Name: Micah Hammond
Years in Business: About 9
Family Info: Large
Hobbies: Construction of amazing contraptions from duct tape, cardboard, and other household items
Activities of Interest: Legos, Video Games, Mine Craft, anything with Video
Burning desire: To become King/Ruler/Emperor
Something no one knows about me: Has an amazing tender heart
Keys to Success: Total, absolute creativity—-Is able to move on after blowing up
For every man who has ever been scolded by his wife for encouraging a child to “run faster” or “swing higher” or “try harder,” or who has been admonished for teaching them to make mouth, hand or armpit fart noises, I salute you.
Mothers are excellent at nurturing children. Fathers are good at riling them up before bedtime and testing their physical limits. We show kids how to cannonball into swimming pools, skateboard down steep hills and jump BMX bikes over poorly constructed plywood platforms.
We also instruct them in the fine art of belching, breaking wind, turning random objects into guns and lightsabers, toilet “pee-sword fighting,” and other uncouth behavior. We have to do this. It’s our job.
Moms and dads have different parenting styles. Moms comfort kids when they’re feeling down. They encourage them to discuss their problems. Dads teach them to look for a solution and move on. We wrestle our kids to the floor and tickle them and until they forget what they were depressed about. Moms express their disapproval with a tsk-tsk sound and accuse us of acting like children.
We take that as a compliment.
For decades it was assumed that the mother-child relationship was the most important one in a kid’s life. Within the last several decades, however, psychologists have realized just how much fathers matter. Raising kids is about balance. Moms are great caretakers. Dads have a more relaxed attitude toward parenting. Together, they form the perfect unit. When a child comes home crying with a scraped elbow, mom will console them with tender words. Dad will distract them by saying “Just walk it off” or “That’ll feel better once it stops hurting.”
If someone gets stuck on a homework problem, it’s usually mom who offers assistance. Dad will glance around the edge of his newspaper and shout “For God’s sake, give it another try.” When there’s a tantrum, mothers do their best to reason with a child. Fathers correct the problem with a stern glare and a threat to “jerk a knot in somebody’s tail.”
Fathers serve another important purpose. They give kids a realistic look into the male world. Girls learn from their dads how men should act toward women. Boys learn how to control their anger and deal with their masculinity in positive ways.
Kids learn lots of other cool stuff from their fathers, like not to bully or be bullied, and how to maintain a healthy balance between timidity and aggression. Dads roughhouse with their children in order to show them that kicking, scratching and biting are wrong. Kids learn self-control when a father says “Now, enough is enough,” and “Take that noise down a notch.”
In other words, moms protect children and dads give them self-confidence. We throw our kids into the air amid shouts of “Not so high.” We bounce them on the bed and mothers cry “Someone’s going to get hurt doing that.” Men know that cuts and scrapes are part of life. Women know to stock up on the bandages and antibiotic cream. Either of these parenting styles by themselves might spell disaster. Together, they keep kids safe while increasing their self-reliance.
One of my favorite confidence building moments as a father took place when my three-year-old son, Tyler, was learning to ride his bike. The training wheels were off, his helmet was on and he was ready to face the big challenge … . Well, almost.
”Dad,” he called out nervously, “Do I have to do this?”
”Of course you do,” I replied. “This is the only day of the year zombies allow three-year-olds to ride their bikes without training wheels. I saw it on the news.”
”But I’m scared,” he said.
”Just keep your wits about you and stay balanced.”
Tyler tightened the chin strap on his helmet and sighed. “Okay, I guess I’m ready.”
I gave him a push and he was off. A few yards down the street his bike hit the curb. Tyler fell to the pavement and scraped his knee.
”Dad, I hurt myself,” he cried.
”Naw, you’re just shedding worn skin” I said, applying a Band-Aid to the wound. “Keep it up. You’re doing great.”
And so it continued. There were a few more crashes that afternoon, and several more Band-Aids, but Tyler hung in there. At one point his mother stepped outside and shouted, “Don’t you think he’s had enough for one day?”
