WWF in Fatherhood? Differences in Raising Boys and Girls.

As a father of two girls there is a perceived notion that you must raise your daughters in a certain way (or at least I sometimes get this impression form the people that I interact with). At the same time, when I talk to fathers of boys, I hear differing things about their impressions and the ways in which they feel that they can and should raise their boys as well.

For girls, there is the impression that society expects that they will be introduced to dolls, dress up and the like and that fathers will support this feminine societal view. While boys are given toy guns, legos, cars or trucks to solidify their manhood. Who says though that it has to be this way? Who says that a girl can’t love playing with cars or trucks? Who says that a boy cannot like playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

For me, I have always encouraged my girls to do what they want to do. Whether this is playing baseball or dolls, dress up or cars, I am encouraging them to be the person that they want to be while at the same time encouraging them to explore areas outside of the normal societal mores.

As a father of two girls there is a perceived notion that you must raise your daughters in a certain way (or at least I sometimes get this impression form the people that I interact with). At the same time, when I talk to fathers of boys, I hear differing things about their impressions and the ways in which they feel that they can and should raise their boys as well.

For girls, there is the impression that society expects that they will be introduced to dolls, dress up and the like and that fathers will support this feminine societal view. While boys are given toy guns, legos, cars or trucks to solidify their manhood. Who says though that it has to be this way? Who says that a girl can’t love playing with cars or trucks? Who says that a boy cannot like playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

For me, I have always encouraged my girls to do what they want to do. Whether this is playing baseball or dolls, dress up or cars, I am encouraging them to be the person that they want to be while at the same time encouraging them to explore areas outside of the normal societal mores.

I have been encouraging this from an early age and I show this not only in the things that I let them see and try, but also in the things that I do with them. Thus, whether it is wrestling and roughhousing with them on the floor or dancing will we can’t see straight, I am pushing myself to look outside of the box while at the same time encouraging them to explore non-traditional society roles and activities.

I truly believe that fathers who do this are building their daughters into strong, well-adjusted members of society that will be able to stand on their own two feel and who will be able to decide for themselves in the end what is right and what they will stand for. In the end, that is what I want for my daughters. I want them to be self-sufficient and I want them to know that no matter what society will say that they can do and be what they want to be no matter what!

What about you? How do you encourage this in your own children?

Being Stuck in Dad Purgatory

It’s an afternoon in the Divadom and my wife is working, that means that I am the head honcho, the one and only guy in charge, or am I? Living in a home full of glitz and sequins I find that there are days when I think I am in control and in fact I find myself stuck somewhere in between, or in a place that sometimes feels like Dad purgatory. Have you ever been in this same place? Where you make rules and they are tested, you make punsihments, but they don’t seems to make a difference? Yes, this is the land I call Dad purgatory.

It’s an afternoon in the Divadom and my wife is working, that means that I am the head honcho, the one and only guy in charge, or am I? Living in a home full of glitz and sequins  I find that there are days when I think I am in control and in fact I find myself stuck somewhere in between, or in a place that sometimes feels like Dad purgatory.  Have you ever been in this same place? Where you make rules and they are tested, you make punsihments, but they don’t seems to make a difference? Yes, this is the land I call Dad purgatory.

I find this a hard place to be at times, because I want to be a good parent. I want the respect of my children, but it is hard at times to get to that point. I keep looking for the do-it-yourself manual when I go to the bookstore in the parenting section, but alas, there are many that have tried, but I have never found the one true guide that is the sure fire fix.

I find that this sense of dad purgatory sets in even further when a childs’ friends comes over. Sometimes these friends can bring out the best in our children and sometimes the worst (I always pray for the best of course).  When you not only have to parent your own child but the child or children of other parents who may not have the same rules that you hold your own children to. Alas, this is still the bane of a parent’s life as it will continue as long we remain parents, right?

So for me Dad Purgatory remains, but I attempt to break down its walls every day, making it easier and easier to strive to be a better parent and father… only time will tell if I am successful, but I sure hope I am!

