Posts Tagged ‘ parents ’

You Don’t Have To Teach A Boy To Make A Mess… Or To Find Trouble!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Saturday morning as we were getting ready to go to the Vanderbilt scrimmage game, which we actually missed because we were hanging way too long at a new vegan café we discovered thanks to a Groupon… you were being quiet and happy over at the window sill.

Finally, you announced to Mommy and me:

“Look, I’m killing this bug!”

Turns out, the thing was already dead. So I guess what you meant to say was that you were dissecting the bug… by smashing it with a vanilla-scented candle.

(All while wearing your “Just Like Daddy” t-shirt.)

Little black legs were everywhere.

I let you have your fun- after all, you’re a boy. You’re supposed to scrape up your elbows and knees… and make messes.

Granted, I don’t have to teach you to do this. You just naturally know where to find the right environment.

Again, I support it. You need to be a boy.

But it goes without saying that I provided you with the handheld vacuum cleaner and made you suck up all the loose bug body parts.

Then Sunday night while Mommy and I were preparing dinner, again you were being quiet and happy… the perfect combination for you to find trouble.

You had discovered some candy that you were supposed to save until Easter. Yeah, Mommy and I caught you “brown handed,” underneath your chair.

But we were laughing way too hard to be the least bit upset with you.

Besides, whether you had that non-approved candy then or on Easter, I guess it doesn’t really matter anyway. Delaying the sugar rush only to add it to the jackpot on Easter doesn’t make much sense, I guess.

Being a boy is fun. Discover your world. I will be there to laugh with you. And sometimes, at you.

Can you blame me?

Love, Daddy

Find fun crafts your kids can make with stuff you already have at home (except dead bugs).

Mom Confessions: The Strangest Thing I've Found in My Purse Was...
Mom Confessions: The Strangest Thing I've Found in My Purse Was...
Mom Confessions: The Strangest Thing I've Found in My Purse Was...

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Is Spanking Actually More Effective Than The Alternative?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I try not to make a big deal about it, but we don’t spank you. However, I’ve mentioned before that until you were born, I was “pro-spanking”.

That changed when you were born, but not because “I didn’t have it in me” to spank you.

Instead, it was because as I’ve been comparing you to other kids your age, I clearly see that you are no worse behaved than those who are spanked.

I just don’t see the benefit of spanking a child, as compared to a child who is disciplined the way I try (!) to discipline  you:

Setting clear expectations to begin with, consistently following through with time-outs, calmly (yet assertively) explain why the punishment occurred, as well as how it can be prevented next time.

I realize now that it’s the lack of discipline that concerns me. That’s why I am very serious about making sure you are effectively and consistently disciplined.

However, I don’t have a problem with other parents spanking their kids, because that’s none of my business. I’m a Libertarian, after all. (Though I would become the Incredible Hulk if I ever found out any other adult, like a teacher, ever spanked you!)

But for me personally, I don’t see how spanking is any more effective than the way I have always tried to discipline you. 

In fact, Richard Rende, PhD, who is an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School and Buter Hospital and a blogger at Red Hot Parenting, cleverly put it this way in his article, Spanking Doesn’t Work:

 ”Let’s keep in mind here the argument for spanking – it’s purported to improve children’s behavior. Studies continue to demonstrate that it does not do this, and in fact often predicts worse behavior. So despite the personal stories and folklore about how a good spanking can change a kid, each empirical study that comes out suggests that it changes a kid for the worse, not better.

If these stories ring true, why don’t we see huge positive effects of spanking when we study kids over time?”

I’m not saying that I’m the best example of a parent… and I really don’t know who is. With that being said, I have to admit, you’re not a kid who gets into trouble.

You’re a 3 year-old. A lot of your issues are based on me not getting you home in time for your afternoon nap.

I have never spanked you and I never plan to. (Plus, Mommy wouldn’t let me even if I wanted to.)

More than anything, I believe in doing what is most effective. Therefore, I discipline you without spanking you… because that’s what’s right for our family’s culture and communication style.

Discipline without spanking is not right or effective for all families, but it is for us.

Love, Daddy

P.S. This video explains 5 alternatives to spanking that Mommy and I try to apply:

1. Ignore attention-seeking behavior.

2. Pay attention to good behavior.

3. Redirect your child.

4. Teach consequences that make sense.

5. Use time-outs for serious offenses.

Discipline Without Spanking
Discipline Without Spanking
Discipline Without Spanking

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The Little Observational Alien In The Back Seat

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Being in the car with you everyday is like having a little observational alien on a visit from outer space, who processes his thoughts out loud regarding the happenings of planet Earth around him.

After having just left the church library with a copy of the Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears A Who! and Horton Hatches The Egg, you invented another Horton book in your head that you asked me about:

“Hey Daddy, what about the book Horton Walks Into A Building? Can we get that one next time?”

Good point. I mean, how could that not be an awesome book? Now you got me pretty curious about what happens once Horton walks into that building. There are just so many possibilities…

Horton walks into a building. I like it.

A few days later we were at a red light, next to a guy smoking a cigarette, with his window down.

I looked back to you to catch your reaction. You were silently and discreetly blowing air, thinking I wasn’t paying attention.

But you saw, then proclaimed, “Hey Daddy, that man blows fog out of his mouth.”

That was the first time you’ve ever seen a person smoking before. I didn’t bother explaining how that works. We’ll just pretend it’s fog for now.

Another time we drove past a pond with ducks in it. Your immediate comment:

“Hey Daddy, some ducks have wings.”

