Monthly Archives: November 2017

Are You Overindulging Your Child? Stop Spoiling Them – Dudes To Dads Ep 143

We all want our kids to be happy. Parents often think that by giving their child stuff or having an abundance of freedom, they are making them happy. Unfortunately this is very short lived stimuli. What we need to be doing is teaching them to be capable and to feel good about themselves for who and what they are, not what they have.

So how do we do this? Well let’s identify what overindulging means. In the old days, we called this being spoiled. Of course this is purely my opinion (and I can’t even speak for Alan). I’ll provide you what I think is overindulging. I’m certainly not saying I’m innocent or have never done any of these things:

  • Unlimited screen time (hours and hours of games or television)
  • Doing your kids responsibilities for them (cleaning, dishes, trash, etc.)
  • Buying a 16 year old a brand new expensive car
  • Buying too many toys
  • Having rules but not enforcing them
  • Allowing young children to dress much older
  • Routinely giving money to children or teens so they can spend it/have fun
  • Routinely buying expensive and trendy clothes for them
  • Allowing younger children to watch mature content (language, violence, nudity)
  • Carrying your 4 year old, tying a 6 year old’s shoes, or carrying their backpack if they are in school
  • Children eating excess junk food or candy

So what happens if you overindulge your child? What are the consequences?

  • It can make the children ungrateful
  • They are less able to delay gratification – they need it now!
  • Leads to materialism – putting tremendous value on thing
  • If its junk food/candy – can lead to unhealthy eating habits, obesity
  • Spoiled brat / attitude problems

So how do we avoid overindulging our kids?

  • Create rules and expect your child will follow them. Enforce the

The Importance of Play – Let Your Kids Have Fun – Dudes To Dads Ep 142

Typically my kids come in when it gets dark out. I remember growing up, when the street lights come on, that was the time to go in. The other day, it had been dark for about an hour and my kids were still outside. I went outside to call them in for dinner and witnessed something that was almost too good to interupt. There were 7 to 8 kids laughing and playing a not so serious game of basketball. At that moment, I remembered how much I used to enjoy nights like that growing up. I waited for a break in the play and said, “come inside in about 15 minutes”. They chimed back “ok”.

There is no question that kids of today “play less” than kids in the past. Keep in mind we are talking about “unstructured play”. While sports or games might be considered play, we are speaking about phisycal, non-electronic, and spontaneous play.

What is the reason for the change.? Here are a few explanations for a reduction in play:

There is less space to play – Where I grew up, the homes backed up to large forest. I would imagine a lot of that area has now been developed with homes. There is just less space.

Replacing play with electronics – Gaming, phones, or televisions. Having access to all of these provides entertainment, versus playing. Kids are not going outside if they are playing video games.

Environment is more dangerous – Many parents don’t want their kids roaming around or going far from the house. When we grew up it wasn’t uncommon for us to ride our bikes miles and miles away. The perception is that it was much safer back then.

Much less time to play – Whether kids are involved in other activities or …

Give Your Child More Affection – They Need It and So Do You – Dudes To Dads Ep 141

It’s already proven, there is really no debate….affection is crucial for a child’s well being. The truth is we all want love and affection. Dads often have a harder time providing affection than moms do. Whether it was the fact that their dad was not affectionate, it feels awkward, or you just don’t know.  In episode 141 we discuss affection and it’s importance for both you and your child.

Psychologist Dr. Daniel Singley told us in our interview with him that touch literally changes the neural pathways in the brain.

There is a research firm called Child Trends and they provided some insight on warmth and affection expressed by parents to their children:

Overall it results in life-long positive outcomes for those children. Here are a couple of things they say it improves:

  • Higher self-esteem
  • Improved academic performance
  • Better parent-child communication
  • Fewer psychological and behavior problems

On the other hand, children who do not have affectionate parents tend to have:

  • Lower self-esteem
  • Feel more alienated
  • Are more hostile and aggressive
  • And are more anti-social

Seems like a pretty good argument for providing your child affection. So what can dads do to be more affectionate:

Give them a massage
Hold them more
Use a baby holder or harness on your body
Simple kisses and hugs

As they get older:
Hold hands – Toddlers will allow it but as they get older they may not want to
Sit on the couch watching TV with your arm around them
Hugs and kisses
Sit on lap
Lie in bed reading

Older Kids
Kisses if they will still let you
Hand on their shoulder
Sit on lap
Lie in bed

I notice times when I will consciously make more effort to be affectionate, my kids are in turn more affectionate. I think …

Steve Jobs & Bill Gates Limited Their Kids Technology Use – Seems We Should Too – Dudes To Dads Ep 140

You know how I really have a dislike for technology as it relates to kids. According to a Business Insider article, Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had very heavy restrictions on their kid’s use of technology and screen time.

Back in 2007, Bill Gates implemented a cap on his daughter’s use when he felt she had an unhealthy attachment to a video game.

Here are a couple of interesting pieces of data from the article:

1) Research has found that an eighth – grader’s risk for depression jumps 27% when he or she frequently uses social media.

2) Kids who use their phones for at least three hours a day are much more likely to be suicidal.

3) The teen suicide rate in the US now eclipses the homicide rate, with smartphones as the driving force.

This article mentions a book by Veteran teachers Joe Clement and Matt Miles called: “Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse Is Making Our Kids Dumber”

They show how screen saturation at home and school has created a wide range of cognitive and social deficits in our young people.

They say teachers are often powerless to curb cell phone distractions; zoned-out kids who act helpless and are unfocused, unprepared, and unsocial.

Discuss Gary Vee and how we romanticize the “old way” of doing things.

I think it’s important to look at both sides. Are kids losing in some areas and then gaining in others? Of course, depression and suicide are serious issues. I think we also need to separate social media with the use of technology. Gaming is one area while social media is another.…

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