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…and in that moment, I had a conscious choice to make – as a parent – about the kind of dad I wanted to be.

My 15 year-old son was doing what 15 year-olds do – questioning everything, believing nothing, and brilliantly certain about his own views of the topic in hand.

..and I was sitting on the edge of an either / or moment as his dad – do I:-

a) argue, push back, and make clear MY assessment is the truth? Putting this 5 feet 11 inch boy in his place gives me power and control, and shuts down debate – and for a while I feel better – though he may not – as I make him wrong for holding onto an opinion I disagreed with.


b) stay calm and inquisitive about his opinion, learn something new, or even be wrong? This keeps US connected – ME connected – to this amazing young person – for a few seconds more – to share perspectives – even be changed by each other.

……and the subject of such heated discussion?………when should the words “ate” or “eaten” be used ? !

I caught myself thinking about the kind of dad I wanted to be and that he’d want me to be – during more serious debates to come too.

The choice was clear – EVENTUALLY 🙂 – option B – stay connected – not to win or avoid losing – to build with him and learn together.

The outcome? – we learned what it was like to “agree to disagree” and laugh about it.

CONSCIOUS CHOICE – What conscious choices will you make today, to give up the need to be right, to ensure you stay connected to others, so you could build something together that you never planned on – however trivial or important?

Steve Holliday


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