CWAHM Devotional

Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
Order Your Copy!

CWAHM Video Devotions

Get Our Updates!

Join our monthly newsletter!

Archive for Do the Dad Thing

Mar
08

Teenagers – the brain thang

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Teenagers – the brain thang

Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerWhen my kids were little, we used to make fun of the disrespectful, lazy, reprobate teenagers that frequented the neighborhood. We’d see them riding their bike the wrong way in traffic, saying bad words, or damaging property. I’d look at my boys, shake my head disapprovingly, and say, “Teenagers.”

Soon they started doing it too. When a group of drunk teens tried to pull an alligator out of the sewer in front of our house (hey, it was Florida), one of my kids looked and me and said, “teenagers, right dad?”

Right.

Except now I have two teenagers.

We live in West Virginia now, so there are less alligators, but there is still property to damage, bad decisions to make, and lots and lots of drugs (drugs are West Virginia’s state bird).

My wife and I commiserate a lot about our two teens. “How did this happen?” we frequently ask each other. We are good parents. I even write a parenting blog.

There are many factors involved in teenagers turning into teenagers. We might explore some of them in a future article. But today I’m going to share one fact that helps my wife and I deal with the times when we see our kids making immature or poorly conceived decisions:

Their brains are not done developing.

I’ve heard about it on TV before, how teens make impulsive decisions because of their prefrontal cortex still developing. On a CSI drama, one character remarked that they don’t finish brain development until age 25ish.

25? Is that really true!?!

Yes, in this case television didn’t let us down. The front of teenagers’ brains, the part where they make logical, informed decisions, is still developing. So instead of using it, they default to the part of the brain called the amygdala (try spelling that for a spelling bee). The amygdala is the part of the brain that reacts with instinct, aggression, and emotion. So teenagers are primarily using a brain that has them make poorly conceived, emotional decisions; usually impulsively.

So, my wife and I have to enjoy this state of unformed brain development for a few more years. Sometimes we talk about the Bible and how teenagers were already living on their own, frequently married, and working in full-time occupations. We lament that times have changed. Just trying to imagine our boys out living in their own house, being responsible for a wife or finances, and holding down a job, is a thought that is both scary and pleasant.

We’d love it if they faced some of the challenges that they think they can manage. But at the same time we don’t want them to make life-altering disaster decisions. But also at the same time we are tired of their attitude.

We can see why teenage kids of Bible times were out on their own; because they knew everything!

Sometimes when i feel like a bad parent, I read the parable of the Prodigal Son from the Bible. Here is a clip from it in case you are unfamiliar.

(Luke 15:11 – 24 NIV Bible) “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Reading this story gives me hope. My teens will probably make bad decisions, but I will watch out for them and provide a forgiving and accepting home base and family for them when they start to think reasonably again.

Or, in other words, they are going to make dumb decisions while they are teens and their brains are still developing. We dads will be there for them when they start using their developed brains.

This also gives me two pieces of advice that I think apply to all parents, especially Dads:

Don’t judge harshly: the Prodigal Son parable above is a metaphor for us (the kid in the story) and God (the father in the story) — if God is the BEST parent and unruly teenage kids (us) still make bad decisions . .

Which means don’t be too hard on yourself
Which also means don’t be too hard on other parents either — I’ve seen way too many parents with kids that used to ‘walk on water’ when they were younger and now have turned into little demon harlots. It’s sad when parents feel that they are all alone because they don’t want to admit that their kid isn’t perfect.
Give them grace through relationship: I did and said some horrible things when I was a teen. Some of it, as an adult, I am ashamed of. I suggest that you decide right now that you will love your kids — even teens — and accept them as people no matter what they say or do. Because it gets hard.

I heard a kid recently. . a kid that may or may not be the fruit of my loins . . say that he wanted to graduate high school, try lots of drugs, live with his female manager at the fast-food job, and make enough money to drink and have fun on weekends.

NONE OF THAT IS OK! However, there is still brain development occurring (thank God!) and I’m pretty sure most of that was said out of shock-value anyway. I hope.

Teenagers.

Comments Comments Off on Teenagers – the brain thang
Feb
04

Absolutes, Absolutely

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Absolutes, Absolutely

Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerIf I haven’t mentioned before that I’m a geek, this article will surely prove it.

I’d like to start out by mentioning one of my great Star Wars quotes from the Bible.

“From the Bible,” you ask?  Yes.  And it has a great implication for Dads – especially as your kids enter middle and high school.

