Saturday, August 10, 2013
Name: Aaron Hammond
Profession: Young Man
Years in Business: About 12
Family Info: #7 of 8 Kids
Hobbies: Loves his goat and chickens! Great with younger brother Micah. Amazing at many forms of electronics and gadgetry.
Activities of Interest: Legos, Video Games, Mine Craft, anything with Video. Turns out Aaron is an avid reader and learner. This guy is a great thinker as well–formulates great core questions.
Burning desire: To be an awesome actor.
Something no one knows about me: The man is a terrific help around a frequently chaotic home. Aaron has really shown his quality in so many areas—Scouting, Animal Husbandry, and just being a key part of the family with a great attitude and heart. Aaron has a tender heart toward God and people—a rare combo!
Keys to Success: Total, absolute creativity—-Is able to move on after blowing up
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.
The Challenge of Change
It doesn’t take a leader to move a person to fix something that is obviously broken. It takes a leader to inspire comfortable winners to move to higher ground. It is the hardest thing a leader can do. Just ask the President. What are you doing to help your family make the paradigm shifts that will move your family productively on a journey into the future?
Every parent needs to keep his family out of their comfort zone and hooked on the goal of continuous process improvement. Promote innovative changes throughout your family. If you lead a family and you want your family to give you innovative ideas, ask for their contributions regularly by encouraging and honoring diversity of opinion and thought. Be open to the unconventional, and be relentless in promoting fresh eyes to uncover new changes and new opportunities.
Learning To Be In The Moment
Learning to be present or mindful is a lifelong pursuit. Intentionality and focus are all important and can lead to the skill of being present. There are things that you can do today to help. Many of the techniques involve breathing – focus on it; it’s almost guaranteed to bring you back to the moment requires no special tools or training, so it’s a perfect way to begin. Breathe deep and focus.
Try to adopt one of these ideas, even once a day – whichever one seems easiest. Once you experience being in the present, you can find you want to try other techniques to extend the feeling. Here are a few examples –
• When the phone rings, don’t jump up to answer it. Take a good, deep breath before you say hello.
• Program your computer or watch to beep once an hour. When you hear the beep, stop and take five deep breaths. You may want to stand and stretch too.
• Before getting out of bed, take five minutes to do a mental scan of your body. How does everything feel?
• Before rising in the morning, utilize your “Tabernacle Choir”. Remember all the positives of your life. Remember, rehearse, and review all the good things and grace that has been given you.
• Practice doing just one thing at a time. Stop multitasking; it will poison your soul and mind. If you’re eating, don’t watch TV or read. You will gain up to 5 extra weeks a year in lost time and productivity. If you’re walking, don’t talk; focus on a single activity.
• As you eat, take small bites and chew each one 30 times. You will discover you enjoy your food more, and it’s healthier to.
• Stop, look , and listen. Really smell the flowers, listen to people, focus your attention, and be in the process of the moment. You will be more peaceful, focused, loving, present, and engaged as well as engaging!
1. Slowing down-2. Taking deep breaths-3. Intentionally noticing your surroundings-4. Stopping, looking, and listening-5. Connecting to and communicating with those around you-6. Being present, focused, and in the moment-
Once you start developing the ability to be present at certain times of the day, you have developed a valuable skill to call on to defuse stress at any time. As with learning a sport or musical instrument, the more you practice, the more adept and you’ll become. Before you know it, you’ll be nowhere else but here. Are you here and in the moment right now?
