Archives for : Parenting

Happy Halloween 2014


Wishing you a Happy Halloween from the Tucker 3 as Vampiress (Nya), Zombie (Arin) and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas (Michal).  Funny thing is my kids have never seen the Tim Burton classic, but they maybe of age to watch it this Halloween.

Also cool dads I have a tip for you this Halloween to cut down on the candy consumption by  “offering a different way of thinking that involves incentivizing the kids to m ake a healthier choice…one that reaps rewards!  Cash Money!  Check out this qick video from @RealIronDad



Shaking My Head “All Day” From One Dad to Another

I don’t know what to say about Minnesota Vikings All Pro, Adrian Peterson. He is on trial for child abuse and this week violated the terms of his bond by smoking marijuana before a mandatory drug test when admitted on court record to “smoking a little weed.”  His trial is not scheduled  until December 1, so it is likely that Peterson will not play again this season.  Prosecutors have filed to have Peterson re-arrested for the violation.

Peterson has fathered at least six children out of wedlock. Two of them were born to different mothers a month apart. Peterson lawyers say he will plead NOT guilty to felony child abuse charge for whipping his 4-year-old son with a switch (slender tree branch).

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Why not guilty? Peterson has admitted hitting the child, but contends it was intended as discipline, not to injure the child.

When Peterson’s son returned to his mother following a visit with the NFL running back, a check up at the doctor revealed the welts and authorities were alerted.  According to the boy,“Daddy Peterson hit me on my face” and threatened to punch him in the face if he reported what happened, the police station reported. The child also reportedly told his mother that Peterson “likes belts and switches” and “has a whooping room.”

I guess my problem is not with the action to discipline but the action of discipline. Before one gets to the excessive method of the punishment, at the core his son was too young.  Cognitively a 4-year old is still learing right from wrong and understanding things that it is up to his dad to help him understand.  The severity of force at such a young age causes more mental trauma than a child learning a lesson.  There are a variety of things that would hurt a child, even if a last resort spanking is the road chosen.

It is tough raising children, take it from a dad with multiples and there were times that I went a bit far but it was more to instill fear in my children, so that they know daddy might be a little crazy. Co-parenting is also a chore because one might be the stern parent and the other might not be and because you are not parenting in the same household the child may not always adjust to the changes in parenting.  As a parent you have to take that into account because it isn’t the child’s fault. Some patience and leniency have to be shown  toward teenagers, let alone a younger child with less grasp of the situation.

But even more, there is also a bit of common sense involved with parenting. Kids are more protected than we ever were when I was young. Spankings were everyday life and not random acts of abuse. It was common to see kids getting whippings in church, school and even in front of police officers. Not so today. Parents are getting locked up, embarrassed and terminated from jobs because of being accused of child abuse. Adrian Peterson didn’t get the memo and clearly he is not the sharpest pencil in the NFL supplies closet with his need to get high and further sabotage his case and career.

Peterson is on record saying that his dad would pull his pants down and stuff leaves in his mouth to keep him quiet while he spanked him. It’s said that this was discipline but as a dad we have to also break cycles.  Maybe this trial will help Peterson see that his dad was wrong and the cycle can be adjusted and broken.


Speak Low to Your Children

Get on your child’s level, if you want them to hear you and learn from you. #DadsRule


Fatherhood Friday Money Can’t Buy Love

It’s not about how much money you spend on your children, but how much time you spend with them.

Invest time in your kids and get the best possible return on that investment; love and admiration.


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#FatherhoodFriday #DadsRule

Fatherhood Friday Teachable Moments

Chess quote

“I believe what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”Umberto Eco

There are so many teachable moments throughout the day as a father when you are with your kids. Don’t take those moments for granted. It doesn’t have to be a large production or a “sit down child, I have something to teach you” moment. It could happen when you look at the waiter directly, speak clearly and say, “thank you, sir.”  Sometimes it will be telling your kids what not to do, but often times it is showing how you do things through your actions. They see all, so make sure you acknowledge that by showing them what is right and talking to them about it.

I was recently interviewing reality TV star and entrepreneur Bevy Smith for another publication and we got on the topic of dads. She explained how her dad was the primary caregiver because her mom worked late on weekdays. Her dad cooked every week night and made sure the kids were taken care of during the week. Bevy gets her strength and optimism from her dad being in her life, she shared.

