Building a Person

Little Ryan

Last week my business partner at the gym and his lovely wife (Michael and Holly) welcomed child number three to Planet Earth and yesterday, at the ripe old age of one week, little Ryan came to the gym for his first ‘workout’. Naturally, he wanted to connect with Uncle Craig, so he and I spent some quality time doing a few laps of the gym just checking stuff out. As blokes do. Thanks to me, he’s now familiar with the squat rack, the bench press, the chin bar and the boxing ring; all crucial knowledge for the alpha-male of the future.

You’re welcome Ryan.

As I strolled through the metal jungle with my pint-sized, adorable human on board, I considered what a massive responsibility it is to help such a tiny, totally dependant baby transition into a not-so-tiny, independent grown-up. Not being a parent, it’s something I’ve never really considered too seriously but in that moment it dawned on me that over the next few years (and beyond) little Ryan will be ‘educated’ about how the world works and more importantly, how he should ‘work’ in the middle of that world.

Wow. What a responsibility.

Programming a Kid

Beliefs, values, standards, perceptions, fears, rules, expectations, behaviours and habits are all about to be installed into his incredibly powerful hard drive. Like all babies, he’s a super computer who, for better or worse, is about to be programmed by the world around him and the people in it.

What a scary thought.

Right now, baby Ryan is at the “Once upon a time” part of his story. Line one, chapter one, page one. He is a clean slate. A masterpiece yet to be painted. Unblemished. Unspoiled. Innocent.

But not for long.

In a moment, he’ll be five. With his own ideas, beliefs and unique personality. And then ten. With greater understanding, more experience and his own social circle. And before we know it, he’ll be fifteen. Good grief. With more testosterone than you can poke a stick at, who knows what the ‘not-really-a-boy-but-not-really-a-man’ version of Ryan will look like?

It’s a good thing I’ll be around to guide him. ;)

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Sulagna - Love in India March 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm

A unique thought Craig. Most parents spend so much of their time and energy (and then some) getting the basics right (feed him, tuck him into bed, Oh now he needs a nappy change… and then later send him to school, is he doing his homework properly, we’ll have to buy him a new bike next birthday…the list goes on) that they hardly have the bandwidth to think in the way you’ve thought. And it’s in no way their fault – it’s just the way life is.

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chebbieanne March 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Congratulations Michael and Holly you have a most precious gift. Ryan is indeed a most beautiful little boy. When I met Ryan he was cradled in the arms of a man that radiated such love and pride that it filled the gym. To watch your child grow and learn and discover life is a fascinating journey. Maybe one day he will be in the gym training his elderly Uncle Craig? :)

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Craig March 20, 2013 at 8:01 am

Every chance of that Chebbieanne :)

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Jodie March 20, 2013 at 8:17 am

Yep, As a Mothet of 2 it scares the beegeesus out of me the responsibility I have to develop their self esteem and belief systems!

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Eleanor March 20, 2013 at 9:41 am

Raising another human is the biggest responsibility a person can have. ‘Scary’ is one way to look at at, or we can view it as an incredible honor and opportunity. I am currently reading a book by Oliver James called ‘They F**k You Up’ which explore in detail how an adult is affected by the formative years of their life (0-6) and how we are subjected to our parents’ own scripts and peppered pasts.
I’m 26 and not a mum but hopefully one day I will be and reading this book also had the potential to fill me with fear and dread about raising kids. But there is one thing I am sure of – my own parents did the best job they knew how to, they used what they had, where they were, and they always put my siblings and I first. It was only last year that I learned from my older brother that we were “poor” growing up. I had never noticed – perhaps it’s because my childhood, while not perfect, was “rich” in many many ways.
Congratulation to the new parents :)
You have the greatest gift and opportunity.

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Edith March 20, 2013 at 9:57 am

A brand new vulnerable life in one’s arms is such a humbling and wondrous feeling. Ryan is a lucky little guy to have such an inspiring uncle in his life. Bless you Craig

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Rae March 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

…spoken like a proud grandad Craig :)

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Craig March 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm

You mean… Uncle.. :)

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Kel March 20, 2013 at 10:19 am

Congratulations Michael and Holly, you are so very lucky to have Craig to guide your son.

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Dianne March 20, 2013 at 10:26 am

Hi Craig,

Can I just say, programming a kid is the easy part. Wait till they become teenagers!

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Kate March 20, 2013 at 10:38 am

Bless you Craig. Great news! My advice to Holly is to absolutely enjoy every second you can with your new bundle of joy. It certainly is the most precious gift.

K x

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Kyles March 20, 2013 at 11:21 am

Can you come and guide mine Craig??? hardest job in the world (but most rewarding) especially when you haven’t got it worked out yourself!! x

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Craig March 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm

KInda busy (and unqualified) Kyles but thanks for the offer ;)

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Larissa March 20, 2013 at 11:30 am

The big question, Is there any chance we could see you with your own kid to program?

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Craig March 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Any chance? Yes.
A big chance? No.

:)

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Anon March 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Little Ryan will grow up with the bestest hugs from uncle Craig :-)

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Trolley Wife March 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Oh congratulations to Michael, Holly and Uncle Craig. I am sure little Ryan is lucky to have you all.

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chong March 24, 2013 at 2:46 am

congratulations to mykl and holly on the new arrival

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