Solutions for the Over-achieving Parent• Enjoy the moment. Stop and really concentrate on the small joys of life.• Be here now. Really focus on others and what they are communicating• Practice thankfulness for what it is now. Mentally and verbally give thanks for all you enjoy• Buy a Koi pond and go “watch the fish”. At least go outside and breathe, stretch and notice nature in its various forms.• Take breaks, stop and smell the flowers, intentionally enjoy life. Take a walk daily at work or home to break up the routine• Accept that less is more. What are we REALLY lacking in any moment?• Learn to push, then stop and wait for the results and be patient. Really know when you have done enough, then stop and give thanks. It will be there tomorrow.• Bring your best contribution to all relationships. Really make relationships your #1 priority in life. • Surrender to the moment, circumstance, or situation. Practice really letting go of any situation you have no control over. Rest. Pray. Release.• Take quiet breaks and rest. Walk. Go outside. Go Inside. Close the door. Time out.• Forgive with intentionality. Really release it and forget it. Move on…• Let it go. Stop your mind from negatively replaying what you cannot control.• Move along. Look to the next thing. Get over yourself.• Operate from the concept of a universe of abundance. There is more than enough for everyone.• Relax at work. Take a daily walk.• Breathe deep. Fill your lungs with air so that your stomach expands. Do this each hour.• Totally trust God and pray. Learn to reach out to God in personal prayer and really speak with Him. Tell Him how you feel. He can take it. • Take vacations. Schedule in advance, save the resources, plan with gusto, and just do it.• Stop the “self-beatings”. As you have the inevitable setbacks of life, simply resolve in advance to not add to the disappointment by adding self- deprecation of any type. Make it a point to stop negative self- talk. • Monitor and question moods and attitudes. Practice self-control and be aware of your personal emotional cycles and weaknesses and adjust your perspective from there. Know yourself and adjust accordingly.• Surrender and accept what is. It is what it is…and it can be better if you are willing.
“Have to” vs. “Get to”
The key here is attitude. You don’t HAVE to do these things. But, you GET to do these things. Your motivation and attitude is everything so decide now in the seat of your will that this is a priority to you, and you will succeed at it! When will you get started on your Parenting Plan?
How will it look when you schedule your kids into your life and keep your appointments with them? What will it take for you to be the initiator and leader with the plan and in your family?
Our priorities need to become people and relationships. Learning to be here now is a key aspect to developing these key relationships. As we all know, time flies when you’re having fun. Kids grow, people die, people move on and life changes very rapidly. This is why slowing down and enjoying relationships and people and being in the moment is such a key piece to enjoyment and fulfillment in life.
To align yourself with high quality of life and living is to have fun, enjoyment, and to be a lifelong learner and contributor. The results are compelling-satisfaction with our lives, relationships and legacy: joyful participation.
Do you have a plan in training yourself to relax and be in the moment? Do you have a vision to train yourself to enjoy the moments? Are you able to suspend your inner Type A person and duct tape him in the corner? Can you suspend activities to do that which gives us real-life? Will you align with your priorities and live in the “now?”
The result will be no regrets in your old age or on your deathbed. Will you be able to look back and truly give thanks for life and the legacy left to others? Can you die happy and fulfilled knowing you did your part and left a heritage that was compelling to other people? When it’s all said and done what is fathering success? What does it look like?
The answer lies in a word: Relationship.
Our relationships define our “success” in this world. So, how‘s the wife and kids?
www.becomeabetterfather.com is sponsoring our 3rd Annual Father’s Day Writing Contest.
We want to know our readers opinions of what it takes to be a AWESOME father.
We value your opinion and would love to hear from you and what you think makes a great dad.
The question we pose is:
” MY DAD IS AWESOME BECAUSE__________________.”
Here are the official rules…
- Write about what you think an AWESOME father is (A poem,essay, or other writing form) LIMIT 300-500 WORDS and simply email to us!
- Email your entry to email@example.com
- You must have your entry posted by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, June 30th, 2011.
- July 1st, 2011, the lovely Mrs. Hammond will pick a winner based on what she think rocks!
- The winner receives a free full one-hour consultation with Scott Hammond, an Every Day Book, a full-featured blog post on www.becomeabetterfather and much more!
- We will post an entry on this blog on July 1st 2011, containing links to the winning entry…… so you will get a free link out of the deal.
- You will win an autographed copy of the Every Day Dad: the Guide to Becoming a Better Father!!
That’s it and good luck! The question remains: “MY DAD IS AWESOME BECAUSE__________________”
Scott Hammond FO-9
Father of Nine
True Story….Gabriel Hammond’s Birth
This is our true and heartfelt story of turning pain into passion. This is a true story of our beloved son, Gabriel Hammond.
It all started with the ultrasound at the local Mad River Community Hospital. The ultrasound revealed the possibility of Down syndrome. Gabe (our unborn son) had a one in three chance of having the condition. Did he or didn’t he? That question haunted us until Gabe’s birth.
