Love Thy Neighbor

I want my children to grow with love. To grow with kindness. To be genuine. To be full of heart. I see it in their eyes. It glows through their skin and radiates through their smiles. It shines in their laughter, and their shenanigans and goings on.

I had an experience tonight that quite frankly scared the shit out of me. I’m not going to go into detail on it, but it was all too similar to a year I had in high school. That year, through loss, I learned how to truly value your friends. Tonight, through grace, there was no loss. But the memory of the fall of 1999 is still too close to the front of my mind. It still hurts. But tonight, I cry mixed tears. Tears of joy and relief. And tears of sorrow and regret. And I thank God that I am able to sit here and write this through blurry eyes.

And I do some serious thinking.

What are we doing to teach our children about the value of another person? What are we doing ourselves to seek out the value in other people?

What am I doing not being the example of one who does these things?

I want my children to grow with love. To grow with kindness. To be genuine. To be full of heart. I see it in their eyes. It glows through their skin and radiates through their smiles. It shines in their laughter, and their shenanigans and goings on. That is what I want them to live in. I don’t ever want to see that light and that love fade.  Yet, I know where life can bring us to at times, and how that light can burn too strong, for too long, and eventual begin to fade.

The power in life is knowing how to truly cherish that kindness, heart, that laughter, and those shenanigans. How to carry that light to the darkest of places, knowing it will always light the way. I really don’t think it can be that simple. It’s not just a capability we develop as we grow older It is a test of our strength and our weakness. Of our souls, our hearts, and our minds. It is an epic battle of sorts that we must fight from time to time. It’s a battle we fight for our fellow man, woman, child.

I think I lost the last skirmish.

But tonight is that turning point. Tonight is when I sharpen the swords, rally the troops, and prepare for the surprise attack at dawn. How far will I let the darkness blind me in my walk? Or, will I choose to kindle the flame that burns so brightly in my children’s faces? I can see it in them. I know it’s there. And I know that it is my duty to protect it at all costs, and to no end. That duty calls for me to show that same light in myself.  A journey I think I am ready to take on once again. I am willing to fight for my fellow man, woman, and child.

The world is in pain. The world is in vain. The world is losing that light from the inside out. As we grow older, it is a fight that our children will inherit from us. An environment that we will create. The question now remains: How are we prepping them for battle? Are we just playing defense? Or are we going to start the revolution?

Dad’s Eye View

I guess that’s how it is when you grow up and have children. The world is in a constant state of change, but so am I. The view through the window is never the same twice, and neither is the view from the eye’s of a dad.

When I was the same age as my little ones, it always seemed that all the world was a stage and that life was a movie starring myself. Outside of my agenda, nothing else really seemed to matter. I could never see the dangers that lie ahead in life. The let downs and the downsides that I would later experience.

There was change happening all around, but I couldn’t see it, couldn’t understand it. I wasn’t able to recognize that the world was in constant motion, and that life would not stay the same way forever. The time was magical. It was full on wonderment and excitement.

Now I have two little ones of my own, and the view of the world has changed so much. Through a new set of eyes, a dad’s eyes, the world is a much different place. Activities that, as a child, seemed so harmless, I now look at with fear while watching my children. All the cool games we played, all of the cool things we got into, they no longer seem so cool. They seem dangerous, and sometimes, even dumb.

I remember all of the fun things we used to say in elementary school because we thought we were cool, or just because we weren’t near our parents. Those phrases, words, and jokes are now the very things that my ears dread hearing from my own kiddos. They are the very things that I feel like I have to say “no” to a thousand times a minute.

But that is life, right?

I guess that’s how it is when you grow up and have children. The world is in a constant state of change, but so am I. The view through the window is never the same twice, and neither is the view from the eye’s of a dad. I want the best for my children, for them to be happy, healthy and safe. I don’t see the world as I once did. I know about the dangers, the unfairness, the let downs my children will face. I don’t see the unending canvas of endless possibilities of fun and excitement. But I do remember what it was like, and I promote and applaud my children for that same view.

My eyes see the world in a different light now. That’s part of the job and part of growing up. I see the world as a dad would see it. A scary place to set your kids into, a place of uncertainty and excitement. A challenge to show the world who I am as a dad as it reflects through my children. A challenge against the visions of manhood we see displayed all around us, and a fight against the way the world depicts me as being a dad. I see it as a place that needs a lot more change before my kids become full fledged members of society.

Maybe I’m just rambling, and perhaps the words will get lost with the past views that have passed in front of my window. Perhaps it’s not the world that has changed, just me

Celebrating the 21st Century Dad

So today, I raise a glass, and my fist, and celebrate the 2st century dad. I celebrate the community and writers here at DadRevolution. I celebrate the dads I have been blessed to connect with online and elsewhere who share the same strong passion. And I raise my glass to James. Thank you for the anthem that simply just celebrates what we come together online for in the first place. We are dads. We are 21st century dads. And we are proud of that!

Here at DadRevolution, we share our experiences, hopes, successes, failures, and feelings on all things being dad. We come from many different walks of life. We live in different places, we work different jobs, and we live different lives. But we all come here and write about the one thing we all have in common. we love our lives as dads. We share a passion for being involved in the lives of our children, and hope to spread that passion through written word. I don’t think too many dads reading this right now would deny the importance of involved fatherhood, or deny that there is always a need to inspire other dads to be there in their children’s lives.

We at DadRevolution celebrate fatherhood. We celebrate success and failure. We celebrate all things that come with being a dad. Of course, by now, you have probably seen how the Huggies brand is trying to celebrate fatherhood. I’ve already tackled that issue in an open letter to the brand, so we’re not going to go their again today. Instead, I wanted to showcase something by someone that, in my opinion, truly celebrates fatherhood in this age. Take a look:

 

Aside from the obvious (the awesome hat he is wearing), James (@SaskaDad) has cranked out this great little ditty about the modern day dad. A great little tune that celebrates what it means to be a dad in the 21st century. Just a quick showcasing of the duties and joys that the modern day dad has in his life. It’s not a cry out for understanding, it’s not a war cry of “gather the troops we’re going to war against the stereotypes”. No. It’s a straight up anthem of loving what we are.

I am glad to see that kind of celebration. A dude, not that much different from other dudes, sits down at the kitchen table, turns the camera on, and for a brief moment, he rocks his socks off about something so important in his life. We spend a good amount of time trying to prove that dads today are not the stereotypes that we have so often seen in media. We spend a good mount of time fighting for equality in the parenting world. We spend a good amount of time standing together against brands and companies that continue to degrade fatherhood. But we don’t spend the same amount of time simply celebrating who we are.

