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Five minutes with Bob Schwartz

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 06-05-2009

Bob Schwartz has written one book on parenting called : Would Somebody Please Send Me To My Room!

He talks about his experiences:

What is the one thing you think parents should know about your work?
As a parent, humor is the key to survival and my book is a comedic reminder of the necessity that no matter how harried or confusing things are, it’s critical to appreciate that humor is essential in the day to day nature of family life.

What are your feelings about the role of the father in child development?
I’d like to think that we’ve had a fairly significant evolution of the role of a father in more recent years, such that the father figure is not the more remote bread winning disciplinarian of the 1950’s but an integral and hands on parent who can teach, inspire and instill a passion for life that will last forever.

What is the best thing dads can do in the raising of their children?
Be involved from day one and never let go. You are never given a more responsible position than being a father. Be flexible, choose your battles and always listen.

What is the biggest error dads can make in raising their children?
Not letting your children be who they are. Your children are not your clone and will have their unique personality, interests, talents and deficits. Help them be who they are and assist in uncorking their passions.

Is there one practical tip you’d suggest to dads?
Don’t be so quick to say, “Go ask your mother.”

It’s been said that the greatest regret aging men have is that they didn’t spend more time with their kids. How do you feel about that statement?
It’s trite but true. It’s inevitable that we will all have regrets but better they be “pie in the sky” regrets (I wish I’d have climbed Mt. Everest) than regretting things you truly do have control over such as the time you invested in being a father and husband.

Every generation worries that their kids aren’t strong enough to handle the real world. Do you feel kids need to be “toughened up” by experiencing rough times?
Not in the slightest. I don’t need to feed my children barbed wire so they know how to handle adverse times. They will inevitably experience those difficult times and our role as parents is to allow them to address those difficult moments without us immediately jumping in and they will, in turn, consistently learn how to meet life’s challenges.

Or conversely, do you think kids need to be smothered with love to give them storehouse of good feelings with which to deal with the inevitable challenges of life in the real world?
You definitely don’t want to go overbroad in commending your children and need to make sure that parents are not constantly heaping praise on our children for the most minimal of “accomplishments” and make certain that they do not receive undue praise for doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

Has anyone inspired you to be a better father? If yes, who?
No one inspired to be a better father but I enjoyed what legendary football coach Lou Holtz said regarding his philosophy of life, which were the three rules he had for his children and his players: do what’s right, do everything to the very best of your ability and show people you care.