My wife Joni was assigned a month’s bed rest and then gave birth to a mostly-healthy baby boy. Joni and Gabe were flown overnight to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where Gabriel was to have surgery to correct an intestinal blockage. After the surgery, both mother and son were fine.
The two-dollar question was did Gabriel have Down syndrome?
Meeting with the doctor, she told us that yes, Gabe did have Down syndrome and that we had less than one year left in our marriage. Her point was that parents of special-needs kids have huge marital challenges. The doctor was not very delicate in the way she told us. What a great nugget to drop on a couple in such a vulnerable time!
No one prepares you for the disappointment, loss, fear, and many of life’s potentials forfeited when you learn that you have a baby who has Down syndrome. The feelings of new parents of kids with Down run from anger to depression to frustration to resignation. It is like the six phases of grieving. It feels a bit like a death within the context of birth in that it is a death of a vision. A parental hope and dream of what could have been most likely will not be now with this new twist of having a “special need”. It is a feeling, ultimately, of being lost in a world of unpredictability and not having a map of where you are going. This is truly “uncharted water”. That feeling of fear and sense of loss will be forever ingrained in my heart and mind. We knew nothing of Down syndrome or special-needs kids. To this point, we’d had six healthy children and had never met anyone with Down syndrome or any similar disability.
As we learned that our Gabriel had Down, we really had to dig deep and see if we could find the upside of Down syndrome. But, fear ruled the day.
Who is our boy? What will he be when he grows up? Can he play football? Will he go to college? Will he be “normal”? Will he get married? Will he have children? Will he have to undergo heart surgery?
These and other questions raced through our minds as we try set about discovering who it was we were dealing with and what his needs would be going forward. The initial sense of being lost without a compass or any bearings is truly an emotion to which words cannot do justice. When advised of our Gabriel’s condition, the well-meaning but blunt doctor told us that most special-needs parents divorce within the first few years. Well, she just added to our devastation.
On a subsequent trip back to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, years later, that sense of being lost is what I remembered the most. That sense of not knowing what to do, where to go, or who to turn to, other than God. We made the decision to learn to love and raise Gabriel and come to terms with what, or rather who, we were given.
How did we move forward? What were the metrics of measuring progress with Down Syndrome? What will Gabe’s needs be? How different will he be? How can we get help and resources? What about school?
The darkness, disbelief, and doubt that swirl around new parents, who discover their child has Down syndrome or any other life-altering disease, birth defect, or condition, are real and profoundly devastating. Not having a map or a compass to consult, not knowing which steps are needed is truly a frightening, debilitating process. Faith in God becomes paramount at the moment and going forward.
It’s a hard thing to realize and come to grips with the disappointment of a loss of a child diagnosed with something as long term and life-changing as Down syndrome. Down syndrome is not “cute” as some blithely observe. Kids with Down syndrome, while they are special, are still a challenge, especially for the parents upon first discovering their own child’s special needs.
The unknown twists and turns, trials, stress, surprises, fears, and heartbreak are all part of what it means to be a special needs parent.
The ensuing questions, heartbreak, prayer, and walks around the UC Davis campus, crying out to God, will always be etched in my memory. After days of genuine soul searching, I decided to dedicate Gabriel (and our raising him) to the Lord. Although he would never be a professional football hero or a brain surgeon, his life would be both personally fulfilling and enriching to those around him. We were ready to move on and raise our son no matter what!
The shame, embarrassment, and guilt that parents of children with special needs share is one of life’s dirty-little-secrets. Although not rational, logical, or reasonable, these feelings are very tangible.
The feelings of sadness and gloom often come at unexpected, strange times. Perception is reality. The pain is real. In addition to this we discovered Gabe had autism as well. This was a family shock to say the least. Now our son had a double challenge…so did we.
The times of reality hitting home when the Costco gawkers stared at us and our son Gabe only served to remind us of our frustration, pain, and anguish. Every so often, the reality check of Gabriel’s special needs of Down syndrome (and now, autism, as well) come crashing in on us. Gabe’s episodes of dysfunction or meltdowns pull us out of our times of denial, where we have to admit, acknowledge, and again decide to go forward as parents.
