Part of being a parent is watching your kids explore the world and discover their own passions. As tempting as it is to nudge them towards our own hobbies and interests, letting them experiment with whatever catches their eye (within reason) is par for the course. Sometimes, however, our kids show genuine interest in something we love. The shared passion becomes a bonding activity, and if you’re anything like Darren Harper and his daughters, it can lead to some pretty unforgettable moments.
6-Year-old Demi Harper and 10-year-old Dakota “Tink” Harper are two fearless kids. For two years, Tink has been watching and learning the art of skateboarding from her dad, Darren. Last year, Demi made the executive decision that she too was old enough to give it a shot. Darren is an amazing teacher – he’s encouraging, but not pushy. He approaches new tricks carefully but ensures that he’s not overbearing.
Darren shares videos of his daughters’ progress on both Instagram and YouTube, and his tiny kickflipping crew has earned some well-deserved recognition. Darren shares a variety of videos on his feed, but when skating becomes a family affair, it takes on a whole new significance to the daring dad.
“Now I’m no stranger to this road I find myself traveling down on four wheels again,” Darren shared in an Instagram post, “but to do it with my daughters …. it’s truly amazing.”
The care and support Darren shows when working with his daughters is truly touching, and his unique approach to teaching means that his daughters feel safe as they approach daunting new obstacles. To ensure his daughters master the general feel of a trick before attempting something dangerous, Darren stands by with laser-like focus. With his arms outstretched, Darren catches his daughters time and time again until he’s confident they can land the new trick on their own.
One of Darren’s videos made it all the way to Tony Hawk, and the skating legend was so touched, he shared it on his own Instagram page.
“My dad was always supportive of my skating growing up (even through injuries),” Hawk captioned the video, “but @darren_harper is next level with his catch-and-release technique.”
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That level of recognition is shocking, but fatherhood is a point of connection that dads simply can’t ignore. “I’m thinking maybe he seen the post and it struck a nerve. That daddy-daughter nerve,” Darren told USA Today. “When we saw that Tony Hawk reposted the clip I was speechless but I also figured, ‘we about to touch the world.’”