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 Loss of Time & the Art of Surviving

Lost Time & The Art of SurvivalI find it hard to believe that it’s been 4 months since my last blog post.

I have plenty to say, but three jobs, karate, swimming, financial stress — and doing my best to be a good dad and husband have left me tired and out of time.

Blogging, which was once done 3X per week, is now perpetually on the back burner. And this makes me sad.

I’ve recently started exercising and meditating again, which is helping me hold everything together. 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there, I feel like a thief stealing time that no longer belongs to me.

Survival trumps just about everything. But if all we focus on is survival, then we’re essentially standing still — or worse sinking in metaphorical quick sand. Yuck.

So, how do we get unstuck?

MOVEMENT.

Especially moving our eyes up & over the junk that lies before us. If we can look past the junk, we can see where we’d like to go. Once we accomplish this, we can take steps to get there. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing one or two major things each week to move my progress forward. And inch by inch, I am moving closer to my goals.

You can do this, too. I know you can. The trick is to stop thinking about it, and start doing it. Put it on the schedule — actually on your calendar — and do it.

Start today. Even if it’s only for 3 minutes.

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 …

Coping with Exhaustion

Exhaustion.

It’s something that haunts my existence constantly these days. And if you’re a fellow parent, chances are you feel the same.

The question is, how are we coping with our exhaustion? Are we treating our kids and our spouse in a way we’re happy with? Or are we constantly crabby, finding it hard not to be set off by the smallest thing.

When it takes just about every ounce of focus for us to accomplish just what needs to be done today, how do we find the time and energy to work on improving our family’s future?

I’ve become accustomed to feeling exhaustion. It’s the new normal. Problem is, I don’t see any relief in sight.

But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up.

What I’ve found is that if I continue to work on what I call my foundational balance – which consists of exercise, sleep, eating well, some form of meditation, and having an occasional date with my wife – I’m still exhausted, but my temperament is far more positive.

I’m the first tot admit that when I don’t work on my foundational balance, I’m no fun to be around.

What about you?

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs
blog

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 …

Family Blogs
blog

Living with Loss

Loss. It’s something we all live with every day.

There are times where I find myself harping on what I’ve lost in life instead of what I have, or what I’ve gained.

The loss of a job, a loved one, or one’s own health can make it difficult for us to move forward with our lives. It can often feel that we’ve lost the ability to smile.

On the one hand, I don’t want to ignore how I’m feeling. But I also don’t want to dwell on the past. I have a future to create, and my family is depending on me to succeed. 

In order to counter my feelings of loss, I’ve started being very conscious of how I perceive my curent situation. I’ve been looking for the positive, instead of lingering on what’s lacking.

Every morning I smile, grateful that my wife is next to me, and that my two boys are healthy. I’ve started realizing how lucky we all are, and that although I have experienced loss in my life, every day we all wake up is a good day.

Each of us are creating our tomorrows. And what we focus our attention on has a way of manifesting as our reality. 

If we’re focusing on loss, than we’re perpetuating more of the same. And in doing so, we’re losing time to make a difference in our future by dwelling on the past.

I for one am tired of this. How about you? 

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs

blog

Madison Mamas: A Great Local Resource for Parents

Are you a mom or dad looking for support in the Madison, Wisconsin area?

Madison Mammas is a great local resource for parents – bringing you information on groups, classes, activities and more.

A place for modern families with young children in the Madison, Wisconsin area, Madison Mamas was created by Rachel Barnes, “the mother of two and wife of one who lives in the beautiful city of Madison, Wisconsin. Madison Mamas is a resource of links dedicated to modern families, focusing on pregnancy, support groups, classes, activities, fitness, services, dining and shopping.”

By the way, don’t let the name Madison Mamas fool you. You’ll find support for the whole family here in a well organized, easy to use format.

And remember, you are not alone …

Family Blogs

blog