”We can’t give up now,” I hollered back. “He’s almost got it.”
On the next try Tyler kept his balance for a second or two longer. Then he was on his way, wobbling down the street on two wheels. I can still call up that old memory as if it was yesterday. It was every father’s Hallmark moment.
”You did great, son,” I told him when he pulled to a stop. “Now, let’s head inside. Your mom needs a hug.”
Tim Martin resides in McKinleyville.
“If you’re in business for just the money—you’re about half paid.”
R.L. Hammond (1921-2004)
My dad was an insurance agent in San Diego County in the 1970-80’s. He lived a life of serving others and his country in WWII. He taught and tutored me in much of what I know and do in business today.
The following practices/ideas of his are sure to ratchet up your business acumen:
- BE KIND TO EVERYONE—“It doesn’t cost anything to show kindness to others, Scott,” he would say. Be nice. Play nice. A smile and a small kindness go a long way.
- HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE/SHAKE HANDS AND GREET PEOPLE- People love to feel important (because they are!). An appropriate handshake and a greeting really affirm others and establishes rapport-quickly. Give the gift of appropriate touch.
- TELL GREAT STORIES—People live in stories…We all relate to a good tale and learn more from a compelling story than a lecture. Stories bring relevance to our topic and to our relationships.
- BE A GOOD LISTENER—This tells people you affirm them and value them. Empathy is a powerful relationship builder and establishes credibility, reliability, and shows you really care.
- BE AN ABOVE AVERAGE SPEAKER—Learn the art of public speaking. Good speakers know how and what to communicate and when. You can learn to speak well if you apply yourself to the disciplines and use the tools available to you. “Go to a Toastmaster Meeting”, he would tell me.
- HAVE AN AWESOME SENSE OF HUMOR—Laugh sometimes. Have fun with people and stop the somberness that permeates some business cultures. Be appropriately playful with people who like to play and laugh, and cultivate the ability to really laugh at life.
- DEVELOP LIFELONG RELATIONSHIPS—Be the person who reaches out and calls and takes the initiative in your relationships. Be that person who spends the time and effort to get to know and serve others. Givers really do gain!
- GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT…FREELY—Be that person who can freely affirm, encourage, and genuinely build others up in a truly authentic fashion. Heck—tell those you love how you feel.
- BE A GIVER—Share your life, world, resources, experiences, gifts, and time as freely as you feel able and willing. Be that person who “walks the talk” in your actions and your words. Give to others expecting nothing in return—you will be blessed.
- BE SPECTACULAR ON THE PHONE—Learn to use the phone like no one else. Make purposeful and powerful calls that build rapport and relationship. Learn to network using the phone to make great calls and reach out to those you hope to build alliances with. Know how to relate to people via the phone on a regular basis.
10.5. BE YOU—Just be yourself not a second rate version of someone else. Trust yourself, be yourself and others will resonate with the “authentic you”. There is only one of YOU—be the best you possible and you will succeed in life, business, and awesome relationships!
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
“There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.
“Every time a football player goes to play his trade he’s got to play from the ground up — from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.
“Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization — an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win — to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.
“It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there — to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules — but to win.
“And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.
“I don’t say these things because I believe in the “brute” nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle — victorious.”
- V. Lombardi
1913 – 1970
I am not sure at which moment in time I get the permission to become a grouch–but it happens with too much frequency.
Here is what it looks like:
Cruising home–had an average day…
I get home and then discover the “2nd job”-Being dad and father and husband and more…
Look out the Grouch is rearing his belligerent head!
I go from zero to belligerent in less than :60.
Scary stuff bro…why is this?
Causes? Contributing factors? What and why and how did I come to this?…
What happened to “Become a better father” and all that mission, vision, and goal setting to be that effective parent and father?
(The short answer is –out the window!)
What are some of the causes for “Dad Stress” and how can we mitigate them going forward?
See Part 2 of the Grouch on the Couch for these and other answers.