“There is something about a girl who knows there is a man who loves her and something about a boy growing up under the shadow and tutelage of a man.”Bevy Smith

She said how she recently realized how those moments when her dad would fill her time with geography facts led to her extreme love of travel. She now gets to travel the world and everywhere she goes a piece of him travels with her, and she is quick to call him during and after trips.  She commends fathers taking an active role in raising their children.

#DadsRule  Happy Fatherhood Friday!



Just Say No to Handheld Devices

girl-on-mobile-deviceHuffington Post blogger Cris Rowan has been kicking up dust calling for parents to ban all handheld devices in the kids 12 and under. It seems a bit extreme, but she does back up her argument with some stats from various studies. Personally, just like anything we allow our children to do, we must be the adults and set up the schedule. When it comes to electronics it really becomes a problem when parents allow these devises to babysit the kids in order to get more daddy or mommy time, or mommy and daddy time.  This hurts your child’s developement and ultimately your relationship with them.

Check out Rowan’s

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

1. Rapid brain growth
Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).

2. Delayed Development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development. One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013). Movement enhances attention and learning ability (Ratey 2008). Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning (Rowan 2010).

3. Epidemic Obesity
TV and video game use correlates with increased obesity (Tremblay 2005). Children who are allowed a device in their bedrooms have 30% increased incidence of obesity (Feng 2011). One in four Canadian, and one in three U.S. children are obese (Tremblay 2011). 30% of children with obesity will develop diabetes, and obese individuals are at higher risk for early stroke and heart attack, gravely shortening life expectancy (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2010). Largely due to obesity, 21st century children may be the first generation many of whom will not outlive their parents (Professor Andrew Prentice, BBC News 2002).

4. Sleep Deprivation
60% of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage, and 75% of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms (Kaiser Foundation 2010). 75% of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades are detrimentally impacted (Boston College 2012).

5. Mental Illness 
Technology overuse is implicated as a causal factor in rising rates of child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar disorder, psychosis and problematic child behavior (Bristol University 2010Mentzoni 2011Shin 2011,Liberatore 2011, Robinson 2008). One in six Canadian children have a diagnosed mental illness, many of whom are on dangerous psychotropic medication (Waddell 2007).

6. Aggression 
Violent media content can cause child aggression (Anderson, 2007). Young children are increasingly exposed to rising incidence of physical and sexual violence in today’s media. “Grand Theft Auto V” portrays explicit sex, murder, rape, torture and mutilation, as do many movies and TV shows. The U.S. has categorized media violence as a Public Health Risk due to causal impact on child aggression (Huesmann 2007). Media reports increased use of restraints and seclusion rooms with children who exhibit uncontrolled aggression.

7. Digital dementia
High speed media content can contribute to attention deficit, as well as decreased concentration and memory, due to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex (Christakis 2004, Small 2008). Children who can’t pay attention can’t learn.

8. Addictions
As parents attach more and more to technology, they are detaching from their children. In the absence of parental attachment, detached children can attach to devices, which can result in addiction (Rowan 2010). One in 11 children aged 8-18 years are addicted to technology (Gentile 2009).

9. Radiation emission
In May of 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phones (and other wireless devices) as a category 2B risk (possible carcinogen) due to radiation emission (WHO 2011). James McNamee with Health Canada in October of 2011 issued a cautionary warning stating “Children are more sensitive to a variety of agents than adults as their brains and immune systems are still developing, so you can’t say the risk would be equal for a small adult as for a child.” (Globe and Mail 2011). In December, 2013 Dr. Anthony Miller from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Health recommend that based on new research, radio frequency exposure should be reclassified as a 2A (probable carcinogen), not a 2B (possible carcinogen). American Academy of Pediatrics requested review of EMF radiation emissions from technology devices, citing three reasons regarding impact on children (AAP 2013).

10. Unsustainable
The ways in which children are raised and educated with technology are no longer sustainable (Rowan 2010). Children are our future, but there is no future for children who overuse technology. A team-based approach is necessary and urgent in order to reduce the use of technology by children. Please reference below slide shows under “videos” to share with others who are concerned about technology overuse by children.




