A Good, Belly Laugh

Sometimes you just have to enjoy a good laugh. I’m thankful for amazing technology to be able to capture some of our favorite moments as parents. More on technology and ‘enjoying moments’ later…

For now, I hope you enjoy hearing my son laugh half as much as I do…

Involving Your Children

Matching Ear Protection!
Mowing the Lawn!

As a new parent I have quickly realized that by involving my son in whatever I’m doing will take at least double the amount of time that it normally takes.┬áBUT, I love how my son learns when I involve him in what I am doing.

I believe that one of the main roles of parenting (if not the main role) is instructing our children, and one of the best ways that I can instruct my son is simply by letting him observe and be involved with what I am already doing.

Continue reading “Involving Your Children”

Raising Children: A Blessing to Others

My wife and I are constantly talking about parenting and what we can do better as parents to our son. Ultimately, we want our children to grow up as responsible adults that have impeccable character. This is a challenge for me, as some of the best parenting happens as our children observe us as adults.

One day my wife Jocelyn said something that was profound: “Children are a blessing. It’s our job as parents to make sure they are a blessing to others.” It’s true that children are a blessing, but often we see them as gifts from above that we aren’t to tamper with. I believe nothing is further from the truth. As parents, we have the responsibility to help shape them into responsible and like-able people. I really want other people to like my kids!
Here a few ways that we are hoping to make our child a blessing to others: Continue reading “Raising Children: A Blessing to Others”

Training up a 9 month old

My wife is a genius. Really. I love the way she thinks through things, especially how to raise up our son and possible future children.

Howard is now 9 months old, almost 10. He’s now crawling and getting into a lot of stuff. We actually walked into his room this morning and saw his first mess. He opened cupboards and pulled out every book and thing inside those cupboards. I wondered if that was really my son that did that. Continue reading “Training up a 9 month old”

Social Maturity & Infants

My wife and I are the types that really, really love our son, but we definitely remember what life was like before having an infant. Infants are needy.

At 6 months old, our son is exploring the world around him. He wants to grab everything, touch everything, taste everything. He notices that things around him exist. All of that stops when his needs aren’t being met. Whether he’s hungry, tired, has gas, or has an itch on his foot (we can’t tell what he needs all the time!), he lets us know that something is wrong by crying. There’s nothing wrong with our son letting us know that something isn’t right – but what he never notices are the needs of others around him.
Continue reading “Social Maturity & Infants”

Guitar Hero

I have to admit, I was sucked into guitar hero for a little while. I halfway convinced myself that playing guitar hero was actually helping my guitar-playing skills.

I’m wondering how much time is spent by pre-teens, teens, and even college students on a game that mimics reality like guitar hero. With a little patience, some good instruction, and probably the same amount of time, who knows what could happen.

Continue reading “Guitar Hero”

Moms & Little Boys (Post 2)

A couple years ago, my wife and I were spending time with our good friends and their son who had just turned 3 years old. Our friends (the parents) stepped out of the room for a bit, leaving me in my chair working on my computer and my wife interacting with the 3 year old. 

The 3 year old boy suddenly started bossing my wife around, being intentionally mean to her. It seemed a switch had been flipped as his parents left (not that his parents could do anything about it – I don’t believe any of this was due to their parenting at all). I let this behavior go on for about 30 seconds before I interrupted and told him not to treat my wife that way. Yes, you heard right. I confronted a 3 year-old about mistreating my wife. 

I learned a couple things from this little demonstration. 

  1. Boys don’t naturally respect and care for women – whether the women are young or old.
  2. Boys need a role model for many things – including someone who treats women well (which this boy does have in his father – and in friends of his father). 
  3. Boys need to be confronted about their wrong behavior – and sometimes it’s best done by a man. Mothers can discipline, but there are some things that a father figure needs to address – including how to treat women well (including their mother). 

Mothers – have you had issues with this in your sons? Fathers – have you ever had to confront this issue with any of your sons? What do you think?

Thanks to Trippography for the photo above.

Moms & Little Boys (Post 1)

In response to a friend’s request, I’ll be posting a little series about boys and what I think their mothers need to know about them.

My son is only 6 months old right now (no, that’s not his picture on the left…), but I know that his interactions with the world around him is different that little girls. At least that’s what my doctor says. 

When my wife and I first observed our son noticing the world around him, he was fixated on objects – not faces, but objects. Our doctor mentioned that most (if not all) boys do this, whereas girls will first lock their eyes on faces. That’s amazing to me. 

What does this mean? So far, I think it merely means that mom’s (and dad’s) will need to be ok with their sons playing on their own, observing and watching the world around them. Don’t take it personally if your son doesn’t lock eyes with you for long periods of time. I notice that even I want my son to interact me for longer than he currently does. He just needs a break from social interaction to observe things around him. 

I’m interested to see what this little nuance will mean for our son in the future. 

What have you noticed your little boy or girl locking eyes on? Does our doctor’s theory hold true? 

*Coming up… I have a short story to post next about a 3 year old boy interacting with my wife… it’s pretty interesting.

Thanks to GoodNCrazy for the photo above.

Being a Great Coach.

Our world needs great coaches. Not only in sports, but in life. Many men don’t understand what makes a great coach. A great coach brings the best out in people. A great coach fosters a thriving team or community. A great coach helps each individual understand they are part of something greater than themselves. A great coach helps people recognize the key part they play on the team and in the bigger picture. Our communities are lacking great coaches.

Many sports coaches in my local area choose to motivate by shame, saying degrading things to their players, and making them think they aren’t good enough to play at the next level. This is horrible. Coaches have every right to push people hard – harder than they have ever been pushed. Coaches have every right to expect greatness from their players. But, greatness and hard work will not come from humiliating players, or berating them.
Greatness and hard work will come when people are motivated to contribute to something greater than themselves. Greatness and hard work will come when somebody says, “I know you can do it, I believe in you. Now do it.”
What else makes a great coach? Any other thoughts?

Recommended Books on Parenting.

My wife and I made a decision during our first couple years of marriage that we were going to try and parent our children well. We want our children to grow into men and women of character, and we know that the way we parent will impact our children greatly. 

These two books are the ones that my wife and I read together before we had our first son (yes, we actually read to each other out-loud) and I would like to pass on those that we really liked:

Raising Great Kids by John Townsend & Henry Cloud. I feel like I learned a lot about the kind of man I want to be (or should be) from this book as well as how to parent my children. In summary, it talks about the ultimate goal of parenting as raising kids with character, rather than raising obedient kids. I highly recommend this book for anybody, kids or not!

A Family of Value by John Rosemond. This book is written by a psychologist who recognizes how modern psychology has hindered raising great children nowadays (pretty bold!). This book was recommended to us by great friends of ours, and we would pass on that recommendation to you!

What great books have you read on parenting? Any recommendations?

Thanks to austinevan for the photo above.