3 Superpowers Fatherhood Has Given Me

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After you create other human beings, it gives you a certain sense of power. Of course you didn’t do it alone, especially the 9 month part, but there your child is; a creation that you helped bring into this world. It is truly one of nature’s wonders and if you are committed to raising the children properly, you gain certain superpowers.

First, you care about your kids, a lot and you will do anything to protect them. God blessed men with an immense propensity for danger. When you pair this with children that a man loves, the words, “your burning house is about to collapse” means nothing if the children are inside. Which brings us to our next superpower; strength.

Men who have daughters especially know this. Regardless of the size of the arrogant zit-faced teen that may enter your home, his perceived strength is nothing in comparison to what fuels your desire for justice in light of your little girl. This is also a reference to emotional strength because you must be there for her when she comes home crying. She may go to mom, but the strength you possess will also help her get through any difficulty.

Finally, I have a level of ESP that can only come from exposure to gamma radiation or in having children. Walk into a room or down a store aisle, I can predict with extreme accuracy the things my children will want to touch, hit each other with or knock over. This may seem like paranoia, but allow your predictions to come true a few times and you’ll see it for the superpower that it is.

By exercising these powers, and others, I’m sure I’ve forgotten, you can show your kids you truly love them.

4 Tips for Play Time – Dad Edition

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It was a cold Sunday afternoon and I was scurrying to get my share of the housework done so I could play with my son. Waking up on Monday with the realization that I didn’t spend any play time with him makes me feel like a failure as a father. My 8 year old son was so excited that we were going to play Legos. He worked diligently to get his room ready so we could “battle” with our own customized versions of mayhem machines. I completed my final chore, stepped into his room and for the next 45 minutes . . . was completely bored out of my mind. 
 
How can something I want to do so badly seem like such a chore? I wanted to spend some quality time with him but the moment it begins, I feel as though I want it to be over. Maybe you have felt the same? Let’s face it. It’s because we’re men. Long gone are the days of imaginative play. We typically see no value in it. There are no rules. How will we know who wins? How will we know when we’re done? All these questions point towards our task oriented minds. You know you’re supposed to play with them but what does this mean? The following are how I turn play time into fun time for the both of us.
 
  • Set your phone’s timer. There’s nothing that says, “I’d rather be somewhere else” than when you look at your watch which happens when we’re bored. Whether you legitimately have something else you need to do in an hour or to simply keep yourself from checking the clock, setting a timer can help you focus your energy on the task at hand. Tell yourself, “I will play with my child for an hour, at least” and do it. You may end up playing for two.
  • Allow him to carry the narrative. As men we are goal oriented and with no clear and definable purpose we see little value in what we are doing. Your child on the other hand is playing and this involves an evolutional of a storyline for what is happening right at the moment. He hasn’t thought it out. He is just playing. This is the essence of what’s going on so listen to him.
  • Let him win. The goal is to help him feel good about being with you and losing doesn’t help this.
  • Understand that the value is in the end result. You are playing with your child because you want him to know that you care. You are interested in what he’s interested in and you want a hug and a memory because someday your child’s world will not be filled with fantasy but rather with the cares of this world. Cherish his innocence and enjoy it with him.

When Is Father’s Day? It is June 16 – Gift Ideas For Him

Want to know what to get the dad that has everything? With great kids and a great wife, he does indeed have everything, but here are some ideas just in case you need some. I’ve also included books that have enriched my life. 


1. For the adventurous dad:

If a man likes to camp, he needs to get a good night’s sleep. Lots of men may bypass their bed roll to save weight/money, but this will help them feel refreshed when they wake up in the woods. Here’s a book suggestion too; Deep Survival – Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales


2. For the cooking dad:











If you’re dad is serious about cooking, this grill is just one step before competitive BBQ-ing. He’ll be Master of the Flame in no time. I have a similar grill and love it.


3. For the outside dad:














Whether he exercises, works in the yard, or simply likes to sit outside, this shirt will keep him comfortable.


4. Other Ideas

  • Gift certificates to his favorite restaurant
  • Nice watch
  • Take him out to his favorite restaurant and give him a certificate to his favorite store. The double wammy will be priceless.
  • Ask yourself: “What does he always want to buy for himself but never does?” There’s your gift.

