My son is fully at that age when he wants to be with his Dad as much as possible. Sure, Mom is still the go-to gal for reading Harry Potter at night, snuggling in general, or can still be trusted to hold someone in their seat when trying a new roller coaster. But, when it comes to fun and learning, Dad is where it's at.
My husband is a constant teacher, even when he doesn't intend to be. There are the skills he overtly teaches: How to use the lawnmower, how to practice laps in the pool, how to properly hook a fishing line. And then there are all the things that my son is learning, just by watching.
It is that second set of skills that boys tend to rely on so much.
My son is not going to learn to respect women just because we tell him to; he learns to respect women when he sees that being modeled by his Dad. My son is not going to learn about the pride of doing a job well because we promise him he will feel that way; he has learned that by watching his Dad take the time to build custom bookshelves for our home. My son is not going to learn patience by being nagged about it; he will learn patience when he sees his Dad work on stretching his own patience further.
It's got to be hard knowing that as a father you have to consistently model the behaviors you want your child to have. It's true: Kids don't listen; they watch.
The same, of course, could be said about Moms, but frankly, my son isn't interesting in watching me right now. His eyes are on Dad, and that is a lot for my wonderful husband to live up to. I know that it won't always go perfectly, but I am thankful that my son has a good model in place to learn from.
What things are your children learning just from watching you? Share with me in the comments.