Some of you still aren’t convinced that Star Wars quotes the Bible.  If you’d like to stop reading right now and leave a comment as your guess what it is; then do it.  It’s the only way people will believe you if you’re geeky enough to get it right.

That was your chance.

Here’s what Jesus said (in Matthew 12:30):

30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, andwhoever does not gather with me scatters.

It’s a pretty plain, direct statement.  Some might even consider it a statement of absolute.  There is no grey area.  You’re either for Jesus, or you are against him . . .  and if you’re against him then you’re going to lose.

Here’s the quote from Star Wars Revenge of the Sith:

Anakin Skywalker: If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Only a Sith deals in absolutes. I will do what I must.

Anakin Skywalker: You will try.

So, obviously the director was trying to make some sort of statement . . . probably against God.  But that’s Hollywood.

My concern as a Dad is that there are many venues for our kids where absolutes are shunned.  If I went to the local high school and said, “There are only two genders.” There would be drama.  Same thing if I made the statement, “3rd trimester abortion is murder.”  Or “You have to believe in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for your sins in order to go to heaven.”  Or “Homosexuality is a sin.”

Any one of those statements at a public school would get my kids disciplined or ostracized.  Same thing if they were said in a social setting – there would be an immediate issue with some people.  Unfortunately, even at many churches there would be the same level of drama if any of the above statements were said; especially from the pulpit.

The good thing is, very few people need to go around publically stating absolutes.  But, as Dads, we really need to make sure that our kids know the truth and know that there isn’t a grey area with most things God says in the Bible.

Much of our society has become a dichotomy (two parts) of people groups; the loud, and the quietly virtuous.  It pretty clear that there is a lot of stigma against absolute virtue from the media these days.  So I wouldn’t ever post on Facebook:  “Sex outside of marriage is wrong.” because my feed would immediately erupt in drama.  So, like most people, I share truth with people that aren’t going to turn into a Darth Vader when they hear an absolute.

Your kids are those people.  We’re not raising Dark Lords of the Sith (for you non-geeks, that means ‘villains’).  We want to make sure that our kids know right from wrong; they need to know the absolutes.  And of course we’ll temper the knowledge with how to live according to the truth . . . and how to avoid drama along the way. Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Absolutes, Absolutely
Jan
14

How to be the Favorite

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on How to be the Favorite

I was the favorite once.  Then I wasn’t. Then I was!  But then . . .

There is some, of what I will affectionately call ‘loose,’ science on birth order and affinity toward a certain parent.  In general, firstborn kids are more ‘like’ (have personality affinity toward) the Mom.  Second-born share a preponderance of personality traits with Dad.  Generally they even resemble (have more physical characteristics in common) these respective parents; first-born will get a lot of, “you look just like your mother,” etc.

Subsequent kids are a crap-shoot on looks and personality.

But this is all lumped into “loose” science.  Which means that it happens a lot, but, there is not a lot of empirical data to birth order ‘psychology.’

Here’s a fact though that you can count on: kids go through stages of closeness and affinity with either parent as they grow up.

I was the ‘cat’s meow’ for a while

My wife stepped in as ‘the bomb’ at some point.

Then I was the ‘wizard’

My wife took over as the ‘awesome-blossom’ . . . 

Many times I had flexibility to be home with the kids when they were little.  We did some fun things, and I was also ‘the disciplinarian.’  So you’d think that I’d be at the top of their favorites.  But, the truth is – don’t get offended until you read further – kids were created to have both parents.  So my boys missed their ‘mom time’ and were super-excited to have interaction with her when she was home.

If you’re a single parent though, this concept on how to be their favorite is especially important.   It’s not loose science that kids need parents.  In fact, kids will subconsciously seek out what they ‘need’ from parenting.  I’ll explain:

Society is built around children growing up to be successful members of the populace, so there are objectives that kids need to learn.  If they aren’t getting a skill, then they have to find it someplace.  So kids will gravitate subconsciously toward ‘parents’ modeling or offering the skills they need.

Example:  You might be a total introvert with no viable social skills (commenting on the Do the Dad Thing Blog might be the pinnacle of your social interaction).  But kids need to learn how to interact socially, so they might parrot the used car salesman they see on TV, or mimic the next door neighbor talking with their hand motions to the mailperson, etc.

