Dad Blog

Why Your Wife Isn’t Paying Attention To You After Having a Child – Get Some More Attention – Dudes To Dads Ep 170

You just had a child, whether you have a newborn, or your child is now a toddler, she’s tired. She’s tired of cleaning up after the kid, tired of taking the child places, and most likely tired of you complaining.

While for some guys it may be as simple as you are just wanting more physical intimacy, but for other it may just be that you want her to recognize that you are in the house. There may be an entire spectrum.

So I wanted to put together a few tips for guys to help them with their situation. As always, none of this advice has anything to do with my own personal experience. I got these from a friend 🙂

1) Stop complaining – Nobody wants to hear you complain. When someone complains to you, does it motivate you to act?

2) Don’t Try to Always Be Right – It is so not worth it. You need to learn quickly that arguing or more importantly being right, really doesn’t get you anything.

3) Be empathetic – You need to understand that being a mom is hard. It is often a thankless job and the demands are heavy. When she is complaining about something, listen. Really listen.

4) Positive re-inforcement – Many women after having kids begin to feel like they are not “good enough”, “sexy enough” or whatever enough is in their head. If we are making demands on them, this will only add to the fire. Providing them positive re-inforcement and showing appreciation will go a long way. A comment like “I really appreciate you being able to make dinner.

5) Lower or eliminate your expectations – Top putting expectations on the other person. She should be doing the same for you too. Sure there are elements in …

Traveling with a Toddler – Long Car Rides & Flights – Dudesto Dads Ep 169

I recalled having a lot of anxiety before any traveling we did when our kids were toddlers. A long car ride or a long flight can be a nightmare if you are not well prepared. I figured I would offer some tips to surviving the trip:

For car rides:
1) Schedule the ride around nap time if you can. Kids will sleep in the car. If you have a long car ride ahead, know if your child is more cranky before or after their nap and time the ride accordingly.

2) Pack snacks – Then pack more snacks. Nothing generates hunger like boredom. But use them when you absolutely need it. Bring water, fruit, crackers (of course any that don’t make too much of a mess).

3) Plan to stop – Even if nobody requests to stop, do it anyway. Take a bathroom break. Even if it’s 5 or 10 minutes. Get them to walk around, stretch, etc. Ok this one may be even more for me but it’s important for them too.

4) Play seeing or verbal games – We used to play alphabet all of the time as kids and still play with ours. If they are old enough, you look for signs that contain the letter and go through the alphabet.

5) Bring entertainment – Books to read coloring books, stuffed animal or action figured. While I’m not a big fan of occupying a child’s time with electronics, a long road trip may be the one time where rules go out the window. For short rides I don’t think it’s a good idea as they then don’t have the ability to entertain themselves. But for long trips, it may be an ipad or a movie that can pass some of the time. You will still want to …

How to Get Your Child To Listen – Raising a Good Listener – Dudes To Dads Ep 168

I said I was going to write a book called 1000 times because that is how many times it feels that we need to say something as parents before our child gets it.

In Episode 144 – we talked about 11 ways to improve your listening skills. But this is for us as adults. what about getting our kids to listen to us? It is a big problem. Like so many parenting issues, the problem might not be so much the child’s fault as it is our fault for not doing the right things.

Usually listening means we want them to do something they are supposed to do anyway. We resort to repeating oursevles, nagging, or even ignoring it.

If we are to do the opposite it means we don’t repeat ourselves, we take action quickly, and we allow natural consequences to happen.

This starts when they are toddlers and doesn’t happen overnight. Ifn fact for many it is a really long, drawn out process of pain.

Once they get into teen years, you hope you have trained them to take care of themselves.

Either way, here are some ways to improve their listening:

1) Monkey see monkey do – check yourself and make sure you are listening to your kids when they ask you something

2) Use less words – In fact use one word if you can. “upstairs” “eat” . We often confuse our kids with too many words and have too many commands.

3) Create a routine – Make a morning and evening schedule. This does help but begins to crumble quickly if you don’t refer and stick to the schedule or are the cause of the schedule to not be followed.

4) Ask questions – What do we do next? What do we do after we …

Achieving Self Acceptance – Your Emotional Well-being Is at Stake – Dudes To Dads Podcast Ep 167

Self-esteem is a popular word that is used in self-improvement. People strive to have self-esteem (feeling good about yourself). Having confidence in our own abilities or worth. The key is that we evaluate our worth. This is not a great concept to help people.

Self-acceptance on the other hand allows you to be aware of both strengths and weaknesses. But allows you to accept all of them. It allowing your to not have to wish you were different than you actually are.