So today, I raise a glass, and my fist, and celebrate the 2st century dad. I celebrate the community and writers here at DadRevolution. I celebrate the dads I have been blessed to connect with online and elsewhere who share the same strong passion. And I raise my glass to James. Thank you for the anthem that simply just celebrates what we come together online for in the first place. We are dads. We are 21st century dads. And we are proud of that!

No Harm, No Foul, No Apologies

In these ways, moms and dads are not that different. We all share a common ground which should be remembered by both parties. We share our fallibility, we share the parts of us that make us fail at times. We share human nature. And when it comes to being human? No harm, no foul, no apologies.

**Note: This is a fixed up repost from my personal blog. As certain events have unfolded in my life, and with words that have been floated my way recently, it is very fitting to my mood today, so I wanted to share it here too**

 

There is probably a lot in life that I should apologize for. Fighting with the wife, punishing a child then later finding out they weren’t the one at fault, being late to work because I had no motivation to show up. Perhaps I should take into consideration the lies I told my parents when I was a kid, the times I stole from others during my later teens and early 20’s, and the guy I flipped off and almost wrecked the day before the wife gave birth to Little Man.

These are just a few things I could think of that I should apologize for. There are many more, but it would take years of posts to list them all. The better side of this is that I have done things that don’t warrant an apology, whether others see it as right or wrong. The biggest , and perhaps most steadfast action I will never apologize for, is for not being mommy.

Here we go:

People like to compare dads and moms, and hardly ever is it in a good way. Though that is a view that has been shifted greatly in recent years, but there is still a long ways to go. In more specific detail, people like to compare SAHDs to SAHMs like they are inferior, weaker, and more likely to fold under pressure. Recently, personally, it has been said that maybe if I did things more like mommy then my new role as the at-home parent during the week wouldn’t be so bad.

Here’s the thing:

I am not mommy. I am not my wife. I am not a female. I don’t do things the same way she does, but I will never, EVER apologize for that. Since when did doing things different mean that you were doing things wrong? Nap time came 30 minutes later than normal. Big deal, we still napped, and were up in time to get Little Man off the bus. No harm, no foul, no apologies.

I think that popcorn and apples are perfectly acceptable snack time foods. Oh dear Lord though, I gave them something not so healthy along with something healthy. But guess what? Nobody is in bad health, nobody had explosive diarrhea or a case of the farts that would run out any weiner dog nearby. Nobody puked, nobody even cared. It was snack time with a movie, and popcorn and apples sounded delicious. No harm, no foul, no apologies.

When it comes to discipline, I take the role of “Daddy Law Enforcement Agent” pretty quickly. There are some things that can slide with a quick “no, don’t do that” or will cease with the simple use of a child’s middle name. However, there are sometimes when more direct actions need to be taken. A time out, a slap on the hand for a hitting infraction, or being sent to a room until crying has stopped. Again though, I parent on my terms, not anyone else’s. Despite some of the harder days (like a recent hand in the diaper, poop in the face incident), despite the fact that there are evenings when it seems there is more disciplining going on than singing and dancing, my children love me, and I love them. No harm, no foul, no apologies.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere really. Just been kind of bothered by comments and remarks I have heard from people about my parenting style. And being told that I should be more like mommy? Well, that just sends me over the edge. I am not mommy. I am not a female and I am not my wife. Parents use different styles. It’s different between moms and dads, different between dads and dads, and different between moms and moms.

What matters is that I choose to parent effectively, lovingly, and without harsh judgement. Do I always succeed? No I don’t. But do you always succeed? No you don’t. We are human and we are fallible. That is how we work. We succeed or we fail. But we learn what we can for the next time. Even if next time is not the same as the previous, we have something to go by that helps us make better decisions.

In these ways, moms and dads are not that different. We all share a common ground which should be remembered by both parties. We share our fallibility, we share the parts of us that make us fail at times. We share human nature. And when it comes to being human? No harm, no foul, no apologies.

Terms of Engagement: Drawing the War Plans

With the change in parental roles in our house, came a change in attitudes, routines, and habits. None of us were prepared for all of the changes, and all of the new stress that came along with it. This also included how to handle aggressive and undesirable behavior from the children. We knew that there would be some acting out, some of that “pushing the boundaries” jazz, and all that other junk, but we did not have any knowledge of how to decide if and how to intervene or administer punishment.

Buzz Lightyear lies wounded on the battlefield. Not too far from him, Optimus Prime lies fallen. Both, victims of a horrific act of violence. Two of the world’s strongest allies became innocent bystanders in a war that was never there’s. The time was 6:47 in the evening. Hell hour. The giants that stood above these iconic heroes, rained tears down on them, as if truly sorrowful for their actions, and for ending the run of the famous toys.

In hindsight, I guess the kids really did feel bad about throwing the toys, sending them to their makers. Or to the force flex trash bag. The war was exhausting on both sides. Ultimately, daddy won the the battle, but nobody won the war. Now we were all in a state of mourning. The kids mourning for their lost possessions, and I for my inability to keep the civil unrest in order, and prevent such atrocities. Then, with just a few words, my son looks at me, and puts it all in to perspective. He says:

I wish Mommy was here. She would bust your tail, Daddy!

He is probably right. She would.

What really intrigued me about him saying this was that it noted in my mind the fact that he knows, without a doubt, the differnce in our parenting styles and disciplining methods. And trust me, him and his sister are both good at exploiting these differences to get their way. They are master deceivers and workers of the system. They sit up late at night, exchanging and comparing notes through the gates at their doors. They are knowledgeable and well armed.

Okay, that was a bit dramatic. My kids spend more time yelling at each other to be quiet than they do plotting. They are sweet in their own ways and for the most part, decently behaved. Yet, as they get older and approach the ages of 5 and 3, they become more possessive over toys, over attention, and over each other. This generally leads to sibling rivalry, and at least once a day, the need to place a call to the Daddy Law Enforcement Agent, for immediate intervention and sentencing. Still, there is definitely the knowledge there that shows that my wife and I should perhaps hash out a war plan, and terms of engagement, when it comes to discipline in the house.

With the change in parental roles in our house, came a change in attitudes, routines, and habits. None of us were prepared for all of the changes, and all of the new stress that came along with it. This also included how to handle aggressive and undesirable behavior from the children. We knew that there would be some acting out, some of that “pushing the boundaries” jazz, and all that other junk, but we did not have any knowledge of how to decide if and how to intervene or administer punishment.

