Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 1/30/2023
We’re sitting at the pool at the W Hotel South Beach (Miami). A few feet from us a girl about 8 years old is calling to her father, who’s sitting behind us with his wife and older daughter. The girl is pleading with him to come into the pool to play with her.
He tells her, “In a few minutes.” But he never enters the pool. This goes on periodically for a couple of hours. The father keeps saying in a few minutes, and the girl begins to remind him that he’s kept saying that but doesn’t join her. “I told you it would be soon!” he tells her harshly
Finally, my wife and I turn around to see who can be this cruel to his child. We see a guy, perhaps early 50s, and his wife, perhaps mid-40s. The wife is asking him meekly to go to their daughter, but he’s busy writing in a book, making notes in the margins, and harshly telling her that what he’s doing is more important than joining their daughter in the water.
At this point, the girl has resorted to, “Please, just for a few minutes,” and “Just once, I won’t ask again.”
Not only is he impervious to his daughter’s pleas but he’s also oblivious to the reactions of a dozen people around him having to listen to his daughter’s imprecations.
I’m assuming this wasn’t an exceptional episode, but a common reaction that tends to remain in a kid’s psyche through the years.
You could make a case this guy had important work to do. And that’s true. And he wasn’t doing it.
If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much. —Jackie Kennedy
At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents. —Jane D. Hull
Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. —Robert Fulghum
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