Moment Of Zen

This Viral Video Will Remind Fathers They Need To Say One Word More Often

This viral video is a tonic against parental anxiety.

Originally Published: 
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Jamyle Cannon is going viral on social media for reminding everyone about the power of saying "yes" to young kids. Cannon is the founder and executive director of The Bloc, a youth-outreach community organization based in Chicago, and a dad to two kids. While out with his young son, Cannon posted a touching video that reminded fellow parents that connecting with our kids doesn't have to be complicated — it’s a clip that’s been viewed more than a million times.

"I asked my son what he wants to do after daycare today," Cannon shared in an Instagram reel in late November. His young son walked beside him while he carried his daughter in a baby carrier. His son answered his dad's question, telling him he wanted to “take the bus.”

"I said, 'Take the bus where?' He said 'the train,'" Cannon explained in the video. And his son's answer was a big reminder that "take the bus where" wasn't the right question for that moment. Instead, it was all about going along for the journey.

"One of my biggest concerns about becoming a father was not knowing what to do with a baby or toddler," Cannon shared.

"When you don't grow up without a father figure, it makes you doubt that you have what it takes to be one," he admitted, adding that all the stress he put on himself to make sure he had "what it takes," was not the right approach.

"That's a lie from the very beginning," he shared, because fatherhood is far simpler than all of the pressure he was putting on himself, grappling with expectations about what being a dad means and requires.

"My child only asked for one thing — connection," he explained. "And not connection when he's older, when he has better language and reasoning skills, but connection right now."

Parenthood, boiled right down, is about making connections, and as Cannon shared, his son is "basically down for anything that will offer him that connection," which means you don't need to overthink anything — you need to say "yes."

"When he asks me to do something, whether it's playing with blocks or pillow fight or snuggle on the couch or take the bus to the train and then the train to the bus, I just say 'yes,' " Cannon shared.

"It's as simple as that. Offer connection and say yes when he asks for it," he added. The best part of this parenting approach is that you don't need anything elaborate to say yes to or make those connections.

"Kids will buy into the simplest, silliest things because everything is new to them," Cannon added. "So I've learned that I don't need to have all the answers; I just need to join him in his wonder."

His post resonated with fellow parents. All parents get caught up, at one point or another, in the noise and anxiety of raising children the right way, of giving them what they need and what they want, and making it so from the morning alarm until bedtime. How do you make the right decisions as a parent? How do you raise a kid who is kind, loving, smart, and strong-willed? Forget all that for a moment, Cannon’s basically saying. Just prioritize connection and recognize the most significant gifts you can give your kids are simple: presence, adventure, and saying "yes."

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