So don’t worry if your kids have a favorite outside of you, or model someone else they see, or idolize an attribute in someone that is not exactly idol-worthy.  They are following the natural desire to grab the skills they need from the surrounding world.  This becomes more and more pronounced as your kids grow up and our accumulated set of skills gets more and more limited for their growth.  I.e.  I used to be the favorite to help my boys with math, but as they entered high school, suddenly my skills were sorely lacking. . .

–Warning– most sexual abuse is committed by family members or extended family; especially, for some reason, by uncles and aunts. So make sure there is adequate supervision and safety protocols for kids spending time with other adults.

The good news is, no matter the outside influence and modeled skills, your children always have the desire and need to find their ‘home’ favorite in a parent (yes, even if you are secondary care giver adoptive parent or foster parent).  The concept of ‘home’ and ‘family’ is core to people, and  children will always treasure the link they have with you as their safe place for understanding and acceptance. Read More→

Comments Comments Off on How to be the Favorite
Jan
03

All the Memories they Forgot

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on All the Memories they Forgot

Of all my blog articles, this one might be my MOST CONTROVERSIAL.

This one could get me fired from CWAHM, or banned from the Internet, or cause me to receive death threats.

But, at some level I’m a truth-telling journalist and I must be true to the facts. So, here we go:

Your kids will forget Disney.

Gulp. There it was. Let the onslaught of hate begin. To make it worse, I’m also going to include every other cute and meaningful activity that you did with your kids when they were little. They won’t remember any of it.

There are scores of older, experienced Dads reading this and they are all solemnly nodding their heads in agreement. As if to say, “You said it brother. Better you getting the death threats, than me. But you’re right, they won’t remember any of it.”

If they were brave enough, or could be interviewed with their faces obscured and their voices disguised, then one of them might elaborate. “I asked my teenage daughter if she remembered the giant birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese when she was 6 . . . all she remembered was a joke her uncle told on the way there. It wasn’t even funny.”

And it’s that way with all the large, expensive, and elaborate things that parents do for their younger children. Just the other day, someone asked me advice on what to do with their family on a Disney vacation. I didn’t say it – it’s easier to passive-aggressively write about it online – but my advice would be ‘to save your money and build a blanket fort.’

I know from experience; we had taken our two boys many times to Disney when they were little, and you know what? The best thing they remember is riding in the Monorail and stopping for hamburgers on the way home.

Same thing with the giant birthday party we had for them with a dinosaur theme where we invited half the neighborhood? No recollection. The community Easter Egg hunt? Nope. The Christmas party where they could pet a real reindeer? No recollection.

There is a redeeming point to this scandalous article. Two points actually:

1.) Kids remember things that are positive emotional closeness to you. Memories are encoded (stored) with emotion — usually through positive love/closeness emotion or terrible/scary emotion. Most events for kids are big, unknown, and confusing; a sense of positive chaotic wonder doesn’t encode memories. So if you do go to Disney or some other big event, don’t get so caught up in all the chaos of planning and executing the day that you forget to have closeness with your child. If driving, parking, planning, cutting, eating, decorating or anything else to make an event really special, keep you from spending simple time with your kid, then the point has been missed.

2.) Save your energy and do something incredibly simple. You know, a box that we got off the curb was some of my kid’s best time when they were little. We spent $.0000000000001 in marker-juice drawing doors and a window on it. Go to the airport and look at airplanes. Ride a bus together. Build a blanket fort with your kids and read inside it. These things are the best memories for your kids. Read More→

Comments Comments Off on All the Memories they Forgot
Dec
07

The Experienced Sailor Dad

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on The Experienced Sailor Dad

beach playI follow some sailing folks on Instagram.

I don’t know how it happened. I usually follow friends, Star Wars posts, and people with unique animals, but somehow I started following some sailors that were posting about their life on large cargo ships. Then, I started to get other boat crews and sailors following me. Some of the pictures are facinating . . .

Like most of Social Media, there are ‘business’ groups that post things as well. And since I follow some sailing people, you can imagine that I get a lot of ads for sailing merchendise.
One of the popular expessions sold on t-shirts, mugs, bags, bandannas, hats — is the quote: “Smooth sailing never made a skilled sailor.”

It’s a cute saying. And I’m sure real seawomen and men are tired of hearing it. But I was thinking quite a bit lately about how this saying definitly applies to parenting.

Some parents win the behavior lottery with their kids–kids that never push the envelope, or kids that are compliant, or submissive; kids that can be left alone for hours and never think of nefarious things to do, or ways to antagonize others. Good for them! There are some parents out there with smooth sailing.