So how can we increase our self-acceptance:

1) Practice gratitude – This forces you to focus on the positive things in your life. Be grateful for what you have. you then begin to ignore the negative.

2) Celebrate your strengths – Think about the things you are good at and focus on them. Do not spend time on the things you are not good at.

3) Help others – Being unselfish can help you feel good. When we help others, there is actually chemical reactions that happens in the body. We can also feel better about ourselves when we help other people. Sometimes it just feels good to help others.

4) Don’t Take Things Personally – It’s not all about you. When people are critical, they are the one with the issue. When someone is mean, they are the one with the anger problem. It’s not your issue.

5) Lower Your Expectations – Are your expectations too high? The answer is yes if you are not accepting yourself. It’s ok to have goals but when your expectations are too high, you will never meet them. If you require yourself to meet your own expectations in order to be happy, it’s a losing proposition.

6) Surround yourself with positive people – You should take inventory of those around you. …

Unconditional Love vs Conditional Love – Dudes To Dads Podcast Ep 166

I wanted to discuss the topic of love. Specifically the differences of unconditional love versus conditional love and how important it is for our kids.

Unconditional love means you love someone regardless of what they do. This can mean what they do for you, how they act, etc

Conditional love typically means we require someone to be a certain way or do certain things in order for us to love them.

However there are still circumstances I recall (and I’m sure tons of kids do) where you feel like you need to make a specific choice or your parents will get mad, or even worse, you feel like they won’t love you.

I recall the conversation many many times in which my parents made the statement, “we will love you regardless of anything”. This may have applied to a situation in which I was in trouble, not wanting to tell the truth , or just something had happened.

Children need to feel that your love is unconditional!

Often time we mix up love with approval:

Here are some things to never (or very rarely do):

1) Withhold affection because they didn’t do something right

2) Let their accomplishments effect your mood. When they win you are happy and when they lose you are sad/mad.

3) Expect them to be a way they are not. For example if your child is not good at sports and you are getting really frustrated and upset that they are not good at it, that’s conditional love.

Here are a few ways to do it:

Say it clearly and repeatedly – let them know that no matter what, you will love them. If they fail a test, it has nothing to do with your love. If they lose a game in sports, it doesn’t effect …

How to React When Kids Make Mistakes – Dudes To Dads Ep 165

Our job as parents is to teach. I have talked about looking at yourself as a coach in your child’s life.  How we react and respond to them begins to shape their behavior. It will also shape the relationship we build with them.

Let’s start with a discussion about how we typically react to something unpleasant when dealing with adults.

Alan, as an example. I don’t know whether you share a checking account or not, but if you did and your girlfriend spend what you both would consider a lot of money on an outfit…what would your reaction be?

I can tell you what mine used to be: “YOUR KIDDING! HOW COULD YOU SPEND THAT MUCH. WE CAN’T AFFORD IT.”

or another example: Your wife says: “I was at the store and this guy asked me out.”

I would have probably responded with “you told him you were married, right? What were you doing that he thought it was ok to do that?”

If you don’t want to know these things, then certainly you can say that. But if you wanted to keep communication lines with your wife open and you don’t want lies or things being done behind your back, how you react is important.

This is how children learn to lie. They quickly figure out that if they tell the truth, they get in trouble. So they think they are avoiding getting in trouble by lying.

So let’s go over a few situations that could happen with kids and how I would suggest to react to it.

1) Lying – Whether you catch your child in the lie or they come clean, both of them offer the opportunity to teach. In our house for example we have always said: “If you tell the truth, you won’t get in …

Signs You Are Judgmental and What To Do About It – Dudes To Dads Podcast Ep 164

We have so many areas of our life when being judgmental can show up. It happens inside families, at work, with your friends, or even strangers on the street. For many, the opportunity to judge is abundant.

But why do we do it and how do we know if we are judgmental?

There are some good things related to the why. It may help keep us safe, avoid bad situations.

Others say we usually judge others in the areas we feel the weakest. Think about it:

“Look at that overweight person” – translation is that I don’t feel great about my own appearance but it makes me feel better to make fun of someone else who looks worse than me”

“Look at that snob in his fancy car” – translation – I am upset I can’t afford that nice of a car”

“That guy can’t control his kids” – Translation – I’m not confident in my own parenting but it makes me feel better to see someone struggling more than me”

How do we know if we are judgmental? If you have to ask, you probably are.
Are you judgmental? See if any of these seem familiar

1) You are intolerant of people different from yourself
2) Your first impression is seeing someone’s flaws
3) You judge people on appearance
4) You think everyone is out to get you
5) You do not trust others
6) You gossip about others
7) You have low self-acceptance
8) You judge yourself
9) You have a pessimistic or negative outlook

Let’s discuss how not to be judgmental:

1) Identify and admit you are judgmental. Recognize that you often think negatively of people, maybe even verbalizing it. Also, are you being judgmental and critical of yourself. Acknowledging it is the first step.

