Maui dad parenting

Welcome to another installment of the Maui Dad Blog, a FREE community resource for Maui’s dads and families. This blog features interviews with different dads on Maui, providing them with a space to share their stories in celebration of fatherhood on Maui.

Our third installment of the Maui Dad Blog features a heart-felt interview with Asher Boyle, a Kula based farmer, electrician, and father of two toddlers. In his interview, Asher shares his valuable fatherly insights with us, such as the best nature spots on Maui for kids; how to turn opening a coconut into a bonding experience; the sometimes comedic experience of transitioning out of diapers; the benefit of allowing kids to solve their own problems; and the challenge of setting limits — especially when it comes to brushing teeth!

Please enjoy the following excerpt from Asher’s interview. You can read his interview in its entirety and find other Maui Dad interviews here.

Excerpt from Maui Dad Interview #3 with Asher Boyle:
The challenge for me is knowing that it is my job to set limits and make boundaries for my children. This doesn’t come naturally to me. Lately, Isis, our little one, doesn’t want to brush her teeth at night. I try to explain it to her (sometimes I get too dramatic): “Look honey, I don’t want your teeth to fall out, but that will happen if we don’t brush your teeth!” She isn’t yet able to comprehend those repercussions. The first night that her toothbrush rebellion occurred, I got so frustrated that I threw her toothbrush across the room. I didn’t yell, I just left the room and read books with my other child to calm myself down. When I settled down and returned to the bathroom, Isis was scared and allowed me to brush her teeth without a struggle. It was heart-breaking for me that my actions scared her, so the next time the toothbrush rebellion occurred, I tried a different strategy. I put the toothbrush down near her, and allowed her make her way to the toothbrush in her own time; she did, and we were able to brush her teeth with less of a struggle. After that, I continued by giving her an option: “Either Daddy can brush your teeth or you can brush your teeth by yourself.” Having a choice seemed to empower her, and this changed the dynamics of the situation. When it is time to set limits, I have to remind myself not to get emotional – that is my biggest challenge. When my children get emotional and escalated, it can be really hard for me to stay calm. I know now that remaining calm when they are falling apart – being a rock in a stormy ocean and setting limits in an unemotional way – is the best way for me to lovingly teach them boundaries without shame or fear, consequently making them feel safe and secure.

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