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Unhelpful Help

November 20, 2011 3 comments

So if you have children, you’ll absolutely GET this point. Especially if you’ve had young children recently.

My children love to help. They can’t help themselves because it’s how they’re programmed. And at some level, we all love to be recognized for doing good things that help out others…it just makes us feel good. Kids are no different.

Putting up the Christmas Tree 2011

We were putting the Christmas tree and decorations up today. And even though it is fun and great family time, it’s still frustrating and painful at the same time. Take a guess at how many times I had to tell the kids to “STOP” or “WAIT” or “NO” during this. I’ll give you a hint: X > 30, where X is the total of said commands to my kids that went ignored.


Our Christmas Tree 2011

It’s a fine line that we walk with kids. We want them to learn to be helpful and pitch in around the house when they can. But at the same time, their “help” sometimes isn’t so helpful. I think this dynamic is part of the reason that grandparents say that being a grandparent is so much fun…because it makes up for part of all the difficult times that come about when raising kids. Grandparents can take their Grandchildren, spoil them absolutely rotten, sugar them up until they are bouncing off the walls, and then send them home to their parents and let them deal with the ensuing meltdown.

But I digress.

I think the key to managing this “helpful” interaction with my kids is to set my expectations low. Yes…LOW. And that’s not a bad thing either…because “help” in this situation isn’t always that helpful. And that’s not a bad thing either.

Taylor "helping" put away dishes

Even though the unhelpful help makes the process incredibly slow and excruciatingly painful at times, it’s truly the thought that counts. Help is help, even if it isn’t really helpful. Because they are trying. And really…wouldn’t we really rather have our kids trying to help than not?

“Son, can you come help me with this?” Yes…I know what I’m getting into with that simple request.

Thanks for reading. Thanks in advance for commenting. Be sure to subscribe to my Blog on the right and share this with your friends…especially those that will comment and add feedback. Especially about how much they love the help they get. 🙂


Idaho Dad


Hi…I’m Idaho Dad

November 12, 2011 4 comments

Greetings and salutations,


Eric Leigh, Idaho Dad

I’ve lived in Idaho all my life. I was raised in Parma, Idaho, a small town that about 1,800 people call home in the western end of the Treasure Valley. When I graduated from Parma High School, I enrolled at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. I never wanted to leave the Pacific Northwest after finishing college, so I moved around in my summers off from college to experience different places. I lived in Salem (Oregon), Ketchum (Idaho), and Moscow for a short bit. When I graduated from Idaho in 1995, I found myself back at home in the Treasure Valley with my bride to be. I was married in 1996 and became a Dad for the first time in 2001. Now I am the proud Father of four children. I have a Masters Degree from Northwest Nazarene University and have no intention of going back to school…time will tell if that holds true. I am a Mortgage Consultant for Idaho First Bank and love my job. It provides me with the income and flexibility to allow me to do what I love best: being a Dad to my children.


I love to meet new people and love to write. So the Blog was the natural outlet for me to accomplish both of these. Being a parent is always interesting. There’s nothing routine with four kids (including a set of twins) under one roof that are eight years apart.


Rilee being Rilee

My hope is that my stories, experiences, and reflections of my life as a Dad can touch all of you in some way. And trust me, it won’t just be the “happy” stories. My stories that I want to tell and Blog about aren’t always going to be with me and my family living happily ever after. Because that isn’t how life works. It’s like I always tell my kids (and hope they actually ‘get it’ sooner rather than later):

Life isn’t fair, and it never will be.

But rest assured, I do have plenty of good stories and things to talk about as well. What fun would this be without some fun stories, right?

As you read and follow Idaho Dad, and perhaps feel moved or motivated, please take the time to introduce yourself to me and comment. Because that’s why I decided to do this in the first place: To meet new people and interact with them on a topic that I am passionate about, which is “Being Dad.”

Let the journey begin. Thanks for riding with me. While you’re here, do yourself a favor and make it easier to follow me. Subscribe to my Blog posts on the right.


Idaho Dad

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