There are times when a time out, or being sent to the room, or the loss of a privilege or toy must happen. Sometimes there might just be the need for a light rap on the hand, or a firm holding of the hand, followed by short and definitive verbal response. Such as “I do not want to see that again” or “We don’t hit in this house”. Then there are times when a simple calling of the full name and the raised eyebrow will suffice. And of course, there are times when the behavior is pure instinct in reaction to the change, and it should be allowed under supervision and understanding. The gray area for us is in how we judge what category behavior falls under, and what the law of the house says should happen in response.

This isn’t the point of the post where I give out wonderfully thought out advice on how to avoid this problem. This is the point where I straight up tell you that I have no advice on this. In fact, this is the point where I turn to the DadRevolution community. I know we aren’t the only ones who disagree on discipline and different aspects of the parenting  job. This is new territory for us, with new changes, new stresses, and new needs to hash out new plans.

So today I am asking you. How do you answer these questions?

  • Who lays down most of the domestic law in your home when it comes to children and discipline?
  • Do you struggle to maintain an even playing field between discipline styles in the home?
  • Are your kids experts at exploiting the difference in parenting and discipline styles?
  • Do you have set rules that were set in agreement between both parents? Share these?
Now it is your turn. Share your answers in the comments below!

Metal Mayhem

What started with my dad providing these memories for his son by being there, going to the shows, and enduring what those shows entailed, now continues with that same son, now raising a son of his own, and using a passion for music to create some grand memories. And in the end, that’s what it is all about to begin with. Not that we all share the same musical taste, but the fact that we were there and a part of the memory to begin with.

If you follow me on Twitter then you may have noticed that recently I have been on a kick of listening to metal. Bands like Confide, We Came As Romans, Killswitch Engage, and Bullet for My Valentine, just to name drop a few. Since high school, I have had an ear for metal, hardcore, post-hardcore, and music of the like. Some great father/son memories were created between me and my dad going to hardcore shows to see local scene heroes Stretch Arm Strong. To this day, I still think that my dad might have enjoyed going, just as much as I enjoyed getting down in the pit. You would never find him down in there with me, but the point was he cared enough to endure the intense volume of music and heat in the venue. What can I say? My dad ROCKS!

Little Man has also become somewhat of a fan of metal as well. Both of us being influenced by my brother-in-law. “Uncle Bubby” as he is called by the little ones, is a guru of all things metal music. We have had some great times in this house banging our heads until we got dizzy, riffing it up on air guitars, and just killing it on air drums. Then of course, being in my growing age, I get out of breath, have to sit down, and then the party is over. But it doesn’t seem to matter to the little dude. Whether we rock out for 10 minutes or one song, the fact is daddy took the time to rock out with him.

It never ceases to amaze me how music seems to provide those moments, or create memories, or just be such an influence in our lives. Music holds a special power that uplifts, brings people together, gives them a reason to carry on, or just seems to define who a person is. Now honestly, you would have to actually ask my dad whether he enjoyed the hardcore and punk shows, or listening to “For the Record” 18 times on the way to the video shoot at the Elbow Room. I’m sure there were many nights where we got home, he went to the bedroom and told my mom to break out the ibuprophen. But that is who my dad is. To him, it was about an opportunity to provide a special moment for his son.

For myself and my miniature me, while I don’t think he is ready for his first concert, we create our own experience right here at home. Even when I have my guitar out jamming, he will take some time to get his guitar and rock right along. He can’t play chords, he can’t really carry a tune, or pull off brutal metal growls, but the boy has a passion for music. Through this shared passion, we create bonding moments everyday in which music plays an important role. When he wants to rock out, we rock out. When he wants to join me in rocking, he does.

Funny the things that we find bridging the generations in our families. For us, metal mayhem just happens to be one of those things. What started with my dad providing these memories for his son by being there, going to the shows, and enduring what those shows entailed, now continues with that same son, now raising a son of his own, and using a passion for music to create some grand memories. And in the end, that’s what it is all about to begin with. Not that we all share the same musical taste, but the fact that we were there and a part of the memory to begin with.

The See-Saw Effect: Balancing the Daddy and Hubby Roles

I have to be love, relationships, understanding, sacrifice, support, mutuality, trying, forgiveness, failure, and success and I have to be the example of those things as well. If I am setting the wrong example, I am probably being the wrong husband. If I am being the wrong husband, I am probably being the wrong example. So the see-saw tips back and forth, but with a little more ease. I’m never going to be the perfect of either, but I can keep the rocking to a minimum. Those relationships are too important to let slip, and too intertwined to let go.

There are many things I was never told about, when it comes to parenting, before I had to experience them for myself. Perhaps it was intended this way because, honestly, the subject I am trying to tackle today is not an easy one. It is probably one of those things I am better off experiencing before the advice rolls in because it is not really something that someone outside can help with.

There are two definitive arguments that surround the topic of balancing being a dad and balancing being a husband. There is the side that says “Children don’t change your relationships, they only make them stronger” and “Children change your entire life and nothing is ever the same again”. Me, I’m with the latter of the two arguments. When you have children, it’s like signing a new job contract. The terms, conditions, and privacy clauses all change, and life starts all over again. Children are not just little beings that grow up in our house. Taking care of them is a full time job of itself. One, that you will never get paid for.

My wife and I had been married almost a year when our first child was born. We were still kind of riding that high of the “we just got married, life has never been better, and things couldn’t be more perfect” when that little pregnancy test told us that it would all change. Of course, times were a little harder for us then, so there was just as much stress as there was joy, but no matter, we were starting to add to our family and start a new life by creating life. Two years and 6 days later, we would have our second child and life would once again start over for us. Now, we would no longer be a family of three. We would be a family of four, with new challenges, and new routines. We would have new responsibilities and new stresses.

At that point, the see-saw tipped, and the back and forth motion began to get stronger. The balance of trying to be the best dad and best husband at the same time was upset, and so was I. To a great extent, I still am, which is why I write this today. It’s a difficult question to answer, there are a strong two-sides to it, and I have even asked many dads in the past to answer it. And this is where I ponder today. Which is more important: being a husband or being a dad? Please feel free to share your thoughts and answer in the comments below.

To me, the answer becomes clearer a little bit at a time. It is of great importance that I strive, strain, and try my best to be the best damn dad I an be for my children. It doesn’t matter if I am the greatest dad in the world, just that my children think so. It is of great importance that I strive, strain, and try my best to be the best damn husband I can be for my wife. It doesn’t matter if I am the greatest husband in the world, just that my wife thinks so. But is it possible to be good at one and not at the other?

My children look to me as the male who will influence them the most on things like love, relationships, understanding, sacrifice, support, mutuality, trying, forgiveness, failure, and success. My wife will look to me to be the best of all of these for her as she will need me to be. I look to my wife for the same, as I will need her to be. Being the influence of such strong topics to such strong willed and minded children is a daunting task, and never easy. And when things get rough, they get rough for everyone. When we are hurting, my children are hurting with us.

