In honor of Father’s Day and fathers everywhere….
www.becomeabetterfather.com is sponsoring our 5TH 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, 2013.
- July 1st, 2013, 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 in July 2013, 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!!
- You will feel good about your life and mission….
That’s it and good luck! The question remains: “MY DAD IS AWESOME BECAUSE…..”
Scott Hammond FO-9
Father of Nine
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
Life is a game with a glorious prize,
If we can only play it right.
It is give and take, build and break,And often it ends in a fight;
But he surely wins who honestly tries
(Regardless of wealth or fame),
He can never despair who plays it fair
How are you playing the game?
Do you wilt and whine, if you fail to win
In the manner you think your due?
Do you sneer at the man in case that he can
And does, do better than you?
Do you take your rebuffs with a knowing grin?
Do you laugh tho’ you pull up lame?
Does your faith hold true when the whole world’s blue?
How are you playing the game?
Get into the thick of it – wade in, boys!
Whatever your cherished goal;
Brace up your will till your pulses thrill,
And you dare to your very soul!
Do something more than make a noise;
Let your purpose leap into flame
As you plunge with a cry, “I shall do or die,”
Then you will be playing the game.
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.
Nice email from a new friend who liked the Every Day Dad book….
So glad to finally have your book in hand. I feel like I need to take a week and outline everything that is challenging me in the book and create a game plan to devourer the time-wasters and grow in vision for my life and my lil’ babes.
I seriously love the book…I felt like it would be something I would immediately do with a bunch of dudes from my Church, but for now I totally can tell the medicine is for me in a “now” sorta way. This is seriously an amazing 3-in-1. Your book is a true gift; thanks for paying the price to serve this!
So I hope to give you updates as I grow in this, but as of now I feel a bit plowed over with everything the Lord is putting on my plate…I need help! Would you be willing to send me the Personal Strategic Planner you mentioned in the book? I would so appreciate it. I would also love a chance to ring you and get some leverage on this planning puppy…I know we’re basically BBF’s so this wouldn’t be any trouble, and if it sucks for you I can surely figure this thang out.
Thanks for being such an awesome light and providing barring for me: You Rock!”
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.
Each year, July 4th brings a joyful remembrance of the love, relationship, and good times enjoyed with my father, Bob. He was raised during the Depression, when going without was commonplace. He was a friend of anyone who knew him and exemplified thankfulness and gratitude for all we enjoy as Americans.
This July 4th has special meaning as it is the 70th anniversary of my father joining the Army Air Corps to fight in WWII. He epitomized the best of the “Greatest Generation”, fighting bravely from the cockpit of a P-51 Mustang in the Asian Theater. His courage and confidence in the rightness of his cause brings me pride as a son and as an American. He laid his life on the line to fight the evil of his day.
Bob Hammond grew up in 1930’s poverty. He completed two years at Morningside College before enlisting after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He left the cornfields of Iowa and climbed into the cockpit of a P-51 and began his fight for what he believed was the greatest government ever conceived by man—our American Democracy.
Although he drank and battled alcoholism for 30 years after the Great Conflict, he was, in the end, able to get and stay sober (for another 33 years) and make sense of the whole affair. We were at the Arizona Monument in Pearl Harbor in 1995–in a quiet moment I asked him if he was doing OK. He quietly replied, “I fought against the government of the grandparents of these (Japanese) tourists.” He had done the math and knew that he had won, healed, and moved on. This is the mark of a real warrior. This was some of the legacy of my father. His friend once eulogized:
To my friend and brother Bob Hammond:
“Proudly I call you my brother. Our lives were mirrored in so many ways that our paths were entwined forever…
Born of humble circumstance in Iowa, raised by a saintly mother, forged by the Depression, you were a gifted athlete, literally fighting for an education and some wisdom.
Through the Great Conflict, where the wild blue yonder became close up deadly and dirty, you and I lived, suffered losses, made mistakes, played thousands of card games, fought, drank 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…”
I am realizing that the pain of missing a loved one transforms with time. Each July 4th our family will relish the memory my dad–-one of the Greatest Generation. He was a patriot-warrior, friend, and an awesome father who impacted many lives with his love for God, people, and his country.
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!
The Tiny Guide to Being a Great Dad
Post written by Leo Babauta.
I am blessed with six wonderful children and a fantastic and lovely wife, and for this I am deeply grateful. But on a day like today, a lazy Sunday morning when my family is sleeping in and the soft light of the morning permeates the house, I reflect on what it’s like to be a dad.
Not just a dad … a great dad. This is a height I don’t always reach, but I believe I do inhabit that space sometimes. I’m a great dad, on my best days.
If you’re curious about my thoughts, as a dad of 19 years that has included countless sleepless nights, endless answering of questions, thousands of nursery rhymes sung and horsey rides given, hundreds of thousands of words read in children’s books, more than my share of wiping up spitup, poopie butts and much more … here is my offering to the world.
Don’t worry, it’s a fairly simple guide.
The Three Rules
There are only three things you need to do to be a great dad:
1. Be there. If you’re in their lives, you rock. If you’re there when they scrape their knee, lose their first tooth, need someone to cry to, need help with their school project, want a partner for playing house or hide-and-seek … you are already being a great dad. Be there, when they need you, and when they don’t.
2. Love them. They will know you love them, if you love them fully. It will show in your smile, in your touch, in your good-morning hugs. But also tell them on a regular basis. Infuse all your dad actions with love.
3. Be present. It’s great to be in the same room with them, but as much as you can afford to, be fully present with them. Shut off the mobile device, close the laptop, turn off the TV, and really pay attention. Listen to their long fragmented stories. Really watch when they want to show off their new wizard or ninja move.
That’s it. That’s all you need to be a great dad. Well, there are some bonus moves, but those are just extensions of the above three.
The Bonus Moves
If you want some specifics of how to do the above three rules, here are some ideas:
Sing with them.
Run around with them.
Make believe with them.
Read to them daily.
Dance with them.
Tell them corny jokes.
Paint with them.
Make videos where they are the star.
Set a healthy example by being active and eating well.
Show them how to be independent.
Teach them critical thinking, rather than just obedience.
Teach them how to teach themselves.
Don’t be overprotective.
Show them you’re proud of them.
Let them make mistakes.
When they get hurt, use that moment to teach them how to deal with pain.
Show interest in what they’re interested in, and don’t make it seem trivial.
Show them how to work passionately.
Spend some quiet cuddly time with them.
Make them pancakes with faces.
Have Nerf dart gun fights.
Play board games.
Take them on hikes.
Play sports with them.
Show them how to use a knife.
Honor your commitments.
Love your wife, and treat her with respect.
Be compassionate to others, and them.
Be happy with yourself.
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!