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Flip Flops or Tennis Shoes

Updated on May 3, 2013

Pink Flip Flops

Need help deciding?

So flip flops or tennis shoes… some may think this is a non-issue but there are those of us who actually take the time to look this stuff up because it can pose quite a dilemma. As always I relate my mind numbing debates in the context of teaching moments for my kids.

Ok, so its 80 degrees on a nice summer day here in San Diego and you’re headed to the world famous San Diego zoo. What do you wear on your feet? Tennis shoes right? Flip Flops right? Not as easy to decide when you take into consideration the same things take into consideration (or people like me do). I may nuke things out, and by nuke, I mean over analyze. To clarify my roots, I am a US Navy Submariner and nuke refers to the nuclear trained individuals who do the most amazing work of safely operating a nuclear reactor on a submarine underwater.

As I stated earlier, I approach my kids daily with teaching moments. I start with a question; what do you guys want to wear? I have 4 kids so there’s usually a variance of responses so I really get to nuke it out.

Flip Flops, really? Why do you want to wear flips flops? Oh, because its going to be hot out today? Ok honey, I agree that it will be hot out and that flip flops will probably make it feel cooler but remember we will be walking a lot. Not only will we be walking, but what if a lion or tiger escapes and we have to run? What if in the parking lot, an out of control car is barreling down on us and we need to jump off an embankment to get out of the way? Would you rather be in flip-flops or tennis shoes?

I get the usual, “Dad, why do you always do this?” We’ll just wear tennis shoes then… I love this kind of moment. This is the chance to stir the pot, and whether at work or at home, I love stirring the pot.

You guys would probably be more comfortable in flip-flops; it is going to be pretty warm today. “C’mon daddy!” Well let’s think about this. What are the chances you’ll have to run today? Not very high are they? Yes, we will be walking a lot but you guys walk in flip flops all of the time and when you think about it, walking around the zoo isn’t any more than walking around the mall. And if you’re going to be in the heat all day, you probably should wear some light and airy flip-flops to keep you cooler.

Have you decided yet honey? “Dad, why do you always do this?” I just want you to put more thought into everything you do.

This back and forth comes daily, whether it is safely walking in the parking lot or letting the dog out of the house into the back yard, a lesson can be taught and learned. Now, this isn’t really OCD, I don’t spend hours debating or take them away from other things to drive them crazy. This debating goes on for 5-10 mins max and I feel it is a necessity to being a good parent. If I let them put on whatever they wanted and never opened my mouth, they would lose 5-10 mins of critical thinking.

How hard is it to nuke things out for the sake of your kids? Does it hurt anything?

I know I didn’t come right out and answer the question, but I gave you some things to think about. You decide. I think I’ll stick to my tennis shoes just in case of a zombie apocalypse.


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