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Characteristics of Growing Dads

Howard, who grew up without a father, is a 37-year-old father of five. He became a father in his teens and has struggled for years with the demands of raising five children, especially since he never had a male role model. Working two jobs, he was always too tired for his kids and made excuses instead of spending time with them.

A New Career Choosing

I'd like you to make a new career choice as part of being a good father.

Now before you click away to somewhere else, understand that I'm not telling you to switch occupations or even leave your company. The career decision I'm asking you to make is actually a new career choosing. Let me explain.

A Moving Experience

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 41 million people in the U.S. move to a new residence in a given year—roughly 14 percent of the population. When you account for multiple moves, over fifty percent of Americans have made at least one move during the past seven years. This growing trend in mobility has both positives and negatives for fathers and families.

On the positive side, relocation often brings fathers new opportunities for employment. Additionally, moving to a new environment often spurs a man to greater achievement, exercises his problem-solving capacities, and provides an opportunity to build new relationships.

Tell Stories About Work

Sure, your kids may know the company or organization your work for. They may even know your title. But, what does Daddy do at work? He drives around talking on his cell phone, or he goes to a factory, or he messes around on the computer. Some weeks, he flies to faraway cities to meet with people. Some afternoons, he plays golf.

How to Make Discipline a Positive Experience

Mandy, a 16-year-old, says, "Although I get sick of their rules, I would feel bad if my parents just let me do whatever I wanted." Amber, who's 15, agrees: "We want (consciously or unconsciously) for our parents to be firm and set limits. It's a form of security for us and them."

Dad and Mom United in Discipline

There's a good chance you can relate to Henry's problem—that is, if you have a wife and kids….

It began with Henry asking his son a simple question about the boy's grades. His son gave him an elusive answer, and well, one thing led to another, emotions flared, and they argued for over an hour.

Defining Boundaries

In his 2004 bestseller American Soldier, retired U.S. Army General Tommy Franks shares a childhood story about how his father profoundly influenced his life and several of his scouting buddies. The elder Franks, a long-time scoutmaster, took the boys on a weekend excursion to McAlester State Prison.

Discipline: Take a Look Back

You already know how to discipline your child. But do you know where you learned how?

I know a man named Don who, in disciplining his 10-year-old son, pushed him forcefully down to the floor. It surprised this father, and shocked everyone in the room. No one knew what to do next.

Accepting Your Child’s Mistakes

One of the most difficult parts of being a father is learning to accept your children’s mistakes. It certainly can be easy to be loving, supportive, and helpful when your children are mistake-free, but most fathers who are paying attention don’t find too many mistake-free periods of their children’s lives.

Discipline and Self-Esteem

Beginning in the early 1980s, child development specialists encouraged parents to build their children’s self-esteem by giving them lavish amounts of praise. The only problem, writes Sharon Jayson in a 2005 USA Today article, is that “life will burst your self-esteem bubble.” Jayson reports that the self-esteem movement created an environment that protected children from failure, consequently keeping them from learning some very basic life skills and lessons essential to their development.

Discipline for Broken Things

Accidents happen. But who pays for the broken stereo? There are many tough questions for parents to wrestle with.

Jerry and his wife left their normally responsible 10- and 11-year-old home alone for about an hour. But this time, the kids started roughhousing and ended up breaking an expensive piece of stereo equipment that would cost hundreds of dollars to fix.

Train Up Your Children

A popular child-rearing proverb teaches fathers: “Train up your children in the way they should go, and when they are old, they will not turn from it.” This proverb, well-known in faith communities, provides a mixture of comfort and concern for dads.

When Kids Get Sassy

When kids get mouthy—when they have a come-back for everything we say—tension fills the house, blood pressures rise, and we may say and do things that we'll later regret.

Dad, we need to be self-controlled. And teach self-control. But how? How do you teach right behavior so it sinks in—without yelling, making threats, or other emotional fireworks?

Research on Spanking

Recent research goes against many of the current views warning against spanking our kids.

Diana Baumrind, an influential figure in the psychology of parenting, followed children starting in preschool up through their twenties. She found that, overwhelmingly, occasional or even frequent swats used in discipline did not cause major adjustment problems for those children. Though she doesn’t advocate spanking, she recognizes that the evidence is clear.

Hope for Stepfathers

If you're a stepfather, you're part of the most rapidly emerging group of fathers in our nation. Recent estimates have placed the number of divorced mothers who remarry at around 80%. Every new stepfather walks into an emotional mine field as he tries to simultaneously recover from the wounds in his own past, build a new marriage with his wife, and settle into this new family situation with his wife's children and possibly children from his previous marriage. And all this takes place in the aftermath of your wife's ex-husband, who still seems to linger mystically—if not physically—in the shadows of this new household. It isn't surprising that a large percentage of abuse cases occur in step or mixed families.

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