Hopefully they aren’t writing parenting blogs.

My kids push the envelope. And their imaginations concoct all manner of ways to bother people, get what they want, and test boundaries and relationships. My kids don’t walk on water . . . they sink under the water and breach like sharks when you least expect it.

Easy kids never made a skilled parent.

I know that you don’t always have easy kids. That’s why you’re reading this blog. Parents with complient kids are out enjoying a latte somewhere and wondering what to do with all their extra time. I can’t seem to sit down long enough to watch a 25min show on Netflix.

Believe it or not, this is an encouragement to you. You could be a Dad smooth-sailing through ‘training up a child in the way it should go’* . . but you wouldn’t be learning any real parenting skill or growing deeper as a parent. You would miss out on all the emotions, all the techniques, all the wisdom, all the hard-won successes of being a skilled parent. Most of all you’d miss out on the massive analogy of how God is the Best Parent to each of us, despite none of us being an ‘easy kid.’

Take a minute and consider how many rough waters you’ve sailed so far with your kids. Consider what you’ve learned. Think about what good company you keep with other ‘parent sailors’ that braved some of the turbulent waters of parenting. And be proud:

Every failure, every hard time — is making you a skilled sailor.

Now, I suggest we all go out and get some sort of signifying tattoo — you know, like sailors do. Something like an anchor or ship or something. Or we should start wearing a captain’s hat. I’m not too good with needles, so look for me in a large admiral hat – you might even see me beating my kids with it.

(*Proverbs 22:6)

Comments Comments Off on The Experienced Sailor Dad
Jul
23

Covert Code for your Kids

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Covert Code for your Kids

I wrote a previous article about teaching your kids a code of ethics/values.  It was awesome and you can read it here.   

This article is about the type of code that is a lot more clandestine . . . that is to say “secret,” and can help your kids manage social interactions without their peers becoming aware.  It’s especially valuable in helping your kids stay safe as they start visiting other friends and are out of your watchful eye.

Here is a situation:

Mel has been playing over at your house all afternoon.  You, being the great dad that you are, have been helping your wife make dinner (or, maybe she’s helping you) while you keep an ‘eye’ on the kids playing.

At some point, Mel, asks your kid if he can stay overnight for a sleepover.

Your son/daughter still sleeps with a stuffed Snoopy, and doesn’t want to have to explain that to Mel because he/she will be the laughingstock of the school the next week.

So, your offspring comes to you:  Dad, can Mel spend the night?  We can put up the old camping cot in my room . . .

You have arranged a secret ‘code word’ with your kid . . . and “camping cot” is the term that means:  “please say no to a sleepover.”

So, you reply, “Oh I’m sorry, but we have to [_insert excuse_] and you can’t do a sleepover tonight.

Your son/daughter turns to Mel, “Oh rats! Sorry, maybe next time.”

Crisis averted!

You can see by the above example that the idea is simple:  Set up a secret code with your kids to give them an appropriate social ‘out’ if a situation is tense, uncomfortable, or unsafe.

I suggest having a family meeting and arranging some codes.  The sleepover one is good.  You might also want to construct one for friends that ask to stay for dinner, etc.  You might need to have the codes work both for kids wanting to stay at your house, and transversely when kids invite your child to social engagements. 

Codes can be non-verbal also.  Rubbing your head (I’m bald and this one works for me) could mean ‘come rescue me from this conversation.’  Rubbing your elbows could mean ‘say no to anything I ask.’  Rubbing your forearms could mean ‘steal second base.’

Quick note:  Kids need to learn how to be assertive and tell people ‘no’ and speak honestly.  However, there are always those situations where visiting kids don’t pick up on social cues, or beg, or situations that might involve protection from social ridicule or embarrassment.  It’s probably a good idea to discuss the difference with your kids in a family meeting. 

There are many uses for a family code and one of the best is to keep your child safe.  When kids are teens, they are sometimes invited to social engagements that turn illegal or illicit.  What if your kid rode with several other kids to a party?  Then, the party gets ‘out of hand’ and drinking/drugs are involved?

Peers:  Come on!  Stay, it will be fun.

Your Child:  No, I think we should go.

Peers:  We’ll I drove, and I’m going to stay for a little while.  I’m not going to drive you home and come back.

This is a great opportunity for your kid to call to check in (because you have set up that they check-in on a regular basis throughout the night – good job Dad!), or to have your son/daughter drop you a quick call/text that includes the code.

