Dad Blog

Teaching Your Child Time Management – Dudes To Dads Podcast Ep 129

This podcast episode 129 was inspired by an article found on TheSpruce.com written by Apryl Duncan.  While plenty of adults struggle with time management, it’s important for us to pass this education on to our kids.  Here are some tips:

Start Early – Don’t wait until they are teens to teach them time management. Toddlers and pre-schoolers can learn skills to begin understanding time management.

Make it fun – If you stress out badly with time, they may too. You’ll want to make the exercises fun. We’ll talk about some things to do and you will want to keep it light.

Teach Them About Time – How to read a clock. Help them understand what 5 minutes mean. This takes some time.

Make a family calendar – This calendar should have everyone’s general schedule and what is going on with the family.

Let them have their own calendar – In addition to the family calendar, they can have their own. This can tell them when to get and get ready for school, when to attend their sports activity, or when an event is happening. This gives them a sense of ownership

Establish Set Meal Times – This is ideal for eating together and for example, they know to come inside because dinner is at X time. In the mornings, they know they need to eat by 7:15 to be on time for school.

Don’t Overschedule – Don’t have them participating in every sport or after school activity. Don’t book 3 parties on a Saturday. It’s very easy to fall into this trap.

Schedule downtime – While adults need downtime, so do kids. If time is feeling limited, put free time on the calendar as well.

Teaching them priorities – First. Next Last. This is a good method for learning …

7 Ways to Motivate Your Kids Without Bribing Them – Dudes To Dads Ep 128

Rewards can motivate people, but it’s short term.  If the reward stops, then the behavior stops.  If you stopped getting paid for work, would you still go?

We see rewards and bribes everywhere: including schools and in homes.  For true motivation, it has to come from within.  For example, if you take anyone who is at the top of their game: athlete, musician, businessperson.  The motivation comes from within.  Nobody has to stand over them telling them to practice every day.  If they did have that, they will surely get burned out of doing it.

So how do we motivate our children?  Well,  it’s certainly important to first have a strong relationship with them.  Let’s go over

1) Talk to Them – Talk about the importance of the activity.  “It’s important to have your room clean so you can find things when you need it.  Or so that nobody gets hurt while walking through it.  Don’t use words like “have to” must” or ” should”.

2) Positive Reinforcement – When they do something that may require motivation, make a big deal about it.  Be sure it’s unsolicited.  “Wow son, I really appreciate you taking out the trash this morning.”  or “I saw you put away your dish after dinner.  That was really helpful”

3) Offer choices – Kids like being in control and when they are young, love to test it.  Offer them choices to help motivate them in the right direction:  “Would you rather take a bath or a shower tonight?”  Would you like to do your 15 minutes of homework reading with me tonight or by yourself?  It gives them a sense of control but still requires them to do the activity

4) Set Goals – Make sure they are realistic but setting goals on individual accomplishments can …

How To Stop Kids Talking Back – Dudes To Dads Ep 127

In episode 127 we cover how to stop kids from talking back.  There are a few other terms for “talking back” or “back talk. These can be:

– smart mouth
– being snappy
– sassy
– giving lip

Every parent will experience some form of this. It seems to happen when they get around grade school age – 5 or 6. They want to engage you whether it’s positive or negative. Remember our discussion about negative discipline in Episode 109  You can’t give in to this.

Jane Nelson, author of Positive Discipline says that “when a child talks back, what he’s really expressing is anger, frustration, fear, or hurt.”

So the reality is they are probably feeling something and don’t know how to express it. So they do they by talking back. What can we do about it? Here are a few tips:

– #1 tip – Ignore them. If you are in a situation where that is possible, simply don’t engage with the behavior. Be prepared they may escalate it so ignoring is not always the ideal answer.

– Don’t take it personally – As Jane Nelson say, something else is going on. It may have nothing to do with you. If you approach it that way, you will be more inclined to not be negative yourself.

– Show empathy – Because there could be something else going on, showing empathy may help diffuse the situation. “You are really mad about not being able to watch TV. I can understand how that can be frustrating.”

– Offer Options – Instead of TV, you can read a book in your room or play with your legos. Which one do you prefer?

– Give warnings on time – A lot of battles are over time: coming inside for dinner, only …

Learning Patience For Your Own Sanity – Dudes To Dads Ep 126

Episode 126 we discuss patience.  We learn why we lose our patience and what to do about it.  I think it’s important to understand why we lose our patience. What is it about situations that cause us to go wacky? Here are a few I have witnessed:

1) Expectations – You set yourself up for failure. you think something should be going a certain way and it doesn’t happen that way. Expectations can be a killer.

