Archive for the ‘Dating as a Single Dad’ Category

I do believe I wake up earlier than pert near everyone in my neighborhood. Doesn’t make me special, it is just an observation that came to light on Groundhog’s Day. This is what enlightened me to my early riser status. I stumbled down stairs, poured a cup of coffee (thank you modern technology), and went into my study to see how many Spammers missed me while I was sleeping. So I clicked on “Get New Mail” and waited and waited and waited only to be told “Server not Found”. Being the techno wiz I am first thing I do is unplug the modem, wait 30 seconds, plug it back in, hit “refresh” and wait and wait and wait only to be told “Server Not Found”. This is not acceptable. So I pick up the phone to dial my Cable provider, and realize my phone broke over night and doesn’t work. Now what do I do, walk back upstairs and get my cell phone to call or just walk into the next room and watch Sports Center? Well my TV broke as well overnight. It was at this point that I realized something was up with my cable. So I walked upstairs to get my cell phone.

After being told “prima a tres para espanol” and listening to the theme from Pink Panther, I was connected to a service technician who knows way more than I do. Her “steps to repair” included unplugging the modem, trying to make an out going call, and turning on my TV. At which point she said “I can see that you have no service to your house. We have not received any other calls of outage in your area so this must be an isolated incident. Because you have an emergency we will have a repair technician there within 24 hours”. Seemed reasonable to me..at least until I made the following statement, “So you are telling me that by 5:45am tomorrow morning I’ll have my service back up and running”, her response, “No sir, we will be there within 24 hours. Now I am confused. I asked her what time she had (5:46am) and said I didn’t understand how “within 24 hours” could be anything but before 5:46 am the next day. It was then that I learned the true meaning of a national Commercial claim that says emergency repairs within 24 hours of you letting us know about the problem. You see the 24 hours were 24 business hours..or in laymen’s terms within 3 business days.

My saga story had a happy ending as there was an area wide outage and as everyone in the neighborhood woke up to no service, enough people called in that repairs crews were on the scene within a couple of hours. However, the answer to “How long is 24 hours?” got me to thinking. Do we as Single parents send mixed signals to our kids when we tell them when we will do something? Are you guilty of saying “I’ll do that this weekend”, and then not doing it until Sunday night (technically you “made” the weekend which runs Friday after work to bedtime on Sunday? But is that what your kid thought when you said you would do it on the weekend? I know from experience that when my definition of 24 hours doesn’t match up with their definition of 24 hours, I got pissed and frustrated and stopped listening because I couldn’t believe how stupid their definition was. I am 50 and think like this, imagine what a 10 year old thinks. Stupid is probably a nice term.

Think of ways you can be specific with your children when you put off doing something today to some time in the future. Teach your kids to be specific. I am going to start my paper on Saturday morning not Sunday night when I say on the weekend. Make this a part of your routines. Put start and complete dates on the calendar. Do not inadvertently disappoint your child because you are vague with when you are going to do stuff. Remember the things we say and do shape the way out children act as they grow up. It really is all up to you.

Now go do what you need to do to…
Make it a super day,
Kevin

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“So what do you do when the person you care about doesn’t want to make changes that will benefit them?  First, we need to look at ourselves before we even begin to open our mouths.  You can not ask someone to do something that you aren’t first willing to do yourself.  If I am overweight, how can I ask the person I care about to lose weight while I sit on the couch?”..this was taken from a blog entry by my friend Matt Hoover (winner of Season 2 on NBC’s The Biggest Loser Reality Show).

Although Matt was talking about how you get loved ones to accept the fact that they need to lose weight, when I read his blog I was struck by how many times I told my kids to do something while showing them that I did the opposite. I want to discuss this theme in today’s blog. Do what I say, not what I do.

I need you to stop what you are doing and be very critical of yourself as a parent right now. Are you guilty of telling your kids to bundle up (according to the President we are in the midst of  “Snowmageddon”) and go play outside while you are sitting back in your recliner watching ESPN? Are you guilty of telling your kids to eat their veggies while they see the empty pizza boxes from the nights they were not with you? Do you tell your teenagers to “Never drink and drive” while you routinely have a beer or glass of wine with diner and then drive the Family home? Are you on your kid’s back to do home work while you spend the night on FaceBook or watching TV? Do you harp on your children to do their summer reading and never once read a book in front of them? How about critiquing their “effort/hustle” in sports while waddling around with your “Parent 35” hanging over your belt?

Many things we expect and require our children to do are things we don’t do ourselves. Do you make your bed every day? Do you pick your clothes up off the floor every day? Do you rinse and put away the dishes when your kids are not with you? Do you shine your shoes and dress appropriate every day? Do you exercise and keep your weight at a healthy level? Do you drink and drive? Do you have a beverage to relax as soon as you get home from work? Do you end up tipsy by the time a celebration (birthday, holiday, Saturday) is over? Do you wear your seatbelt all the time? Do you smoke or think you “hide” your smoking from your kids? Do you talk about and/or gossip about neighbors and friends? Do you attend Church on a regular basis? Do you treat your Ex with respect and act friendly when ever you are around her? Do you show up on time for games and events?

Most of what a child learns is through watching and trying to do the same as their Parents. Think back to you lathering up and shaving with your Dad. Remember smoking candy cigarettes? How about playing house and Dad drinking coke in place of Budweiser? Don’t even get me started with dress up or “50’s” dances at school (time to feel OLD the kids are now having 80’s dances). Our children are little sponges and they absorb everything we do. The actions you routinely do are what your children will definitely do. You have a 50/50 chance that they will do anything you “say”.

Time to take a look at the model behavior you are setting for your children. Make changes where you need to. Enjoy being active with your kids. Learning and communicating with your kids. Enjoy being the Father you always wanted to emulate. Today is the day you can make this happen in your life. Just get off your butt and do it.

Now go do what you have to do to…
Make it a super day,
Kevin

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  • "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."~Albert Einstein 2011-07-05
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