Told my kids their one word job description is #OBEY as a child of God mine is the same. #DadsRule #fatherhood #Godtoo

24:7 Dad eBook

Are you a full time dad or want to be?  Well, National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI) has  a brand new series of eBooks to help dads. tips4raisinghealthykids

“The 24/7 Dad® To Go eBook Series”  is short and sweet snippets tackling issues we face such as marriage and relationships, child development, and specific fathering skills and discipline. Each eBook will be based upon the principles of NFI’s leading fatherhood program, 24/7 which is a fatherhood program used by many community-­based organizations in the U.S.  Its premise is that fatherhood is a skill-­based activity that dads can get better at with the right mix of knowledge and inspiration.

Each month there will be a new book. The first book in the series, “Tips for Raising Healthy Kids.”

Recent research confirms the strong link between father and child health. For example, children in father-­absent homes are twice as likely to be obese than children in two-­parent homes. Furthermore, a father’s involvement and parenting style is predictive of his children’s BMI, whereas a mother’s is not.

The content of “Tips for Raising Healthy Kids” has been compiled and enhanced from the proven fatherhood skill-­building resources that have been field-­tested for over a decade, according to NFI.

This eBook is designed for dads who:

  • want to live healthy and
  • raise healthy kids.


We teach you the tips and tools for:

  • getting and staying physically and mentally healthy,
  • raising healthy kids, and
  • leading your family in a healthy lifestyle.


Each eBook will be sold for $1.99 at NFI’s online resource center, FatherSOURCE, at


Why My Daughter Needs Less Homework


My daughter was tasked with writing an essay of her choosing to present an argument for her 4th grade literacy homework. Given the fact that she got home a late from Chess club and still had to have dinner, shower, do math homework, general knowledge homework and said four-plus paragraph essay, her topic became clear.

“We Need Less Homework!!!”

She included in her argument the side of the parent (me) who has multiples, the teacher who need to consider their own personal time and the tired student.  She said, “there needs to be a happy medium.”  I made sure she presented her argument to me and that she knew what “median” meant.  She did.  The image above is the first draft, I edited and she made the changes. Who knows, maybe tonight she will have less homework.


Following Ralph Nader to the Dinner Table

Read this with an open mind with a keen eye on the parenting aspect. I was watching the documentary on Ralph Nader, “An Unreasonable Man” and something really stood out to me that had nothing to do with his beliefs, Nader-unreasonable-manconspiracy theories, the Green Party or “Nader’s Raiders.”  Instead, what grabbed me was how when he was in grade school his father would give he and his siblings a problem to solve each day.  They would have the day to think and come together to discuss answers over dinner.

I thought this is great way to help scuplt young minds and make critical thinking fun.  Also it could help my children understand that nothing is set in stone, and to seek their own solutions to problems.

A great line from the movie was when Nader’s father asked him: “Well, Ralph, what did you learn in school today? Did you learn how to believe or did you learn how to think?”

As a parent, I want my kids to be thinkers.  I want them to know that their thoughts could one day change the world, so it starts now.  It starts at the dinner table, it starts in the car, it starts with me listening, and reassuring them that no answer is wrong as long as their can support their view. Encourage them to have their own views and not be shy about expressing them.

I decided to try this problem-solving scenario out on my three little ones (7-9 years old).  We were dealing with the hot topic of bullying. It was in the news with the Incognito- Martin NFL scandal and my eldest daughter was facing a bit of bullying in her classroom. My questions to the kids, “If you were in charge of your own school, what would you do about bullying and what rules might you put in place to stop that behavior?”  I asked them during the ride to school and informed them they had until dinner to think of their answer.

The first day, they all forgot to think about the question but the next day they came to the table with solutions.  They even took the time to name their school’s; “Kurios University” and “Ipod Touch 5 Generation Charter School” which sounded vaguely like items on their Christmas list. Subtlety is not a quality my kids possess.

The solutions they presented were similar to what was already in place in there school.  I encouraged them to think outside of the box, so we began to brainstorm at the dinner table.  I told them nothing was off limits or too outrageous, aside from jail or murder, of course.  My kids are a happy and loving bunch, so it didn’t go too far but it got them thinking.  Most important they were left feeling their opinion mattered.  All in all the experiment was a success.

Nader never had kids and likely never will. but what he shared from his upbringing in the documentary will help me rear my kids.  As a single parent I need all the help I can get. Thanks Ralph, you are not so unreasonable after all.

