Do your kids think money grows on trees?
Before your kids are gainfully employed, it may not seem vital to teach them about money. But, all you have to do is think about how our society seems to revolve around money and you realize that you can never start too early.
All the great men and women of the world have one thing in common—they were all once in first grade.
There's nothing more gratifying than watching a future Olympic gold medal swimmer make his first attempt at dog-paddling, seeing a future Rhodes scholar off for her first day of kindergarten, or observing a future business leader make his first buck at a lemonade stand.
Quite naturally, your great task during the fathering stage of Understanding—when kids are about 5 to 12—is to discover your child's learning style and then do all you can to encourage his education, whether at school, during play time, at church, or other activities.
But four other tasks also come to mind during this stage:
I’m not even close to being a fitness expert, but I am thinking that we could spend a little more time talking about the issue of fathers and physical well-being.
Of course, good health may not be the most important factor in being an effective father—even in a hospital bed, you can be a good father to your kids. But it will make a big difference in your ability to father your children with energy, patience and affection.
Ahh, the sounds of summer. No, this isn't about the crack of the bat, or fireworks, or even the sizzle of the barbecue. This is about whining drones of your offspring, like: “Dad, I’m bored.” “There’s nothing to do around here.”
“How was school?” “Fine.” Surely there’s a way to have better conversations with our kids.
For many younger children, the language of their world is play. When fathers don't speak that language, but instead try to relate in an adult way, kids can't understand or relate, and may experience feelings of frustration, isolation, or ignorance. Sometimes fathers feel the lack of connection, too. But we can prevent it—and strengthen the bonds with our children—by learning their language of play.
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.”
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.
Fathering young school-age kids is really an amazing time. Your child is out to see what life has to offer, to understand the world and become a citizen of that world.
The most obvious change in his routine is going to school, but that's only part of a larger process. Your child is an eager learner. Whether it's what type of sneaker is cool, why Susie is so popular, a move on the basketball court, or how to make change for a dollar, he wants to know.