Spending More Time with Our Kids

Spending More Time with Our KidsMy boys Max & Joss are 10, and almost 8, respectively.

They’re awesome boys and I love spending time with them.

With so many things on my to-do list (including three jobs), it’s often a challenge to cast all of it aside and simply be with my kids — while they’re still super psyched to spend time with me.

Do you get distracted by things like work, email, Facebook, mowing the lawn, etc.?

One day our kids won’t be kids anymore, and the time we spend away from them now — while they’re still kids — can’t be replaced.

One thing me and my boys like to do is “dad day,” where I take one of my boys out on a day I’m not working. It’s a great way to reconnect and spend solid time with each of my boys.

No matter what your situation — good, bad or average — when your kids are grown up, they’re not going to remember whether you paid the bills on time, or if the lawn looked like crap. They’re going to remember whether or not you spent quality time with them.

And remember, you are not alone …

The Daddy Brain Radio Show KIDS AND CONFLICT November 4, 2013

WorkshopForDadsDaddyBrain

 

The Daddy Brain Radio Show: Kids & Conflict

Monday, November 4 @ 7pm CT

Have you ever thought about how to talk with your kids about war and conflict?

It’s a delicate topic that many parents aren’t comfortable breeching. Our first guest, Niki Walker, has written a book called Why Do We Fight, which focuses on helping our kids understand, and think critically, about conflict and war in the world. She’ll be sharing some of her insights on healthy ways to discuss this sensitive subject.

Our second guest, Dr. Mark Brady, Ph.D. will talk with us about conflict and discord within our own homes. We’ll be focusing on conflict between siblings, spouses, parents and their kids — as well as how negative forms of discipline can play a role in children’s perception of conflict resolution.

I hope you’ll tune in on Monday, November 4 at 7pm CT for the Daddy Brain Radio show on the WORT access hour.

Local Listeners Tune in to 89.9 FM

Listen from anywhere in the world by going to WORT Radio’s Home Page and clicking on the “Listen Live” button in the upper right hand corner.

Want to Join the Conversation? I’ll be taking calls throughout the hour at: (608) 256-2001.

And remember, you are not alone …

Engineering Better Kids

Every child has his or her own personality.

But how do we discern what parts are genetic, as opposed to learned?

Both my boys are awesome kids, but my older son has had a growing tendency towards whining and complaining.

Condemning him for acting this way would be a bad choice. But allowing it go on unchecked would be just as bad.

What it comes down to is that whining and complaining are habits my son has developed to cope with certain situations. And the more we use habits – just like a muscle – the stronger they get.

My job is to call him on his behavior, AND to help him find alternative behaviors that are more positive.

If we allow our kids to whine and complain, back out of commitments, be rude to their siblings, etc, we’re creating adults who are likely to do the same. In other words, we’re disabling them. The trick is to help our kids without making them feel bad about themselves.

Not an easy task.

Which is why when we’re trying to engineer better kids, we have to start by re-engineering ourselves.

And remember, you are not alone …

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There are Little People in My House

There are little people in my house

Not as little as before,

Yet compared to me, still small

They’re my boys, Max and Joss,

And they are a great gift

Especially great,

Since we lost two children to ectopic pregnancies

These little people are filled with sweetness and innocence

But enjoy them much, I do not

Distracted I am with the stress of the day

The apparently never ending struggle

Children fighting, whining

My wife’s diabetes

And my own issues with my gut

Detract me from the simple fact:

I have a beautiful family

The universe has blessed my wife and I with two little boys

One day they will be grown

And I will yearn for these times

When Legos and coloring and playing the Wii

Were what was requested of me

It’s not too late to stop and play

Before there are no more wondrous days

Of little people in my house

Possibly there is a better way

To enjoy these precious gifts?

And remember, you are not alone …

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What is the Value of a Dad’s Relationship with His Kids?

How Much Value?

How much value would you put on a dad’s relationship with his children?

Could you put a price on it? Considering that this relationship is going to have a huge impact on that child’s future?

I’d say it has incredible value.

