Dad Fail

A couple of weeks ago, my oldest son had a soccer game.  I’ve always loved watching him run around on the field, giving it full effort, working with his teammates, going for it.  To be honest, this last game didn’t really represent these things.  He wasn’t playing to his full potential and I could tell he was being timid out there.  As a dad, my competitive juices start flowing and I admit, it’s hard to be super positive after a game like that.

As we were walking back to the car, we recapped the game.  We talked about the challenges, set backs and some positive stuff as well.  I told him that he did great and that I was proud of him for getting out there and playing.  Then the dad-fail came….immediately after the compliment, I mentioned that he seemed a little tired, maybe intimidated and that he didn’t really seem to play like the kid I know.  Stupid mistake.

Soon after we got home, my son called me out.  With frustration in his voice, he told me that I had really discouraged him.  That I told him I was proud of him one second and then immediately went to something negative, deflating any encouragement given.  You know what, he was right, I messed up.

Sure, it’s ok to offer constructive criticism to our children, but at the proper time.  My timing was bad and I apologized.

What a great lesson for me to learn as a dad.  Sometimes, kids don’t need us to fix them or offer them advice.  Sometimes, they just  simply want to know that we’re proud of them.

God Bless,



5 thoughts on “Dad Fail

  1. Hi Pauly. You probably learned that trait from your mother (sorry). It was a parenty-type thing to do, but you know what I took away from the story? I saw a young kid who has enough self confidence and emotional strength to tell you that he was hurt and why. He was able to do that because he has a history of loving, safe and understanding parents. That is good parenting my friend.


  2. Hi Paul. I just found your blog and enjoy what I read. We seem similar in ‘styles’. Feel free to peruse mine as well. To the fail part, as a dad of 2 adult kids now, I don’t think you failed at all. You were giving praise and then simply reflecting what you saw and there’s nothing wrong with that. Our kids are both successful adults now and sometimes that’s been my best parent maneuver; reflecting. Then let them digest it. After all, life is not all wins. We only know to do better if we are made aware of both of our successes and failures.


    • Hey, thanks for the comment Mark, I appreciate your thoughts. I totally agree with your input and I’m sure you had a good balance with your kiddos as they grew up. My main “fail” moment in this situation was the timing, not the constructive criticism specifically. It’s good to offer praise and guidance, I agree. Sometimes it’s good to be tactful with approach and timing….I feel as though my timing could have been a little better in this case. Thanks again for reading and I will definitely check out your blog as well! Take care.


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