So the answer, I have to be both. I have to be love, relationships, understanding, sacrifice, support, mutuality, trying, forgiveness, failure, and success and I have to be the example of those things as well. If I am setting the wrong example, I am probably being the wrong husband. If I am being the wrong husband, I am probably being the wrong example. So the see-saw tips back and forth, but with a little more ease. I’m never going to be the perfect of either, but I can keep the rocking to a minimum. Those relationships are too important to let slip, and too intertwined to let go.

Cutting Through the Cute

Knowing that the tears will fall and my baby girl, that precious baby girl, will cry, probably scream, maybe even flail about like a marlin that has jumped on shore, just breaks my heart. No dad wants to see his little girl crying. Yet, when the time comes, there are those times that we have to stand our ground, and like Tom Petty, we won’t back down. It’s a tough, cruel world that causes a dad to have to go through that. Or… it’s a stubborn, tough as nails, independent, sassy little diva, who just uses her powers to the fullest.

My precious daughter has me wrapped so tight around her finger that it is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, cut off the circulation, makes your fingernail turn a funky purple/blue color before just dropping off like a melting icecicle. I’ve heard it said very often that most little girls become daddy’s girls. And that dads are just powerless against the awe that comes to them when becoming the dad of a daughter. I know, it’s such a sweet sentiment to adore my daughter so much that I have gone to work with painted toenails (pink and green) because we had to paint daddy’s toes that morning.

But there is an awful paradox to being so smitten by cuteness, beauty, and love. The same, sweet little daughter of mine, is also an independent, outspoken, and sometimes self-minded little diva. By this I mean she is bossy, she is pushy, and she knows exactly where the limit is, and pushes it to the limit, but never crosses the line. When the going gets tough, she meets opposition head on, never backing off, and always knowing which weapon to use. And this, of course, involves the most powerful weapon nicknamed “The Cute”.

Now, The Cute is a weapon of secretive complexity, and the capability to be adapted for use in any situation. Whether it is too avoid due punishment, or to win over the 7th cookie that the child should not be having, The Cute is extremely effective. LG has mastered the training and proper use of this weapon to a point that all of my intense ninja/knight/samurai defensive maneuvers are useless against it. From the crouching tiger to the hidden dragon, there is no move I can pull out that will aid me in my flight. I am pretty stern and steadfast when discipline needs to be upheld, but those eyes, those pouty lips, that one salty tear that forms at the the corner of those puppy eyes… well… they make it pretty difficult to dig in and hold on.

In fact, as I am writing this, there is an intense stare down going on over the thrown sippy cup, and not sharing. I’ll keep you posted on the progress later.

Cutting through to the core of The Cute is a rather daunting, and sometimes heartbreaking task. It’s one of those “this will hurt me more than it hurts you” kind of situations. Knowing that the tears will fall and my baby girl, that precious baby girl, will cry, probably scream, maybe even flail about like a marlin that has jumped on shore, just breaks my heart. No dad wants to see his little girl crying. Yet, when the time comes, there are those times that we have to stand our ground, and like Tom Petty, we won’t back down. It’s a tough, cruel world that causes a dad to have to go through that. Or… it’s a stubborn, tough as nails, independent, sassy little diva, who just uses her powers to the fullest.

[Update: The stare down has ended. She killed me with a sly shot of kissy face and fluttering eyes. Little Girl: 1 Daddy: 0]

So yeah, as I was saying, it’s not always an easy task. And in some cases, I will completely admit my powerlessness over the situation. When it comes to sharing a Little Debbie cake, or wanting to constantly be held, or sit in my lap, I will give in. No matter how hard I try, I will give in. Then there are those times where I will do the almost impossible, and let the crying commence. The Cute is indeed a powerful weapon, and I have a strong feeling it will always be adapting as the years go by.

Luckiest Man Alive

With good, there is bad. With greatness, there is weakness. And where there is winning, there is failure. So where do I go from here? I head to the medicine cabinet, take some ibuprophen, take a deep breath, and I get my head out of my rear and get back in the game. This is what I signed up for. This is where I wanted to be. And now, this is where I am. I’ll learn more about taking the bad with a grain of salt and taking the good as memories to treasure. I will put my family ahead of me just as much now as I did as a full-time working parent. I will praise the blessings I am given, and learn to live as the luckiest man on Earth.

As I have said before, I am finding out quickly that being a stay at home parent is not as easy as it had seemed before I started spending more time at home. There is so much than can happen in the course of one day, and very rarely will a day go the way I hope it will. Sure, we plan out a nice evening walk before bath and bedtime. But we don’t plan the trip off of the curb, the busted knee, the sudden rain, or running from the homeless dog. We plan to have a bed jumping competition, but we don’t plan on the tantrum that ends the competition before it even begins. I plan to get certain things done throughout the day, then I plan on the plans getting ruined, and something even ruins that plan.

Recently, it seems that I have found myself growing more tired and more angry as the days we have had have not lived up to my expectations. Things are rarely getting done on schedule, rarely going anywhere close to the way we planned, and of course, there is the ever present sibling rivalry. Days that I just feel like pulling my beard out and letting out the loudest yell possible are the norm. Discipline doesn’t seem to be working, diversion doesn’t work, and some days, I just want to give up and go back to working full time again.

Then I had a kind of “life changing epiphany”. It wasn’t really an epiphany at all. More of a realization that I already knew about but was ignoring. I won’t go into detail about it here but you can read a little bit about it on my blog. I have a new goal set for myself and a new outlook on life as I move on with the new year. In all the soul searching, mind searching, and the craving for something a little better than the man I am right now, a big realization hit me. Despite the bad days, bad experiences, or what have you, I am the luckiest man alive. The fact that I have life and breath makes me lucky enough. Scratch that, I am blessed to have those things. But I have allowed the bad to blind the good to the point that I have failed to see just how lucky I really am.

I have spent 10 years in the restaurant industry, with a few breaks for working car washes and a factory that made lead/acid batteries for cars, boats, and golf carts. I have worked my ass off, my mind away, and literally gone days without seeing my kids before. Well, not awake at least. They were in bed when I left and asleep when I got home. For so long I have wanted to be the one getting puked on, pooped on, dealing with the fighting, the tantrums, and all that comes with being the at-home parent. Well, okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to be home with my children, playing games, watching TV, doing all that fun stuff you read about so much or see on the television machine. Then the reality of it all set in. I signed up for a lot more than I was really prepared for, or that I really knew about.

