Monthly Archives: February 2012

12 Things Single Dads Can Do To Teach Your Kids Not to Get Bullied

Some kids are simply targets for bullying. Whether it is their small stature or their inability to communicate with others, children often know no limitations on how far is too far when it comes to bullying. Is your child being bullied? Listed below are 12 things that single dads can do to teach your kids not to get bullied. Be sure that your child is doing what he can to stay out of the line of fire.

  • Be more social.  Kids who are antisocial are often those who get targeted in bullying. Encourage your child to be more social with other children around him so that he doesn’t stand out or appear as the “odd” child. Look for opportunities to encourage him to socialize such as attending birthday parties and other school functions.

 

  • Stay with a group of friends at all times.   If you know that there is a bully in your child’s class, encourage him to stay with a group of friends at all times. Bullies usually won’t target kids who stay in large groups.

 

  • Don’t be known as a tattle tale.   Is your child a tattle tale?  While this is no reason for a child to bully him, it can certainly lead to bullying. Try to correct behaviors that can make your child a target such as tattling.

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Leadership & Motivation; The importance of being a good stay at home dad

Most experts will stipulate that the most influential relationships children have during their years of development between infancy and young adulthood are with the parents or primary caregivers. Perhaps the importance of a positive male role model during a child’s development has never been more evident than in present day as the social roles of fathers and stay at home dads has changed drastically over the past 30 years.

Whereas in the past being a dad meant little more than providing life’s basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, etc.), the list of responsibilities and expectations has expanded to encompass many of the emotional and psychological needs of a child, and rightfully so. The well-rounded upbringing of a child should include healthy doses of many types of support from both the mother and father figures in their life. The social redefinition of being a good stay at home dad figure includes the following:

* Financial support – While many women have entered the workforce and more households have two earners, most fathers still view this as their primary responsibility, even if just trying to earn money from home while they are a stay at home dad.

* Emotional support – Boys and girls alike seek feedback and validation as relates to their feelings and actions. It is extremely important that the father figure provide what is sought, or at the very least act as a sounding board engaging the child’s concerns in a caring manner.

* Direction and Moral development – Many of our children’s traits develop very early in life as a direct result of emulating their parents. It is vital that a good father figure not only teach through explanation, but as well through action. Many family units also look for spiritual leadership from the father figure.

For those of you acting as a father figure to a male child, keep in mind that you, as the same sex role model, will have greater influence on his development and future actions than any person with whom he may relate in his lifetime. If you want him to grow to be a “man”, you must develop a clear definition of exactly what that means to you and live your life accordingly. He will learn to walk, talk, act, react and relate to others just as you demonstrate.

Much the same, if you are raising a female child, you are setting an all important precedent of what she should expect from her relationships with men going forward. Although you may not have as much of a direct influence on her behaviour compared to a male child, you will be directly involved in scripting her future interactions and relationships.

Obviously there is a lot of pressure to be a good father figure with the evolution of the role within our society. The lives of our children are very literally dependent upon our actions. Despite these pressures, it is perhaps most important to remember mistakes will happen along the way. Always keep in mind that being candid with children about your mistakes and making steps toward positive resolution is yet another teaching tool which is of great use when taking on the task of being a good father figure.

Tom writes on behalf of DLProg who addresses an important gap in international thinking and policy about the critical role played by leaders, elites and coalitions in the politics of development. Read more about The Leadership Program and the Pacific Leadership Program at DLProg.org.

A Divorced Dads Guide To A Smooth Child Visitation Experience

Divorce isn’t an easy thing to go through. It’s hard on you, your ex spouse, and especially your child or children. As much as you’d like to just leave this experience behind you, that’s not going to happen because you have a child or children with your ex. I’ll do my best to give you some tips on how in spite of you being one of the divorced dads, you can manage this challenge quite well.

Spend As Much Time With Your Kid(s) As You Are Able

This will do you and your children a lot of good. If they’re little, take them to the playground, take them sleigh riding, take them to the park or out for ice cream. If they’re teenagers and not into spending time with their parents, just give them a call and make a date to meet them for lunch sometime at a place of their choice.

Don’t Inquire To Your Child About What Mom Is Up To

A lot of divorced dads do this and it’s not healthy at all. I know you’re just dying to know if she’s seeing someone else and such but keep the kids out of it. Doing this puts the kids in a very uncomfortable position. They’ll want to please you and tell you things but at the same time, they won’t want to rat on mom.

Do Your Very Best To Have a Civil Relationship With Your Ex

I know it may not be easy but do your best. It’s best to early on, have a sit down talk with your ex on being civil to one another for the sake of the children. If one thing positive came from your divorce, it’s that the children don’t hear mom and dad fighting in the house anymore. Don’t put them through more of it now that you’re gone from the home. If a conflict comes into play, you and your ex need to meet at a location different from the home and property that your children are present. I understand that you and your ex may have a lot of anger toward one another but fighting in the presence of the children is damaging to the children and yours and your exes relationship with them.