2) Tired – Sleep is essential. When you are sleep deprived it’s really easy to be irritable and lost patience.

3) Hungry – Some people get hangry. But low blood sugar or being hungry can cause some people to act abnormal.

4) Displaced Anger – Are you really mad at your wife, co-worker, or friend? Being in a bad place certain shows up with us acting out on someone else..often times our children.

5) Stress – Are you feeling financial stress? Is there family drama that you have to deal with? These stressers can certainly cause you to have low patience.

So how can we learn to be more patient?

1) Express gratitude – When their room is a complete mess 24 hours after it was cleaned, you can think about how they live in the moment. They are active and adventurous.

2) Choose your battles – Think about how important or not important the situation is. If you are 5 minutes later than you want is it going to cause a big problem? Is this life and death?

3) Take a break – Simply walk away from the situation and give yourself some time calm down.

4) Take 5 deep breathes – Breathing can help slow your heart rate and gives you the time to pause. After you take 5 deep breathes you …

The Art of Apologizing – Is Saying Sorry Enough? Dudes To Dads Ep 125

Let’s admit it, most people aren’t very good at apologizing…especially kids. We teach them to talk like a robot reminding them “what do you say?” Apologizing is simply something you are supposed to do when you do something wrong. However, apologies are pointless unless people feel that the offender meant it. This can be tone of voice or even body language.

I had read about a formula for apologizing that I thought was good. I don’t know who the original creator of it is. It’s starts out with:

1) I’m sorry for – “I’m sorry for hitting you when you took my toy” It’s important to be specific and not just a broad “I’m sorry”. The child needs to understand what they are apologizing for.

2) This is wrong because – “I could have hurt you when I hit you”. They need to understand the reason why it’s not acceptable or why it is wrong.

3) In the future, I will – “Ask you nicely to have my toy back”. It is really important for the child to learn how to do it correctly. what are they learning from this?

4) Will you forgive me? – Be prepared they could say no, but at least ask. This helps restore the relationship.

I think for many situations, this formula can work…especially with young kids.
The most important thing is to lead by example. You need to apologize when you do something wrong and your kids need to see and hear it. This is the best way for them to learn.

While I like the formula, I would add some elements to it that i think are important. for example

1) You must have Empathy. I think empathy needs to be deployed all around. As the parent, the offender was feeling …

Sibling Rivalry – Reducing Conflict Between Kids – Dudes To Dads Ep 124

There is no doubt that kids yelling at each other and fighting can be a big cause of anxiety and stress for parents. What are we to do? As with any mis-behavior, there is a root of the problem that needs to be addressed. Does one child feel the other is favored? Is one child simply just being selfish? Is there different expectations put on different kids? Or are the same expectations put on two different aged kids? All of these are probably true.  Is this episode 124, we talk about reducing conflict between kids.

Alan, did you have a lot of sibling rivalry in your house growing up?

When we have more than one child, we think we are treating them the same but that’s nearly impossible. When it was only one, they simply got more attention than when the second one came along. Then if there is three, the attention gets even further reduced.

What about expectations with age? I know that we may start implementing something with our children?> Let’s say some responsibilities around the house? When my son was 2 years younger (the same age as my daughter), he may not have had to do things like that.

My purpose with all of this is showing that while multiple children grow up in the same environment, it may be very difficult to actually treat them equal, for their age. Also gender differences may come into play. While not fair or right, it can easily happen when you are not mindful of it. You may allow your son to do something that you don’t allow your daughter to do.

So what are some ways we can reduce conflict:

1) Have them make friends before birth – Let the older child be a part of the pregnancy and …

13 Things to Stop Doing For Your Kids Now – Dudes Ep 123

The last episode brought up some points about teaching our kids to be independent. That episode inspired us to create this episode.  Episode 123 covers 13 things to stop doing for your kids now:

1. Getting them dressed – By 3-4 they can dress themselves.

2. Getting undressed – Between 13-24 months. You should not be taking your 4 year old’s shirt off.

3. Carrying their backpack – If they are old enough to have a backpack, they should carry it.

4. Tying their shoes – Usually by kindergarten (about age 5) they should know how to do this. Stop tying their shoes because you are in a hurry. Give yourself extra time and let them become independent.

5. Throw their trash away – Old enough to walk, old enough to throw it in the trash.

6. Feeding themselves – Use utensils by 18 months. By age 4 they should be able to hold utensils like an adult.

7. Getting themselves breakfast – Most can do it by 4 1/2 but many do it much earlier. Make it child friendly. you may experience a few spilled milk episodes.