Again, another good point. Some ducks indeed have wings. Maybe it’s just the part of Tennessee we live in, but I’ve actually yet to see the ducks that don’t have wings.

I wonder- do those ducks have arms instead?

Friday morning as we were driving to school, I pointed out to you a small fire up on the hill. I showed you the black smoke as it was rising up like the Smoke Monster from Lost.

You had another “hey Daddy” observation for me:

“Hey Daddy, I think firebirds live there in the mountain.”

I responded by asking you what a firebird is.

“I think it’s just a bird that flies away from the fire,” you explained.

Man. That’s classic. I like having a little observational alien in the backseat.

For all I know you’re secretly reporting back to your home planet like Mork did at the end of each episode.

I hear you talking for about 10 or 15 minutes each night after Mommy puts you to bed.

Maybe that’s you reporting back to the base?

Love, Daddy

Manners & Responsibility:  3 Manners Toddlers Should Know
Manners & Responsibility:  3 Manners Toddlers Should Know
Manners & Responsibility: 3 Manners Toddlers Should Know

How tall will your little alien grow to be? Find out.

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Potential Parenting Trend: Dubble App Sonograms

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

There’s nothing like seeing your child’s sonogram picture for the first time. It’s like Christmas when you’re a kid.

That’s why I think this is a cool story…

Back in the year 2000, I attended a one year Bible college in Hudson, Florida with a guy named Bryce Olson. That summer I was a camp counselor with him and I just remember he was a cool person to be around.

Flash forward 14 years later. Now he and I are both in our early 30s and are Facebook friends.

He always has interesting pictures.

That was definitely the case last week when he posted this mash-up of his sonogram picture and a random stranger’s picture of the sky.

It’s worth checking it out so I’m spreading it Facebook and Twitter too.

I think it’s an epic idea- combining sonograms with other pictures.

How cool it would be if this idea went viral? I would love to see people start uploading their sonograms to Dubble  and posting the results on social media with a special hash tag, like #dubbleappsonogram.

Maybe I should start promoting that idea to other people? I will close with this Facebook comment that my friend Bryce included with his “Dubble app sonogram”.



“So, I recently got this app called Dubble where it generates an image from a photo you submit along with someone else’s photo that is randomly selected. 

What I LOVE about this image so much is that this sonogram photo that we had taken this past week was combined with a photo someone took of the sky.

To my wife @natalieohhh and I, this, which is our first pregnancy, involved over 2 years of trying, prayers, let-downs, tears, frustration, and answered prayers with ultimately God’s hand and perfect timing throughout it all.

We are people who live by faith and believe with all of our hearts it is God who gives life. We have been praying for His will be done and we are continuing to pray this as we have a long way still to go and a lifetime ahead of us to love this, already-living being.

My beautiful wife, Natalie is going to be such an incredible momma and I am asking for God’s strength to be a great father as well. We believe life is a miracle and we will never take this pregnancy for granted and we know it is a miracle.

I pray that whoever took this photo of the sky believes in the God of creation as well and knows the love of the Father, Son & Spirit. As we look to the sky may we all know that there is someone out there who not only created us but also cares and loves us so deeply and intimately.

Thank you Lord for saving my soul and we commit this child to you and are so very thankful! #dubble by mbryceo & pearlthomasdocpho @dubbleapp #dubbleapp ”

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My Son Talks To Strangers, Part 3: The Kohl’s Incident

Monday, March 24th, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Continued from Part 2: The Talking Dog.

Dear Jack,

I remember a few months back, I read an article on that said one of the best ways to handle a child who is having a meltdown is to distract them.

So that’s exactly what I did this past weekend when we were at Kohl’s.

You were checking out the toys and came across a track for your Monster Jam trucks.

After asking both Mommy and me separately if you could get it, and we both individually told you maybe for your birthday (in November), you decided to ask a lady that works at Kohl’s.

She jokingly said yes.

Let’s just say you had a difficult time accepting the fact that a stranger’s confirmation on a $30 toy does not override your parents’ decision.

The story continues with me carrying you out, from the very back corner of the store and you crying loudly the whole time.

Fortunately, fate would have it that right next to Kohl’s, there just so happened to be a construction crew, building… something.

It doesn’t matter what it was, though I will say it reminded me of Level 8-3 of Super Mario Bros.

What does matter is that it was solid entertainment for you: a cement mixer, a crane, ladders, men in construction hats, smoke and dust.

You stood on the light pole (with me a couple feet behind you) in reverence of the real life Bob the Builder event happening right before your eyes.

My plan had worked, much better than I anticipated, actually.

Shortly afterwards, Mommy walked out of Kohl’s and met us in the parking lot, then we drove around the corner to Whole Foods to buy groceries.

I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea for you, having just had a meltdown, to be placed in a shopping cart in a grocery store.

So Mommy suggested you and I grab lunch while she shopped in the other side of the store.

Another miracle, from my fatherly perspective at least, was that there were some musicians performing there right next to our table in the Whole Foods cafe.

(Well, I guess it wasn’t that much of a miracle; after all, we do live in Nashville.)

I was able to teach you how to clap after each song ended.

That article on (“10 Ways To Handle Your Kid’s Tantrums“) was right- the art of distraction really goes a long way. Fortunately, this past weekend, there was a lot to distract you.

All because I’ve taught you to talk to strangers.





P.S. Read the entire Talking To Strangers series:

 Part 1: The Dishwasher Man

Part 2: The Talking Dog

Part 3: The Kohl’s Incident


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