The Zone Defence: What My Kids Teach Me About Life

Lesson 1

The sun is shinning through the window of my home office.

It’s a beautiful afternoon and McDuff really should be outside playing.

But we have to have a little chat.

To be frank I’m not looking forward to this one.

Because I know how much his heart is set on it.

And I know he is going to be really disappointed with what I have to tell him.

So I’m prepared for some tears.

What I wasn’t prepared for happened 23 minutes later .

It was me who had the lump in his throat choking back tears.

I had experienced one of those truly special moments that lets you know as a parent you are doing the right thing.

For weeks and weeks McDuff had been asking to add a new discipline to his Karate. He wanted to do weapons. As parents we weren’t too concerned about the weapons class.

Karate has been great for him in so many ways.

It was the additional time commitment on his part and….well the cost.

With me being between engagements the extra cost wasn’t something we could justify at this time.

We were doing what we could to keep life as normal as possible and this coming down to the money cut me deep.

I felt a double failure.

As he sat down in the ektorp chair surrounded by the big fluffy cushions he suddenly became smaller,, this wasn’t going to be easy.

I began by saying to him that I wanted to have a chat with him about weapons class.

And off we went.

We talked about why he wanted to go to the class, the additional commitment, his school work, focusing on one thing to become great.

We talked about sharing and how as parents we had to divide our time up equally between everyone.

We talked about him being upset and why.

We also talked about the extra costs and the value.

You see the thing is I wasn’t the one doing all the talking.

It was him, I was asking a few questions and listening.

All of a sudden he stops talking and just looks at me.

Tilting his head to one side and smiling, he says

“Daddy I think you and mummy should use the money for you to get fit again”

All I can say at this point is “Thanks buddy, we will see”

He really is a very generous and caring young man but I wasn’t expecting that.

Its what he does next that finishes me off.

Still smiling, he says,

“ I love chatting with you.

Its really great, can we do this every day”

“Any day you want”

“Hey do you want to go outside and play some soccer”

“Sure daddy”

So, Today, stop procrastinating.

Be courageous, be authentic and set aside just 30 minutes for that one on one.

You know the one, its that conversation you have been avoiding.

The same conversation that I know I’ve put off from time to time.

Its as simple as:

“I would like to talk with you”

Then sit back and listen.

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