Below is the full documentary if you would like to watch it.  Well done. Also learn some of the good Nader has done; without him cars might not have seatbelts or any safety features for that matter.  Enjoy.

QOTD: Running on Empty

We don’t expect a car to start unless the gas tank is filled, and we shouldn’t expect a child to function at her best if her “emotional tank” is running low. Here are the three things that fill a child’s emotional tank: eye contact, gentle touch, and undivided attention. (excerpt from Jan Hunt’s “22 Alternatives to Punishment”)

#DadsRule Question of the Day:running on empty

Have you filled your children’s emotional tank today?  How did you do it?

Make a commitment to not have your kids running on empty and see how they operate on a full tank or at least half full … :) Let’s be reasonable.

QOTD: Parenting Steals

Many of us have friends that we think are good parents or people we read and follow that seem to be parenting wizards. But as the old idea-innovationsaying goes, “all that glitters is not gold.”  Being great parents is something all parents struggle with to get better.  Where do we place our trust as dads?

#DADsRule Question of the Day:

Is it OK to steal parenting ideas from other parents? And what happens when copycat parenting goes wrong?

QOTD: Toughest Thing About Fatherhood?

Matt takes his family to work

Matt Damon father of three daughters recently said the following:

“Fatherhood is something I have always wanted to do. Although sleeplessness is the toughest part.”


What is the toughest thing about fatherhood?

The toughest thing for me is having people depend on you; the responsibility of their needs and wants rest on your shoulders.  Especially as a single dad, ok with about your needs and your mistakes and a carefree cool dude okay with his shortcomings.  If my needs are not met, so be it.  If I make a mistake, I can get over it.  But with fatherhood, every move you make, every breath you take; they’ll be watching you (Shout out to STING).

If I forget to wash clothes, my kids won’t have clean clothes to wear. If I forget to go shopping for food, the kids can’t eat. If I miss the deadline to turn in a permission slip, my kids can’t go on the field trip.  When they are late to school, guess who’s fault it is?

Being a dad there is more pressure than ever to make money,  get things right, get there on time, get your life organized, because if you don’t there are pretty little people that will be very disappointed.  There is nothing worse than a disappointed kid.

What do you think is the toughest thing about fatherhood?

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Bob Marley Musical for All Ages

Son Arin and Cedella Marley

Son Arin and Cedella Marley

It was a treat to take my kids, ages 7 and 8 years old, to a marvel of sight and sound that would be the world premier of the musical “Three Little Birds” at Adventure Theatre, located at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. The play is based on a children story by Cedella Marley infused with the music and lyrics of her dad, Bob Marley.

READ MORE  >my full review

If  you are in the DC area the play runs until April 14th and trust you do not want to miss it!

I give it 3 smiles … my 3 kids all loved it and to get them all on the same page with liking anything is impossible at times.

tickets available at


Arin reading Three Little Birds on the way to the play

Usher Wins Custody in Climax

Entertainer Usher in Family Court


Last we saw videos and pictures of R&B superstar Usher outside of the release of his latest album, he was crying before a judge about the mother of his children striking him, chasing his girlfriend and the overall crazy experience of co-parenting with her.  Now Usher is much happier, recently being granted primary custody of his sons Usher Raymond V and Naviyd Ely Raymond.


Usher and Kids

A few months ago, his ex-wife, Tameka Foster Raymond literally went looking for fight and this time Usher, who initially was only seeking more visitation, came to fight and left with the kids.

Sometimes having the children in one situation is just better than the alternative no matter if it is with the mother or not.  Dad can be as much of a parent as mom. Sometimes what society would have us believe is the best place for a child is not the case at the time. Sometimes the father has to be the caregiver and there is nothing wrong with that.

Speaking from experience, it’s definitely the hardest thing he will ever do but it’s also the most rewarding. Things get more real than ever now, Usher. You have been a parent before but not like this!

Random #DADsRULE – Celebrity dads should be banned from naming their children after themselves. Usher Raymond V … really, that’s like Michael Jordan naming his son Michael Jordan.  We’ll not really.  But that’s just too much pressure on the young boy.


Father’s Friday on Twitter – #FF

It’s official the new #FF is  Father’s Friday on Twitter.  Happy Tweeting.  Father’s Day Weekend!


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