I would love to hear your thoughts on what you do to keep yourself going and whether you have ever fell into this realm of Dad Purgatory as I have labeled it…

It doesn’t take sharing a roof to be a dad.

I watched a movie tonight that I have seen a few times before. The movie was “The Blind Side”. You know, the one with Sandra Bullock and that big ol’ football player that made it to the NFL. Yeah, that one, the one that makes you just want to adopt some poor kid off the street and set him up for a career with a pro sports team. It’s a great movie, with a great message, but tonight it started my gravy-train a thinkin’ ’bout something else.

Even my wife commented on it. I am a lot like Sandra Bullock’s character. I would take absolutely every kid in that ever needed me. Maybe it’s my years as a youth pastor, but I have laid in bed at night thinking about how I could remodel the downstairs of my house to allow for two more bedrooms. Then, if I swapped out the kids’ twin  beds for bunk beds, I could sleep 6 kids upstairs, 4 downstairs. That’s a whole lotta youngins. I’d do it in a heartbeat, and my wife knows it. We talk about it constantly. Someday it will happen, but not right now. Right now we have law school, Gav’s development, and the focus on my career. So we will wait to take that giant leap.

I didn’t exactly have the normal father-son relationship that most kids have. My parents were married for most of my childhood, and got divorcced when I was 15. We moved just a few miles away from my father. While we were only miles apart geographically, we were thousands of miles apart emotionally. He was a no-nonsense type of guy, and I have always been a goofball. I have always been independent, and he felt the need to control everyting around him. Needless to say, we were never close, at all. Don’t get me wrong, people say that he is a great guy and would do anything for anyone, I’m just not one of those people.

I don’t necessarily remember looking for that “fatherly” relationship, but I remember when I found it.

Growing up, my family was very involved in church, and we had gone to the same church for as long as I could remember. Like most churches, we were very close with most of the people that attended. When I was a teenager, a young preacher joined our congregation, and started teaching a class. I got to know Robb very well, and became very close to him. He was only a few years older than me, so I soon started seeing him as a big brother. He lived next door to me, as well, so we spent a lot of time together outside of church. I came to see Robb as an authority figure, as he always seemws to be able to give great advice on anything that I was facing. I trusted him, felt comfortable with him, and soon started seeking his approval on different things in my life.

I looked up to Robb like I imagine most kids do to their father. I sought his advice on so many decisions in my life, and felt that I could confide absolutely anything in the world to him. I felt safer when he was around, wanted to absorb anything that he said, and felt so very disappointed in myself when I let him down. He was always there when I needed him, no matter what time of day or night it was. I remember sitting on his front porch (which was only a few feet away from mine), watching a lightning storm, feeling like I was miles away from anything that bothered me.

Robb wasn’t my father. He wasn’t my step-father, and he didn’t adopt me. I didn’t even live in his house, although I was there nearly as much as I was in my own. We didn’t share a last name. We didn’t share anything other than a bond. Robb didn’t have kids, and I doubt that he saw me as one of his kids. I think that he just saw me as a kid who needed someone to just listen, give a litte advice, and pat me on the back every now and then. He kicked my butt when I needed it, picked m up when I fell, and made me smile when I needed to. He was a father-figure to me, without ever being a father to me.

When I watched that movie tonight, I thought about how I want to help every needy child that I come across. I thought about how full my house would quickly become, and how happy that would make me. Eventually, though, the square footage will run out. I won’t be able to fit anymore beds into my house, even after an Extreme Home Makeover. There are going to be some kids that I just can’t provide for.

Then I realized that they don’t necessarily have to live under my roof. There are so many children, just like I was, that aren’t looking for someone to move into their homes, but they are looking for someone to take an interest in what they are doing. They are looking for someone who cares about what they are going through, who will listen when they need to vent, and who will be there for them when something goes bad or good. Someone to share the joy and the frustration.

So, throughout these next few months, as we finish law school, and OT and ABA therapy and work on opening new restaurants, I know that I won’t have the option to adopt, take in foster children, or even just have some random kid in need stay in my house. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be a dad to someone who needs it. That doesn’t mean that I won’t positively impact some child’s life, just by being there, by being involved. It doesn’t take sharing a roof to be a dad.

