Lessons I’ve Learned as a Dad

30 Things I Want to Teach My Daughters

120611091018-father-daughter-share-dance-story-topAs the Father of two daughters, I have been giving a great deal of thought to what advice I’d like to give them about life, career, dating, and their education.  Here are  15 words of wisdom from your Dad.  I’m sure there will be more to follow…

  1. You are beautiful inside and out.
  2. Realize your self-worth before committing yourself to someone.
  3. Don’t reveal too much of yourself.  Closely guard your secrets, dreams, ideas, affections and your body.  There will be a day you want to share all of that with the person you marry.  Don’t share it with the world.  Remember, you’re special!
  4. You are a child of God and God loves you.
  5. Don’t date or marry someone who does not hold your values, morals and beliefs.
  6. If your date does not open the car door…stand there and don’t get in the car!
  7. Respect yourself and expect those you date to have respect for you also.  If they don’t have that respect, they don’t deserve to be out with you.
  8. You will not be able to change him.  Don’t date someone with the idea that you will be able to change the things in him you don’t like.  It does not happen that way.
  9. Don’t get serious with a guy who would rather play a video game or hang out with a bunch of guys than spend time with you.
  10. Get your education and as much education as possible.  Education provides choices in life and you want to have as many choices as you can.  Education provides these choices.
  11. Be able to financially, emotionally and professionally support yourself fully before getting married.  Having someone support you financially is not a reason to get married.
  12. Have goals and dreams.  Write them down and look at them often.  Create a roadmap to achieve these goals and dreams.
  13. Have Values and Morals.  Write them down and make them nonnegotiable.  What is that you believe and stand for?  This will make your decision-making easier and prevent a great deal of heartache.
  14. You can’t feel good about yourself while living in sin.
  15. Keep a journal of your life, prayers, answered prayers, struggles, and successes.
  16. Don’t hesitate to walk away from someone/something that goes against who you are and the values and morals you hold.
  17. Be able to change your own tire.
  18. Know how to jump off a battery.
  19. Get involved in a church.  Not just going on Sunday morning but giving of your time, efforts and finances.
  20. The sweetest sound to a person is the sound of their own name.  Learn and remember names.
  21. Learn how to budget and live within your means.
  22. Credit Cards are of Satan (stay away from them!!)
  23. Don’t put all your personal stuff on Facebook.  Remember, what goes online stays online FOREVER!
  24. The person you will be in 5 years will be greatly determined by the books you read, the TV/Movies you watch and most importantly the friends you hang out with.
  25. 10% of life is made up of what happens to you and the other 90% is how you respond to what happens to you.
  26. Change happens and is necessary for growth.
  27. Failure is not when you get knocked down but when you refuse to get back up.
  28. Attitude isn’t everything, but it is the one thing that can make a difference in your life.
  29. Give today your attention–not yesterday or tomorrow.
  30. You will always be Daddies Little Girl.  Forgive me when I constantly remind you of things you already know, ask you to call when you get where you are going and when you’re on your way home, and the belief that I hold that there is no male who is good enough for you.
Categories: Family, John Personal, John's Rant (opinion), Lessons I've Learned as a Dad, Letter to Sophie | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

10 Specific Compliments to Give Your Children

10 Specific Compliments to Give Your Children | All Pro Dad.

Fact is, children look to their parents for encouragement, and finding affirmation at home is foundational to positive emotional development. Parents need to be in the business of building our children up.  But we also need to be honest, and it’s important to use compliments that really mean something. Kids can sense disingenuousness and empty praise. Making stuff up is harmful; false praise is dishonest and the practice breaks trust.

Here are 10 compliments all kids need to hear:

  1. Recognize and compliment character:
    We live in a world where integrity is neither consistently taught nor widely expected. When our children demonstrate honesty, kindness, trustworthiness and reliability, that’s a great time to take them aside and offer a sincere compliment.
  2. Compliment obedience and respect:
    It’s too easy to fall into patterns of disapproval, where the only time we notice is when kids do wrong. Rather than waiting for disobedience or disrespect (then coming down like a ton of bricks) try noticing obedience and respect: “I don’t always remember to tell you, but you are an awesome young man, and I appreciate the way you treat your mother”.
  3. Appreciate them for simply being part of the family:
    “Every time I see you, I’m thankful that I’m a dad.” Kids need to understand that they are valued simply because they are.
  4. Compliment contributions to the family:
    “Clearing the table (sweeping the porch… putting out the trash) makes a real difference. I appreciate your contribution.” Kids need to understand that what they do makes a difference, that the adults notice, and that pitching in is a good part of family life.
  5. Compliment the quality of a child’s work:
    “This is one clean porch, mister!” “You mowed the lawn right up to the edge.  Way to go!  I’m so glad you take this job so seriously, it shows.” Doing a job at a high standard is always worth noting.
  6. We can compliment the effort, even when the result is not the best:
    “Your willingness to help makes me happy! Now we need to take a look at how you can get the trash to the curb without leaving a trail!” Compliments can be an important part of our role as teachers.
  7. It’s important that we compliment children when they achieve something new:
    “Wow! That’s a huge leap forward for you there in math, pal.” “Awesome! I’m not at all surprised after you worked so hard.” A well-placed compliment can keep a positive ball rolling.
  8. We can compliment sense of style even if we don’t exactly share their taste:
    We don’t want to hedge kids into being clones of dad, or mom. “When it comes to putting together an outfit, you certainly have some flair!” “I can tell that you put a lot of thought into the way you look.” “I’ve never seen a table set quite like that before – you have an amazing imagination!” It’s not useful to limit compliments to the narrow range of our own taste.
  9. Compliment steps toward a long-term goal:
    “Son, the improvement you’re showing is commendable. Thanks for trying.” Waiting for perfection before we’re willing to dish out a compliment is inefficient, may dampen enthusiasm, and does little to help the process of growth.
  10. Try complimenting their friends:
    But only do this when you can do it honestly! “Your friends are the greatest!” “That Jimmy is such a positive young man.” “You know, it gives me a lot of confidence to know you use common sense in choosing your friends.”
Categories: Family, John Personal, John's Rant (opinion), Lessons I've Learned as a Dad | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being a Good Father

I am now a Father and I’m learning everyday.  It’s amazing how much I really don’t know.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned about being a father:

  • You don’t mind cleaning up your child’s “throw-up”.  (I’ve always gotten sick from someone throwing up)
  • When they are sick, you want them close to you. ( I used to run from sick people from a fear of catching it.)
  • You’re their parent, not their friend, buddy, companion or partner.  (They have many friends/buddies but only 2 parents.  They need you to be in that role.)
  • Discipline is a part of being a parent.  (The old saying,”This is going to hurt me more than you.” is so true.)
  • Telling them each day how much you love them.
  • Hold them in your lap (At least until they are too big)
  • Know who their friends are and who their friends parents are. (Aside from you, their friends will have the most influence on their lives.)
  • Set boundaries for your children/teenagers.  They won’t set them on their own, but you’re teaching them how to do this preparing them for tomorrow.
  • Play the X-Box/football/baseball/sports with them and let them win (sometimes but losing on purpose all the time is a bad lesson in itself.) Go hiking, camping, fishing with the boys and shopping, dress up, and nails with your girls.
  • Teach them to fail forward, persistence, courage, honor and committment.
  • Introduce them and teach them to respect new cultures, people who are different, and other religions.
  • Teach them Grace by your actions.
  • Teach them the importance of money (checking account, saving, budgets, and investing) AND that money is NOT the most important thing and is NOT what makes them valuable.
  • Show them how to be a husband (or what to look for in a husband) by the way you treat and love their Mom.
  • Don’t spend all your time at work.  Your employer of 20 years will forget you 1 week after you’re gone but your children will miss you for a lifetime.
  • Teach them to tithe.
Categories: Family, Friends, John Personal, John's Rant (opinion), Lessons I've Learned as a Dad | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wake Up Call

Wow, what a week this has been.  Saturday, our family traveled to Wetumpka for the Barnes Family Christmas.  While we were there, I became very uncomfortable with a pain in my chest.  As a frequent sufferer of heartburn, I dismissed it as that.  However on the way home, the discomfort grew and was very different from the pain I normally experience with heartburn.  We got home, checked my blood pressure and it was out of sight.  Jill made the decision then that I was going to the hospital.  We went to Brookwood ER and they immediately began running test but after several hours, all came back normal.  I decided to go home.

Sunday, I didn’t preach and stayed home, however, the pain stayed with me. Sunday evening I called a friend who is a nurse and she sent me back to Brookwood and before I knew it, I was admitted.  Monday morning I had an ateriogram performed and they injected dye into my heart.  Well to make a long story short, I’ve got some minor blockage.  The doctor described it as a pipe that has rust patches in it.

Nothing further needs to be done medically except I have to take an aspiran/day and control my cholesterol.  I also have to have a dramatic life style change in the diet and exercise departments.  This is going to be difficult for me, but this is the way the doctor put it…”Right now, you have very little risk in the way of blockage.  However, in 15 years it will be causing you MAJOR problems.”  In 15 years, I will be 59 years old, but my children will be 17 and 18 years old. That will be a time when they are experiencing a great deal of change in their own life and as a father, I want to be there to help them instead of them worrying about me.

