Are You Worthy of the Title, "Daddy?"

While out with my family the other day, I saw a woman wearing a shirt that said, “Moms . . . they’re better than dads.” Being a counselor I’m pretty comfortable in telling people what I think, but I kept quiet. Had I said something I would have made reference to the implied hypocrisy. What if I wore a shirt that said, “Dad’s rock and moms are just wet blankets” I’m sure I’d get my fair share of dirty looks and been chastised for political incorrectness. Most shirts that portray dads make mention of their age or how they like to lounge around, beer in hand. Well, this man is much more than that. What bothers me most about that woman’s shirt, and others like it, is that it would not have bothered most men.
Too many dads don’t take their jobs seriously. Additionally, the man’s role in the home has been minimized to the point of needlessness. Our nation’s progress in women’s rights has had an unintended consequence. The women adapted by taking on jobs in the workforce while remaining the natural caregivers at home. However, men have not adapted as well and as a result have been pushed out of the home (or worked their way out) because they don’t take on their share of the responsibilities in our 21stcentury world. What strengths that could have complimented the woman’s have been lost.
Dr. Warren Farrell, psychologist and author of Father Child Reunion, spent more than a decade conducting an analysis of extensive research in order to better understand the phenomenon that has been dubbed “The Father Factor” by the National Father Initiative. Dr. Farrell says, “Children clearly pay a price when their fathers walk away or mothers keep dads away. We are 100 percent certain that children do better in [many] different areas when they grow up in intact families.” (SOURCE: http://firstthings.org/page/media/the-family-column/bringing-daddy-homeKeep in mind that if a biological dad or stepfather isn’t present, you can seek out a positive male influence within your community through sports, civic groups, church, or another family member.
Other research studies:
  • EDUCATION: Half of all children with highly involved fathers in two-parent families reported getting mostly A’s through 12th grade, compared to 35.2% of children whose father does not reside in the home. http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics
  • DEVELOPMENT: Several studies have found that when fathers spend more time on childcare tasks, children benefit. For instance, one study of preschool-age children whose fathers were responsible for 40 percent or more of the family’s child care tasks had higher scores on assessments of cognitive development, had more of a sense of mastery over their environments, and exhibited more empathy than those children whose fathers were less involved. (http://www.childtrends.org/Files/dadchild.pdf)
  • CRIME: Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)
  • SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATION: Women whose parents separated between birth and six years old experienced more than four times the risk of early sexual intercourse, and two and a half times higher risk of early pregnancy when compared to women in intact families. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)
  • POVERTY: Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)

Read the rest of the article here. 

Survey: How do you prefer to follow blogs?

With all the media that is out there, you have to sort it somehow and have it funneling to you in an efficient manner. I prefer RSS but am always perplexed at the blogs that don’t even have this function. If you follow blogs, how do you prefer to have that information brought to you? Check out the survey on my blog and vote!



Do You Have A Christian Worldview or Is It American?

I often wonder whether or not Jesus would be proud of what most Americans consider good about our country. In comparison to His day, we live in massive homes, eat better than the richest of bible days, and leisure activities abound. WWJD?

I believe our country was founded on Christian values. There are too many references to God in our early days to deny this. Watch this video on YouTube for more. However, is everything a good red-blooded American does, Christian? Of course not, but the line between what is American and what is Christian can be blurred, and if we are not careful, we could move further and further away from the Bible in the name of America. 

The following paragraphs are from a blog entitled, Instrument Rated Theology by Paul Smith and illustrates well my thoughts on Jesus and America much better than I could say them. I don’t agree with everything the author says on his blog but I think the following points are worth considering for those who truly want a Christian worldview.



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“Why have we lost a Christian world view? At least in America I would have to say that one of the chief reasons is that for too long we have equated ‘Americanism’ with Christianity. If America did it, it was Christian, because we are a Christian nation. . . . . . The Constitution is quoted as much, if not more, than the Bible, and often people do not recognize the difference. The Bible has been wrapped in the American flag, and a Christian world view has been replaced by a distinctly cultural one.”



From his post entitled, “Losing the American Worldview”

If we are not careful, “Jesus becomes a pistol toting, placard wearing, union loving, scientific thinking free market capitalist. Truth is he was none of those things. He was a ‘pre-modern’ Jew in a Roman backwater country where bartering was the primary method of exchange and freedom of speech meant you could say anything you wanted as long as you praised the Caesar and the Jewish High Priest. John Wayne was American to the core. Jesus of Nazareth was not.”

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May we use the blessings God has given us in this country to further His purpose, but may we not confuse ALL that we do as Americans with the will of our Creator. 



Weight Loss & My Favorite Foods

If you are familiar with the Weight Watchers program, you’ll know that you count points. The nutritional value of a food is considered and you stop eating once you reach your daily and weekly limit. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods. It is true that you can’t have them every day, and it is true that you have to eat healthier food more often. However, to say that we can’t have our favorites ever again, is a recipe for disaster.

Let’s say you really like hot wings, (they’re two points a piece by the way) and you want some really bad. Well, eat healthy all week and you can have them. It’s the 80/20 principal. Eat right 80% of the time and you can splurge 20% of the time.
I know this to be true because I ate hot wings twice in one week (a whole plate each time) and still lost weight. It’s all in how you use your points. Outback has my favorite but I also took on the Blazin’ Challenge at Buffalo Wild Wings a few weeks ago. Twelve of their hottest wings must be eaten in six minutes. You can’t wipe your hands, dip the wings, or drink anything. Well, after I signed the release stating I understood the risks, everyone turned to watch me triumphantly devour all twelve in just over three minutes. I’ve got the shirt to prove it. They were delicious. I hope to eat them again soon so I can enjoy them without a time limit.