I am his Connoisseur
My dad’s love is a child. Jealous and restless. His passion for fatherhood reverberates through my soul. His words always invigorate my weary spirit.
My dad’s love is a gift. Precious and priceless. In a world where one gets swallowed by pressure and impulse, his presence in my life secures me from uncertainty.
My dad’s love is a light. Vivid and defining. His triumphs lead me to the path I must take. His mistakes show me the history I must not repeat.
My dad’s love is a stream. Overflowing with infinite generosity. Even without his physical presence, I am confined with his unwavering care for my welfare.
My dad’s love is a pole. Independent but never isolated. Nobody would believe that his thin, frail body was able to raise me as a single father after my mom passed on when I was born.
My dad’s love is an oxygen. Universal and unprejudiced. He has devoted five decades of his life fathering thousands of students inside the portals of their ‘second home’.
My dad’s love is a storm. Uncontrollable and forceful. His concern may supersede logic. We may always find ourselves at opposite poles, but our love for each other has never diminished.
My dad’s love is a voyage. Bold and daring. He helmed our family to endure the strongest waves, the most depressing trials, the most shattering truths. His courage stood up to the roster of challenges that almost tore us apart.
Above all, my dad’s love is a wine. Timeless and seasoned. From the day we first met, he has only remained prudent and dignified. His wisdom gleams a velvety resonance to my spirit. Despite his feat, he only gets finer by the day, just like a glass of wine.
-Jose Paolo Cheeseman Calcetas
To know is to love…
As you learn more about who your children are and how they have been designed–how they are wired…
Let them know and discover more about yourself as well. Let them in on YOU.
Disclosure and being real and open as a parent is key to developing a healthy relationship with your kids–for a lifetime.
Can you keep it “real”?…or do you tend to put on a “parenting self”… as you deal with your kids.
My twenty-something kids call this being “Legit”.
Children can smell a fake a mile away—do the know you, like you, and trust you?
Only then you can have a great relationship!
Let patience, kindness, love and the willingness (courage) to trust and be trusted as you move forward as a family.
Authenticity is the key—can you be real and keep to the role of a great parent…Yup!
As you arrive home after your day or work—do a quick PERSONAL inventory.
H A L T….!!
If so, satisfy and notify. Communicate to others as appropriate, what you are feeling.
Give yourself food, talk with your partner, go out back and pray, etc…
Let others know what you need for that moment.
Give yourself a time-out, a shower, or whatever will satisfy the identified need.
Yes, there will always be reasons why some of this coping strategy cannot be done, but even sometimes is better than not at all.
In Review—HALT—Employ an appropriate tool–Then come back on line as the awesome parent you really are!
Help your kids ease into sleep with some pre-sleep routine that works for everyone.
This is key as it actually sets the stage for the next day in many ways.
We often start with a warm bath followed by the customary tooth brushing—those dental bills!
We then have a variety of bedtime “tools” depending on the age of the child.
My wife will often have a reading time with our 2 young boys centered around books they like.
With my older, special needs son, it is more of a time of getting him “tucked in” and comfortable followed by prayer.
This all includes appropriate and customary “kisses goodnight”, hugs, and acts of affection.
Tell your kids you love them—and why.
Every family melts down–sometimes! When things aren’t going well what can you do as a leader-parent?
Here are a few tips and ideas you can employ TODAY to help you and the fam get through the “rough spots” we all encounter in family living:
- Call for EVERYONE to take a :60 second “time-out”—Stop and walk away, take some breaths, and remove yourself from a volatile situation first.
- Call for EVERYONE to “freeze” (remember freeze tag?)—Stop the action and words of everyone for a minute or so before resuming.
- Discuss the Scene (drama!)–Have everyone stop and consider their roles and how they might make some changes in tone, words,body language etc…
- Replay the Scene–Make it a better “scene”. Replay it as many times as necessary to make a more positive scene and consequently a better overall “Family Play”
- Have Fun–Dare to have some humor and laugh with (not at) each other. Crack an appropriate joke and lighten the mood when trending toward a family drama.