We have learned to be honest with our feelings and with each other. We’ve chosen to redeem benefits from all the pain as a couple and as a family to achieve love regardless of the “return on investment”. The lessons learned have to do with my deciding to have the right perspective, attitude, actions, and behaviors. The decision to love unconditionally is ours alone. This unconditional love, stemming from the decision to love Gabriel, has transferred some of my pain into a long-term perspective which is surprising, refreshing, and very interesting.
Walk Your Talk with Your Kids—Living with Spiritual Authenticity
Train a child in the way they should go….“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”– Proverbs 22:6, King Solomon of Israel.
This is a great concept, promise, principle, and protocol for fathers. “Training up” has the idea of a parent graciously investing in a child whatever wisdom, love, nurturing, and discipline is needed for him to become fully committed to God. It presupposes parental emotional and spiritual maturity.
“In the way that he should go” is to do the training according to the unique personality, gifts, and aspirations of the child. The idea here is to, equip, resource, and be a catalyst for your child’s gifts, skills, and natural abilities. We must study our kids and know just what their strengths and weaknesses are.
The converse is to help the child avoid whatever natural tendencies she might have that would prevent total commitment to God. For example: a weak will, a lack of discipline, a susceptibility to depression, etc… Knowing where our kids are prone to weakness will help us to help them avoid the pitfalls of poor decision-making, lack of character, immaturity and more. This is as important as knowing their strengths and gifts and facilitating those.
The promise is that proper development with great parenting ensures the child will stay committed to God and love people… the two basics of the 10 Commandments. May we stay focused, diligent and intentional in this key role!
Tools of Effective Legacy: Grace. How Do We Use Our Authority?
When I talk about fathering, I think of how God the Father deals with me. And then I realize His kindness, patience, and love and see how short I fall as I deal with others.
God doesn’t always use a stick to beat us when we make mistakes, so why are we as fathers so quick to apply the stick of punishment to those around us, especially our kids? It’s okay to be angry, and it’s okay to not like injustice, disobedience, immaturity, and some of the zany things kids do in their selfishness.
But what gives you and me the right when we are tired and frustrated to dole out law in the spirit of anger? Our Lord never modeled that type of authoritarianism. He did everything in love, including correction, chastisement, teaching, and encouragement.
You and I as men need to re-learn authority. We need to not get caught up in the disciplinarian model and playing the heavy, which is so common in our society. We need to learn the authority of Jesus, based in love, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control.
We need to re-learn the father heart of God, and how that applies to our leadership and authority over those for whom we have responsibility. We must be intentional and incremental in learning this model, as it will transform our parenting, and indeed, our lives. So, the next time you’re faced with someone’s shortcomings, or your own, for that matter, what’s going to be different?
Will it be grace or law? Which have you been given more of?
Grace versus law- means that we translate His heart to those around us in how we use our words, authority and actions. How can we successfully use godly authority in a way that shows His heart and love and kindness?
How do you personally dole out correction and discipline? Do the following mark your approach?
• Cussing and swearing
• Yelling and raising your voice
• Withholding your favor in some way
• Silent treatment
• Launching out in anger
• Physical violence
• Verbal violence
How do these mirror the Father Heart of God (see Appendix B.), and how he’s treated you? Does God do any of the above as He has occasion to correct and admonish you? In your walk with God, has He ever treated you with anything but kindness, love in the heart of a father? The answer is God corrects and chastens us in great love and patience and kindness. His encouraging and teaching Spirit reminds me that the kindness of God leads me to repentance… every time.
We get caught up in stress and with our authority; we often default to become the great disciplinarians. We get hard, mean, and even cruel—often with those we love the most.
This is wrong, and an incorrect application of authority. We do need to have courageous conversations, and even dole out consequences as needed, but if our default is dictatorial we’ve missed the mark in the Jesus example.
The authority that Jesus wielded can be learned, applied and given freely, but we need to be intentional…. How will you discipline, correct, and encourage someone who is under your authority the next time? Will you default to a baser form of handling authority, or will you be intentional and model the kindness and encouragement of Jesus Christ? Next time, what will be different?