Confessions of a Later Dad by Robin Gorman Newman
I caught the season premiere of the Oprah Show on tv this week, and David Letterman was her guest. Broadcast specially from New York, much was made of Letterman’s long-awaited appearance since he had joked for some time on his late night show about wanting to be on Oprah.
So, here they were. Two larger than life media powerhouses shooting the breeze. Letterman, who leads a very private life, for the first time that I have seen, opened up like a regular person versus someone who is “on.” What I found most interesting was when the conversation pertained to his family life. Letterman, 60, along with his longtime 40 something girlfriend, is a parent to four year old Harry. He showed photos, and glowed as he spoked of him. Clearly, this is a “later” dad who never expected to become a dad, and he is super grateful for it.
What struck me was his candor. And, since you don’t often hear from an “older” dad, it was refreshing. He said that one of the things he finds most challenging is the concept of “patience vs. discipline.” And, I immediately thought, I know what he means.
When your child acts up, do you find yourself feeling compelled to discipline them because you don’t have the patience to tolerate their behavior? This is natural….but how do you know when you might be overreacting because you’re not as patient as a “younger” parent might be? Having your lifestyle changed so much by a child can’t be easy for a man of 60.
Do you question your patience level? When it wears thin, does your child get a Time Out? And, do you second guess your actions?