2) Practice

Anger Management for Kids – Dudes To Dads Podcast Ep 163

As kids develop their emotions develop as well. You may experience this yourself as a parent or have seen other kids……hitting their parents, being disrespectful.

I recall as a kid getting really angry a lot. I don’t remember why other than it was something to use in order to get people to leave me alone….either my sisters to stop teasing me and something else.

I think it’s important to help kids deal with anger. Given the tools when they are young can hopefully help them as they get older and avoid problems in their later years.

First we need to identify anger issues in kids:
– Trouble calming down
– Isn’t considerate of other people’s feelings
– Consistently needs reminders about controlling temper
– Being aggressive towards others

So what are some ways we can help our kids manage their anger:

1) Monkey See, Monkey do – Take some inventory of yourself. Do you yell too much, get angry more than you need to. are you providing a good example on how to deal with anger? You can’t rightfully teach it if you are not practicing it yourself.

2) Talk about feelings – Emotional intelligence and learning about what the different emotions are is crucial. Teach your child all about the different emotions. I want to be very clear. It is totally acceptable to feel emotion, in fact it is encouraged. We want our kids to feel emotions. We just want them to be able to manage them.

3) Teach Coping Skills
– Twist a towel
– Use a punching bag or pillow
– Create a control spot
– Self-talk
– Use breathing techniques

4) Establish anger rules – Do this when they are not angry…no slamming doors, no physically touching someone else, no throwing things, etc.

5) Minimize talking

6 Life Lessons I Learned As a Father – Dudes To Dads Podcast Ep 162

The problem is that most of that advice doesn’t really help you deal with the serious stuff you face as a new dad.

I am going over 6 very valuable lessons that I learned as a new dad. I’m hoping these help you along your journey.

#1. It’s not all about me – So reality kicks in and you are forced to realize that another human being is dependent on you…..and if you are in relationship, that dependency gets compounded.

The decisions and choices you make, now effect other people. I learned it can actually be enjoyable to focus on helping other people.

#2. Enjoy the present – I remember thinking: I can’t wait until she can talk or it will be so much fun when he and I can play catch. Sure it’s ok to think about the future, but try to live in the moment as it relates to your child.

You don’t realize how fast it goes by until you live through it and have the chance to look back.

Don’t miss the opportunities to be present.

#3. Focus on the positive – You are going to be faced with some seriously rough times. These may be difficult times with the child, your spouse, or even within yourself.

Think about the things your child is doing well. Think about the elements of your relationship that work. and think about the elements within yourself that are positive. Here’s a hint: express gratitude whenever you can.

#4. Nothing is forever – As I just mentioned, you are going to be faced with difficult times. The good news: they don’t last forever. This too shall pass.

Remembering this can help get you through difficult times. It can also help you be more present, as the positive things don’t last forever …

Using the Scale of 1 to 10 in Your Life – Dudes To Dads Podcast Ep 161

I wanted to talk about a technique my mother used to use on so many things. It was a really simple way she would measure things. It could be how bad a cut hurt when I fell off my bike, to judging the taste of a meal at a restaurant.

I’m talking about using the Scale of 1 to 10. What you assign the numbers depends on the context but it became a common way in our family to measure things. It help teach kids measurement and analysis. Here are a few examples:

Your 7 year old gets hit in the back by a ball and starts crying. You can say, from a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being doesn’t hurt at all and 10 you have to go to the hospital immediately, how bad does it hurt. It then forces them to evaluate the seriousness of a situation.

Here is another example in your own life:

You got invited to an office party that your not sure you want to go to. You can assign a number to it. 1 is a horrible, boring party and 10 is the best time of your life. You can have a measurement for yourself that says when things are under 5, I will choose not to go, unless there is a really good reason.

But it does help you evaluate situations and assign value to them.

This works in business all the time. You see customer surveys or evaluations that include scales like this. Why not include it in our own lives.

Alan, have you ever used a scale like this in your own life?

Of course people have used the scale for evaluating how someone looks. The truth is you can apply this to so many things in your …

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