Don’t Talk Bad About Your Ex Around Your Children

Your ex is your child’s mother. I want you to think about your relationship with your mom when you were a child. You likely thought the world of your mom. Your child is no different. Talking bad about their mom (your ex) will hurt and anger your child. You may have a lot of anger toward your ex and it may be very justified but refrain from the trash talk about your ex around your children. No good can come from that.

If you’re one of the divorced dads in your town or city, do your best to shine above all the other divorced dads in the neighborhood. This will do you, your ex, and especially your children a world of good. Good luck to you.

New Dad – Supporting Your Partner Through Labor and Birth

Are you going to be a new dad soon? The birth of a baby is pretty exciting, but can also be daunting. Even the most involved father and the most loving husband probably wonders how to support his partner while she has contractions and pushes that baby out, especially if it’s your first child. Here are some tips on being a great labor coach for your partner, from a woman who’s given birth twice. 

 

Talking to your partner about her wishes is obviously the best starting point. There are books that will tell new dads that they should be massaging their wife’s back, bringing her drinks, and whispering stuff like “you are doing great, I love you so much”, into her ear. Some women will like that, and see this picture as very romantic. Others would want to punch you, and because normal social boundaries may fade a bit during labor, they may actually do it. Of course, you know your wife better than silly books. Talk to her about her expectations during pregnancy and keep talking while she’s in labor.

 

There’s this perception, perpetuated by television shows and movies that show birth scenes, that laboring women temporarily lose their mind and can’t make rational decisions. That’s rubbish, of course. Laboring women need to be be treated just like everyone else; with respect. Unfortunately, even the staff at your maternity ward may give into the temptation to treat your partner less seriously than they should. New dads, therefore, have a very important role as an advocate for their wife and baby. Why not ask your wife to make a birth plan together during pregnancy, so you can discuss medical viewpoints and agree on them? Newborn issues like circumcision, supplementation with formula, or heel pricks, are all good discussions points.

 

Some women end up feeling like they’re labor support for their partner, rather than the other way round. Taking time to learn about the physiology of labor and birth will be really helpful. Guys who know what is going on won’t panic, and may be fascinated by the complex and yet so simple process unfolding before their eyes. If you know how to recognize the signs of transition, you’ll be able to cheer your partner on (if she wants that), and be a real support to her. 

 

Finally, don’t forget about yourself, and your own needs. My kids are five and three years old now, and my husband — who is a wonderful stay at home dad — only recently admitted that he felt lost for a while. He had to watch his wife, one who’s a bit aggressive at times and doesn’t like to be hugged or touched during labor, give birth all by herself. Then, during that round-the-clock breastfeeding stage of infancy, there wasn’t much for him to do, baby-wise. I’m sure lots of men feel the same way. If you do, don’t deny yourself the right to talk about it if you want to. As a dad, your feelings certainly count, too!

 

Olivia is a mom of two, and a wife of a stay at home dad. Her blog, Trying To Conceive, is dedicated to fertility, how to get pregnant, and parenting.

 

 

Questions from New Dads, Does TV affect your kids?

There’s so much talk of violence in TV shows and movies, one might think that it is the biggest root cause of violence in the real world. Many new dads would have you believe that anything bad that happens, is the direct result of rap music or gangster movies. But how much truth is there in this? Does what we watch on TV really affect our behaviour. Or, more importantly, does what our kids watch on TV affect their behaviour and play a part in shaping them into the people they will grow up to be?

A study carried out in the United States in 2002 by Jeffrey Johnson of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, suggested that this was indeed the case. Johnson concluded from his extensive research that children who indulged in more than an hour of television viewing per day, were more likely to become violent than children who watched less television.

The research found that 5.7% of 14 year old children who watched less than an hour of television a day, committed acts of violence between the age of 16 and 22. In comparison, 22.8% of 14 year olds who watched between one and three hours of TV per day turned to violence between the age of 16 and 22.

However, as Guy Cumberbatch of the Communications Research Group pointed out, this research was completely flawed. So few children actually watch less than an hour of TV each day, meaning that it wasn’t fair to use them as a comparison.

What effect TV has directly on your kids is incredibly hard to quantify. There are so many other factors to consider, before we as new dads can decide whether it is in fact what a child watches on television, that makes them behave a certain way in later life. A lot of new dads are firm believers that we should regulate the television that we allow our children to watch, yet we should recognise the boundaries without completely sheltering them.

If a child watches something violent on television, it is up to the at home dads to make sure that they understand that what they are watching isn’t necessarily the right way to behave in real life. But of course, they shouldn’t be allowed to watch anything and everything. There are plenty of TV shows and movies out there that would be considered bad taste for most adults, so we shouldn’t allow our kids to watch them either.

Finding that right balance is up to you, the new dad, and only you can make that judgement of what your kids should and shouldn’t be allowed to watch. But as to whether this will shape them as a person – there are surely too many other factors in a child’s life that will sculpt their personality.

This post was provided by Barry Magennis, a father who’s specialises in finding candidates for nursery assistant jobs in the UK.