How To Make This Father’s Day Better Than Last Year

  • Father’s Day is Sunday! That means you will probably be proclaimed the World’s Best Dad on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Congratulations…to all of you!
  • Father’s Day gifts range from funny to sweet to awesome to, well, not-so-awesome.
  • This year, though…tell your family to not get you a gift for Father’s Day.
  • Ask them, instead, to spend one-on-one time with you.
  • No mug. No tie. No shirt. Just time.
  • It could be the gift you actually like…and cherish…and remember…for years to come.
  • There will be time for a new shirt, a round of golf, a nap, socks, a steak dinner, etc. another week.
  • Time…almost always…wins!
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Forgive Your Kid Because One Day You’ll Want Them To Forgive You

  • Your child will hurt you. As they get older, that hurt can hurt more.
  • Forgive them when they hurt you. Let them know you forgive them.
  • One day, you will hurt your child. More than once.
  • Model forgiveness so they will know how to forgive you one day.
  • Forgiveness is not…
    • excusing their behavior.
    • forgetting.
    • a feeling.
    • reconciliation.*
  • Forgiveness is “a choice you make to give up the right to hold them accountable for the wrong they did to you.”*
  • *Thanks to Renovate for redefining forgiveness for me.

Success At Work Is Not The Same As Success At Home

  • We dads spend the majority of our time at work. That’s ok.
  • Because we spend most of our time at work, we tend to look at all people and all situations through the filter of work.
  • We find most of our success in life at work so we think what works at work will work at home.
  • But your child does not work for you or with you.
  • At work, you’re ultimately responsible for results.
  • At home, you’re ultimately responsible for relationships.
  • If you prioritize the relationship with your child, you’ll get the best results out of them.

Dads Shape Their Daughter’s Definition Of “Beautiful”…So Be Careful

  • We dads know that beauty is more than appearance…but appearance matters a lot to your daughter. That’s just a reality.
  • She will initially define beauty as how she looks on the outside. So point out specific ways she is beautiful on the outside. Yes, compliment her face, hair, body, clothes, etc. in appropriate…non creepy…ways.
  • A dad has the power to help her believe that beauty really is more about who she is…the kind of person she is on the inside.
  • Point out specific ways she is beautiful on the inside. Use words like “beautiful” and “gorgeous” to brag on her personality, attitude, faith, decision-making ability, the kind of friend she is, etc.
  • You will shape your daughter’s definition of “beautiful.”
  • Over and over and over and over, tell her how beautiful she is on the outside…but mostly how beautiful she is on the inside.

What To Do When Your Kid Makes You Look Like The World’s Worst Parent

  • Ever been in that situation…it’s alway in front of other people…when your kid does something that makes you look like the world’s worst parent? Just me?
  • They pitch a fit, yell at you, throw something, say that word they learned from their mom…not you, scream at the top of their lungs…you’ve been there, right?
  • All eyes turn to you and you feel like the worst parent ever. All because of your kid’s actions.
  • How should you react?
    • Don’t get revenge by making your kid look bad.
    • Do what you gotta do to stay calm emotionally, physically, and verbally.
    • Try calmly talking to your child.
    • Calmly remove your kid from the public spotlight.
    • Yes, a consequence / discipline is usually appropriate when this happens. But do this when you’ve calmed down and not in front of everyone.
    • Figure out what caused your child to act like a lunatic…I mean act the way they did…and help them learn how to cope better in that situation. Or help them avoid that situation in the future.

How To Make The Best Decisions For Your Family

  • We dads have to make a lot of decisions. Some feel heavy. Some don’t. But they all have consequences.
  • “If you want to make good decisions for you and your family, you need a decision-making filter that prioritizes your actual life and keeps you focused on the things that matter the most.”
  • “So that medium yes, that I-feel-like-I-should yes, that guilty yes, that coerced yes, that I-actually-hate-this-thing yes, that I-guess-so yes, that who-else-will-do-it yes, that careless yes, that default yes, that resentful yes, that I-probably-shouldn’t-but-struggle-with-boundaries yes? NO. Nope.”
  • “Now, the things that make your heart race, your blood pump, the fire in your belly burn, your gifts to leap to life, and keep your family and home healthy and strong…the hell yeses? ALL IN, BABY.”
  • Dads…say “No!” That’s the best answer sometimes…oftentimes…for all the opportunities that wil come your way, your kid’s way, your family’s way.
  • Dads…say “Yes!” That can be the best answer for the right opportunities at the right time for the right reason.
  • Thanks to my wife for sharing these words from Jen Hatmaker with me.

Fix Your Wife

  • Never try to fix your wife in front of your kids.
  • Never try to fix your wife…period…exclamation point.
  • Fix yourself.
  • Help your wife be the best version of herself.

How To Handle National School Walkout Day As A Parent Of A Teenager

  • Wednesday, March 14 at 10am local time is National School Walkout Day. For at least 17 minutes (one minute for each person killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in FL) students are encouraged to walk out of school or hold some type of rally as a memorial and a protest action.
  • Like most things in life, this is a big deal to some students and some schools. And it is hardly noticed by some students and some schools.
  • Ask your teenager…Listen to your teenager…Find out if it is a big deal to them.
  • If it is a big deal to them, why is it a big deal?
    • Is it a way to honor the lives of those killed?
    • Is it about gun violence?
    • Is it a way to stand up against violence in general?
    • Is it a way for them to say they don’t feel safe in school?
    • Is it a way to show unity and link arms with their fellow students?
    • Is it about advocating for new gun laws?
    • Is it a way to grieve school shootings?
    • Is it a way to be heard?
    • Is it something they want to do because everyone else seems to care?
  • Don’t just assume you know how your student feels and why this is a big deal to them. Don’t assume they just want to get out of class or be disrespectful.
  • It’s ok if your kid has a different view of guns, gun laws, National School Walkout Day, protests, etc. than you do. Don’t damage your relationship with them over having different opinions.
  • Have respectful conversations with your teenager. Listen to them more than you talk to them.
  • Oh, if your teenager doesn’t really care about National School Walkout Day, that’s ok. Don’t try to force them to care about something.
  • If you live in the Atlanta area (where I live) and are curious how local school districts are handling this, click here to learn more.

Your Kid Will Never Be Thankful Unless…

  • …they feel like you are thankful.
  • Do you talk about (not just think about) all the things you’re thankful for?
  • Do you say “Thank you.” a lot?
  • If the answer is “Yes!”, then your child has a good shot of being thankful.
  • Dads should be thankful for the significant and the insignificant things.
  • Dads should be thankful for the meaningful and the meaningless things.
  • A dad’s unique perspective on life, family, work, etc. should make him the most thankful person in his child’s life.

There’s A Better Way Than “The Talk” To Talk To Your Kid About Sex

  • January 28, 1986. That’s when my dad had “the talk” with me. We had “the talk” and then watched the Space Shuttle Challenger explode. #badtiming
  • You’re off the hook! You don’t need to have “the talk.”
  • Instead… Have an ongoing conversation about sex with your child. Don’t worry, it’s easier this way.
  • When do you begin this conversation? When your child is ready. Not when you’re ready. That means you need to be ready waaaaaaaaaay before you want to be ready.
  • The conversation should progress as they are ready for it. Only give your child as much information as they’re wanting.
  • We started the conversation with our daughter when she was in the 1st grade. Yep, first grade…thanks to a neighborhood kid who liked to say the word “sex” a lot.
  • Our daughter is now in 10th grade and we continue the conversation when we need to. We’ve had a lot of conversations along the way.
  • Here’s a page full of resources from the middle school ministry of our church. Look under the “Books” and “Videos” sections.