The Power of Reverse Psychology

There is some innate force inside us that doesn’t want to listen to direction. Or maybe it is just me and my genes, but I like to find things out for myself. I’ve also noticed my four-year old going against what I ask in what seems out of spite.

I’m sure your kids always listen, so please send me your tips. If they sometimes don’t, well maybe you want to try a little reverse psychology to get things moving along a little easier for all.

Blame it on Adam and Eve. They didn’t listen either. Maybe its the serpent devil speaking to my son. Let’s face it. There is a bit of good in the worst of us and bit of bad in the best of us.

One thing I have noticed though is that as fathers (and mothers) we can use our kids’ desire to go against what we say to our advantage, at least while they’re young.

My son has this habit of whining and often screaming when rinsing his hair of shampoo in the bath. It’s unpleasant for all involved, and no matter how much I tell him it’s okay or to shhhhhhhh, he continues the stream of angst.

Father Through Me

Then just yesterday, I heard my wife speaking to him while rinsing his hair, and their wasn’t a sound coming from him.

She was making various voices, pretending to be an audience watching the hair rinsing. Members of the audience were hoping to hear and see my son scream. And there he sat resisting. Going against what “the crowd” wanted him to do.

“I want my money back,” shouted one of the onlookers in what sounded like an Irish accent. “He’s not screaming. I thought we’d get to hear him scream.” Against the will of the people, my son showed them that he wasn’t going to listen and give them what they want.

And I think my wife enjoyed the process just as much. (My wife does some great European accents.) I know I would have enjoyed the bath that much more since there wasn’t a screaming bloody murder contest going on.

So next time, try it. I’d say take advantage of it as long as you can. My kids are young, and I plan on milking it as long as I can. Soon, they’ll probably be reversing reverse psychology, and trying it out on me.


Raising a Bold Daughter

“I don’t see a third leg,” I recall the ultrasound technician saying. The little pang of hope that wanted another boy evaporated in that fleeting moment.

There are four years between my son and daughter, so my wife and I were pretty used to boy clothes, toys and ways. It’s difficult for me to pinpoint exactly why I wanted a boy. Partially, because I can relate to being a boy. Partially, because I know how rude the world can be to women. I joined a fraternity in college for God sakes.

The world is full of examples on how parents treat their sons and daughters differently. Pink clothes for girls. Blue for boys. Boys get trucks and cars. Girls get dolls. Boys get sports gear. Girls get arts and crafts.

As a father, I can’t imagine not having my daughter. I fell head over heels in love with her the minute she was set into my arms. 

I can’t even bring myself to think about how boys and men can be. My almost-one-year old girl stands up to her brother, tells us how she sees it (in her own crying way) and shares her joy with the world with 100’s of smiles every day.

I make sure to evenly distribute wrestling. She has already taken a liking to grass and dirt (much quicker than her older brother ever did). And I can honestly say that we haven’t filled her room with the color pink or dolls.

Are those steps in equality? I think so. Treating offspring differently is the beginning of a separation between men and women. But there is something to be said of the fact that men and women think differently. We have different energies and leadership styles, which according to this Business Insider article are better, women are better at.

International Women’s Day has been celebrated since the 1900’s. Crowd counting experts estimate that three times as many people turned out for the Women’s March, January 21-22 than President Trump’s inauguration.

The ratio of the human population is about one to one. The world depends on the collaboration of men and women, not only to procreate and continue human life, but to advance the big issues of our time.

So I can only hope that my daughter is brought up to be bold, say what she means, and live honestly to help our communities.

God willing, I’ll do my best to raise her that way, along with the help of my wife of course.

Tour Campus Help Campus Selection–for Kindergarten

I used to sell book to educators at various districts in my surrounding metro. I pulled up to one school in particular, and I will never forget the banner they had hanging from the exterior brick. “Your Pathway to College.”

This is an elementary school. Reading, writing and arithmetic. I am no expert in public education, but there is something inside of me that recoiled from the pressure of being in elementary school and having to think about what college I will be attending someday.

And fatherhood has now brought me to the point to usher in a kindergarten student this fall. Between my wife and I, we have attended four different school information sessions and that wasn’t even everything available.

I’m grateful we have such options. Magnet schools focusing on arts, science, technology, math, language immersion or a charter school, focusing on Core Knowledge curriculum. And then there is the “home” public school. There are five elementary schools in our area, and that doesn’t even count the private schools.


The pressure is again felt on my shoulders. Although, this time it is as a father questions what school is best for his son.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the magnet and charter school are lottery based, so the immediate decision isn’t up to me. I’m forced to hand that piece over. The lottery is coming up this week, but I’ll be handing over the final decision then, too.

I’m reassured by this top 10 how-to list of helping your child in elementary school. If you’d like me to sum it up for you, be involved in your child’s education. Everything from knowing the school layout to what was played at recess to parent/teacher conferences, be an involved parent is the driving force behind success or failure in school.

That being said, I can’t discredit the support and environment an elementary school does provide. If the teachers are focusing more on keeping order and meeting test scores, what does that do to the environment?

The “home” public school has 69% if its students on the free and reduced lunch program. I love the diverse community in which we live. I want to raise my kids in an environment where they get to learn about the worlds’ spectrum of colors and cultures.

But I do want the best for my son, and there are rumors that this “home” elementary school has some challenging students. Neighbors who sent their kindergartner to the school moved out three years ago because of the school, so they could be in a different district.

So, I have choices. I have the ability to take it one day at a time. And I can let go of my fears and trust God. Life has a funny way of coming into focus as you look back, and I trust that when I look back on the route my son takes to elementary school that it will be the route he was supposed to take.