Archives For fatherhood

They say that everyone loves hearing the sound of their own name. In fact, if you take any type of training on sales or read any books on how to influence others, experts will usually suggest to you to try to use the customers name as much as possible. BUT, as a parent, the one thing I love to hear more than the sound of my own name is when my kids call me “Da-Da”. I have three boys and I can remember exactly when each of them said those words for the first time…and being competitive in nature, I am pleased to announce that each one of them said my preferred name, “Da-Da”, before they learned how to say, “Ma-ma” or anything else. And…since I have all boys, their 2nd word was…of course…”ball”…sorry honey.

Rather than bore you with details of my kids’ phonetic journey, let me get to the point. A couple of days ago, my 7 month old…and last kid my wife and I will bring into this world…said “Da-Da” for the first time. After bragging about this on Twitter, I realized something sobering. This was the last time I would hear those words for the first time.

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As a huge OSU fan, I rejoiced yesterday as the news was “made official” that Urban Meyer was hired as the next head football coach for the Buckeyes. As a former high school football coach, I know the importance of having a man at the helm that can motivate and inspire young men to greatness…and as a current stay at home dad, I learned a valuable life lesson from Coach Urban Meyer’s press interviews and chats yesterday in regards to his new commitments to both OSU and his family. If you are listening closely, and brush aside the football noise, and hear what this “refreshed” dad and coach is saying…there is great wisdom for any parent on what to say “yes” and “no” to in this life.

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One of the best things I can do for myself, my family and those I influence is to “Just Say No!” I know, I know…it sounds cliche…BUT when it comes to prioritizing your life and maximizing on the time and influence you have with others around you…learning to say, “No,” is crucial.

Some may argue that following this advice seems negative. It’s actually a matter of perspective. Every time you say “No” to something, you are in reality saying “Yes” to something else. Think about it…if I say “No” to a guy’s night out, I am saying “Yes” to dinner with my family. If I look at my son and say, “No” almost every time he asks me to buy him a candy bar or video game when we are at the store…I am saying “Yes” to investing that money in something he actually needs. When we say “No” to that temptation that stares us down daily or weekly, we are saying “Yes” to building character, discipline and integrity in our lives. In a world that is constantly screaming at us to say “Yes” to doing this or consuming that…I say no…and I am trying to teach my sons to do the same…BUT…they know it’s okay to say “Yes” as long as doing so is saying “No” to the right stuff. Are you confused yet?

 

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The turkey has become a universal symbol for being thankful. Even my kids know this to be true. Every time we sit down and “spread out the turkey feast” my kids know that it’s Thanksgiving and the time of year we talk about “What We’re Thankful For”…probably because it’s the only time we actually cook a whole turkey. BUT this has got me thinking…how do I teach my kids to be thankful, not just during Thanksgiving, but everyday…or at least once a week? Do I have to cook a turkey every week or feed them turkey everyday? Come to think about it, as a stay at home dad, I probably do feed them turkey sandwiches and mac and cheese almost everyday for lunch…BUT how do I instill in them an “attitude of gratitude?”

I am reminded of something I say often, “If it’s not in you [as a parent] it’s not in them…” So, the questions isn’t “how do I make my kids more thankful?”, BUT “how can I be more thankful?” Ouch…that one hurts because I think at times I fail to show how much I am thankful for the things in my life. It can be easy for me at times to take things around me for granted. Whether we like it or not, the apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree, and the things that we see [or don’t see] in our kids, is really a reflection of who we are.

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One of the keys to clock management in any game, is the proper use of time-outs. They can be used to stop the clock in the final seconds to set-up a winning score, or to just pause for a moment to talk to a player or team about the next play or series. Sometimes you’ll see a coach or fan go crazy because a player wastes a time-out. Time-outs are valuable, and you only get so many in the game.

I’ve learned this to be true in being a dad, and trying to “manage the clock” in the game of life with my boys. I find at times, I need to just call a time-out and spend some one-on-one time with one of my kids. I need to just stop whatever I’m doing and just listen to whatever it is they want to talk about. Now sometimes I need to call a time-out because one of them just dropped kick the other…BUT that’s a story for another time.

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