Here I went on a selfish binge of only thinking of myself, my stress, my tiredness, me me me me me. And I was blinded to the biggest reality of it all. I am the luckiest man alive. I got to do exactly what I wanted to do and start being home a lot more often. I see my children more, I get to work with the blog more, I get to spend 5 days a week not having to worry about what time I get a break, or who is calling in, or what manager I’m going to piss off. Bartimus Prime knows where I am coming from on that one. I got to finally take a little time out of a stressful job, and be with my family. And I was stupid to think about myself.

With good, there is bad. With greatness, there is weakness. And where there is winning, there is failure. So where do I go from here? I head to the medicine cabinet, take some ibuprophen, take a deep breath, and I get my head out of my rear and get back in the game. This is what I signed up for. This is where I wanted to be. And now, this is where I am. I’ll learn more about taking the bad with a grain of salt and taking the good as memories to treasure. I will put my family ahead of me just as much now as I did as a full-time working parent. I will praise the blessings I am given, and learn to live as the luckiest man on Earth.

As Real as it Gets

It is my hope that this logic becomes infectious this year. That the definition of what a real man is will change in the minds of those who are most influential, most heard, most revered by popular culture. It’s just my thought that they could just fuel the revolution in ways that we cannot. But the fight does begin with us. And it is time to do something about it.

It’s not just the sweet, the cute, and the innocent things children do that will take your breath away. It’s also the bruised noggins, the busted lips, broken bones, ear piercing tantrums, randomly thrown toys, first time outs, first punishments, late night explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting. It’s getting into bed at 1am only to be up at 4am with a screaming newborn who is hungry enough to eat a horse every few hours. It’s getting your child in an alligator hold to get them to take medicine so you don’t have puke and snot everywhere on you. Sound appealing yet?

Probably not. But that’s okay. But it is important to understand one thing: Parenting is not always appealing. It’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, and it’s not always rewarding. It is tiring, it is stressing, it is frustrating. Being a good dad is not about being happy, being perfect, and being the best friend your child can ever have. It’s about being there. Being there through the bad as well as the good. Being there for the rough as well as the smooth sailing. No matter how it’s going, it’s all about being there.

It pains me to listen to half of the garbage that comes across the radio these days. Listening to the messed up view of what being a real man is. It almost makes me sick. Sure you can stick through the hard times, like prison, getting shot, wrecking your car, overdosing on drugs, or what the hell ever. But on the other side of it all is a woman who is suffering through a painful, 15 hour labor, giving birth to a child that you will turn your back to, will never know you, and will never have a father that they deserve. How much of a real man is that being?

I just have to wonder what we are letting the world perceive as the definition of being “real”. This is something that I ponder quite often. As we stand up and try to change the face of fatherhood, what are we doing to stand up against the things that are destroying what we strive for? Do people really just have that big of a misconception of what being a real man is?

This, the parenting, the discipline, the doctoring, the late nights, the early mornings, this is as real as it gets. This is what we live for. Day in, day out, week after year, fast year after fast year. Without second thought we go through the worst as well as the best because it is who we are. It is our calling as dads to be there, regardless of what is going on. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be perfect, and it’s not going to be what we think it will. In parenting, if everything is going the way you want it to, then something is going majorly wrong.

That’s just the way I see it. Maybe it’s because I am here, I am willing to put up with the crap, and I am blessed even when things aren’t going so swell. It is my hope that this logic becomes infectious this year. That the definition of what a real man is will change in the minds of those who are most influential, most heard, most revered by popular culture. It’s just my thought that they could just fuel the revolution in ways that we cannot. But the fight does begin with us. And it is time to do something about it.

Watching from a Distance: With Tearful Eyes

At a critical stage for development in them, I reach a critical stage of backing off. The new year roles around and so do many changes. I’m sure there will be many memories made, many new things learned. And plenty of opportunities to just sit back and watch.

Yes indeed, the year is about at it’s end. So much can happen in the course of 365 days. There are a lot of memories to be made, a lot of learning that can occur, and a lot of growing up to be done. During the last 12 months, we have seen a lot of change, a lot of growing, and have made a lot of memories. In looking back to the beginning of the year, and looking upon all of the events of the year, I turn my focus to the kids.

My, oh my how they have grown. Physically, and as their own little persons. I look back in amazement at how much they have learned, how much they can do, and how much of an individual both of them have become. I know at this point next year, I will be saying these same exact words. I’m pretty sure I did this time last year too. This year however, it is with somewhat tearful eyes I look on.

Looking towards the past, or off into the future, is always looking from a distance. Looking from a spot that requires a different angle, a different focus. With a somewhat tearful eye, I know that for me, the future will require watching my children from more of a distance as well. As they learn and they grow, they will continue to grow more independent of my guidance and my hand. They will be striding on down life’s road a little further ahead of me than they have in the past. For me, it’s a hard realization to come to grips with. After four years of being the working parent, and missing out on so much, I am finally home with the kids on most days. And now that I am home more, I have to disengage a little more. Just doesn’t seem right does it?

The fact is, it is exactly what is right for my children at this stage. They are more than eager to explore the world around them without as much guidance and security from myself and my wife. They are more confident, more aware of dangers, and maybe a little more cocky too. They know a greater understanding of right versus wrong, and good versus bad. They have their boundaries and are ready to push as close as they can to the edge of said boundaries. It is truly an amazing thing in itself. To think that my two little munchkins are their own people now. They have their own agendas, own plans for the day, and their own imagination of what more could be possible during the hours they are awake.

Of course, I want to be right there. Grabbing on before every may or may not be fall. I want to be constantly telling them that something is not safe, or not a good idea, or whatever. But I can’t. I shouldn’t, and I don’t know quite how to feel. I am proud of the individuals they are becoming. Don’t get me wrong about that. I want to raise strong, reliable, independent individuals in my kids. But for so long, I have been the playmate, the lunch maker, the guardian of all toys, and protector. And now? Now I’m like the spotter in a NASCAR race. I don’t watch a lot of racing anymore, but I’m pretty sure they still use spotters. They let the drivers do their thing, but they watch from a distance giving the best advice possible and hoping he driver can do the right thing with the information.

I guess I won’t be the only one learning things in this new year. As they learn their new boundaries, new abilities, and new limits, I will also be learning these things about them. And I will be learning to watch from a distance. At a critical stage for development in them, I reach a critical stage of backing off. The new year roles around and so do many changes. I’m sure there will be many memories made, many new things learned. And plenty of opportunities to just sit back and watch.

Keeping the Holidays Spirited

The world does not have enough compassion, enough love, enough hope. Remember the hopes and dreams you had as a kid? Somewhere, we have lost sight of the joy and the peace these hops and dreams bring. But it was never just us. This holiday season, teach your kids that it is never just us. There is a whole world of people with hopes and dreams.