Be Cognizant of Being Over Protective of Your Kids

Today I wanted to talk about the protection of our children and being able to let go when needed.

Today I wanted to talk about the protection of our children and being able to let go when needed.
Today we are talking about being protective our children. When I talk about this, it is important to know what it means to be protective and what it means to be overprotective. There have been many times when I have seen parents who disagree to the extent of protecting their children, and I have even found J-Mom and I differing on this every now and again. Thus, as parents you must have a discussion while your children are young to determine where that line is for each of you. Every parent is different and there is no right answer regarding this, but there are signs of over protection that you should be aware of and steer away from.
Some questions you should ask yourself include:
  • How far can you child ride their bike without you being concerned about their well being?
  • Can you child go and play in the dirt (getting dirty along the way) without repercussion?
  • If your child starts to cry (or fake cry) do you run to their side or do you take more of the “are you bleeding?” approach.
  • Do your children make choices for themselves or do they always defer to you?
If you answered yes to any (or all) of the above, this does not mean completely that you are overprotective, but it may give you something to pause about as you are thinking about the raising of your children. As the below articles will reflect, providing a safe environment is critical, yet it is very important to provide your kids room to grow and learn in an environment that encourages exploration and (some) risk taking.

So ask yourself the above questions? Do you find yourself to be overprotective? In what ways? What steps will you take to provide your kids more room to make choices and take risks? Do you feel that being overly protective is a negative trait, why or why not?

If you are so inclined please leave your responses in a comment below.  I look forward to your thoughts and comments!

Teaching Your Kids to Serve Others

I am a Rotarian and their creed is “Service Above Self”, thus for me it is important to be able to live this on a daily basis and also espouse it to my children with the hope that they will follow my example as they grow older.

I am a Rotarian and their creed is “Service Above Self”, thus for me it is important to be able to live this on a daily basis and also espouse it to my children with the hope that they will follow my example as they grow older.

Serving others can be as simple as doing something like what you see in the image above, or it can be giving your time to a child through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. No matter how you serve, it is important that your children see you doing this and understand why it is important. Too often in the media driven age that we live in, children fail to see the good in others and the good in reaching out and making a difference to people around them. Watching you as their parents, they will see either through overt or non-action what is important and will take your cue. Thus, if you can start instilling in your children at an early age that serving others in some way that is meaningful to them is positive and important, they will live a life of service as they grow into adulthood.

Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • How do you and your child serve others?
  • What are some activities that you and your child can do together that will serve others in your community?
As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.

In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:

In what ways do you serve others on a daily/weekly basis and how do you share this with your kids?

Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em

As a father there are times when I just want to freeze time and not let my girls get any older. I want to capture their innocence and bottle it up so that they will always know what it was like to be free of inhibition, doubt, and the other cares of the world.

As a father there are times when I just want to freeze time and not let my girls get any older. I want to capture their innocence and bottle it up so that they will always know what it was like to be free of inhibition, doubt, and the other cares of the world. In speaking to other parents, I know that they feel similar, and as you child gets ready to go to school for the first time, the reality hits you that this innocence could be shattered at the slightest word, action or thought that someone else may interject and there is nothing that you can do about it besides try and help your child to be ready and willing to stand up for themselves on their own two feet.

The question that continues to ring through my brain is how to best do this, and how best to slowly let go of the reigns that I have to allow for my daughters independence and personalities to develop and flourish on their own.

As Diva-J has gotten older J-Mom and I have continually played the game of give and take and as she starts to become more responsible in some areas, we tend to give a bit more in regards to autonomy, which I think is the nature of parenting. On the other hand, as I said earlier, it is s nice to have your little child, and it is difficult to let that go as they get older.

