- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Parents inevitably push their children to succeed because it is all about the children, even if it is often about the parents.

Whenever a person says, “It is all about the kids,” that usually is a warning to expect a rote-like spiel out of “The Stepford Wives.”

You have to agree that appeals advanced in the cause of children carry a certain persuasiveness to them, no matter how nutty the appeal may be.

No one wants to be perceived as being anti-children, even around those adults who act like children.

The all-about-the-children lament is raised in connection with the recent news item concerning 21/2-year-old Brayden Bozak, a golfer of some apparent distinction from Denver.

The news item, for whatever reasons, did not carry the tag line: “Potential nut job at work.”

Nor did it wonder about a media marketplace that thinks it is cute to celebrate the golf-playing prodigy in diapers.

It is really icky, all of it is, starting with the father who caddies for his tot.

If it weren’t true, you might think it was a skit dreamed up in the fertile imaginations of the “SNL” writers.

Picture this: You have this iron-wielding tyke in diapers, with his father carrying a bag of clubs.

Answer: Apparently not.

Question: Does the father have a life?

It is one thing for parents to be actively engaged in their children’s lives. It is quite another thing for a parent to become the confidant, buddy and caddy of his child.

Parents are supposed to be the first authority figures in the lives of their children, not the caddy who is trying to shape his offspring into becoming the next Tiger Woods.

The latter, by the way, was the hook of the dispatch.

News flash: The prospect of another Woods coming our way in the next generation is infinitesimally small, and all those who pretend to be his heir apparent can be summarily dismissed.

That observation is especially true of someone who is 30 months old.

If you were the parent, you might think in smaller challenges, such as toilet-training. That would be a good start. There is nothing so disconcerting as being in the vicinity of a golfer who is staring down a 30-foot putt, only to have an accident that disrupts the idyllic setting of a golf course.

Ah, yes. The birds. The trees. The water. The greenery. And the tot on the 17th hole with a mess in his diapers.

“It’s amazing because he’s still in diapers,” the boy’s father said. “And the kid comes out and hits the ball, you know, 50 or 60 yards.”

The father conceded that his wife urges him to be less intense around his son, as if her suggestion is being heeded.

The father cannot be too eager to back away if he is agreeing to do an interview that implicitly reveals that he is refining the practice of a pushy parent who lives vicariously through the athletic exploits of a child.

We used to call those types Little League parents. This child is a long way from being eligible to compete in Little League.

“I am anxious to see how he grows and evolves as he gets a little bit older,” the father said.

He is anxious, while others could be fearful.

What if the child decides at the ripe age of 5 that he has picked up a golf club for the last time?

Will the father be able to cope with the disappointment?

An apology is in order to all the previous pushy parents of yesteryear. They were paragons of restraint compared to the father of the child still in diapers.

The youngster has been conditioned well.

“I want to be Tiger when I grow up,” he said.

It is all about the children, of course, and in this case, the father is all about his child.

You notice the father is not teaching his son to grow up to be the caddy of his diaper-wearing son.

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