It is something that we all dread on our journey through fatherhood, the point where we are finally deemed to be over the hill, or uncool, or just plain embarrassing to your child! And we can spend years in denial of the fact, but let's face it, when those grey hairs start coming through, and we get up one morning, take a look in the mirror and realise that we actually do look old, it's at that point when something drains out of our livelihood.
It's now you have two options. Option number one: you can spend the rest of your days feeling regretful that you missed the boat and sulk until that inevitable day where you choke on your false teeth, or option number two: embrace those eccentric, out of touch, qualities that your children are criticising you for. Because at the end of the day, do you really need to gain your children's approval by listening to Justin The Beaver, or Ariana Grande, or whatever they listen to now? No! So why is it important to embrace your quirkiness now than ever before?
Eccentricity Is Cool
Look at Doctor Who, the original madcap old man! He's a hero for kids and adults alike, and even the coolest doctor (Tom Baker, if we are arguing about it) looks like he fell into your auntie's knitting pile. So why fight it any longer? Embrace your inner weirdness and externalize it for all to see. How can we do this? Simple! Dress like a loon. Besides, it's more entertaining when your kids' friends come by to see you sat in the armchair dressed to the nines in Eskimo gear. They're going to think you've lost the plot and that's exactly what you're going to tell them.
At the end of the day, you'll get more fun out of this than your kids will because you've succeeded in doing two things firstly you've embarrassed them majorly, and secondly they won't come near you when your favourite show is on. It's win-win! For those that aren't so keen in dressing in Centurion gear for giggles, you can always go for a modestly quirky shirt. There are plenty of online retailers you can pick from, and places like gecko shirts seem to have the right balance between quirky and wearability, much unlike your favourite Ghostbusters costume (complete with proton pack of course). You can get more from Gecko Shirts at their website if you want to see the type of things that they have on offer. But when you hit a certain age where you're trying too hard to look hip and are now trying to squeeze into your old Converse it's time to give up the ghost. Sorry.
When You Let Go Of Your Inhibitions
This is the best bit of all. You may be the kind of dad that has spent your whole life trying to hold some decorum and trying to maintain an image of being a proper role model for your kids. And you definitely need to be a role model when showing your children the way of the world and how to get by, but it's also important to show children that life isn't all doom and gloom and seriousness, and bills, late payments, funerals, and inflation. It's sad when you see your children make that switch from being carefree and full of life to actually starting to worry about things that you think are completely trivial but mean everything to them.
It's at this point you would probably like to shake them and give them the benefits of perspective, but really the best thing for everybody as human beings is to never lose your sense of play. It seems that a lot of people don't tend to play with their children, especially now with the advent of mobile phones proving to be a very suitable distraction, but how can you teach your children to be serious about everything when in fact most of it isn't important at all? You know very well that you don't need to take life so seriously, so why should your kids? And so it's worth taking a leaf out of their book and rediscovering your sense of play. If you want a "grown up" reason to rediscover your sense of play, in actual fact it's good for you and reduces stress. You know when life gets on top of you that you need to kick back and get away from serious situations. Well, by having a good sense of play all the time it will result in you being less stressed! So mess around for a bit!
“Normal” Is Boring
Is it vital to tow the line and live a vanilla lifestyle all the time? Of course, it isn't. And as parents, we can easily slot into a boring routine of being the taxi driver before sitting down to watch "the game" before going to sleep and going to that job you hate and doing it all over again. Normality is grounding but only to an extent. We can all get bored trapped in the same routine, so why don't you mix it up for once in your life?
The important thing about embracing a sense of weirdness is that you're actually throwing caution to the wind and not giving a hoot about what other people think. And that's the secret weapon in any dad’s arsenal, you can look at all the other dads who seldom speak to each other and talk about the same old rubbish, day in and day out, and it's boring. Ultimately people may criticise you for being a bit "out there" but you know deep down it's only because they are unable to bring themselves to do the same thing. Everybody would love to get back in touch with their state of play, it's what we all loved most about being a kid, but all these societal rules tell us that we can't.
And yes, we do have duties to maintain, bills to pay, and our children to look after. But for God's sake don't take life so seriously, get freaky! You never know, you might like it.