Becoming The Great Dadini

There’s something about “magic”, illusion, slight of hand that seems to naturally draw a child’s attention. Children are enchanted by magicians and magic tricks. This enchantment is filed away in the same part of their little brains as dragons, fairy princesses and the fertile land of “pretend”. We love to be mystified. For a boy, I think this mystification is coupled with a built in desire to find out how things work.

A boy will take his toy cars apart just to see what makes it move. The adage that “boys are destructive” is part of a bigger picture that we have to destroy something just to see what will happen…how it works and reacts. We like to take things apart, analyze, dissect and study a thing to figure it out. So it is with “magic”. First we are amazed and mystified….then we want to figure out “how’d he DO that?” I remember when I was about 9 or 10, I got a deck of “Blackstone’s T.V. Magic Cards” for Christmas. I wore those things out first learning the various tricks from the instruction book, and then putting on little shows to amuse and entertain my family.  


This is where a dad or even Grandfather can really hit a home run with the kids. If a dad can perform even the most basic magic trick, he can hold his children’s attention, literally, in the palm of his hand. The old “make a coin come out of your ear” is a good standard. A son will, within a short time, want to learn how to do the trick himself. The smart dad will then take the time to show the trick (in private of course) to his son and in so doing, create a lasting memory of a shared skill and a “secret” between them. Later, when junior shows the trick to the family, dad needs to cheer when the trick comes off flawlessly or give encouragement and the ol “try, try again” speech when the trick falls flat.

There are many books, and “how to…” videos on youtube as to how to perform simple magic tricks. I actually got stuck looking at the “magic” vids on youtube for over an hour…..very distracting! If you don’t already know how to do 1 or 2 tricks, take some time and learn a few, then first fascinate and astound your children, then teach them how to do a trick our two. Maybe even put on a family magic show….”The Great Dad-ini” !

Mike Austin - dark jacket & t shirt    Mike Austin is a dad to 6 children (ages 22, 19, 14, 13, 12 & 10).  Mike is the host & producer     of “Radio Dad with Mike Austin”, a daily radio feature about fatherhood and the official radio show of The National Fatherhood Initiative.  Mike’s feature is currently heard on 23 radio station, nationwide.  You can subscribe to the “Radio Dad” monthly podcast from this website.

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