For phone calls, the code can even contain a prompt for you to start asking questions.

[Ring]

Child:  Hey dad, I’m checking in. (dramatically rolls eyes to friends to show that he hates having to call to check in) I’m excellent.

Dad:  [Recognizes that your child used the code word “excellent” instead of fine] Do I need to come and get you?

Child:  Yeah, we are just messing around playing ping-pong and stuff.

Dad:  Ok, I’ll come.  Do I need to create some emergency text and excuse to get you?

Child:  Sure, I’ll check in again later.

Dad:  [Hangs up.  Waits about 15 minutes, then texts “Hey, something came up and I have to come get you.  I’ll explain in the car.  Tell your buddies sorry.”

Child:  [Shows friends the text and feigns disappointment while cursing all parents for being ‘losers’]

I recently read online about using a similar system where the code is just a texted ‘X’ to mean “make up an excuse to come get me because things are ‘not good.’  The article even added a little suggestion that is worth including.  If you have to rescue your teen/pre-teen from a “not good” situation via the secret code, then don’t ask any questions about the situation on the ride home – that way your son/daughter won’t have to elaborate how they got into a rescue situation.  They can bring it up on their own time.  (Kids will always bring things up later if they can trust you.)

Codes don’t just have to be for extraction.  In our house, we have the accepted code “for real” to mean “tell the truth.”  If my wife or I think that there is a lie involved in something we are hearing, we say, “for real.”  That gives our kids, or each other, the prompt to tell the full, gritty truth because it will be worse if they don’t. 

Wife:  Did you kill that enormous spider in the bathroom?

Me:  Yeah. Guts went everywhere.

Wife:  For real.

Me:  No, It was freaky-big.  I was trying to figure out how to kill it, then the little sucker ran at me and I panicked.  Turns out it was just a feint and it ran under the cabinet to escape.

Wife:  Great.  Now we have to burn down th bathroom.

Here is something you might find interesting:  They used secret codes in the Bible, and early Christians also used a code to stay safe.  When the idea of ‘church’ had just started after the first Easter . . .  the FIRST Easter, the one where Jesus rose from the grave and ascended into heaven . . . people that followed Jesus and met together could be arrested or killed by the Roman government.  Christians would draw a fish on their door as a secret code.  The Greek word “ΙΧΘΥΣ” means “fish” and those letters are also the initial letters of the phrase, “Lesous (Jesus), Xristos (Christ), Theou (God), Yios (Son), Sotare (Savior).  If you saw the fish drawing, then you knew there was a secret meeting of Christ-followers that met at that location.

Well, either that or a bass angler lived there . . .  which probably led to some awkward situations. Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Covert Code for your Kids
Jun
07

Leading When You’re Wrong

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Leading When You’re Wrong

leadwhenwrongBrad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerHere’s one of the famous quotes and jokes from my Dad:

“I don’t make mistakes.  Except for that one time that I thought I made a mistake . . .  but it turned out that I didn’t . . . so that was actually a mistake.”

That’s the point when my sister, my mom, and I would groan.

Unlike my Dad, I DO make mistakes.  I made a big one a few months ago.  It was my job to handle the tithe portion of our budget.  Every month I take our tithe amount from the budget and PayPal donate it.  It’s not a big job.  I usually just set an alarm in my calendar, then on the designated day, send some $$ through PayPal.

But, I did some reformatting of my email, and, then reinstalling of my e-mail management program . . .  and lost my handy little calendar reminder.

You readers might have great capacities for memory, but I would actually lose my head if it wasn’t attached.  So, you can see where this is going:  Three months I forgot to send out the tithe.

Doesn’t sound like a big deal yet?  But you have to understand, the Washburns aren’t sitting on piles of dough.  My work in ministry and writing doesn’t put us on the Fortune list, and my wife’s steady (thank God for steady) job doesn’t either.  So that designated tithe money sitting in the account . . . got spent.

Yes, yes, the fact that I can’t tell you from our budget where that money was spent is probably also my fault.  I’m lumping it all into the same screw up.

But the point of this article is that I still had to lead even though I screwed up.  And being a good Christian Dad leader means that we tithe.  So that sacrifice of our first fruits of paychecks was still required.  But yet we had spent the money.

. . . and that’s when the fight started.