Many of the resources I found when thinking about this topic talk about the letting go process parents go through within the College years. I am thinking of something different as you might have guessed. I am truly thinking about the process of shedding my presumptions and allowing my children to become the people that they will become. This is not to say that J-Mom and I will not do my best to mold and instill in them the things that we believe deeply as is our responsibility as parents, because we will. Instead, I continue to find that I need to step back and allow her to make mistakes. I need to allow her to fail (which is not easy). I need to let her learn lessons that are not always going to be easy to learn.

In thinking about this, I came across a few interesting links that I thought I would share with all of you:

Today think about your own children and write down your thoughts on when you feel that you MUST hold them, when you MUST fold them, when you MUST walk away and when you MUST run i. Once you come up with this list share it with us… would love to hear your thoughts!

Are you a Dad – Become An Author!

I have always written in journals. I still even have journals from when I was younger. As I have gotten older I still have continued to keep a journal.

I have always written in journals. I still even have journals from when I was younger. As I have gotten older I still have continued to keep a journal. I have found that doing this helps to keep track of small things, important things as well as ideas and thoughts. I find that entries may be formal or informal.

I am recommending a journal to assist you as a parent because I have found that you as a parent you can not only see your own parental growth, but it can help you to assess your parenting and see what areas you may need to work on and develop.
Will your writing always be about parenting, probably not, but it could be if you so chose. One of the journals that I have kept is a journal for my daughters. Will I ever give it to them, maybe. I tend to be quite honest in it about the fears, concerns and truths about everything, and it would probably be quite a few years before the girls could understand and comprehend all that was in it. Never-the-less I still write in it and it is cathartic to say the least.
Many parent bloggers started their own blogs as a journal or letter to their own children. I know that this was the case for me. As I started to blog I wanted to leave something that my girls could look back at and say, wow, my Dad did really love me enough to write about me (maybe this is wishful thinking). As I have met more and more bloggers, I have continued to learn and grow myself in my writing and my parenting skills.
In researching this post I found the following resources that may assist you in starting a journal.
So today think about taking one week and starting a daily journal about your own prenting experiences. There is no set style that you must follow or length that is required. Simply follow through and see what you think at the end of the week. Come back here to let people know about your thoughts about how things are going after the first few days as well as the mid point and end of the process.

Their Lives Will Not Be Like A Movie Romance

Emulating health relationships is important for our children, as most kids today get something of a warped sense of how relationships work as they watch movies, reality TV and the like. Even through billboards, magazine ad and articles and other such material, our children today are being immersed by a plethora of images that somewhat skews their sense of what does and what does not constitute healthy relationships.

Emulating health relationships is important for our children, as most kids today get something of a warped sense of how relationships work as they watch movies, reality TV and the like. Even through billboards, magazine ad and articles and other such material, our children today are being immersed by a plethora of images that somewhat skews their sense of what does and what does not constitute healthy relationships.

 

As this image portrays, one would believe that Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara were the perfect couple (that is until you watch more parts of the movie – beyond this scene that is). Thus, though this may look very real in a young it is in fact much more complex than one might see on the big screen.

 

This imagery starts when they are young with movies that are geared for kids such as from Disney such as: Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty & The Beast, The Little Mermaid (all favorites in the Divadom). While I am not saying these movies are bad examples for kids, I am saying that our children are exposed at an early age to the idea that in relationships everything works out in the end and there is little strife or work that has to occur in regards to relationships. While children may not understand the complexities of relationships they will understand the concept of They Lived Happily Ever After” and as parents it is difficult to help them understand that this does happen, but not always. It becomes our job as they get older to understand the reality of life that surround them in regards to relationships and help them to see what a healthy relationship truly is.

 

Hopefully they are seeing this on a daily basis within your own home between parents or between other family members. In some homes though I know that there may not always be healthy relationships occurring. These are the children that I end up worrying about.

