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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 53

Let them be better than you

I can remember on holiday once watching a parent on a tennis court desperately trying to beat his teenage son. The son was trying really hard to win, but the father was even more determined to hold on. Dad was red in the face, puffing and panting, but he was going to get those balls back over the net no matter what. And he did. Eventually he won and they left the court, the father looking drained but smug and the son looking resigned. I imagine he was used to it.

I felt sorry for him. The dad, I mean. The momentary satisfaction of winning just doesn’t compare with the enduring satisfaction of seeing your kids’ delight when they beat you. I consoled myself with the fact that it was only a matter of time. The ...

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