Actually it wasn’t much of a fight.  All my wife’s accusations of me mishandling funds and calendar were true.  But that fact that the Washburns had to come up with 3 months of tithe, because of my screw up . . .  Yes there was some ‘heated discussion.’

My fellow Dads, this is where I can’t emphasize enough that it’s really tough to lead, to ask your family to ‘dig deep’ and sacrifice, when we ourselves are to blame.  But there is NO WHERE in Scripture that says we quit leading just because we made a mistake.  We are men, and heads of family and marriage whether we are perfect or not.  So my only ‘take away points’ are ones that I’ve learned the hard way:

Admit it.  Take responsibility when you are wrong.  In this situation the resulting fight would have went on a LOT longer if I was unnecessarily trying to defend myself.  This is a great thing for our kids to see also; taking responsibility in a mature way.

  1. Remember that as Christians and Dads we are not alone.  God is with us.  Just like He promised the Israelites in Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  2. Remember that as Christians and Dads our family is “our people” — when Solomon prays for “wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Chronicles 1:10), he’s not just talking about the nation of Israel; he’s’ talking about families like ours.  Your people are yours and you are not alone — even if they complain.  Yes, even if they complain a LOT
  3. The Bible is pretty clear that being a Christian and a Dad is going to be tough.  The Devil’s schemes are against us (Eph 6:10), and we are encouraged to not be weary of doing good (Gal 6:9) — why would we need such encouragement if God didn’t know that it was going to be hard?
  4. You will come out of it and it will be better.  Yes, we finally paid the tithe I had missed.  We are still surviving, and, as my waistline is showing, no one has starved to death.  In fact, we all noticed some unexplained blessings that made the extra financial amount easier to handle during the last several months.  I can honestly say it was an example to my wife, and to me, of how God has a Master Plan.

Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Leading When You’re Wrong
May
24

It’s Your Dad Thing

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on It’s Your Dad Thing

bradA brief quote of lyrics from the Isley Brothers:

 It’s your thing 
Do what you wanna do

Don’t let the world tell you how to be a good dad.  Sure, let the Bible tell you how to be a good dad.  But not the world.  Not Facebook, or your buddies, or, yeah, I’m going to say it; your wife.  Or the TV – geesh especially not the TV.  The TV is never a resource to be a good anything . . . unless it’s zombie killer.  You can find some good tips for zombie slaying, but that’s it.

Part of being a good dad is doing the role of dad your way.  Some guys rock at being an efficient homemaker, some rock at bringing home the bacon.  Some rock at cooking the bacon, or are handy with every kind of tool in the book.  It’s easy to get jealous; but don’t.  God made you with your very own parenting style.  He’s made you with the correct gifts and skills and learning ability to be the best dad for the kids that He gave you.

So find out how you do the dad thing.  How do you shop?  I put in the headphones and go though Wally World like a commando.  How do you make dinner?  Some guys are grill masters, some are Iron Chef wannabes.  But how are you with doing dinner?  Find out your specific style and be the best dad at it.

There is a big difference in right and wrong.  The Bible is the definitive manual for being a good dad.  But just like Tom Cruise says in A Few Good Men (clipped from IMBD) . . .

Kaffee (Tom Cruise): Corporal, would you turn to the page in this book that says where the mess hall is, please.

Cpl. Barnes: Well, Lt. Kaffee, that’s not in the book, sir.

Kaffee: You mean to say in all your time at Gitmo you’ve never had a meal?

Cpl. Barnes: No, sir. Three squares a day, sir.

Kaffee: I don’t understand. How did you know where the mess hall was if it’s not in this book?

. . . the Bible doesn’t specifically say how you will parent your kids.  The guidelines are there:  Train a child up in the way he(she) should go . . .  (Proverbs 22:6), but there is not a specific addendum to the Bible telling you exactly how to manage your child’s internet use, or grades, or social involvement.

Read More→

Comments Comments Off on It’s Your Dad Thing
Jan
24

Father Vs. Son in Electronic Showdown

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Father Vs. Son in Electronic Showdown

Today bradI have an extra-special researcher and guest columnist co-writing for this article:  my son Toby Washburn.

He’s ‘here’ to give his opinion and related facts as to why computer/video games are beneficial and how kids should be allowed to play them at all times.  I asked him to write with me on this, because he’s pretty much constantly making this case to my wife and I, so he might as well use his debate skills for the benefit of dads everywhere.

First, let me clarify that computer and video games haven’t always existed.  When I was a kid, I didn’t have video games . . .

