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.
You just broke your child. Congratulations.
Dads. Stop breaking your children. Please.
I feel a need to write this post after what I witnessed at Costco yesterday. Forgive me for another post written in desperation and anger. Please read all the way to the end. I know it’s long, but this is something that needs to be said. It’s something that needs to be heard. It’s something that needs to be shared.
As Noah and I stood in line to make a return, I watched as a little boy (he couldn’t have been older than six) looked up at his dad and asked very timidly if they could buy some ice cream when they were done. The father glared him down, and through clenched teeth, growled at the boy to “leave him alone and be quiet”. The boy quickly cowered to the wall where he stood motionless and hurt for some time.
The line slowly progressed and the child eventually shuffled back to his father as he quietly hummed a childish tune, seemingly having forgotten the anger his father had just shown. The father again turned and scolded the boy for making too much noise. The boy again shrunk back and cowered against the wall, wilted.
I was agitated. I was confused. How could this man not see what I see? How could this man not see what a beautiful spirit stood in his shadow? How could this man be so quick to stub out all happiness in his own boy? How could this man not cherish the only time he’ll ever have to be everything to this boy? To be the person that matters most to this boy?
I also recommend you check out his new book, Real Dad Rules.
Feel free to add to the hundreds of comments below or shoot me an email today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Boys want to know three things,” says 72-year-old Lew Powers, a 20-year veteran Boy Scout director. ‘One, who’s the boss? Two, what are the rules? And three, are you going to enforce them?’ To have a strong relationship with a boy, you have to be the boss, and a very kind one. Only set rules that you can enforce, and always enforce them. Then you have the basis for a relationship. From here comes respect and more importantly, trust.”
Being a good father means you discipline from a plan, not from emotion. Most fathers tend to shy away from traditional behavior systems, relying heavily on their ability to “discipline in the moment.” I have found in my practice that this is not a good way to go. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I find that it is one of our male weaknesses, such as failing to ask for directions when we know we are lost. In both cases, we need to use a map. And a behavioral map entails sitting down and plotting your course. What are your rules? Are you willing to enforce them in the same way every time? What will you do when you become aware that your child has left you severely frustrated? Will you yell? Will you say hurtful things that you’ll later apologize for? Make your map and chart your course.
Some brief notes on discipline:
Discipline strategies used by mother and father should be the same.
3 strikes you’re out
Consequences and rewards used by mother and father should be the same
Raising your voice to get your child’s attention is not a problem as long as:
You are not out of control.
It doesn’t shame your child.
It doesn’t put your child in a position to care for you.
Raising your voice does have its risks. Your children will meet the bar that you set:
If you yell, they will yell.
If you shut down, they will shut down.
If you keep your poise, they will keep theirs.
DON’T HIT! This damages a child’s self-esteem and ability to bond and attach emotionally.
To my friend and brother Bob Hammond:
Proudly I call you my brother—-the lives we lived although different, were mirrored in so many ways that are paths were entwined forever…
Born of humble circumstance in Iowa, raised by saintly mother, forged by the Depression, in which doing without was commonplace, you were a gifted athlete, literally fighting for an education, knowledge, and some wisdom.
Through the great conflict (World War II), where the wild blue yonder,, became close up deadly and dirty. You and I lived, suffered losses, made mistakes, played thousands of card games, played hundreds of rounds of golf, fought, drink to excess, and selfishly survived…
Well, it was about time. When we made the long-awaited changes… and with those changes came sobriety, self-respect and most importantly love of family, those of goodwill, coupled with a great love for Christ.
He takes you into his arms. Go lovingly, Compadre. So long I will miss you: keep the light on for me…
If you want something, you have to do something. The key is to get going.
- Set a goal. This is harder that it seems. Generally, we have an idea of what we’d like—to be more successful, healthier, and happier—but we stop there. Vague desires aren’t goals, they’re dreams. Remember you can’t reach a goal you have not set yet.
- Understand and accept the tradeoffs. Every goal has unpleasant aspects. Identify the good things—“I want to make more money,” and the less good—“I have to work harder or smarter.” Understand the downsides, and accept them as necessary to the process.
- Commit to your goal. Being ambivalent is disastrous. Success does not come from—or to—which-washy people.
- Set a deadline. Deadlines give goals a framework for action. You can’t reach a goal without a meaningful deadline.
- Commit to the deadline. Commitment is critical for making improvement. Make your deadline mean something.
- Tell people. Make your goal tangible by sharing it with others. Say it out loud and put it on paper.
- Outline intermediate steps. Things don’t go from here to there without passing through some middle territory. It’s easier to take many small steps than one big leap.
- Get help. Partner up. Since we have to do things that are new to us, we’re inexperienced. Often, it’s best to get professional help, but even friends or colleagues can assist. On your journey to your new goal, you don’t have to make the trip alone.