The holidays are always such a magical time for children. There’s the lights, the sounds, the enthusiasm. Kids all over the world are celebrating many different holidays around this time of year. In our house, we are getting ready for Christmas this weekend. The presents are wrapped, the tree is lit up, and the kids absolutely cannot stand the fact they still have a few days left before they can open presents.

I remember when I was a kid and the excitement that the holidays brought. I would sneak out of my room early in the morning to take a peek at what Santa had left me. Then, of course, there was the night I did just that to find my parents sleeping on the living room floor, waiting for my early morning arrival. There were also Christmas parties, caroling, church activities, and riding around to see the lights all over town and at the zoo. It was true magic at the time.

Growing up, I never would have known if we were rich or poor. To this day, I really can’t answer that question. But then again, it never mattered in the first place. My parents made sure that we knew that the holidays were not about the gifts we wanted or the gifts we got. In fact, it wasn’t about the gifts at all. We were always reminded of why we had these holidays, their meanings to us, and what the true spirit was all about. Gifts are nice, anytime of year, but there is a bigger focus to be looked upon during these holidays.

In an age of instant gratification and material excess, it becomes ever more important that we teach our children about the true spirit of the holiday season. Religion doesn’t matter, tradition doesn’t matter, and the gifts don’t matter. This is a time to be reminded to think about our fellow humans. It is a time to remember that we all have wishes, we all have dreams, and we all have that hope that life still holds magic, and is still ours to grab by the horns.

This holiday season, it is my hope that we will draw just as much attention to these facts as we do making sure they get what they want. It is my hope that our children will exit this holiday season with a sense of others. The world does not have enough compassion, enough love, enough hope. Remember the hopes and dreams you had as a kid? Somewhere, we have lost sight of the joy and the peace these hops and dreams bring. But it was never just us. This holiday season, teach your kids that it is never just us. There is a whole world of people with hopes and dreams. There is a whole world that desperately needs compassion, love, and less self. Let’s fill this world with these things starting by filling ourselves with a senseless heart, and passing on the sense of others to our children.

We Are All Mr. Gru

We are all Mr. Gru in that we are all human. We are all fathers. We are all human fathers. Part of the human experience for us is to raise a child from birth until they are adults. Even then, it never really stops. It’s just all part of the experience. And what a great one it is.

I’m not afraid to admit that I love “Despicable Me“. Typically, Little Girl and myself watch it once a day when I am home during the week. Every morning she asks to watch “Mr Gru”, so I pop it in, let her push play at her demand, then we cruise over to the couch and just veg out. It’s wonderful. Words cannot describe this joy of having such a quality time with my girl.

Most of the time, I get very bored of watching the same thing over and over. Of course, this is a double edged sword of sorts in that I have two toddlers, both wielding a strong desire for some of the worst television programming either. In fact, I won’t  even list them out of my extreme dislike for those said shows. But “Despicable Me” is one flick that I never get tired of.

Each time I watch it I feel like I get a new laugh, a new sigh, or even an epiphany. I find little things that I haven’t noticed the first thousand times I watched it. Have you ever tried to pay attention to each minion in a wide shot? They are doing some pretty hilarious things in the background. I started thinking more and more about the aspects of fatherhood portrayed in the movie and how Gru adapts to and learns to accept these new feelings of love for the little girls.

I looked at his attitude in the beginning, the point in which he starts to change, and of course the ending where he has been transformed. It is very interesting to sit there and pick it apart. I try each time to find something in any stage of the character’s development that I can identify with. Of course, there is a part of each element of Mr. Gru that I relate to, and it is sometimes a scary relation at that. I can see my anger in him. I can see my fears in him, and I can see my joys in him.

But then again, I think we all can. All of us have been scared of that love at one point. We have all felt anger at one point. And we have all been overcome with the joy that our children bring us. So, I guess in a way, we are all Mr. Gru. We are all little sinister evil villains that try to steal the moon with a shrink ray. No wait, that’s just the movie character. What I meant to say was this: We are all Mr. Gru in that we are all human. We are all fathers. We are all human fathers. Part of the human experience for us is to raise a child from birth until they are adults. Even then, it never really stops. It’s just all part of the experience. And what a great one it is.

The Revolution Never Ends

The revolution never ends. It continues within ourselves and within the lives of other dads. We form new ideas, we begin new practices, and we change our thoughts, all to become better dads, husbands, sons, brothers, co-workers, and people. The question now is this: What are you doing to revolutionize yourself? How are you positively impacting your life for the betterment of your children and your family? And how are you living the example that the revolution means to us here?

If you have been a loyal reader of DadRevolution in the past, then you know that the content flowing through here ended kind of abruptly. If you are new to visiting this site, then just look at the time span between this post and the previous. It has been quite some time (in internet time) since you have seen a new post here. So what brings me to logging in at 12:30 at night, and writing this post?

The reason we all said yes to writing on this group blog was because we believe in writing out our thoughts, feelings, and experiences in fatherhood and in trying to inspire dads all over the world to stand up and become more to their children than the world perceived them to be. In also living this example to people who see us outside of black and white, we have all had to focus on our priorities and what is going on in our real lives. Whether it is directly related to our children or not, everything we do, has them in the picture somewhere. Whether it is switching jobs, dropping hours to stay home more, traveling, or whatever,  the reasons that make us “dad” are the reasons we do them.

We all started writing for DadRevolution because we believe that the world of the dad is changing, the roles of the modern dad are changing, and they are changing in an awesomely powerful way. We hoped to share inspiration, hope, and a message that it is okay to be a parent. We are in no way limited to societal views, sitcom perceptions, and the family practices of old. It doesn’t really matter if brands are paying more attention, or the news is paying more attention, or even if the government was paying more attention. What matters is that we are more than writing examples of the changing landscape of fatherhood. We are living examples of it as well.

So as life has carried us on with time, life has carried us away from here. Most of us are maintaining an online presence elsewhere, and the time demands that social media beings try to meet can make it the hard to add on the extra time and energy. Some of us have moved away from the social media scene as we react to where the real world is taking us, and make the decisions that are necessary for our families and ourselves. In these ways, and in the absence that grows deeper on this site, we live these examples.