Toby:  Well, it’s the 21st century now, and things are different.

But I survived pretty well without them . . .

Toby:  I’m not saying that I can’t survive, I’m just saying that I should be allowed to play them a little bit more.

And this is where the debate begins.  I am going to spare you readers the arguments of “All my friends play Minecraft” and “I’m the only kid who has a limited time to be online.”

Toby:  Dad . . .

And I’m going to jump right into the pros and cons of video/computer games in the 21st Century

Pros by Toby

  • interactive with other kids
  • helps brain skills– problem solving  – puzzles –
  • fun
  • good sportsmanship — I’m actually adding this one because I’ve seen this firsthand.  Watching Toby play a MMOG (Massive Multiplayer Online Game) Minecraft has shown me that sometimes he will seriously get beat in a player-vs-player online competition.  Toby, and many of the other players will enter “GG” (good game), then try again.  That’s the kind of good sportsmanship that dads want to foster in their kids.  Competition is good, but you have to be a good sport, even when you lose.
  • typing skills — going to add a little on this one too.  Dads, you should encourage, or even mandate, that your kids use correct typing when playing online.  They may want to ‘hunt and peck’ but it will make life so much easier on them for their education, if they can type correctly.
  • learning about computers

Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Father Vs. Son in Electronic Showdown
May
03

Play Date Haskell Style

Posted by: | Comments Comments Off on Play Date Haskell Style

This turned into a really long series on Dads facilitating good manners and etiquette. Well, mostly it was a long series because I TOOK THREE MONTHS OFF.

But I’m back to finish off our series with one of the big issues our kids experience in testing their manners in social situations: The Play Date.

But first, a couple of short disclaimers. This first one you’ve seen before several articles ago but I thought I’d better add it again. I don’t want anyone to think I am the EXPERT on all things social, because I’m not. I’m an introvert that grew up lonely and isolated in the barren wastelands of Indiana. Ok, Indiana isn’t that bad . . . but I was pretty much a loner.

Disclaimer #1
I didn’t have personal experience with social interaction much as a kid. I grew up in an Amish area, and the nearest neighbor with a child my age was miles away (several cornfields at least). So, I had to learn much of the information on dealing with neighborhood kids, visiting friends, having ‘play-dates’ through my kids and trying to navigate the experience as a parent. The good thing, is that our family will routinely have ‘pow-wows’ to discuss how to handle social issues. Much of the ideas in this article and others in this series involving ‘other people’ were developed from meeting as a family and discussing how best to handle each experience.

Disclaimer #2
In my day we didn’t use the word “Play Date” it was more commonly referred to as “having someone over” or “Going over to ___’s house.” “Date” makes it sound like it was planned or involved ‘romance.’ I’m pretty sure ‘Play Date’ came as a result of parents that wanted to control their kid’s interaction into prearranged and encapsulated time periods. That’ would be nice. But we dads know that kids need some flexibility and will use this article, and my others, to make even the most unplanned get-togethers a successful experience. For the purpose of easily talking about the process of “going over” or “having over,” I’m going to use the term “play date” to indicate any such informal get-together.

Now, on to the article . . .

Those of you that grew up in any age that wasn’t considered “Millennial,” will probably remember Leave it to Beaver. This TV show originally ran in the 1950’s/60’s and was rebroadcast frequently when I was a kid in the 80’s. It’s had resurgences over the years and you can usually watch it on one of the stations that broadcasts ‘classic’ TV. If all else fails you can probably find it on YouTube.

The show was a depiction of the ideal upper-class family, with good morals and ideals living in a small suburban town somewhere in America. In this family named the Cleavers, there was a mom, dad, and two boys. The show centered around the adventures of the youngest son that had the nickname ‘Beaver.’ However, every story needs a villain, and one of the main foes to this idyllic family dynamic was the teenage neighborhood friend that would frequently visit: Eddie Haskell.

Eddie was deceitful, rude, and mean in his dealings with Beaver and the other kids on the show, but when he visited the Cleaver family, he transformed into an over-the-top, sugary sweet gentleman. All of this being a lead-in to today’s topic of teaching your kids how to show good manners while participating in a play date with their friends. Read More→

Comments Comments Off on Play Date Haskell Style

About CWAHM:





** Disclaimer **
The views expressed by the bloggers on this website are not necessarily the views held by CWAHM.com or it's owners. Please see our Statement of Faith for details on what we believe.

About Us | Privacy Policy