The truth trumps discipline

Parenting is tough and it takes a lot of work and thought. I had a realization quite some time ago about discipline and telling the truth, and how they might end up competing with one another.

Here’s the scenario…

My 3 year-old and 21 month old are playing together in their room. I’m not in their room because they play well together and I need to get something done in the other room. Suddenly the 21 month old starts crying. Not one of those, “oh crap, something really bad happened” cries, but something that’s worth going in to check out.

What’s your first response? Mine is to ask the 3 year-old, “what happened.” Here’s where parenting comes into play, and where we’re actually teaching our kids how to respond to us.

Let’s say he tells me the truth, and that he was, “battling with my brother, and just hit him on the top of his head really hard with my sword.” If I would have seen him do this, it would have been natural for me to take care of the issue right away through some means that I may or may not feel comfortable sharing with a large audience on the internet (I’ll let you guess).

BUT, since I didn’t actually see what happened, I’m relying on the word of my son. Now HE has a decision. He knows what the consequence would be if I saw him hit his brother on the head with his sword (because I think I’m a fairly good parent and am consistent).

What is most important to me in this scenario is that my son feels comfortable telling me the truth, and that he’s not learning that I’m disciplining him for telling me the truth. This is where truth trumps discipline.

Ultimately I want to be a safe place for my son to tell me the truth in anything. I am clear in my boundaries with disciplining him (he knows the boundaries, and knows the discipline for each boundary that is broken), and I show him that I love him as much as possible.

And who knows, maybe my 21-month old hit him in the face first? That’s usually the real story…

Parenting: it’s like going from CEO to janitor

I recently visited with close family friends that we haven’t seen for quite awhile – over a year, at least. They have had their first child since the last time we visited them, and there was something different about them. They were still the people we have always loved and adored, but having a newborn changed something about them.

I couldn’t really put my finger on it until I told my wife – I feel like there’s something extremely humbling about becoming a parent, and it feels like you’re going from CEO to janitor in a day.

That is what I felt from this couple. They were now parents alongside us – fellow janitors. Continue reading “Parenting: it’s like going from CEO to janitor”

Paper Airplanes

There’s something about having 2 young boys that keeps the boy alive in you.

A little while ago I decided it was time that Howard (almost 3 at the time) and I built a paper airplane. I wasn’t happy with the same old paper airplanes that I used to build as a kid, so I did what most of us do now-a-days: Googled “best paper airplane.” You can see the picture above of what came of that – and it was awesome. For instructions on how to build it Continue reading “Paper Airplanes”

Highlights of 2011

Every year, my wife and I have a scheduled date the morning of Christmas Eve. On that date, we look back at the previous year and share our highlights and what we are looking forward to in the coming year.

2011 was a good year to look back on, although not without it’s hardships or challenges. Here are some of our highlights from 2011:

  • Our 2nd son, Stone, was born. There are so many memories and fun things that surround his birth:
    • our awesome Doctor (Adkins) and how he nearly missed the birth of our son
    • our friends Stephanie and Thomas who were visiting when my wife went into labor (kind of)
    • how much our oldest, Howie, loves his little brother
    • the timing of a summer baby
    • and more…
  • We both changed careers after being in full-time ministry for over half a decade. I have gone into marketing & owning my own business, and my wife is now unemployed (joyfully, might we add).
  • First the first time during our marriage, we stayed home for a summer. Full-time ministry brought much travel, and summers were always spent in at least a different State, if not a different Country.
  • I have begun a bible study / counseling group with Aphesis. I feel that this is the start of really understanding more about my relationship with God, leading my family spiritually, and understanding more about who I am.  Continue reading “Highlights of 2011”

Coming in 2012…

This blog has been active (loosely defined, of course) for over 2 years now. 2012 is going to be a building year for this blog, which will hopefully build into a community, and ultimately, a recognizable brand among men.