However, the revolution we believe in has not ceased to be. In fact, it roars all around us, everyday, in the lives of many. Dads all over the world, dads all over the country, dads that live down the sidewalk, are all carrying this revolution with them. And everyday, in all new ways, dads are giving new life by revolutionizing themselves. They are revolutionizing their own fatherhood and the lives of fathers around them. You see, the revolution is a revolution of self. Without taking the time to decide for ourselves what kind of fathers we will be, then the revolution as a whole has no meaning. we

The revolution never ends. It continues within ourselves and within the lives of other dads. We form new ideas, we begin new practices, and we change our thoughts, all to become better dads, husbands, sons, brothers, co-workers, and people. The question now is this: What are you doing to revolutionize yourself? How are you positively impacting your life for the betterment of your children and your family? And how are you living the example that the revolution means to us here?

Finding Nemo is Finding Inspiration

As time goes by, maybe taking a step back will become an easier step to take. I kind of doubt it, but you never know. What I do know is that it is a step that I will have to make time and time again. It may not be easy, and it may not be fun. But it will be the right step at the right moment. And it will be the step my children need me to make.

Ah yes, Finding Nemo. A great animated film from Pixar animations that once again puts a dad in the main character spot. In this tale of the seas, Nemo gets scooped up by a crazy Aussie dentist and his dad, Marlin, sets off on an epic adventure to find his son. Facing sharks, jellyfish, and a whole slew of awesome characters, Marlin sets off to do what most dads would do in that situation: risking their life for their children.

The adventure to find his son is not what gets this movie into this post today though. The inspiration came from the very beginning of the movie. As Nemo is getting ready for his first day of school, we find Marlin is a lot more scared than his son. This fear drives a major over-protective mode that eventually is what ends up driving the bigger story of this animated film.

As a parent, I have many fears when it comes to my children. What parent doesn’t? There are the fears of injury, fears of illness, and fears of the unknown. The inspiration found in Finding Nemo comes to me like this: Pushing your fears off on your children can have negative, and potentially serious consequences. If we push our fears too hard on our children, we either raise them to always be afraid, or we raise them to be defiant. Both are not healthy options at all.

After these thoughts hit me I spent a little time thinking about how I push my own fears on the kiddos. Even things as simple as “don’t jump off of that” and “I don’t think you should go play with them outside of our yard”. I think about fears that will come to me as my children grow older. Some things are inevitable. They will get hurt, they will get picked on, and they will probably be in trouble in school at some point. My job is not to force those fears upon them and make them hermits. My job is to prepare them for what to do when those times come.

Wanting what’s best is not always doing our best to prevent life from happening. This pushing of fear can have serious repercussions in the future. They may become defiant of other rules we lay out that need to be laid out. They may become defiant to a point that bad decisions become a way of life, just for spite. I know that may seem like a stretch, but really think about it. Marlin pushed too hard based on his own fears, and there you had the whole mission for the story line.

What did I take from all of this? One of the hardest things about being a parent is not being an over parent. As children, we can live with our fears because someone is always there to ease them for us. But as dads, we cannot do the same. We are the relievers of fear, not the creators. Stepping back when it is needed is not always easy to do. It is hard to just let our children explore their world sometimes, especially at the hint of even the slightest danger. Skinned knees and the request to kiss it better still melt me. We have to let it happen though. We have to let our children have a little slack in the line, or they will never learn to go through life without a life line.

As time goes by, maybe taking a step back will become an easier step to take. I kind of doubt it, but you never know. What I do know is that it is a step that I will have to make time and time again. It may not be easy, and it may not be fun. But it will be the right step at the right moment. And it will be the step my children need me to make.

Dadhood in the Raw | Real Men are Emo

I fear I miss out on too much when my head is just not all there. There is so much love, gratitude, and sanctity in such a short amount of time that I am sure my heart will explode with joy someday soon.

It’s 5:45 am. Do you know where your children are? Mine are tucked away, snug and sound in their beds. How do I know? I snuck into their room to kiss them each goodbye before heading out the door to work.

Today is Saturday. 6:15am to 4pm. Then back on from 5pm until around 10pm. We have a truck delivery this morning, a massive prep sheet, and it’s the busiest sales day of the week. We will have our work cut out for us for sure. Today will test my patience, my stamina, and my soul.

Why my soul? Because today I will only see my children for about 20 minutes. The rest of the day, Daddy will be at work. Though just a short 1/8 of a mile away, the distance feels much greater. I won’t lie. I will not miss the crying, the sibling fights, and the futile attempts of entertainment during “hell hour” before bath and bed. At least at work, I get paid for seperating people with egos and being yelled at.

It still doesn’t change the fact that I am missing my family terribly. My heart aches for the kisses, the hugs, the nosies, the laughs, and the fun times that I will be missing out on. I admit that I have even cried at work for the moments I have missed. Like Little Man’s first day of school. Yeah, I cried hard that day.
The 20 minutes I am home are filled with so much action that sometimes I think it is too fast for my weary brain to truly enjoy all that goes on. I fear I miss out on too much when my head is just not all there. There is so much love, gratitude, and sanctity in such a short amount of time that I am sure my heart will explode with joy someday soon.

Then it is immediately back to the grind. The short time I was home was not long enough, and seemed even shorter than it was. The night shift is another beast altogther from the days in my line of work. It is intense, it is busy, and it wears on even the toughest of men. When the dust has settled I make my way home. Physically tired but still wound up from the adrenaline, I take to my thinking couch.

The wife and I discuss our days. She shares of the fights, the struggle to entertain, and the increasing amount of time it takes the children to fall asleep at night. I speak of high sales hours, arguments on the cook line, and taking the fall for stuff that was out of my control. 45 minutes later we are dragging ourselves upstairs, tired, sleepy, and hopeful that the next day will be a better one.

The kids are tucked away, sound and snug in their beds. How do I know this? Because I give them each a kiss goodnight and tell them I will see them in the morning. Yes, I will admit that I also have the habit of purposely waking them up for a brief moment to let them actually see me, and possibly hear the four words that will save my day: I love you Daddy.

TeleNav for the Every Dad

How many times have you been late to work because of heavy traffic or road construction? Have you ever heard of a new place near you that sounds too good to be true and you wonder why you never knew about it? Maybe you want to get the kids out but want to get somewhere different than the usual spot?

As a working dad, I understand the feelings of other working dads who want to save time on travel and be home just a little bit faster. As an involved dad, I hear the cries of those other dads who love out and about time with the kids but are tired of the same old spot.  As a GPS company, TeleNav understands the cries of the every dad, and they get it. The more I get to use the TeleNav GPS Plus and AT&T Navigator, the more I can see why. People have been asking “so why the reach out to dads and not the usual pitch to mom bloggers”. I have that answer for those who have asked.

TeleNav sees that the modern dad is not the dad of the past. They know that dads today are more involved in their children’s lives. They know that the online community of dads is a community of dads who care, who are taking on new roles in parenting, and in a lot of instances, switching roles with mom. TeleNav also sees the difference in how Moms and Dads perceive needs for their parental roles and is reaching out to understand that difference better.