 

On the following site I found a breakdown at what constitutes healthy versus unhealthy relationships. They stated that:

Healthy Relationship

The signs of a healthy relationship include:

  • Loving and taking care of yourself
  • Respecting your partner’s right to be himself or herself
  • Having a life outside the relationship, with your own friends and your own activities
  • Making decisions together, each partner compromising when necessary
  • Resolving conflicts through open and honest communication
  • Having more good times in the relationship than bad

Unhealthy Relationship

The signs of an unhealthy relationship include:

  • Focusing all your energy on loving and caring for your partner
  • Trying to change your partner to be what you want them to be
  • Dropping friends and family or activities you enjoy
  • One partner makes all the decisions
  • One partner yells, hits, or throws things at the other during arguments
  • Having more bad times in the relationship than good

 

In thinking about and researching this, I found the following links that I wanted to share with all of you:

 

So today think about the relationships that you have within your life that interact with your children. As you are thinking about these answer the following questions:

  1. Are these relationships healthy for my children? Why or why not?
  2. How can I make my relationships healthier for my children?
  3. How can I help my children understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships?

How would you answer these questions for yourself?

 


Teaching The Power of Passion

Children need to be exposed to many things as they are growing up. As parents it is important to let them explore different types of activities and interests. We need to encourage these interests and not trivialize them in any way (even if they don’t make sense to us).


Children need to be exposed to many things as they are growing up. As parents it is important to let them explore different types of activities and interests. We need to encourage these interests and not trivialize them in any way (even if they don’t make sense to us).Our children are going through a process of exploration and must be able to make choices and learn for themselves where their true passion lies.

Sometimes this means entering your child’s world and coming to a better understanding of what their interests are and why they are interested in that specific item or items. Sometimes it means knowing your child well enough to encourage them to try something that they may not have thought about trying in the past because they did not know anything about it. For example, encouraging your child to try chess because you know that they love to play games that require thinking and logic and then finding them opportunities to play chess if they do find that they enjoy the game.

It is also important to let your children into your own world, helping them to understand what you are passionate about and why you are passionate about these things. It helps to have them involved in some of the activities that you are involved within so that they can understand and see that being passionate about something is a good thing and can truly make your life more meaningful.

For some kids you will have to be persistent and continuous in your encouragement as they may be slower to find a passion for themselves. As parents you have to be vigilant in encouraging your child to continue trying their best to find what will make them happy.

Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • What is my child passionate about? What are their interests and why are they interested in them?
  • How can I do a better job at sharing my passions and interests with my children?
  • How can I be more encouraging of my child’s interests?

As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.

In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:

What are your thoughts regarding this topic? You might want to try and make a list of your passions and share them with your spouse/partner/friend and then talk about these passions andhow you can share these passions with your children. I would love to hear what you come up with!



Being Engaged With Your Kids

When I talk about being engaged, I am referring to doing things directly with the kids that are important to them and that they find enjoyable and fun. This could be something such as cooking with them, playing sports or games or other such activity that brings a smile on your and your child’s face (as hopefully you are having fun as well).

When I talk about being engaged, I am referring to doing things directly with the kids that are important to them and that they find enjoyable and fun. This could be something such as cooking with them, playing sports or games or other such activity that brings a smile on your and your child’s face (as hopefully you are having fun as well).
Our children crave our attention and don’t care what else is on our minds. They don’t understand when we have a big deadline, or when we had a bad day. Instead, when they see you (especially as they are young) they light up and are happy to just have you around.
I know for me, I get distracted and get pulled away while at home, and sometimes it takes a word from J-Mom to break me out of my disconnected stupor to see that what I have in front of me is so much more important than what I was doing on the computer, or what was on the television or what was in a book. I appreciate the interrupt and at times I believe that we all need a bit of a disruption to get us back on track.
Some questions you should ask yourself include:
  • How are you engaged with your child?
  • How are you distracted from this engagement, and what can you do to minimize this when around your child?
As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.
In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:

So develop a list of five things that you can do to better engage with your child today. Make sure that the list includes things that are important to the child but also will lead to positive experiences for you as well. Take one activity on the list and do it with your child today!

WTH are They Saying WOMBAT ROTFL???

One of the most important things in learning a new language is to speak to others in the language and have others speak to you in the same language. Also, in reviewing numerous parenting books, language acquisition of infants is greater with those that are spoken to often.

Thus, from an early age parents need to be cognizant of this and need to instill the importance of communication in their kids.

