Alignment: Pay me now or pay me later...

By Patrick Donohue

September 13, 2013

Alignment:  Pay me now or pay me later...


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Pay me now or pay me later.

Schools have opened all across the country and whether you have a preschooler or a high schooler, Dads play an important role in their children’s academic success..  So, here is my question, “School is open, so what?”  The “so what” will determine whether your children benefit from you or are hindered by you academically.  Here are a few warm up questions:


Do you know the name of his most challenging teacher?  Do you know which subject she likes the most?  Do you know what he most dislikes about school?  Do you know her grades?  Did you go to Open House night?  Do you know which class/subject he is most worried about?

If you answered the above questions in a positive manner, then good for you, keep being an awesome Dad.  If you did not, time to get things into gear.  I know, I know, you are super busy and don’t have time to babysit their homework. I am not asking you to do that.  You just need to know what is going on and provide positive input to help your child.  An encouraging/reassuring word from a dad at the right moment can be the difference between completing an assignment or not, dropping a class or staying with it or even passing or failing. 

But men, it is hard to engage in something we don’t know anything about.  You do not have to be superman, just talk to your kids each day about what is going well and what is hard about school.  Steal moments in the car or as you are chilling watching TV to talk with them.  We are looking for a consistent drumbeat of interest, not a once a quarter swooping in to save the day.

Remember, those Fram Oil filter commercials back in the day?  Their tag line was, “Fram oil filters, you can pay me now or pay me later.”  That is exactly how it is with our kids in school.  Consistent engagement now will save big headaches later. 

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