Here are some things that you might see beginning in January 2012…

  • A new logo. My buddy Bobby is a great model for the current logo, but I’m looking for something that can be transferred to other mediums. More on ‘other mediums’ later.
  • Updated website. The look will change according to the logo. Not quite sure where this is heading yet.
  • The About section. This is not a blog about me, but is going to be more about building a community of men that live with principles, passions, and purpose. I’m going to simply give direction.
I need some help. Here’s what I’ll need from those that are interested…
  • Help with a new logo. I have some specific ideas, but don’t have the ‘chops’ for great design. I’m not going to be satisfied with ‘good.’
  • Invite your friends to my Facebook page. I want the custom url associated with that page, and need 25 fans to do that.
  • Help me acquire the twitter handle @fromboytoman. I’ve emailed and tweeted to twitter, but they have yet to respond. It’s currently owned by someone that has only posted once, and that was in June of 2009. I would love this ‘brand’ to be consistent.
I’m looking forward to how this community might build. Thanks for being a part of it, and helping build this community. I hope you are as passionate about becoming a man that will lead our families, communities, etc. the way we were created to lead.

My About Page – A Little Help?

If you haven’t perused my blog yet (maybe you’re mainly reading this via email or RSS feed), I would appreciate some feedback on my about page.

Maybe you know this about me already, but I sometimes have a hard time putting into words what I really mean or want to say (that’s why it’s so great that I married my wife – she helps me with those things!).

Would you mind checking out my about page quickly and giving me some feedback? Maybe think about these things as you read:

  • What else do you want to know about me?
  • What do you know about me that I didn’t mention?
  • Does this make me want to read this blog every day for the rest of my life? 🙂
Thanks for the help – hopefully you’ll help this small community grow into something that will impact the next generation of men, families, and who knows…maybe our country.

Women: How to Get Married.

Wow...I had hair back then!

My wife and I have a few acquaintances that have been dating the same person for a very long time. I’m not saying there is something intrinsically wrong with dating for a long time, BUT, we who are married can all agree that there are advantages to marriage (other than the obvious – should you choose to abstain). Those advantages are for another post…

When people date for a very long time, oftentimes there is one person of the party who isn’t happy with just dating. Let’s pretend that it’s usually the woman. 🙂 They want to get married. They want the commitment. They want to put the dating scene behind them (I can’t blame them, now that I’m on the other side of dating). What’s the solution? Continue reading “Women: How to Get Married.”

Parenting with your Spouse

I'm crazy about these guys!

I consider raising children a great blessing and privilege that is unique to marriage. No other relationship has the deep responsibility of raising and shaping a child together. It often surprises me to hear when couples have very few conversations, if any, regarding how they are going to parent and raise their children.

A friend of mine (and mentor – she is so wise!), Carolyn, sent me the following message shortly after hearing that my wife and I were pregnant… Continue reading “Parenting with your Spouse”

The Father’s Role After Childbirth

Me and Howie, my firstborn son.

Being a father is scary, rewarding, challenging, and intimidating all at the same time. The birth of my first son, Howard (pictured right at about 7 months old), knocked me out of my socks. I broke down and cried so many times right after he was born. Yes, I’m a crier (sometimes I wish I wasn’t). I was overwhelmed with the reality of helping give life to this beautiful child, with responsibility, and love for this little ball of skin and hair.

All fathers will deal with having children differently, and I’m sure that the first few nights at home are more of a shock for some than others. I’ve heard of fathers that completely separate themselves from children because they are afraid they will harm them (and sometimes this isn’t helped by overly protective or untrusting mothers). There are also fathers that are over-involved and don’t let their wives do what they do best – love and care for their children.

After we had our second son, Stone, we were presented with a handout that our doctor gives to all parents of new children. I laughed at first, but quickly realized that there are probably fathers that need to hear this. I needed to hear it, actually. Here’s what it said… Continue reading “The Father’s Role After Childbirth”

Building Trust with Children

Thanks to Chimothy27 for the photo.

I want to be a great parent to my children, and I love when I come across ideas and thoughts from other sources that relate to parenting.

Right now I’m reading The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey, and one of the first things he talks about in his book is “Being credible: to yourself and others.” He argues (and I completely agree with him) that people will base their trust in you by your credibility. In a nutshell, what you say is what you mean. It seems obvious, right? Well, Covey gets to the heart of what this really means, and even gets into parenting.

Here’s what he says…

Continue reading “Building Trust with Children”