Should I Feel Guilty?


So you get home from a tiring day of activity … could be work, could be a day of running in circles like a taxicab, could be any type of energy-draining experience that comes along for us parents. And then it happens: One of your children wants you to “play” some sort of game that will require you to expend more energy. Let me give you a personal example.

When my youngest son, Zeke, was 3, we started playing this cowboy type of game where I pretended to be any number of bad guys and he was the sheriff who basically kept the law and order of the territory. Well, when he was 3, I didn’t have to exert too much energy, could easily manipulate all kinds of situations where he was moving and I was watching a real Western on TV, and in a saloon brawl I was relatively safe. Things have changed. This past week, Zeke, who is now 8, asked me to play his favorite game at 9:15 at night. This was after a particularly tough day in the way of manual labor. I’m not complaining—in fact I loved it—but I had just taken a shower, finished dinner, and was set up in my recliner with a large glass of iced tea, ready to interpret the biased news media of the day.

I can assure you, I was not in the mood at all to reenact scenes from Fist Full of Dollars, Hang ’em High, or The Outlaw Josey Wales … and I sure didn’t want to roll around and get sweaty with an already suspicious-smelling 8-year-old. Not to mention, now that he is 8, I have to be completely engaged, otherwise, as the bad guy, I could receive a ham-like little fist in the temple as consequences for my lapsed attention.

You can see my predicament.

I remember when my baby girl started kindergarten at Faith … she’s a sophomore this year. Time seems to speed up every day. Most parents are on one side of the equation because it’s hard to find balance. They either build every activity of the family around the desires and schedule of kids, or they allow the Internet and TV to be full-time sitters. My message today is simple: Be intentional to seek balance. Kids love to play with their parents, and we all know the huge value of time with family. On the other hand, kids should learn to be resourceful and not have to be entertained all the time by others. Next week I’ll give you the mix of components we try to establish in our house.


About Kris Hogan

With a 16-year educational tenure under his belt, Kris Hogan has spent the last nine years working at Grapevine Faith High School in Grapevine, Texas. In addition to sitting on its administrative team, Hogan also pulls double duty as Faith’s head football coach. Hogan also was the subject of Remember Why You Play, a 2008 book by sports columnist and author David Thomas that chronicled the lives, struggles and successes of Coach Hogan and his team. READ MORE→