As I am re-building our relationship, I wrap my head around everything I say, do, or think around my daughter, because I want to rebuild our connection as fast as possible and put great things into her head that she can use on her own one day. Recently, I began giving high-fives all the time and sometimes I high-five just to high-five:
“What are we high-fiving for this time dad?” “We are high-fiving because life is awesome.”Look around, the sun is shining and we got ice cream, life is great and we are happy, give me another high-five.” My high-fives are of course Icelandic; strong and powerful, not some stroking of the hand gentle touch high-five. I want her brain to imprint the impact from being rewarded properly.
What you do consistently, becomes success eventually.
This finally came to work in the practical sense, after just few days of high-fiving here and there. She has always gotten side stitches quite easily just from walking and recently I high-fived her for getting one. She got angry; “I don’t want to celebrate when it hurts dad!” “Come on!” I said. “Hurting is good because it means you’ve conquered a limit!” She was not happy. The following day it happened again and I said; “Just walk yourself through it, it will pass, because you’re strong, tough and beautiful.” So she did and I gave her a rewarding high-five.
The following day as we were walking, she says out of the blue; “Dad!!! I had a little side stitch but I just walked myself through it and now it doesn’t hurt any more!” Then she gave me a high-five. I acted as if it was her idea, to make her believe that she is a natural winner, and said; “yeah, it’s because that’s the way you are.” Her emotional confidence is very strong by the way.
A lack of winner’s mentality creates problems. (The story of my life.)
Imagine how many small issues she will avoid turning into massive problems as an adult, just feeling she can conquer them. As a parent, I make no particular demands that my daughter has to study this or that or support a particular political party or so forth. All I want, is for her to be able to handle the path she chooses for herself and get the most out of it.
As with daddy/daughter relationships, everything I say becomes her religion. I don’t think many people are willing to lower their pride and ego and see themselves at their kids level. Too often I hear parents say “No, what you are doing is wrong, you have to be this particular way, otherwise the consequences can be bad.”
High-five anyone for anything that doesn’t hurt others, it will improve the world and many problems will go away.
Thank you for reading and start throwing those high-fives out into the world,