Learning How to Play

“Pick up a brick and hit him in the head!” my dad would tell my younger brother Joey. As a child I would constantly tease and pick on my little brother Joey. We were always very, very close and there for each other but I would still tease him mercilessly.

My problem was I didn’t know how to stop. Or as my folks would say I didn’t know when enough was enough. When we would visit other families my mom would always announce, “Michael doesn’t know how to play.” She would give others fair warning and permission to “deal” with me, because Michael didn’t know how to play.

My parents were very smart. Dad didn’t interfere in my fights with my brothers (sisters was an entirely different approach – ouch!). He let us work our problems out for ourselves.

That was good training.

Eventually Joey was bigger than me and hit me in the head with that brick. I learned to quit picking on him. I even learned how to get along and “play” with others.

During this Father’s Day week I find it interesting how my dad let us solve our own problems. He taught us how to demand respect and to respect others.

I never knew how wise dad was when he told Joey to pick up that brick and hit me in the head. I guess I’m glad he did. At least I learned how to play.

What did you learn from your dad?

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