- Take action. Soon! Your resolve can slip—and then time goes by. Take the first step now. The sooner you do, the more likely you are to achieve your ultimate goal.
- Commit again. And again. For improvements to occur, you have to embrace them over and over. Take it step by step—but keep moving forward—and I year from now, you’ll find you’ve moved from here to ther.
Thanks to Dr. Richard Borough
Results from our Informal Survey…
A lot of Doug’s advice struck a chord for me- the 3 things I took from his memorial service were:
1.) LIVE FOR TODAY. Do not dwell on the past, learn from your mistakes, but do not let them haunt you. Do not get caught up in the future. LIVE for the PRESENT! If you make today a success the success will continue into the future.
2.) COACH/MENTOR- take an active role in your children’s interests. Doug coached his last lacrosse game for his younger son’s team just a few weeks before he past away. His boys did not win that day, but they still felt like winners. Doug taught them that what was important was that they played their best, had fun, and had love & respect for their teammates and their competitors. Doug was in the habit of asking his team- “What is my job?” They would respond- “to love us.” “What is your job?” “to love each other.” I am not sure where Doug got these mottos but the point was- teaching & mentoring kids is great for the kids- but was also incredibly rewarding for Doug.
3.) LET GO OF REGRET’S! As tragic of a loss as it was to lose Doug at such a young age- he did get an incredible gift- his diagnosis forced him to let go of regrets. Every man has things he wishes he did differently but we are forgiven for our mistakes- and we should not dwell on them.
Anyhow- sorry for the long response- but these are some of the things I learned from my buddy Doug. And even though he was a “Man’s man” he was never embarrassed to say- “I love you Man!’ and neither am I.
Being a grandparent of two provides remarkable insight into my parenting background. Between my wife and I, we have grown daughters and all that comes with it.
1. I would be more relaxed about encouraging my offspring to explore and think for themselves.
2. I would instill less fear of uncertainty
3. That’s it because, while parenting was a “surprise” for me in my mid-thirties, I can’t imagine life without having at least one child.
Nothing! That doesn’t mean that I was a perfect parent. I simply would go through that season with the faith that carried me through it the first time. I believe that each child has his/her own spirit, soul, mind, emotion and will. I’d to my best, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to guide that child in the direction of their bent. I have noticed little consistency between what we may consider “great” parenting and how kids turn out. Raising a child is such an act of “trusting God” and a daily dose of humility as those little innocent creations remind us that we are not God and that we need to depend on Him all the more. What a terrifying responsibility…to bring a child into the world via birth or to parent via the blessing of adoption. Yet, having said all of that…I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
In honor of Father’s Day 2009 and fathers everywhere www.becomeabetterfather.com is sponsoring a Father’s Day writing contest. We want to know our readers opinions of what it takes to be a great 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 (was)awesome because…”
Here are the official rules…
- Write about what you think a good father is (A poem,essay, or other writing form) and post on your blog with a link back to this blog post. LIMIT 300 WORDS.
- Please leave a comment on this blog post to let us know you entered.
- You must have your entry posted by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, June 21st, 2009.
- June 21st at 9pm PST, 2009, the lovely Mrs. Hammond and I will pick a winner based on what we think rocks!
- The winner receives a free full one-hour consultation with Scott Hammond, a Starbucks gift card, a full-featured blog post on become a better father.com, a cool certificate,and much much more!
- We will post an entry on this blog on June 22nd 2009 containing links to all the entries, so you will get a free link out of the deal.
- We will also do a press release on the winner of the Fathers Day Writing Contest… to be determined.
That’s it and good luck! The question remains: ”My Dad is (was) awesome because…”
Scott Hammond FO-9
Father of Nine
Though I have more than three compelling things to list that my dad did well, here are three that come quickly to mind.
1) My dad taught me the value and activity of work. He didn’t just tell me that it would be good for me, he forced me to learn to work at an early age and then called attention to all the benefits and rewards that were derived from my efforts. Many of those early lessons were difficult, oftentimes not fun…but infinitely valuable to me today.
2) My dad taught me the value of quality performance. He was never one to do a job in such a way as to simply get it done. He always focused on the quality of the job performance as one of its key measurements. In fact, while I was in 3rd grade he wrote something in my elementary school “autograph book” that I still have and remember today: “Any thing worth doing is worth doing well.” It’s great advice and better still if learned and practiced from an early age.
3) My dad taught me the value of a good story. My dad was a great storyteller in the tradition of many of the southern neighbors I grew up around in western Kentucky. His stories could make you laugh, could make you cry, could make you think, could make you cringe and were always guaranteed to make you feel better–whether it was the first or the hundred and first time you had heard them. He taught me that stories were a wonderful way to bridge the gap between people.
