Archives for : parenting

Words to Father By

These are the words of Pastor Keith Battle and have really inspired me to rethink the way I father. It is a must that as dads, we figure out what our kid need from us. Every child is wired differently. We can’t make our children be what we want or mold them into the likeness of what we could never accomplish. Find out your child’s needs and love language and operate to meet and grow them from their needs.

Finding Strength as a Dad

“I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.” #AlexElle

As a dad, you will surely stumble and maybe even fall, but there is a beauty in trying and learning that your child and all that observe appreciate. Learn to appreciate it as well. #DadsRule #Motivation

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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.


I’m No Superman: Tough Dad Lesson

Sometimes I feel like Superdad flying high over all things parenthood. Battling the forces of naughty and nice, showing love that would stop a bullet, moving faster than a locomotive to get things done and using X-ray vision to see bad behavior in the distance.

Other times, I feel like Clark Kent, the absolute opposite of the superhero I am. I feel weak where I was strong and my kids become myno superman kryptonite, draining me of energy the nearer they get. Sometimes I find myself sinking in quicksand and just want to give up.  It’s a dream that ends with death.  A death that will surely wake me if I just let go and open your eyes. But I can’t, fatherhood is no a dream, it’s real and I’m no Superman. Being a dad is a never-ending battle to be a superhero.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you want to cry and sometimes you play the fool. But the bottom-line is, you have to be stronger.

The other day, was like any other in Metropolis. Up early, kids dressed and fed.  I dropped my oldes daughter at an event and rode the bus with my son, Arin, to his basketball game. My son was playing basketball with all of his normal excitement, when all of a sudden he got taken out and ended up sitting out the rest of the game crying.  I flew in, normal Superdad fashion to save the day, but there was nothing I could do to save him.  Tears turned into rivers with each of my words to him. At one point when I asked if he believed in himself his answer was, “No.” Self-doubt is a killer. Kryptonite! My powers were useless. I just wanted to turn in my cape and ball up in a corner to lose all fatherly powers. But I could not and would not. I felt a variety of emotions from sad and frustrated to angry and exhausted. He didn’t know how to deal with disappointment in the game or disciplining of a coach. He recently turned 8 years old, but in my mind, he should have handled it better. In hindsight, it is these moments that should not defeat us but teach us.

Now that I know some of the issues, I can work on toughening him, because giving up is not an option for him or me. As a child I learned so many things on my own. But having a child means being involved, it means loving, nurturing and leading. Being a dad means teaching and investing time and attention to the thing you want your child to understand.  Sometimes you have all the answers and other times, not a clue in planet of Krypton.  The key is that your kids don’t dictate your impact on their lives, you do. Leave your imprints all over them. This is your chance to get it right. 

Maybe there were things your mom or dad didn’t teach you.  Maybe there are things you wished you learned along the way in making you who you are.  Well, as a dad you have everyday to re-write and edit the story.  Your child is your legacy and you have a major part in how the story ends.  Looking at yourself allows you a glimpse into your child’s future. If you were Superman, it would be nothing to change the future but you are not, so consistent work is required. A phone booth won’t work, even if you could find one on no superman

“Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak, unsure of himself… he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.”  – Quentin Tarantino

Superman had to act weak to fit in, but as fathers, we start out that way.  You are not born a Superdad, but you can become one, at times.  Your child needs you to.





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

Black Fathers Doing More Parenting


While President Obama and many others are calling for a state of emergency on Black fathers, things are not as bleak as the media would have you think.

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black fathers spend more time rearing their children than white and Hispanic fathers.

In the study 70 percent of Black fathers were most likely to have bathed, dressed, diapered or helped their children use the toilet every day compared with 60 percent of white fathers and 45 percent of Hispanic fathers.

A higher percentage of black fathers spent more time driving their kids to activities than white fathers and more black fathers helped their children with homework every day compared with Hispanic dads and white ones.

Now I am not saying Black fathers should ease up or take fatherhood any less lightly.  It’s just good to know that Black fathers are on the right track.  Just thought we would share.  #DadsRule #FatherhoodFriday

25 Things Daughters Wish Daddy Knew

A funny thing happened to Tara Hedman, a mental health counselor, as she sat in an auto repair shop watching a daddy play with his daughter.  She began tofather_daughter think about what that time meant to that young child.  What would that little girl say if she could lay out all the questions and give her dad a road map of what to do and say?  Hedman wrote a blog about it on Huffington Post and this is what she came up with …

“So, to all the daddies with little girls who aren’t old enough yet to ask for what they need from you, here is what we wish you knew:

1. How you love me is how I will love myself.

2. Ask how I am feeling and listen to my answer, I need to know you value me before I can understand my true value.

3. I learn how I should be treated by how you treat my mom, whether you are married to her or not.

4. If you are angry with me, I feel it even if I don’t understand it, so talk to me.

5. Every time you show grace to me or someone else, I learn to trust God a little more.

6. I need to experience your nurturing physical strength, so I learn to trust the physicality of men.

7. Please don’t talk about sex like a teenage boy, or I think it’s something dirty.

8. When your tone is gentle, I understand what you are saying much better.

9. How you talk about female bodies when you’re “just joking” is what I believe about my own.

10. How you handle my heart, is how I will allow it to be handled by others.

11. If you encourage me to find what brings joy, I will always seek it.

12. If you teach me what safe feels like when I’m with you, I will know better how to guard myself from men who are not.

13. Teach me a love of art, science, and nature, and I will learn that intellect matters more than dress size.

14. Let me say exactly what I want even if it’s wrong or silly, because I need to know having a strong voice is acceptable to you.

15. When I get older, if you seem afraid of my changing body, I will believe something is wrong with it.

16. If you understand contentment for yourself, so will I.

17. When I ask you to let go, please remain available; I will always come back and need you if you do.

18. If you demonstrate tenderness, I learn to embrace my own vulnerability rather than fear it.

19. When you let me help fix the car and paint the house, I will believe I can do anything a boy can do.

20. When you protect my femininity, I learn everything about me is worthy of protecting.

21. How you treat our dog when you think I’m not watching tells me more about you than does just about anything else.

22. Don’t let money be everything, or I learn not to respect it or you.

23. Hug, hold, and kiss me in all the ways a daddy does that are right and good and pure. I need it so much to understand healthy touch.

24. Please don’t lie, because I believe what you say.

25. Don’t avoid hard conversations, because it makes me believe I’m not worth fighting for.”

Good to hear a daughter’s perspective. Read the full blog on HuffPost >># DadsRule

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?

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The Kids Are Alright

Despite everything that has gone on with the kids in the past two years with the separation of our family as they knew it and coming to live with me, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT.  Knock on wood.

I know it’s a continuous process but watching them grow, get new friends, have

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sleepovers and excel in school, has made me so proud to have them in my life.  Kids are truly models of resilience to watch and follow their lead just as they follow ours.

There is so much we can learn from our children, from having a child’s heart and loving people unconditionally to not being afraid to show emotion when something hurts us.

This week I was able to share breakfast with my twins for getting perfect attendance for the first advisory at school (KIPPdc), which was so cool.  Also, today I attended the parent-teacher conferences and heard nothing but great things.  My kindergartners are at the top of the class and my 2nd grader has teachers scrambling for 3rd grade work to challenge her. Outside of academics, the teachers are just really impressed at their personalities and character.  This speaks volumes to a parent … co-parent.

#DadsRule  Everything you do as a parent in and around your child, makes a difference.

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