem to owe more to wishful thinking than to science. The only known connection is that helmets have strangled a few young children who were wearing helmets while playing off their bicycles. I no longer wear a helmet and haven’t pressed them on my children. I do check that their brakes work and that they have a good idea of the rules of the road.

    [Reply]

    TimNo Gravatar Reply:

    Richard, thanks for your response. I think we can agree that the primary point of my post was that as fathers, we should set examples. I have to admit, my view of helmet use is based primarily on a specific instance I know of personally where the helmet was in use, and is credited with affecting the outcome of the incident. He didn’t repeat it without the helmet to test his theory :).
    I overwhelmingly agree that teaching your children the rules of the road is more important.
    Thanks for stopping buy and sharing your insight and links.
    Tim

    [Reply]

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