Scott, I don’t know if these help or not, but I applaud your efforts to show others how to Become A Better Father…the world certainly needs that right now.
All the best!
1. He loved me unconditionally, he taught me, “yagottawanna”,
2. He let me work along side him in the yard and shop.
3. Silent commraderie got us through a lot of difficult times!
1. My father modeled kindness.
2. He treated my mother with respect.
3. He stood for something, even if it hurt him personally or politically.
He instilled a fierce desire in me to be neither sick, poor, or unschooled. All of which he grew up with and could not stand to see carried on into future generations. Sick because illness we bring upon ourselves, poor because no man owes another a living, and unschooled because nobody can take away an education. He was, and still is, a devout individualist.
1) You need to “get out of your skin” every once in a while and take a look around. If you like your life the way it is – good! If not, you better fix it!
2) The best opportunities come out of left field. Everyone gets opportunities – EVERYONE – but you have to be ready to take advantage of them. The best opportunities come when you least expect them and may be least prepared to take advantage of them, but the most successful people go for it when they come around!
3) Do what you love – the money will follow.
1. He said to always “Leave the camp site better than when we found it.”
This means to always improve things rather than merely use things.
2. Democracy is for those who participate. Be active in our democracy or it will die.
3. Always do something whether it’s school, work, travel. Don’t be complacent.
1. He included me in his projects without being patronizing. he depended on me to help wash the car and he didn’t let anyone else redo my work.
2. He had me do a demonstration to his sales team of how he wanted them to memorize a presentation.
3. Most valuable: he was passionate and committed to his values and demonstrated that to me every day with his words and actions. He was who he was with me all the time and I trusted him.
Wow! thanks guys……
10 THINGS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY $$
Remember, there are many things in life that are far more important than the size of your investment portfolio or the size of your latest paycheck.
Too often in our capitalistic society, we place too much emphasis on financial achievement and too little on the importance of living a purpose driven life.
- Family… your spouse, your parents, and her kids should come first. Just simply providing for them does not make your family, your number one priority. There is far more you can do for them with quality and quantity time. Love is spelled…. TIME.
- Friends… the older some of us get, the less time we have for our friends. Some people get too busy climbing the success ladder and may not even make time for friends. Big mistake. So many things in our society are disposable, and sadly, friends too often fall into that category. Take time to invest in your friendships, both old and new. How hard is it to schedule a Starbucks coffee, pick up the phone, or write an e-mail?
- Your health… stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, poor relationships with you and your family… all of these can adversely affect your health. Getting caught up in your career and working endless hours can also lead to neglect of one’s health. Workaholism can be deadly. The lack of discipline in making exercise, sleep, a good diet, and a healthy lifestyle can be dangerous if not deadly as well. You get one body, take care of it and treat it with the respect it deserves.
- Kids… investing in your kids is absolutely one of the best investments you can make. Understanding how to relate to, love, care for, and communicate with your kids is vital to becoming a more fulfilled and complete person. Our future is our children. What kind of legacy are you leaving behind? Relationships that are fully orbed or just a fat portfolio?
- Education… being a lifelong learner is a lifelong process. It’s not about being enrolled in the school or a fancy college or receiving a piece of paper. It is, however, about being someone who is hungry to learn, willing to change, and ready to embrace new ways of looking at life and the universe. As long as you have your mental capacities, you can keep learning and building on what you already know. Your mind is a terrible thing to waste.
- Having fun… people get so caught up in society’s money game that wealth becomes an addiction, an obsession, and the purpose for their existence. How many wealthy people aren’t healthy people who spend far too much time and energy chasing promotions, money, and possessions. We can end up with lots of toys and turn out to be pretty unhappy people… big mistake.
- Solving social problems… how can you be a voice in society for those who do not have the ability to speak for themselves? Whether it’s poverty, divorce, suicide, teenage pregnancy, name your issue… you can have a voice and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Your community is full of opportunities for you to volunteer, donate time or money, and get involved.
- Your neighbors… give the neighbors a chance. Don’t write them off because they aren’t the same age, race, or occupation as you. What’s the sense of neglecting neighbors, since they can be sources of friendship, if given a chance? Part of our connection to the greater society is defined by our neighborhoods, which are full of neighbors— who could be friends we haven’t met yet.
- Appreciating/valuing what you have… right now make a list of 10 things that you really appreciate. What is on your list? Despite our overall affluence, we still lament material things we lack rather than appreciating and valuing the material and nonmaterial things we do have. Don’t forget relationships.
- Your reputation… a good name is to be had above riches. It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but only moments to lose it. We chase after many things in life, and we often de-value and under-invest in relationships which should have our focus and priority. How many men have thrown it all away in a quick but twisted attempt at some forbidden fruit?