Monthly Archives: August 2016

What To Do When Grandparents Spoil Your Kids – Dudes To Dads Ep 78

Content inspired by this great article on grandparents.

Grandparents can spoil your kids in a good way: by providing love, affection, and time.  However, they can also spoil your kids in a negative way: gifts, letting them rule the house, or doing things they know the parents wouldn’t like.

Dr. Ellen, Jason’s mother, used to say “What happens at grandma’s house, stays at grandma’s house.” According to Susan Adcox, grandparent expert, words like that can teach children deceitfulness and lack of respect for the parents.

Here are some ways Grandparents spoil kids:

In the Buy Category
Buy innapropriate things
Buy too many things
Gifts are better than the parents
Buying expensive gifts – electronics
Don’t match parents values
Spend money on things parents think is wasteful when the money can be saved

Food or Consumption
Treats like ice cream or Candy
Fast food

Here is what needs to be done:
With anything, you need to pick your battles. Are there some things you may not like but can be ok with for the sake of not creating an argument? Also be sure it is the direct parent/grandparent having these discussions. Do not have the discussion with in-laws.

1) Define your expectations – what is the role you want them to play? Have the talk even before the child is born

2) Set boundaries/rules – explain the importance of them respecting your rules. For the grandparent who buys gifts, it may mean saying “we don’t have guns or weapons in our house, I would appreciate you respecting that”.

3) Respect their time /effort – are your expectations realistic? Don’t abuse the resource. Don’t ask them to drop whatever they are doing and watch the child?

4) Make it a combination of fun time and babysitting time – You …

Why Elementary School Kids Should Not Have Homework – Dudes To Dads Ep 77

It’s back to school time. This means routines, schedules, and chaos. You must listen to this episode!  It’s really important that parents, teachers, and administration hear this.

We first discuss some of the benefits of homework,

10 Benefits of Homework by John Bishop, Author of Goal Setting For Students:
Homework teaches students about time management.
Homework teaches students how to set priorities.
Homework helps teachers determine how well the lessons and material are being understood by their students.
Homework teaches students how to problem solve.
Homework gives students another opportunity to review the class material.
Homework gives parents a chance to see what their child is learning in school.
Homework teaches students that they have to do things, even when they don’t want to.
Homework teaches students how to take responsibility for their part in the educational process.
Homework teaches students how to work independently.
Homework teaches students the importance of planning, staying organized and taking action.

I won’t argue that these are good things to learn, but there are other ways to learn these items too. For elementary school kids, I think there are more engaging and interesting ways to learn.

2 really powerful people in this arena:

Harris Cooper of Duke University – considered the country’s leading homework researcher has published numerous studies around homework.

Sara Bennett – Co-author of The Case Against Homework started Was successful in changing rules at her kid’s schools

Here are two articles that really help explain the research findings:
Why Parents Should Not Make Kids Do Homework

Research is suggesting that for elementary school children, homework provides no extra benefit. For middle school, they are suggesting that the benefit is minimal. In fact it’s actually having a negative effect……it’s effecting children’s attitude toward school. It can effect their grades, …

Picky Eaters – 19 Tips To Deal With Fussy Kids At Mealtime – Dudes To Dads Ep 76

This episode 76 is about dealing with picky eaters.  We had the pleasure of being joined by Jason’s son Kasen who sat in on the episode to provide his input on the topic.  The episode was inspired by this article.  While I thought simply ‘starving’ the child for a meal or two will get them to eat, experts say this is not a good idea.  Simply being hungry won’t make a kid overcome his fears about eating foods he doesn’t like, and his anxiety can make him feel even less hungry, says Nancy Zucker, Ph.D., director of the Duke Eating Disorders Center.

Here are 19  Tips to Deal With Picky Eaters
1) Respect your child’s lack of appetite (don’t force, don’t bribe)
2) Make food less scary – go in steps, look at it, smell it
3) Provide small portions
4) Explore foods without eating – Talk about foods, learn about food, let them explore
5) You plan the menu – pair things they like with new things
6) Stick to schedule – The best you can – make mealtime and snacks regular times (juice, milk, and snacks will make meals less appealing)
Cut back on snacking
7) Talk about the food’s color, shape, or smell. Don’t talk about the taste
8) Make it fun – cut food into shapes, bright colors, breakfast for dinner, dinner for breakfast, etc. Change the presentation
9) Don’t push too hard – don’t make mealtime stressful
10) Have your child help select healthy foods like fruits and vegetables
11) Have them help with the cooking
12) Add instead of replacing – pasta with butter, add a few noodles with red sauce
13) Eat good foods yourself – monkey see, monkey do
14) Be creative – Deceptively Delicious (Jessica Seinfeld)
15) Keep focused …

What To Do When Your Child Gets Angry – Dudes To Dads Ep 75

Let’s face it, we all get angry.  For kids in particular, knowing what anger is and how to deal with it can be tremendously difficult.  Heck, for many adults it’s difficult.  In this Episode 75, we have Jason’s daughter Farrah sitting in on the conversation.

This episode is inspired by an article in Physchology Today written by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids:

1. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that there is no emergency. Keeping yourself calm will help them be calm.

2. Remind yourself that tantrums are nature’s way of helping small people let off steam. They still don’t really understand how to regulate anger. They are learning. Even as adults we often don’t do it right. Empathy works really good here.

3. Remember that anger comes from our “fight, flight or freeze” response. Feels like the end of the world to them. It’s protecting themselves from hurt.

4. Set whatever limits are necessary to keep everyone safe, while acknowledging the anger and staying compassionate. “You can stomp your feet to show me how mad you are, but I won’t let you hit me.” It is not ok to hit.

5. Set limits on actions only, not on feelings. I’m sorry this is so hard…You’re saying I never understand you…that must feel so terrible and lonely.”

6. Keep yourself safe. “I see you are really angry, you can hit the pillow or bed, but I won’t let you hit me. You’re saying I never understand you…that must feel so terrible and lonely.”

7. Stay as close as you can. When you are ready for a hug I’m here. When they say Go away, you can respond with “I’m going to move back a step, ok?”

8. Don’t try to reason or explain. It’s not a …

Being More Present – Interview With Presence Expert Johnny Blackburn Ep 74

What does it mean to be more present?  How can dads become more present with their children, at work, and in their relationship? For Episode 74, we interview Johnny Blackburn, a Professional Development Coach & Group Facilitator. With an original background in Management Consulting, Johnny went back for his Master’s in Psychology and he has been coaching individuals for the last 9 years.  He is a certified professional coach with the International Coaching Federation and works in the trenches facilitating dudes in men’s groups for the past 5 years. If you are interested in getting in touch with Johnny for coaching, speaking, or one of his men’s groups, you can reach him through his website at

In this Episode we discuss the importance of presence in our lives, but more importantly, Johnny provides actionable tips and advice on how to be more present.  Being present affects how we work, how we interact with our kids, and our marriage.  Listen to this very informative interview and learn how you can incorporate being more present in your life.  Here are a few of the topics we cover:

  • What is presence & why does it matter?
  • What about presence at work?  How does that affect or job life?
  • What is the number one quality women want in men?  (You can probably guess this answer)
  • 3 practical things I can do to be more present

Let's get social on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!