Dat cool, Daddy?

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Photo Credit: Back Drop Express

My son asked me to go outside and play football with him yesterday. Mind you, he’s 3. So football for him looks a lot safer for me now than it will in a few years.

We were throwing the ball back and forth, and he was loving every minute of it. I’d throw it as high as I could, and he’d watch it come crashing down to the ground and bounce strange directions. He’d mimic me and watch it bounce again.

He’d say, “Daddy…watch me!” And I’d watch him throw the ball up in the air and hear him squeal with delight that he did it.

Of course, when he would, I’d go nuts, making a big deal and encouraging him that he threw the ball.

Then one time, unintentionally, I didn’t encourage him. I didn’t tell him he did a good job. I watched him throw the ball, then walked over to pick it up and continue the cycle.

It’s not that he didn’t do a good job…I just didn’t tell him that he did.

And he asked me a question that caused me to stop mid-stride:

Dat cool, daddy?

He wanted to know if he was still doing it right. He wanted validation from someone who knew the ropes, and knew what a “good throw” was supposed to look and feel like. He wanted to hear from his dad that I thought what he was doing was cool.

Don’t we all have a bit of that longing inside of us?

We all want to be validated by someone who knows the ropes. By someone who’s been in our shoes and walked where we’re going. Who can shed a little light on our paths to make the journey a little more navigable.

Older leaders: we need your encouragement. We need your ‘atta-boy!’ We need your wisdom and insight. We need your gut-level response to our gut-level response.

Don’t give up on us. We need you.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3:13

*Photo credit: BackDrop Express


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://kathyfannon.blogspot.com Kathy Fannon

    How precious! You’re a good dad to your little man!

    And thank you for the encouragement. Great post, Ben.

  • http://www.arnyslight.wordpress.com Arnyslight

    Amen Ben!

    We do need them to keep cheering for us…keep encouraging us!

    Besides…they have the best stories ever!

  • http://bit.ly/hWr7Cw Rob T

    very true.  good insight.  and kids are dat cool!

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Thanks Rob!

  • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

    So true! I know I need that myself.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Yep, I need it too, Jason. 

  • http://thomasmarkzuniga.com TMZ

    Wow. Just…wow. More life-shaking wisdom through the eyes and voice of a child. Really hits home.

  • http://somewiseguy.com ThatGuyKC

    This is dead on. It also plays into marriage and the whole love language thing. We need affirmation.

    I’ve recognized this in my kids and in myself as I relate to my wife. The power of an “attaboy” is huge!

    You’re a good man.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Yeah, we all need it in varying levels. Though it’s not my specific love language, I need it too.

  • http://www.livingngrace.com Luther Wesley

    I know I need some affirmation ever once in a while.  It does the mind good

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      It sure does!