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Anger and Priorities

Herb comes home from work, and young Mark and Grace are eager to go outside and play. He shakes them loose from his arms and legs for a minute so he can change clothes, and he takes the mail upstairs with him.

His five-year-old son follows, talking about what happened that day, overflowing with comments that draw from both reality and make-believe. It’s too much for Herb to follow. “Mark,” he says, “can’t you see that I’m trying to read the mail? Let’s talk about this later.”

Talking to Young Children

You can talk, but will they listen?

Researchers say that "the amount of language directed to a child [is] perhaps the strongest indicator of later intellectual and linguistic and social development."

Listening to Young Children

If you really, really want to communicate with your teenager, the key just may be to start when they're a lot younger—say ten years younger. Of course, talking with a young child starts with listening. That conveys that he's important, provides a healthy model, and lets him know his dad is open to his ideas when he wants to talk.

Raising Your Most Important Crop

This morning when it came time to release the steers from the trailer, I turned to my partner and said, "Here's a good job for you, Charlie."

So Charlie climbed on the fender and began fumbling with the latch. Triumphantly, he pulled the pin but couldn't get the handle free of the chain. The cattle nervously stomped inside. It probably took Charlie two minutes to find the combination, but finally the handle gave way, the gate swung open and the steers bolted to freedom.

Patience

What's the one thing that all dads of infants and preschoolers need?

At the National Center, we isolated one hundred men in the early stages of fathering and asked them, "What is the biggest struggle you face in wanting to be a good dad?" The two most common answers were A) the sacrifice of time involved in "being there for my children" and B) a lack of patience.

Enthusiasm and Cost

For most men, being a new father ignites some new feelings that they wouldn't otherwise experience.

Will I Ever Sleep Again?

If you are a like almost every other new father you are not alone in this question. It's a fair question to ask especially after you've been up trying to soothe your screaming newborn.

I have good news. The screaming and crying will eventually subside and yes, you will eventually get some well deserved rest. But, it may be a while. So here are a few tips to help you make it through those (short) nights.

A Poem for Harrison, My Unborn Son

I don’t remember exactly when it was that my wife told me she was pregnant, but I know I’ll never forget it. It lacked all the basic elements for a good commercial: No international flavored coffees. No emotional background music. No surprise greeting card that ended with Hallmark tears of joy. Just an earful of sobering news.

Your Fathering Job Description

Remember when you held your first baby in your arms and—probably not out loud—asked yourself, “Now what do I do?” You didn’t get an answer, did you?

Well, dad, I’m glad you’re seeking new insights and information to be the best dad you can be.

Tune In to Your Baby

Memo to fathers of newborns: there’s more to your baby than late-night feedings, changing diapers, and struggling with car seats. I hope you can stay awake long enough to read this, because I’m hoping to make your life a little easier.

Building Stairs

I'll never forget it. We went to the hospital at 8:00 p.m., and I spent that night trying unsuccessfully to sleep in a chair beside Dee's bed. At 7:10 that next morning, the doctor began to stimulate labor. He broke the water at 9:00, heavy labor began around 10:00, and Hannah was born at 10:45 a.m., July 11th, 1980. We were parents! I was a father!

Older Fathers

In recent years, some high-profile men have become fathers in their fifties and sixties: Paul McCartney, David Letterman, and the list goes on. They are part of a growing trend of men having children later in life.

Should I Have Children?

Luke e-mailed us asking for resources that will help him decide if he should have children. Bill Beahm, formerly on our staff, responded to him, and we want to share what Bill wrote.

Maybe some of you are asking that same question. Or, if you already have kids, maybe this will be a good reminder for you.

Let’s Talk About S-E-X

I could hardly believe my daughter's announcement: her second grade classmate was "having S-E-X" (yes, she tried to spare us some shock by spelling the three-letter word!). When pressed by her surprised parents, my daughter asserted, "Yes, Dad, she told us on the playground. When she goes home from school, she goes next door to the neighbor's house. He's in third grade. They take off their clothes, get under the covers, and kiss and stuff."

Don’t Be Naive About Your Kids and Sex

A friend of mine who was an outstanding youth leader was dumbfounded when his daughter told him one day that she was pregnant. He had given dozens of talks about sex and relationships, yet somehow failed to recognize the needs of his own daughter.

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