A Video to Help with RTTT

It’s been a while since I last posted something. I’ve been busy working on my presentation for the Tennessee School Counselor Conference. I’m producing three videos to show and to sell. One is on huffing. The rough version of this can be seen on my youtube channel. The second is on bullying. I just wrote the script for this one today. The final video is on standardized testing and with RTTT (Rise To The Top) here in Tennessee, I know this one will be more pertinent than ever. My children’s book, More Than A Stove will be for sale and I’ll have information on a parenting product that I truly believe in. It’s called The Total Transformation. Read my reviews here.

My session is scheduled for Monday in room Cambridge B from 10:45am-12pm. The following is my session’s synopsis.

“The One-Eyed Monster Can Be Our Ally”

Most guidance videos are expensive and require a lot of classroom time. Don’t you wish you could show simple videos to illustrate a point? I wanted this but couldn’t find them so I developed my own. During this session, I will take you through some important topics like bullying & huffing, all with the help of cartoons I have produced. There’s even one on standardized testing.

These cartoons can liven up a lesson, slowly infect your students with positive messages, or they can be used as public service announcements on your local cable channel. See my table in the retail area and participate in this session to learn the influence that is possible with these animated shorts. 

2010 Tennessee School Counselors & Administrators Institute, Murfreesboro, TN

It’s not official yet but I have received word from a trustworthy source that I will be speaking at the Tennessee School Counselors & Administrators Institute. My topic is referenced below. I am very excited as this will be my third year to speak. The School Counselor/Administrator Leadership Institute is being held at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Murfreesboro, TN. The dates are be Feb. 7-9 with an additional day on Feb 10 for those of you interested in Service Learning. Registration is going to be $100 per person. Visit the National Center for Youth Issues website to register.

Register soon. Space is filling up fast.

“The One-Eyed Monster Can Be Our Ally”

Most guidance videos are expensive and require a lot of classroom time. Don’t you wish you could show simple videos to illustrate a point? I wanted this but couldn’t find them so I developed my own. During this session, I will take you through some important topics like bullying & huffing, all with the help of cartoons I have produced. There’s even one on standardized testing.
These cartoons can liven up a lesson, slowly infect your students with positive messages, or they can be used as public service announcements on your local cable channel.
See my table in the retail area and participate in this session to learn the influence that is possible with these animated shorts. Visit my YouTube channel to see a rough cut of one of the cartoons. You’ll see the final version at the conference.

"Sexting: The New Teen Activity"

If you haven’t heard, the latest trend in teens and technology is “sexting.” This is where they take provocative pictures of themselves and send them to their boyfriend, girlfriend, or whoever. The Sunday Morning News on CBS did a story on this and the legalities are still being hashed out.

One nineteen year old named Alpert has to spend twenty years on the sex offender list because he sent his girlfriend’s nude picture, after they broke up, to his buddies. Because he was 18, he was charged as an adult with possessing and distributing child pornography. With the 76 counts, he could have spent the rest of his life in jail. He was thrown out of his local community college and gets approached regularly by neighbors to see whether or not he is a threat to area children.

Civil liberties attorney Larry Walters, said he was “floored” when he read about Alpert’s story. Walters is now trying to help Alpert get off the sex offender list. “We’re dealing with kids exchanging photos of themselves in sexually explicit positions, and that is in my view a social problem, just like teen sexual activity,” Walters told Braver, the CBS reporter. Walters believes that the criminal justice system is not the proper vehicle to deal with something like that. I agree, but if you depend on some parents to do the job, nothing will get done. There are states offering classes that would cost them $100 each. These classes are five sessions to get across the dangers of sexting. It’s either this or face felony charges.

A recent survey shows that sexting is very common teenage behavior. Bill Albert of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy said, “We found, surprisingly, that one in five teens, and one in three young adults, freely admitted that they have sexted these nude or semi-nude images on the Internet or sent them via their cell phone.”

Albert said about the same number of boys and girls have posted nude photos of themselves. Also, eleven percent of teenage girls age 13 to 16 have sexted. To translate: Your seventh grader could be sending nude pictures of herself. Want to know if your child is doing this? Pick up their phone. You pay the bill, don’t you? You might not find the pics but you may find texts that say, “Did she send it yet?” “Have you seen it?” Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Our young men need to realize that life and sex are not like what they watch on late night HBO. Girls are not here for their entertainment. Girls themselves need to realize that getting attention by sexting a guy (85% believe this is why it happens) will only lead to the wrong kind of attention. The kind of attention that can lead to severe depression and even suicide. In Ohio, Jessica Logan’s family believes she killed herself after her former boyfriend allegedly forwarded nude photos she’d sent him. This isn’t harmless fun. Sex, and all things connected to it, can scar deeply.

While 67% of teenagers believe sexting is dangerous, Albert doubts that they really grasp the long-term consequences. I doubt it too. Their brains don’t function like that yet. Albert describes it as a sort of cyber-tattoo; it’s on the net and you won’t be able to get rid of it.

Whether something is on the Hello Kitty phone or not, talk to your teen about the proper use of the cell phone and especially of their bodies. Waiting is much better.

(SOURCE: www.cbsnews.com)

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