As your kids get older, this communication becomes that much more important. Through disciplining your kids when they are young (so they can learn, grow and understand). As your kids enter school and they begin to meet other children, every day is an adventure. Some days are going to be positive, and some days will be negative. It is critical you’re your kids feel comfortable enough to talk to you about their hopes, fears, and concerns regarding their experiences so that they can know that they can depend on your support and guidance to assist them as they need it.
Even older, as your children start dating, as a parent you hopefully will have set a strong foundation for two way communication to occur. You will not always agree with each other, but with a foundation built you still should be able to communicate with each other so that you both can understand.
As they get to adulthood, your communication relationship will change as it has throughout their lives, but the foundation you set when they were young will remain solvent and critical for your future relationship to continue to flourish.
In researching this topic I came across the following links that I felt would be valuable resources for you to access.

 

So my question for all of you is how or what do you do to better communicate with your kids? Please share some of your thoughts and tips on how best to communicate especially in this age of technology where some parents have to have a dictionary to understand what their child is saying. So good luck and if you need a dictionary, check this one out!


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Always Use Words, Not Violence

Children are exposed to violence everyday as they turn on the television, look on the computer, read magazines or stories. They see it in front of them and yet do not always know how to process this.

Children are exposed to violence everyday as they turn on the television, look on the computer, read magazines or stories. They see it in front of them and yet do not always know how to process this. If they also see and feel violence within their own home in how their families deal and react to them, this begins to teach them other things that may not be as healthy (not to say that the former list of items are healthy as most are not).
As parents we make many choices that impact our children. In regards to violence, one of the largest things that we have to decide is whether to spank or not to spank our children. The post today is not going to be a pro and con discussion about spanking, far from it, but this is something that falls into the discussion when talking about violence within the home.
All studies that I have been able to find agree that physical violence with children is detrimental to their development and self-esteem, and leads to teaching children that this type of violence if alright. The challenge is whether you as a parent believe that spanking fits into the category of physical violence.
Outside of this what I have come to find in my research is that there are alternatives to hitting that parents may wish to consider. First and foremost is to use words, and help your children to use their words to express their feelings. In an article that I found in researching this topic they provided a list of eleven alternatives to violence that parents can take which is relevant here, they include:
  • Begin providing guidance and limit setting as early as infancy
  • Keep communicating your words to your baby and young child
  • Show mild disapproval of undesirable behavior
  • Discuss your feelings about what you see
  • Empathize by putting yourself in their shoes
  • Offer alternatives
  • Redirect your child’s attention
  • Be consistent and follow through (do what you say)
  • Offer encouragement when your child follows through
  • Thinking time – have your child sit with you and think about their actions and have him or her decide what they could do differently next time.
  • Offer solutions and ideas with your child – sometimes they don’t know what to do and need your guidance.
There are challenging children out there who do not always seem to respond to these tactics, but most experts state that the most important thing for parents is to be consistent with discipline and not to waiver, especially between parents. Our children must know that their parents will have a solid front when it comes to their actions and that they can expect the same treatment no matter who they are with.
Your children must be respected and loved for the people that they are and must be able to feel that they are safe to make mistakes and are in a safe environment to grow and learn. The perpetuation of violent acts within a home whether between parent and parent or parent to child breaks down a child instead of building up a child. 

Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • How do you react to your child when you are upset?
  • How do you currently disipline your child?
  • How is the way that you are disciplining your child helping them to become a better person?
  • Are there any actions that you are taking that break down your child’s self esteem? If so what are these, and what can you do to build it back up again?
As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow. 

In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:


 

Being a Great Role Model To Your Child

Being a good role model encompasses not only what you say but rather what you do in your everyday life. Your children are watching you everyday to learn the things that are not only expected by you, but also what is right and expected as a contributing member of society today. Thus, the things you do or do not do say volumes to your children whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not.

Being a good role model encompasses not only what you say but rather what you do in your everyday life. Your children are watching you everyday to learn the things that are not only expected by you, but also what is right and expected as a contributing member of society today. Thus, the things you do or do not do say volumes to your children whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not.

