My mom died from lymphoma just after I turned nine years old. The next few years were, as you can imagine, really difficult. Moms are important to boys that age, and I was no exception. After she died, I had access to a small trunk that contained some of her belongings: yearbooks, jewelry, pictures, and various odds and ends from high school. As I was sifting through that stuff, I also found a diary that she kept while she was in the hospital.[Read more…] about Keep a Journal for Your Kids . . . about Your Kids
Let’s get this straight up front: parenting is not easy. There is no road map that lays out every step to take to lead your children to successful adulthood. There are plenty of judgment calls. Life is ever-changing, full of seasons for us, our spouse, and our kids. What’s more, our kids are individuals with their own thoughts, interests, and temperaments, and personalities. And even during those times when we seems to have things under control, life throws a curve ball. As a result, most fathers spend a lot of time wondering if they’re doing a good job raising their children. Next week, I’m going talk about raising sons in particular. Today, I’m going to look at five temptations that will derail our parenting. [Read more…] about Five Pitfalls of Parenting
Summer is a fantastic time for kids. It’s hot outside, school’s out, and their days can be spent on leisure and fun. And that’s how must of a child’s summer should be spent: pursuing unstructured outdoor activities. But, that doesn’t mean that every responsibility in life goes out the window and life just becomes one big party for 10 weeks. [Read more…] about A New Summer Project for Kids
In this post from last year, I talked about how it is incumbent upon parents to “create special”, to be aware of when certain spontaneous decisions can create significant joy and memories for our kids. About a year ago, my daughter asked if we could stop and get a 15-minute chair massage while we were at the mall. We’d passed those massage chairs dozens of times before, but had never stopped, as I typically think those things are a waste of money. This time, however, it was just the two of us, so we stopped and got massages. And, boy, I’m glad we did. She held my hand and we oooh-ed and aaaah-ed and laughed the entire time. I’m not sure I’ll ever forget those smiles and laughter; I can still picture it vividly.
This past weekend, our city had gotten a decent little snow and the kids had just gotten in from playing outside in it for a bit. While they were warming up and sipping hot chocolate, we decided to watch the move Lone Survivor. I’d seen it before, but wanted to watch it again since I’d just finished the book. Also, my boys had been begging me to watch it, and I figured they could handle it at this point. When they saw the SEALs packing their gear for the mission, my boys got out all of their Nerf dart guns and ammo to organize it just like the SEALs did. And since Christmas just passed, they have a lot of that stuff. [Read more…] about Creative Parenting: How Spontaneous Decisions Create Special Moments
Creating special in the lives of our kids is critical to fatherhood. To that end, I took my daughter on our first outing of 2017 this past Saturday. I try to follow the rules that Jim Sheils uses about Family Board Meetings (link here). Every 90 days, do a fun one-on-one activity with each child with the following rules: (1) your child picks the activity, (2) at least four hours, (3) no electronics, and (4) have some time to talk at the end. I committed to doing these with my kids in 2017, and my daughter won the drawing to go first. [Read more…] about Creating Special