Calm Parenting

How An Absent Father Can Affect His Children

I speak to women regularly who are in a state of turmoil because their husbands have left them. Maybe he left her for another woman, maybe it was for drugs, or maybe it was because he was not ready for the level of responsibility necessary to have the title of “Daddy” bestowed upon him. He leaves a frightened wife, but he also leaves behind children who will never know the love that both a father and mother can give or the level of specific personal resources a man can impart on his offspring.

There are many opponents to the man’s role in the home, especially as they deal with his natural tendencies toward leadership and problem solving. To some, these are politically incorrect notions. However, a home without these, whether they come from the man or the woman, is not a home at all. It is a machine of dysfunction that spirals at the whim of the children and adults who do not understand what it is to be a person of character. A man’s role is even minimized to the point of questioning its necessity. Scientists at the University of Newcastle have managed to create human sperm cells using a female embryonic stem cell (www.environmentalgraffiti.com). While this is certainly fodder for every feminist out there, it also sets boys (and girls) up to believe that men are not needed. Subsequently, the desire to start a family and defend it to the death is never developed. Instead, boys become old adolescents who look out for themselves. Then, a crucial place in the American home is sacrificed and our children are put in jeopardy.

If the wife represents the nurturing portion of the family, the man represents its strength. Daddy chases the monsters away which helps children see that they have nothing to fear. This develops courage. Daddy helps junior reel in his first fish which teaches that a man can eat if all he has is a string, a hook, and a worm. This is survival. Daddy teaches his little girl to slap the first boy who sexually harasses her and also ensures that this fiend will pay for his mistake beyond that if necessary. This is self-respect. Children who don’t have an active father at home miss out on many of life’s lessons. They then become prey for a world that does not think of their emotional well-being but only of what they can be exploited for.

Real men are missing from our homes. Children who need to learn life lessons have holes that they fill with mood altering drugs and destructive behavior. A boy whose temper is lost at the drop of a hat could have been taught to control his inner beast by a good man at home. Instead, the boy’s rage comes out regularly as he develops a disregard for authority at school and with his mother. A girl who is missing a daddy who will love her unconditionally looks to boys for this fulfillment. Selfish males can’t possibly meet a girl’s deepest needs to the degree that the man who gave her life can. Boys see her only as an object, not for the precious being that she really is. This makes her a victim rather than a princess.

A father’s absence leaves a child with questions that are all too often answered in the wrong ways. A child being raised by a single mother can grow up to be a respectable person. However, the influence a good father carries with his children is immeasurable. When a father is absent, the child’s behavior and tear stained face are a testament of this to me.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder


Men: 3 Reasons You Trade Your Family for Your Job

Dads like to stay busy, but they often miss out on a lot of things. Ball practice, field trips, and those special moments right after school or daycare just to name a few. This is the sacrifice men make in many homes because he and his wife decided purposefully, or just by how their work schedules played out, that she would be the one to do most of what many call, “running around with the kids.” 


Men, if we are not careful, we may miss out on much more. Here are three ways we often trade our job for our family. 

1. You work late. While more money makes us all happy, it doesn’t necessarily make our homes happier places or even provide lasting joy. Maybe you have the drive to work more than 40 hours per week. That is fine, but there must be a cap at some point.

2. You think that you only contribute to the family by working. This is a fallacy. While men may feel a great deal of accomplishment by working, they can do so much at home with their kids to ensure they grow up right.

3. You consistently say yes to your employer and no to your family. How have you spent your time during the last week? Keep a log of how much you devote to your job and how much to your kids. You may be surprised. It is sometimes easy to put our families off because they can’t fire us as easily. However, by not doing a good job at home, you definitely lose your influence there.


The solution?

1. Discuss with your wife a reasonable work schedule. Maybe you work late two times a week or maybe only once. In any case, make a plan so that everyone knows when to expect you. Otherwise, you may set yourself up to be a consistent disappointment.

2. Know your family’s schedule. There are many shareable calendar apps that make it easier to know what is going on. Show up to things because they are important to your kids.