8. Brushing Teeth – 3 or 4 to do it themselves but can do it as early as 16 months with your help.

9. Cleaning up their toys – They use them, they clean them up. We still are learning the “put one away before you can grab another.

10. Cleaning up their dishes – If your child can walk, they can carry a dish over to the sink.

11. Cleaning their rooms – Just like anything else to clean, if they can walk, they can typically put things away.

12. Making separate meals – You or your wife is not a short otrder cook. Sure you may want to consider something …

Separation Anxiety – Helping Your Child Manage Their Fears and Nerves – Dudes To Dads Ep 122

Nearly every child goes through a period when they get really clingy and get upset if their parent is leaving. Babies can show signs of it around 6-7 months. It typically peaks around 10-18 months and reduces when they are about 2 years old. For episode 122, we discuss some things you can do help your baby and child:

– Get familiar with the caregiver. If you have a brand new person watching the baby, this may prove to be difficult. Give the baby some time to get to know the person who is taking care of them.

– Start small – When they are real young, try to start with a short amount of time. Maybe it’s half an hour or hour at first

– Say goodbye – Don’t sneak out the back. You disappearing isn’t very nice. Don’t cry or make it dramatic, just say a nice simple goodbye and give them a quick kiss or hug. Don’t make a big deal out of it.

– Make it Routine – You should practice leaving every once in a while. Having the child always with you at every moment will have them expect that. It’s ok to have some alone time, and it’s healthy for the child to develop that ability to be apart.

So what happens when your child continues to have separation anxiety as they get older?
According to webmd, if the child is over 6 years old and still having an extreme fear, they may have Separation Anxiety Disorder. This effects approx 4-5% of children in the US ages 7-11. It only effects 1.3% of teens. Both boys and girls are equal. It’s usually is treated with either psychotherapy or medications including some kind of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. If you do have a situation like …

Helping Your Child Deal With Losing – Dudes to Dads Ep 121

Whether your kids are playing sports or playing a board game, losing is a part of life. Maybe they slam their game pieces on the board or throw their glove into the dirt? Losing is a reality. How can we have our kids enjoy competition yet understand how to cope with losing properly?  Is there such thing as losing properly?

I played sports growing up and I recall losing was pretty devastating to me. I was a very competitive child. However I can’t recall any competitive losses that have stuck with into adulthood. They are really no big deal. At the time they may have been, but now they are not.  I personally think being competitive is a good thing. I do however think it’s important to understand how you act and deal with others when you win or lose is important.

So how do we help our kids deal with losing? Here are a 8 tips:

1. Re-define Winning – We had expert coach Terry Liskevych who put things in perspective. The most important thing when kids are young is that they have fun. Discuss what sportsmanship is as well as possibly talking to them beforehand about the upcoming competition.

2. Set a good example – monkey see, monkey do. If you have a weekend basketball league and your kids see you throwing the ball against the wall in anger, you might want to re-evaluate that.

3. Give them positive attention – When they do something positive, make sure that is re-inforced. “I saw you help the other team member get up from the floor. That was really good sportsmanship”. or “You should be really proud of yourself for diving for the ball and going after it.  See our episode 109 for more on this.

4. Empathy – …

Teaching By Example – 8 Things Dads Can Do To Positively Influence Their Child – Dudes To Dads Ep 120

Monkey See, Monkey do.  In episode 120 our friend Alan joing Jason & Alan for another episode.  With many of the things we talk about here, we start with us leading by example. I thought we would bring a list together of 7 things we can do to positively influence our child.

1. Be Polite – They hear you saying please and thank you. They also hear how you talk to them. How you treat wait staff, employees, etc.

2. Help Others – Let them see you helping other family members, friends, and the community. Involve your kids in the process if you can.

3. Celebrate diversity – People are all different and that is a wonderful thing. Allow them to appreciate that everyone is different and that is what makes the world great. Take interest in other cultures. Have friends from different backgrounds.

4. Be responsible with money – they see how we spend and our attitudes about money

5. Express Emotion – Emotions are not good or bad, they just are. It’s ok for your kids to see

6. Work Hard – If you want something, you need to work for it. Hard work pays off

7. Enjoy life – It doesn’t matter what your passion is or what you enjoy, give yourself time to do it. It needs to balance with your desire. This can mean go on vacations, do things that bring joy into your life.

8. Take Care of Yourself – This means mind, body, and spirit. Practicing mindfullness like meditation and/or yoga as well as creating healthy eating habits.

Some of these may seem obvious, but sometimes the obvious things are the things we miss because we take them for granted.…

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