+
Family

Dad's response to daughter's crash on a skate ramp is a masterclass in awesome parenting

A beautiful blend of empathy, encouragement and empowerment.

parenting, fatherhood, dads, skateboarding

This dad exemplifies stellar parenting.

As a parent, it's not always easy to know how to help your kids learn from life experiences. Some lessons they learn naturally and others they learn through parental guidance, but discerning which is which and how those things overlap can be challenging.

Kids don't come with instruction manuals, of course, but sometimes we see examples of great parenting we can point to and say, "AHA! That's how it's done."

One such example comes from a dad named Robert. He's been teaching his 5-year-old daughter Aubrin to skateboard and set up a mini half pipe for her to learn on. In a video on Instagram, Robert shared his interchanges with Aubrin after she crashed hard on the ramp during a lesson.


It's a sweet video that doubles as a masterclass in effective parenting. Robert communicates with a perfect blend of empathy, encouragement and empowerment, which gives his daughter exactly what she needs to tackle her fears and persevere in what she wants to do.

Even his initial question after she fell—"Did it scare you or did it hurt you?"—is helpful for making her more aware of what she's actually feeling as well as knowing how best to help her.

Seeing this gentle parenting scenario play out is just so heartwarming. (And if Aubrin's voice sounds familiar, you may have seen the viral "stuckasaurus" video in which she offered delightful color commentary while snowboarding in a dinosaur suit.)

Watch:

Robert explained his thinking behind the way he responded to Aubrin's fall:

"Trying something new can be scary but re-trying something after slamming can be terrifying.

I had to re-gain her trust and she needed to re-establish her confidence after this slam and it was a tough but beautiful rollercoaster experience.

This is one of the biggest psychological battles we face as humans, because once that negative experience has made its home in our brain it’s very hard to get it out.

I know from intense personal experience that a bad fall can have long lasting [psychological] effects and truly believe, that when possible, it’s best to get back up and try it again with the goal being to end the session with a positive experience; to not have that negative memory ruminating in your head until the next time you return to try.

I’ve been asked a lot 'How do you know what to say in these moments?' and the truth is I absolutely don’t know what to say.

Seeing her slam sucks the air out of my lungs and my heart drops but I just try to stay calm and redirect with some questions or comments while surveying the situation. A parent's emotions (depending on how you instinctively react) will oftentimes influence the child’s emotional response and it’s my goal to remove my influence and allow her to just be, to feel, to hurt at her pace and it allows me to get a better reading of how she’s truly feeling in these pivotal moments.

Ultimately I just respond from the heart. If you calmly lead with empathy and support without applying pressure you’ll do just fine."

Beautiful insight and advice. Unfortunately, many parents are raising kids while working through wounds from their own childhoods, and when you're battling parental instincts that aren't particularly healthy or helpful, having it all laid out like this is really valuable. Commenters on Instagram and Reddit have expressed how much they appreciate seeing supportive parenting in action.

"I actually got emotional watching this..." wrote one person. "I am learning so much from your posts!!! As someone whose parents led from a place of fear a lot of the time, this is showing me so much possibility of what the opposite can look like. Thank you for being so open, we are all made the better from it."

"I wish I had a dad like you growing up. She’s so lucky," wrote another.

"Made me smile and also as a grown ass man, gave me watery eyes - as someone that never had this kind of treatment growing up and kind of needed it - this is the kind of dad I will be if I ever meet someone and have kids," shared another.

Whether we were raised by gentle, supportive parents or the opposite, we can all recognize effective parenting when we see it. Thank you, Robert, for sharing such a stellar example we can all watch and learn from.

You can follow Robert and Aubrin's family adventures on Instagram(@chasing.sage).

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less