Throughout this campaign I will be writing about the everyday functionality of TeleNav GPS Plus and AT&T Navigator. From traffic updates and re-routing to avoid delays, to the search function used to find new places to go with the family, TeleNav knows what a dad is looking for. Less hassle, easy to use, quick and to the point. Leaving much more time to worry about the important things like packing enough diapers, remembering the pacifier, and bringing enough car-friendly toys for however long you wi be on the road.

I have been using mostly the AT&T Navigator available on the iPhone 4 and already, in just a few short drives, I know that I will terribly miss this app when the phone is no longer here. I will be posting about each of the apps separately in a week or so and providing my opinions, good and bad, about them both.

In the meantime you can check out the TeleNav products page to learn about the different apps available for a wide range of mobile devices. Check out what is new on the TeleNav Blog and follow along on Twitter and Facebook for updates, tips, and some fun contests to come!

Disclosure: I am honored to be teaming up with TeleNav as part of the Navigator in Chief Dad Bloggers Panel. While compensation has been provided for my time and participation, all opinions written here are mine all mine. No burnt sienna about it, I will always be 100% honest.

Taking the Ordinary to the Extraordinary

I think I am going to take the cue from the ones who take so many from me and start making every ordinary, extraordinary. There is always a way to bring more life into everything. Why shouldn’t the same be said for being a dad?

Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as a paper plate can become so much more with a little help of a child’s imagination? I marvel at the ways my children can take normal objects around the house and make them into something more grand than they were originally intended for. Everything can be something great with a little imagination.

It is a skill that sometimes I think I need to hold onto better. What better way to engage in creative play with the kids then being able to make the greatest out of the most ordinary? How great must it be to be able to look at everything as if it’s limitless and full of potential? I think the question I ask myself more often is why I let being an adult stand in the way of being this free of mind?

Then I ask myself this: How can I take my role as dad from ordinary to extraordinary? Is it possible to use that same imagination and translate it into real life application? Being a dad consists of so many different aspects. I try daily to be as involved in my children’s lives as is humanly possible. I am available to my kids for whatever they need me to be at the time. Whether it is doctor, friend, fellow superhero, or whatever the case calls for, I am there.

I want it to be more than just “being there” though. I want to take the ordinary role I play to the extraordinary. I want to be there before my kids are there (if that makes any sense). I want our playtime to be the best ever, every time. I want our reading time to become a time that we are immersed in the world the book created. I want every moment we spend together to be a moment that makes a memory. From the mundane, everyday happenings, to the fun activities we enjoy as a family.

There always seems to be a way for my kids to make the best and most out of everything. Why can’t it be the same for me and my role as a dad? Answer, it doesn’t have to be different. I think I am going to take the cue from the ones who take so many from me and start making every ordinary, extraordinary. There is always a way to bring more life into everything. Why shouldn’t the same be said for being a dad?

Sibling Rivalry

What do you do to promote a healthy relationship between siblings? Do you find some things work better than others? Is it even possible to to do anything about it?

Everyone enjoys a great sports rivalry. Gamecocks vs Tigers, Lexington vs Irmo, and Virginia vs Virginia Tech are just a few that come immediately to mind. Sports fans get decked out in their team’s colors and the air in the stadium is electrified as the game begins. It’s such a shame that we can’t get that excited over sibling rivalry. Little Man vs Little Girl, half the crowd in pink, the other in blue, and let the games begin. Perhaps some Sock Em Boppers are in order to make this happen.

At the ripe old ages of 4 and 2, The Kiddos have developed quite a unique relationship. With Little Girl developing more skills and better able to keep up with her older brother, the playtime they have together can now incorporate so many things. This also means that she is able to play with the same toys, the same basketball, and often, anything that is not hers that she knows will make LM mad. It is great that our children have such a wonderful relationship between them. For the most part, I can always just let them play and their imaginations create hours of entertainment for both them and myself. But every cloud has some sort of lining, and that’s where it all falls down of course.

The ability to play together also brings the occasion of rivalry along with it. Because LG can now play with so many of LM’s toys, there tends to be the occasional (or not so occasional) fight between the two. They get heated, they get intense, and every now and then, they get physical. Nothing gets on my nerves more than the “she hit” “he hit” “daddy she did…” “daddy he did…” for 10 hours a day. Most of the time it is over small stuff, or perceived stuff. Little Man is great at throwing a huge fit when sissy hasn’t even done anything yet. Oh the joys of toddlers.

Recently I have struggled with the idea of how I can promote more of the healthy part of the relationship over the quarrels and petty fights they have. I guess my hope is to decrease the occurrence of outbursts and timeouts, and increase the amount of sanity in our lives. I know that the sibling rivalry will always exist. I’m sure in some way (whether we know it or not) my sister and I still try to out-do each other. Is there a way to help tone it down? Or is this one of those things I just have to live with? Mom and Dad, what do you have to say? Other than pointing and laughing of course 😉

I’m sure I am not the only one here today who would like a little less crying and a lot more rocking out. We love music in our house and it is easy to get the kids to boogie down with me on most occasions. Recently it’s been “Apache (jump on it)” and we dance for hours. It’s totally mint and I’m not ashamed to admit that I know the dance as well. There are times when nothing seems to work though, and patience is easy to wear thin. These are the times that it is not only necessary to get the kids under control, but my own temper as well.

So I would like to ask you today: What do you do to promote a healthy relationship between siblings? Do you find some things work better than others? Is it even possible to to do anything about it? I would love for you to share your thoughts, tips, or remarks in the comments section below. Perhaps we can all come up with the genius plan that makes it totally possible to end sibling rivalry. If we can do that, then the world will be ours… Well, at least until the next day. We all know how unpredictable it can be. And that’s just half the fun!

Happy Father’s Day from DadRevolution

To the dads out there who know being involved is more than a diaper a day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From All of Us to All of You

To the dads out there who know being involved is more than a diaper a day.

To the dads who understand the difference between “Wahhhh” and “Wohhhhhh” in a child’s cry.

To the dads who live the example of  what being a man means to their sons.

To the dads who show their daughters how a real man should treat a lady.

 

All of us here at DadRevolution want to wish you a happy, blessed, and most memorable Father’s Day today.

May your day be full of the riches that give us all a reason to celebrate today.

May your hearts be full of the love that can only come from hearing your children call you dad.

And may your lives always be filled with happiness and joy because you are just that and you pride yourself on it.

 

Happy Father’s Day to All of You Dads Today!!!

From your brothers in dadhood,

The DadRevolution Team