For me, I have always felt strongly about service to others and this is one thing that I hope that I can share with my children. There is something to going out of your way and helping those in need that fulfills me and makes me feel that I am doing something small to change the world around me for the better.

There are many other ways that you can be a role model to your children other than acts of “doing” per se. How you relate to people, how you act around people. The way that you talk to and/or treat friends, family, etc. are all very transparent to our kids. We have to remember daily that we have a little sponge sitting next to us taking in everything and filtering it through there limited database of knowledge and calling it gospel truth, so beware, and realize the power that you hold to mold the mind of your children.

In researching this post I came up with a number of resources that I wanted to share with you all:

Today’s task is for you to sit down and come up with five ways you can be a better role model for your children. If you already have mastered this, come up with five things you have done to accomplish this. Once complete, come back and share these ideas with the rest of the group. I also recommend that you read the above articles, especially the first one for some other tips on being a great role model.

I am also interested to know about who your role models were and what they did to garnish your respect and admiration.

Be Your Child’s Biggest Fan

Children are looking for your approval at all times. They want to feel that they are wanted, needed, and accepted for who they are. As they begin to grow and learn about their passions as we talked about in yesterday’s post, it will be important for you as their parent to do whatever you can to become your child’s biggest fan.

Children are looking for your approval at all times. They want to feel that they are wanted, needed, and accepted for who they are. As they begin to grow and learn about their passions as we talked about in yesterday’s post, it will be important for you as their parent to do whatever you can to become your child’s biggest fan.

What does it mean to be your child’s biggest fan you may ask? Well, this means that you know your child,their likes, their dislikes. You know what they aspire to become and the heroes that they have. You are aware of why they do the things they do and what gives them energy and what discourages them. Think about fans of celebrities and all that they know about the person they are passionate about. They are aware of every single detail of their life and will do whatever they can to be that person’s biggest proponent and ally. As a parent, this is your job, you must take on this role with your own child.


When you think about being a fan, the first thing in your mind may be sports and when looking into this topic, much of the writing on this topic surrounds sports. One of the articles that I examined talked about five different ways parents provide unhealthy and healthy encouragement to children in sports – these included:


Unhealthy Encouragement

1. Quick to criticize and slow to praise

2. Selectively shows love, support, and approval based upon the child’s performance

3. Becomes cold and critical when the child fails to live up to expectations

4. Lives out athletic aspirations through the child

5. Encourages the child to mimic the training habits or skills of professional athletes


Healthy Encouragement

1. Emphasize fun and participation

2. Define winning as a level of effort, not the score of the game

3. Measure improvement of skill, not by comparison to other children

4. Maintain open communication with the child throughout the sports experience

5. Let the child experience the dynamics of sport at his or her own pace


Though much of the writing is about sports, this does not mean that the above encouragment cannot be transferred to any other type of activity that your child is passionate about. Whether it is sports, band, drama, dance or other such activity, the above list of healthy and unhealthy habits still remain true.


Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • Am I my child’s biggest fan? Do I know everything about my child? If not, answer the following questions.
  • How to I show that I am a fan of my child?
  • What are other ways that I can show my child that I am their biggest fan?

As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.

In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:



What are your thoughts regarding this topic? Make a list of the things that you know about your child and clarify things that you are not aware of currently. Once you have completed these tasks, come back and share your thoughts with the rest of the group.

Teaching My Daughters to Love The Game

As the new year starts and football season amps up with bowl games, the superbowl this weekend and other such great sporting events like this, I have been reflecting about what I have done to allow my girls to enjoy the sports that I like as well. Ever since that have been with us I have shared with them certain sports. For me, it is usually Football or Basketball.

As the new year starts and football season amps up with bowl games, the superbowl this weekend and other such great sporting events like this, I have been reflecting about what I have done to allow my girls to enjoy the sports that I like as well. Ever since that have been with us I have shared with them certain sports. For me, it is usually Football or Basketball. I would have them sit and watch the games with me and root on a certain team, even though at first they did not know what they were watching. Sometimes they were interested, other times, they could care less.

