Everything I needed to know about being a father, I learned from James T. Kirk
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Ever since I was allowed to make my own decisions, I have tried to emulate Jim Kirk. Whenever I have a tough choice to make I ask myself WWJTKD? When I became a father, I continued that practice and it's helped out immeasurably.
You Can't Make Everybody Happy
During his career, Captain Kirk has been forced to make unpopular decisions. Even though the decision is always the right one, there are always people (sometimes a lot of people) who end up wanting him court-martialed or worse. As I became responsible for people other than myself, I had to realize that like Kirk, I have to make the decision that I know is right even if it makes my kids hate me.
Just because you ask for advice doesn't mean you have to take it
Let's face it, Kirk would be lost without the help of his crew. Like all smart leaders he gets advice from Spock, Bones, Scotty and a host of other crew members before he makes a decision. However, as he points, he is under no obligation to take the advice he gets. I try to solicit ideas and answers from my friends and fellow parents but ultimately, I am responsible for the decisions I make concerning my kids. So if the advice I get is not to my liking, I just figure it out on my own.
A good bluff can save the day
While I don't advocate lying to children, I must admit that there are plenty of times when The Corbomite Maneuver comes in very handy. Case in point, when my kids ask me to take them to see a crappy movie like Nancy Drew or Bratz I tell them "I heard it's kind of scary." Problem solved.
Always spay and neuter your pets
My kids love animals and they are always pestering me to get them another cat or a turtle or goldfish or something like that. I always tell them that any pet we get will have to be cared for by them. This includes the trip they will have to take to the vet to get the pet fixed because the last thing I need is a tribble situation.
War is messy
It hasn't come up yet, but if any of my kids ever decide to fight a virtual war where casualties have to report to elimination chambers, I know exactly what to say.