3. When you are not at work, be totally engrossed in the moment with your family. Make a big deal about being with your kids, and always make time for your bride. 

You’re away from your other job. Be present in your most important one.


Parenting Effectively

Managing Parental Anxiety

Parents often struggle with a child who is constantly, if not subtly, disobedient. A firm parent will “nip poor behavior in the bud,” but a passive parent will continually struggle to gain some type of control. Both are difficult but let’s look at the optimal method by which a parent should approach this type of child.
There is a steady climb of parental anxiety as a child misbehaves little by little. She throws food at her little brother and you clean him up without saying a word. She makes a deliberate mess of her room and you say, “Stephanie, don’t do that.” Finally, she does everything but take a bath as you instructed her and you wonder where your parenting clout has gone. I say, “what parenting clout?” As you allow your child to engage in negative behaviors, your anxiety goes up because she is not behaving like you want. You eventually scream to get her to listen and it then takes you a while to return to a state of normalcy. It looks something like this. The red line represents your child’s misbehavior across time while the blue line represents a parent’s anxiety level.


The best thing to do is be swift and direct regarding a child’s poor choices. The downside of this is that parenting anxiety makes a swift spike, yet the positive side is that a return to normalcy can be much quicker. Why does it look like this? Your child is behaving like you want her to. Instead of working tirelessly to manage a disrespectful child, you quickly stop the behavior you do not want to see.


As you can see here there may be a spike in parental anxiety (for some) as they correct their child, but consider the fact that misbehavior is much shorter and a return to a normal mood level is much quicker for the adult.

Check out the following program that is guaranteed to help you be a calmer parent.


Calm Parenting


REVIEW: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters The 30 Day Challenge by Meg Meeker, MD


Why does a female MD write a book that helps males be better dads for their daughters? Because she believes we have a lot to offer them, things that can make them great women someday. This goes against our culture’s notion that men can’t possibly understand their daughters. Unfortunately, men believe this and consequently take themselves out of their daughters’ lives in one-way or another. Meeker is helping to remedy this.

In Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: The 30-Day Challenge,author Meg Meeker helps men see the God given abilities that can help them be an extremely important part of their daughters’ lives. Dads show their daughters what men are, who God is, and how the world doesn’t wants what’s best for them; only dad and mom do.

The book covers the same topics as her original work, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know. 1) You are the most important man in her life. 2) She needs a hero. 3) You are her first love. 4) Teach her humility. 5) Protect and Defend her. 6) Pragmatism and Grit, Two of Your Greatest Assets 7) Be the man you want her to marry. 8) Teach her who God is. 9) Teach her to fight. 10) Keep her connected. She recommends reading certain chapters in this book. However, even if you don’t buy the 10 Secrets book, you get a lot of information from the Challenge book. This latter edition is particularly good for men who don’t have a habit of reading. Any man, if he cares to know more about his daughter, will read the thirty chapters, each of which are no more than four pages long.

Each chapter will help you grow as a man, and you will see that this is important because your daughter will someday marry someone like you. As Meeker says, “Women gravitate towards the familiar.” At the end of each chapter is a challenge engineered to help dads authentically engage with their daughters. Doing this can be awkward for dads but through Meeker’s coaching, any dad can do it. I wouldn’t recommend doing each activity one day after another. This will seem fake. However, a well-planned activity based on Meeker’s suggestions will do wonders for your relationship with your daughter. Furthermore, some activities are appropriate for younger girls while others are more for older ones. One of Meeker’s last directives is to put the book up for a while when you’re done, and refer back to it from time-to-time. I agree.

Meeker discusses men’s natural strengths without apology and identifies how they counteract the weaknesses of women. While this will enrage some feminists, it also allows her to speak directly to the heart of the dads reading, encouraging them to “man-up.” Too many dads sit on their thumbs, and remember, it’s a book for dads, not moms. Meeker’s frank authorship and knowledge of the worries and fears of today’s dads make this book a must-read for every man who wants to do his best for his family.

Think you can’t reach your daughter? Whether you only see her on the weekends or every single night, Meeker’s thoughts can help guide you to a better relationship with your little girl so you can shape her into a woman who will make you proud.