Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Importance of an Encouraging Father

A guest post from Joseph Kelly..

It's no secret that we live in a culture where fatherhood has become downplayed, laughed
at, and even looked down upon. TV is filled with definitive examples of "dead-beat" or "bone
headed" fathers who really aren't leading their family anywhere. But truthfully, a father's
role must go beyond these exceedingly low standards if they're going to raise children who
emotionally and mentally strong and healthy.

Now, up front, none of this is to undermine the involvement of a mother. But for this brief
thought, we're going to focus on the father.

There's an amazing sweetness that rests on a child who is secure in their father. You've most
likely seen it. It's that happy child who can be corrected, encouraged and redirected with little to
no resistance. This can be created by a solid and consistent father who sets clear boundaries for
his little ones.

A father's heart can be like a giant playground for these little ones to run around in. They know
their borders and limitations; the places they're not supposed to go and the lines that they should
not cross. But within those borders, these kids can run free and grow, learn, mess up and get
back up to try again. This stability is crucial for the personal growth of a child.

How many times have you talked through a struggle that a friend was having and it occurred
to you that they may have "daddy issues?" We laugh about it, but we also know that it's a real
thing. There's a deep security that can be imparted by a father who truly believes in his children.

Go to a playground and watch the kids run around. Look for fathers sitting on the outside being
attentive. Eventually, one of the wee ones is going to take a spill. The vast majority of the time
their first response will be to look into daddy's eyes.

They're asking him a question with that tear-filled glance. "Am I okay?"

Answering this question is the number one role of a father in a child's personal development.
A dad makes and breaks his little ones with the way he responds. They're reading his eyes, his
face. The dad who says, "It's alright, get back up. Try again," sends his child on a path toward
confidence and innovation. But the child who fears spilling a drink and saving face will lead a life
of survival and trying to get by, saving face.

Every dad can probably see a bit of both in themselves. There's no need to panic. We all head in
both directions here and there. The important thing is to look at each interaction with your little
ones anew. Look for chances to strengthen them, encourage, and build them up.

Don't waste time kicking yourself, or teaching them to kick themselves for things that they
didn't know how to do in the first place. A father can instill in a little one the reality that "life is
learning" and send them on a path to greatness.

About the Author: Joseph Kelly has over 7 years experience writing and publishing articles about
childcare education and parenting. He has 2 children aged 5 and 7. He writes on a regular basis for a Dublin based childcare provider.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Don't Udderstand

A doodle!

Drew this today, I don't udderstand why..   :-)

Give me your best interpretations!  Tell me what you think!

..and before you say it, yes I am a little weird hehehe

- tork

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Port's John McCarthy Dies so Young

Without stating the obvious, it's sad when a person dies so young and so tragically.

It doesn't matter how the player's death happened, it's a very sad day to lose a friend, a child or a loved one.

It's had me worrying about my own son when he grows older.

I worry about losing control over what he does when he's older.
I worry about him putting himself in danger.
I just...worry

And he isn't even two yet!

I think back at some of the stupid, stupid things I did growing up.  Driving without headlights on at night.  Pulling snakies & doughnuts, laying on dark empty roads.

Some really, really stupid things to name a few.

I thought I was invincible..

..and I was.

Those days were really great days.  Carefree and stupid.

I hope the worry won't send me crazy when he's older.

I just hope we raise a wee lad that is smart enough to not do anything too stupid like I did, but still has a carefree childhood like his old man.

I feel for John's family, friends, all those at the Port Adelaide AFL club. I wish them all the best.

I hope my Crow footy boys wear a black arm band on the weekend as a mark of respect in a sad week.


- tork

Friday, September 7, 2012

Advice for Dads with Kids Struggling in School

A guest post from Nadia Jones...

Most kids struggle in school at one point in their lives as students; it’s a part of the education experience. Students struggle, they might fall occasionally, but then they get back up and figure things out—that’s the beauty of learning things in a controlled educational environment. Heck, I know I had a rough period myself around the time that I was first taught geometry in high school. But that hard class also taught me the value of earnest studying.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you shouldn't be totally alarmed when they find out that your child is struggling in some part of their schooling. A single low grade on a test means that there’s room for improvement, not cause for a school-wide intervention. A serious of low grades in the same class, however, might be a more serious problem that could use your attention. I want to talk about these more serious school related problems today, and how you as dad can help your kid overcome them.

Be their rock, be their positive support

The first thing you should do when you learn your kid is really struggling in school is to show that you’re there for them. Voicing your support and showing your love for your little one(s) is your topmost priority as a parent—they won’t get nearly the same support in the classroom that they’ll get from you. They’re looking to you for support and guidance. So when your child arrives home from school only to show you a low test score or some sort of misconduct note, don’t fly off the handle at them. Tell them that you’re there for them and remain positive about the situation.

Help identify and solve the problem

Once you’ve established that you’re there to support your kid, ask them (calmly) exactly what happened that led to their struggle, whether it’s the low grade or the bad conduct in class. Help your child understand where they went wrong without making the process sound like an inquisition. Maybe they didn't study for the test like they should have, maybe they haven’t been doing their homework, or maybe the teacher is giving them an unrealistic amount of homework each day. Whatever the case may be, you’d have a better chance finding out if you ask your kid about it respectfully.

Have a conference with the teacher to check in on things

It never hurts to touch base with the teachers that educate your kid(s) on a daily basis. After all, why else would schools invite parents to open houses? Meeting with your kid’s teacher is one of the easiest ways to get to the bottom of any issues that you might be unaware of. A typical schoolteacher spends hours and hours every day with your child, so if anyone can give you a good reason and a helpful solution for their struggles, it’s them.

Nadia Jones is a freelancer who writes for among other sites. When she’s not writing about learning, higher education, or parenting, Nadia loves to try her hand at a host of outdoor activities such as biking, kayaking, and rock climbing. Feel free to leave Nadia some comments!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Future Dad Thoughts

Man, my little boy is too young still.  I know I love this age, albeit the illnesses we currently are going through..

The coughing, the runny nose, the fever.. yeah, that's been fun the past week!

His walking around is so cute. His slowly improving speech is a wonder to watch.

But I just can't wait to do more fun stuff.  Like show him all the movies I grew up with.  Flicks like Labrynth, Never Ending Story, Back to the Future, Orgazmo...


Classics that I love.

I should stop it and enjoy the now.  I do miss him when I'm at work, although there are signs he exists all around my work area.  Finger painting artworks, photos.

I should enjoy the quietness of him being asleep when he should be and not and at age where back chatting.   exists. But I just can't wait for him to grow up more.

I can wait.  That other stuff will last for years.  His toddler days are fast approaching and I must soak in as much baby times as I can.

How much to you look forward to the future? How much do you soak in the present?  Be cool to hear from some Dads as well..

- tork