As kids grow, they still need to be reassured but might not want to come out and show that there’s anything that requires reassurance. This is especially the case for boys who will go through a lengthy period of false machismo matched only by a stunning lack of common sense.
Eldest son knows that I’ve gotten larger in the waist and the doctor has suggested the Flat Belly Diet to get my waist back below size 40. As we shot basketball this afternoon, he remarked that if I would get back to the gym – to which I hadn’t returned since an illness last year – I could take him in wrestling without being winded. The subject changed and then he came back to exercise again.
As we talked, I asked whether he was worried about my having a heart attack.
No. Well, maybe a little…
I told him that having a heart attack wasn’t on my calendar – not that it couldn’t happen – and his response was direct and pointed: So get to the frickin’ gym!
So my history with boys is that if an issue comes up another time, it’s best for me to put it on the table. That way, the boy can concentrate on the issue without having to appear as though he’s worried or even scared. When he’s older and more secure with himself, then he can learn the direct approach.
And I’ll save the choice of language for another time.