From the relationships that our sons and daughters will form, to the types of people they will marry, dad’s influence has a huge impact. A child’s relationship with his or her dad will play a big role in how they perceive themselves throughout their lives, and how successful they’ll be as professionals and as human beings.

So why aren’t dads supported, encouraged and challenged to be better dads? Instead of being insulted, degraded, and dishonored by the media, the court system, society — and even their own families?

What kind of seed is this planting in the minds of future fathers? Not to mention our kids?

The good news is that, as of late, there has been a transition manifesting in the media. There’s a commercial running on TV from Foundation for a Better Life with a hockey player singing to his daughter, which speaks volumes about a man’s ability to be a good dad — even in the face of ridicule. Two current films also portray dad in a positive light: The Descendants with George Clooney, and We Bought a Zoo with Matt Damon.

Dads are a tremendous value to their kids. More support will only mean better lives for the entire family.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Living with the Loss of a Child

Have you experienced the loss of a child?

Before we had our two beautiful boys, my wife (Kara) and I lost two children to ectopic pregnancies. During the second ectopic pregnancy, my wife almost died.

Although we lost our first two children over eight years ago, there is still an unhealed part in my heart – and I will always miss them.

We believe they are two girls – Sheila and Sky.

Why do I use the present tense? Just because we lose someone doesn’t negate their existence. They are still here with us – part of our family and alive in our hearts. And when I allow myself to do so, I can feel their presence watching over all of us.

This is not an easy topic for me to think about for an extended period of time, but I think it’s important to raise awareness that MANY couples have experienced this type of loss. Just about every one of my friends has experienced miscarriages. One even lost his child after she was born.

This loss is not something we heal from, but something we live with. What confuses me is why we’re not encouraged to talk about it. It’s as if somehow it’s taboo or wrong to bring it up.

You know what? It’s not wrong. It’s part of our lives, and it hurts.

I met a lady the other day that recently lost her daughter, who had lived long enough to become an adult. I can’t even imagine the unbearable pain she and her husband are going through. To watch one’s child grow up, only to pass away so young – leaving a void that can never be filled. Although we had just met, once I gave her “permission” to talk about it, the words and the tears poured out.

She needed to talk about it. Sometimes we all do. 

Feel free to share your own stories, and tell me about your children – both the ones that made it into this world, and the one’s who didn’t.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Equal Placement in Wisconsin: Attend the Court House Meeting

Every child has a right to be raised by both parents. And every parent has a right to raise their child, as long as they can provide their kids with a safe, healthy environment.

EVENT DETAILS
Dads and moms, this is your chance to be heard!

This Friday is the inaugural event for the Wisconsin Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC). The AFCC is the world’s premier interdisciplinary organization for professionals involved in family courts.

The topic of the event is A Conversation About Child Placement Presumptions, which features research done by Australian native Dr. Jennifer McIntosh, Ph.D. (there will be a video presentation and panel discussion).

According to Wisconsin Fathers for Children and Families, “if you do one thing this year, it’s to attend this function and make your presence felt. If parents who support equal time with their children, are not in the majority at this function, then accept that you are leaving the well being of your children to people who make money off the unhappiness of your children. The Dane County Court House is a taxpayer funded Public Building; you have every right to be there.”

The Wisconsin Chapter of AFCC is envisioned as “a community of interdisciplinary professionals dedicated to improving the court system and its outcomes for children and their families. This organization is needed because there is no single family law related organization in Wisconsin that: (1) is membership based, (2) is state-wide, (3) deals with court-connected resolution of family disputes, and (4) is interdisciplinary. A state Chapter will provide opportunities for AFCC members in Wisconsin to network at the state and local level in order to explore problems, share ideas, and promote solutions for family courts.”

WHERE
Dane County Courthouse @ 215 S. Hamilton, Madison, WI, Room #L1000.

WHEN
Friday, October 21st, 2011  from 2:00 – 4:00 PM CST

Following this event, Wisconsin Fathers for Children and Families will be holding a screening of “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” @ 7:00pm at The Coliseum Bar and Grill @ 232 E. Olin Avenue, Madison WI.

And remember, you are not alone …

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