It really comes down to this, what do I love the most:

  • My family or eating everything I desire.
  • My family or sitting on the couch.
  • My family or myself

It’s my choice and I’m choosing my family.

Please hold me accountable.  Please ask me how I’m doing. Please remind me of the choice that I’m making because this is going to be very difficult.  It’s worth it but like anything worth having in this life, it’s going to take effort.

I would like to thank all the people at Brookwood Hospital who put up with this not so patient patient.  Thanks for all the prayers from my church family and all others who prayed.  Thanks for my family who helped out with all the children and my wife for staying by my side.  I love you all.

Categories: Family, Friends, John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

15 Things I Love About Being a Dad

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It’s 2:15 in the morning and I am posting a blog because Graden (18 months) refuses to go to sleep.  Lay him down and he screams so loud that I am convinced he is trying to wake up the other 5 people who live in this house.  So, I’m sitting here watching Barney, thinking about a cup of coffee (and would I be able to sleep once G dozes off), and thinking about how much I love being a Dad.  Let me share with you some reasons why:

  1. The screaming of Dada, Daddy, and ajodinelnse (That’s what G says) from my kids when I walk through the door after a long day of work.
  2. The way they hold onto you when they are sick.
  3. The belly laugh when you are tickling them.
  4. Their favorite place to sleep is on top of you.
  5. The privilege of teaching them the things they will need to know in life.
  6. Bath Time
  7. Nap Time
  8. Their little dances when a good song comes on.
  9. Sitting in my lap drinking their bottle.
  10. Falling asleep on my chest
  11. Hearing, “I love you”
  12. Holding my hand as we go on adventures
  13. Watching them bond together
  14. Seeing them worried about their sibling when their sick
  15. The joy on their face when they learn something new.
Categories: Family, Graden Cooper, John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad, Noah, Sophie Grace, Twins | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Last Night (Don’t Read if You’re Squimish)

About 4:00 AM this morning, I was sound asleep in my warm cozy bed.  Noah had wiggled his way over to me and we were snuggled together just like one might imagine in a nursery rhyme.  It was so sweet until I started to hear this horrible noise coming from him.   He was gagging and at first, I thought he was choking on something and so I sat straight up in bed and put him in my lap.  I was set to do the Heimlich and had my finger ready to sweep his mouth when he let it go.  I caught a handful and we rushed to the bathroom where he continued to throw up in the toilet. Jill asked, do you need some help as to which I replied, “No, I’ve got it.”

When we got cleaned up and back into bed, I said to Jill, “Wow, one more step accomplished in being a Dad. I just caught vomit in my hand and I didn’t throw up!”  I said this with a source of pride welling up inside of me.  I could have only done that for someone whom I love as much as my own child and I really can’t come up for anyone else.

Then I thought of our Heavenly Father.  I thought about all the nasty, vile, hurtful, stuff that we as humanity do and how God keeps on loving us.  Never backing away but offering us grace, love and hope.  Even going so far as to send His Son to die, taking our punishment so that we might have life.  What a great and wonderful gift.

Categories: Faith Journey, Family, John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad, Noah | Leave a comment

Lesson’s I’ve Learned as a Dad (5)

Short 2.5 year old toddlers are much faster than a 42-year-old man and will giggle at you while you are wheezing to catch your breath after you capture them.

Categories: Lessons I've Learned as a Dad | 1 Comment

Lesson I’ve Learned as a Dad (4)

No matter how small the cup may be, don’t ever give a toddler a cup with a lid that has a straw coming out of it while in the car.

Lesson 4-A:  Cloth seats in a car with a toddler is not a good investment.

Categories: John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad | Leave a comment

What have you Learned as a parent?

I would love to hear some of the lessons that you have learned as a parent.  Click on “Leave a Comment” and you might just help someone else from learning the same lesson.

Categories: John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad | 4 Comments

Lesson’s I’ve Learned as a Dad (3)

Always have the new diaper opened and ready to go before you undo the used diaper.

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Lessons I’ve Learned as a Dad (2)

For some reason, babies like to wake up and play at the 4:00 AM hour.

Can’t explain this one but it seems to be true…at least with ours.

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Lesson I’ve Learned as a Dad (1)

This morning, I had the privilege of watching all three kids while mom gets ready for church.  During this time, I had an epiphany,  “there are a great many things that I don’t know.”  So, I thought I would create a new category of blog called “Lessons I’ve Learned as a Dad.”  Because at 42 years old,  I’m realizing that there is so much that I have to learn as a dad and my kids are only too willing to teach me.  Here is what I have learned today:

If you are wearing a clean white shirt, you WILL be spit up on.

Categories: Family, John Personal, Lessons I've Learned as a Dad | Leave a comment

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