As they got older, I started to explain to them more about the rules of the games. Why certain things were happening, and why things were not happening. Why certain calls were made, while others were left alone (even though at times the call should definitely have been made). This was not easy and I found myself being challenged, as I did not always know all of the rules (I came to find). Thus, I had to do a lot of research, so that I was informing them about the right things. I didn’t want them calling a penalty when it really wasn’t now, did I?

Slowly, my girls began to appreciate the games more, and they would sit for longer periods of time watching the games with me. Now, they have come to appreciate the games that I like, but I now am seeing their interests burgeoning in other sport areas as well. Diva-J likes Tennis, while Diva-PJ likes Gymnastics (yes, even watching it on television). Yet, in saying this I can say that they do appreciate some of the sports that I have shared with them (score one for Dad!).

So as we get ready for the BIG Superbowl weekend, I intend to share it with my girls in any way that I can and have some fun with it along the way. Not only does it let me spend some quality time with the girls but it also lets me give them a gift for the future, a gift of knowing their father!

A Fathers’ New Years Resolutions

For many of us we will walk into the new year with grand aspirations about what we will do, or what we hope to accomplish this year. We call them resolutions, but unfortunately, for most of us they tend to become null and void pretty close to the same time that we make them.

For many of us we will walk into the new year with grand aspirations about what we will do, or what we hope to accomplish this year. We call them resolutions, but unfortunately, for most of us they tend to become null and void pretty close to the same time that we make them. This is especially true with exercise. So many stores at the beginning of every year put sales on exercise equipment because they know that people are setting these goals for themselves. Too soon after purchasing them you will find them gathering dust in the basement or in the corner of the room.

So this year I am making some goals for myself both personally and professionally that I hope to share with my kids. Both of my girls are not old enough yet to understand the idea of making a resolution. I try though to talk to at least Diva-J, my oldest, about thinking about the new year as a new start. I ask her what she could do this year to make it better than the last. She says, play more with friends? This was not the resolution that I was looking for, so I go on to talk to her about different things that people may say in a resolution and try to explain it further, but I can easily tell that it is falling on deaf ears.

In saying this though, I know that I will continue to try and help my girls understand this ritual and what it truly means to make a resolution for oneself. I also hope to instill in them the importance of holding fast to the resolutions that you set for yourself, not only at the beginning of the year, but all through the year!

So for me, I plan to work on a few resolutions this year!

1.       Make time for play. Make sure to take the time out with my kids to get on their level and have fun!

2.       Work harder at not getting frustrated with my girls when they are pushing every button that I have (you know those buttons don’t you?)

3.       Spend more quality time with my spouse (pry myself away from the computer)

4.       Eat more 100% fruit smoothies in the morning for breakfast and more veggies for lunch (limit the lunches out if possible)

5.       Get more organized with my blog, activities, and other projects!


What about you? What are your resolutions and how do you share them with your kids?

Set Up Rituals With Your Kids

Kids are creatures of habit, they expect things to be the same as they have been in the past. For me, this was specifically important as we moved in the past year. Both of our girls were at an age where they knew the rituals that we had been doing at our old house.

Kids are creatures of habit, they expect things to be the same as they have been in the past. For me, this was specifically important as we moved in the past year. Both of our girls were at an age where they knew the rituals that we had been doing at our old house. Thus J-Mom and I knew that we would have to find a routine very soon in the new home to make our lives much happier all around.
Rituals can surround anything such as bedtime, dinnertime, visits to the library or other things. You also can set up rituals around holidays or other such special events such as always going to your grandparents house the day after thanksgiving or other such activities.
Many of the things that I remember in growing up are the rituals that my parents had for me as I was growing up and in talking to many other parents about rituals, these are the same things that they start with in their responses. In making/developing rituals for your own kids becomes that much more important, as your kids will definitely remember. 
In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:
So what rituals were important to you when you were growing up? What rituals do you have with your kids now, or do you want to start doing with your family?