Day 310: Serving Together

If you look around hard enough, there’ll always be someone whom you can help in your community. If you do not personally know of anyone, ask your friends and neighbors, contact your most local over religious leaders, as they often are told about these sorts of needs.

You can plan a service project for someone in need and have your kids help you out with it. This is an important step in teaching children compassion and how to put others needs before their own. For example, you could go rake the leaves or mow the lawn of an elderly person, who cannot do it for themselves, for free. You might help someone in the neighborhood move who needs help, or offer to help pick up trash or help with the household projects, like painting.

When you introduce children to how good it feels to render selfless service, they may just want to do it again and again.

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Day 309: Fatherhood Poem: My Earthly Dad

My Earthly Dad

With these three words,
“Dear Heavenly Father,”
I begin my every prayer,
But the man I see
While on bended knee
Is always my earthly dad.

He is the image
Of the Father divine
Reflecting the nature of God,
For his love and care
And the faith he shared
Pointed me to my Father above.

–Mary Fairchild

Day 307: Knowing Love Languages

There is a theory that says that there are different love languages for different people. A love language is a different way to communicate love to another person and they include physical touch, words of affirmation, spending quality time, and giving gifts. Different people prefer to give and receive love in different ways and knowing your spouse’s love language or languages can help you more effectively communicate your affection for her.

For example, if your wife likes to receive a sign of love by receiving gifts, then this is the love language you should employ the most. She will likely still appreciate words of affirmation spending quality time physical touch and the like, but your communicated love will be most powerful when you speak her love language.

In any case, this is something that you should communicate with your spouse so that she knows how to best show you that she loves you.

You can read more about these here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Day 306: Profile of a Father: Benjamin Franklin

  1. “Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
  2. “Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
  3. “Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
  4. “Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
  5. “Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
  6. “Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
  7. “Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
  8. “Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
  9. “Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”

10. “Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”

11. “Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”

12. “Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”

13. “Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”

Benjamin Franklin was one of the founding fathers of the United States. He started from very poor circumstances and built a life for himself, applying himself to a variety of fields, such as inventing writing and diplomacy.

We owe him for such things as the lightning rod and bifocals, but also for his famous bits of wisdom. Many of his sayings are still in common use today, such as “a penny saved is a penny earned” and “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy and wealthy and wise.”

He played a pivotal role in the Constitutional convention, and is so beloveds that he was honored by a spot on the $100 bill. He was a father many times over, having 17 children by two wives. He taught his children and others thirteen virtues by which he lives.

Day 304: Top Ten Tips for New Dads from Daniel Tomasulo, PHD, Tip 7

7. Teamwork.

The above point having been said, you also need to realize you are part of a team.  You and mom are a tag-team.  This may be a different set of skills than when you are one-on-one.  As an example, when mom was out and I was joyfully bottlefeeding my daughter with breast milk we had pumped for her, everything was wonderful.  But the moment mom came home from her classes, my daughter wasn’t in the mood for Mr. second-best.  She could hear and, through the magic of pheromones, smell mom and wanted to be with her.  This was the transition time.  Recognize that the three of you function like a mobile hanging from the ceiling and are in balance with one another.  As the infant’s needs change, the balance of mom and dad will need to change along with it.

Top Ten Tips for New Dads from Daniel Tomasulo, PHD

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/06/19/10-tips-for-new-fathers/

Day 303: Planning Sleepovers

Sleepovers can be a fun part of your children’s growing up years, especially if you help plan them well. For that reason, I don’t recommend sleepovers being a last minute thing, but something that was known well in advance.

It’s a good idea to meet all of the children and know his parents just to be safe. If your child is going over to sleep  at someone else’s house, it is a good idea to meet the parents and the friends beforehand, and make sure you know and they know what guidelines will be kept.

Sleepovers can be a pitfall because they sometimes encourage kids to stay up way too late or to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Sit down with your children before sleepovers and make sure they understand what time bedtime is, and what sort of activities are and aren’t allowed.

You might want even have fun by helping facilitate some wholesome activities, such as setting up a tent and roasting marshmallows in the backyard or telling spooky stories around the campfire. Whatever you do, just make sure that there is sufficient parental supervision.

Day 301: Easter Egg Hunts

Easter egg hunts can be a lot of fun, especially for smaller children. You can go the traditional way and color real eggs, but I find this gets a bit messy sometimes, especially if you do not locate a cleverly hidden egg on Easter. Most of the time, we just use plastic eggs that you can fill with candy.

When doing a hunt with a large group, it’s a good idea to take some sort of measure to make sure that one child doesn’t horde all of the candy. We usually tell children that they can get a certain number of eggs, or that all the eggs of a certain color belong to them.

We usually do this on the Saturday before Easter Sunday so that the Sunday can be reserved for the more religious aspects of the holiday. The most take place outside, when bad weather looms, don’t let that discourage you. There’re plenty of indoor hiding places that I could be especially fun for the kids to poke around.