When was the last time your children accused you of being out of touch? Perhaps an “El Nerdo Dad”? A better question might be, When was the last time they didn’t? Especially as they become teenagers, kids often consider it their duty to point out all the ways we need to change to keep pace with the culture, whether it’s how we talk, our ignorance about the latest technology, or our “fashion” statements.
Our CEO, Carey Casey, has a great illustration of this that he shared recently on our radio broadcast: “When I was a teenager, I thought [my dad] was weird. He was El Nerdo, with his pants hitched up to his belly button. I kept telling him, ‘Pop, it ain’t working. You gotta sag a little bit.’ He would just smile and go about his business.”
As Carey suggests, the best course of action for fathers is to smile and keep going like his father did, because things usually come back around. Carey even confesses, “The shoes I wear and the way I dress today are just like Pop. That’s right! Now I’m El Nerdo Dad with my pants all pulled up.”
Carey’s current look, of course, eventually brought on similar critical comments from his teenage son. But again, things came back around: “Sometimes I’d come home from traveling, and go in my closet and there would be shoes missing, or a certain shirt had been permanently borrowed. And wouldn’t you know, not long ago I saw a video of my twenty-four-year-old son performing his first wedding. I noticed something peculiar about his pants. That’s right, they were hitched up high. My son had become El Nerdo, just like his dad.”
Want to hear the whole story from Carey? Listen here:
- Ask for your child’s fashion advice—and really consider his or her ideas.
- Tell your children what you thought of your dad when you were a teenager, and how that changed when you became an adult.
- How long has it been since you scheduled one-on-one activities with each of your children? Get out your calendar and do it soon.
- For every behavior that you ask your child to change, come up with one that you’ll also agree to change.