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How Old Should Your Kid Be Before You Get Them Their Own Cellphone?

Topics involving kids are very different these days and boy is it complicated.

Not only has things changed for the worse (in regards to parenting), but parents have become sensitive and due to social media, we see things a lot differently, which I can not stand.

Gone are the days of dads going off to work while mom stays home, since Beyonce wants to give everyone the idea that women can do anything since she runs the whole “B” hive.

Props to Beyonce and her success, but I think she’s put a huge dent on what women should be doing with themselves as boy have things changed.

Something as simple as a cellphone can be really complicated these days and it’s almost impossible to let your kids go without a cellphone, whether you like it or not.

This topic can go back and forth forever, but if you do your job as a parent, the whole when should your kids have a cellphone issue will be that much easier to handle.

So How Old Should Your Kid Really Be Before They Get Their Own Cellphone?


This can vary especially with schools having their different rules.

When figuring out a specific age that you should give your chile their own cellphone, please don’t decide on what everyone else is doing as that is not the way to go about things.

Don’t become a “monkey see, monkey do” parent or you’ll make things harder for your kids when they can make decisions on their own.

Keep these next few topics in mind when making this decision and you should be good to go.

Keeping in Touch


There’s no better way to keep in good communication with your kids than with a cellphone.

Gone are the days of pagers, and soon to be the landline, so of course we will be in full use of mobile devices just like we already are.

We have a landline here and when it rings, everyone jumps like it’s an alarm because we get calls on there like once a week.

As far what a phone was designed for in the first place, getting your kid a cellphone for staying in touch is a great idea.

The word cellphone will soon join the rotary phone since we all know that these little things are referred to as a “mobile device”.

Do You Really Want Them to be Left Out?


This reason alone is enough for most parents to get their kids a cellphone, even if they aren’t allowed to bring them to school.

It really starts with one kid and then everyone else will follow.

Then once the majority had cellphones, what do you really want to do for your kids?

Leave them out?

Not that easy my friend.

So if you absolutely positively need to get your kid a cellphone, do so, but do so in a  responsible way from the day you get them one.

Not to say that you need to monitor their every move, but let them understand that it is truly a luxury and a privilege to own one, so treat it as such.

So How Old Should They Be?


This is going to be determined on everything mentioned above, so please be the responsible parent and spoil your kids, but not to the point of handicapping their lives.

They will soon be adults too, so do them a favor and let them do a lot of the learning on their own.

Be there to guide them in that right direction and in the end everyone will be happy.

Personally, I give my two year old my phone so he can watch his favorite Youtube channels, but of course there has to be a limit.

Now you tell me, how old should a kid really be in order for them to own their own cellphone?

 

10 Things First Time Dads Can Expect Before Baby Comes

I can remember everything from the day I found out we were expecting all the way up until our son was born.

Within that time, there is so much that goes on and it’s pretty sad to say, but dads take quite the abuse a lot of the time.

I’m not going to say that every single father goes through the same things, but I’m sure we can all share some of the same experiences.

For you soon to be dads, this post may frighten you a bit, but one piece of advice I can give you is…

Deal with it!

If you’re wondering what to expect before baby comes, here’s 10 things that you might want to be aware of.

1.) Your Life is Going to Change


Life will change for you and it’s not a bad thing either.

For me, I went from drinking all the time (I know, not cool) and hanging out of my friends, to having to go home just to cater to the Mrs.

For a lot of you new dads, this is actually a really good thing as it puts you in some type of direction so that you can figure out exactly what it is that you want in life.

In my case, it led me to the internet and having the title of “stay at home dad”, which is absolutely awesome.

Life changed with baby #1, but I’m forever grateful for what the good Lord above has done for me as I really don’t know what I’d be doing right now if I didn’t have any kids.

2.) You Have a Little Person That YOU Own Now


Welcome to the world of owning people.

Sure I can agree that taking care of a puppy is actually a lot harder than taking care of a human, but dogs don’t have to be catered to every single minute.

You have someone that you created who is not just going to be your responsibility as far as feeding and caring is concerned, but you need to help them get through life.

This is big.

Like, really big.

3.) Mom is Going to be Weird


Boy does this part suck and all I have to say is, hang in there.

Being a new dad is not all about dealing with your new baby, but you will have to deal with mom and her many changes.

This is where you see a side of your other half that you’ve never seen before and this is also where a lot of the bonding and really getting to know her happens.

She will probably forget some of the caring and grooming of herself, so be expecting to see mom in her rawest form.

4.) Mood Swings


This alone covers a wide range of swings and this is something you need to be careful with.

Your other half is going to become this person you never saw coming and you might learn a lot about her as she goes through the pregnancy.

She’ll be nice one minute and then all of a sudden she’ll become this angry, emotional, or depressed person.

Best way to deal with this?

Zip it.

Don’t try to fix things, don’t try to save the day, and don’t you dare try ignoring her.

Be there, but just be a “yes mam” for now.

When she says get that, you get it.

She she says leave her alone, that doesn’t mean go and play a video game.

This simply means to zip it so do exactly that.

5.) Kids Are Expensive


You’ve probably heard this before, but it probably never really sank in because well, you’ve never tried buying baby things in your life.

Remember those baby aisles that you used to pass or probably never noticed because you had no business going in there?

Let’s just say you’ll be finding yourself in that aisle a lot more and at odd times too.

Remember when you used to be in a convenience store (probably drunk), thinking about how late it was?

You might just encounter that late night encounter with a convenience store, but this time you might be picking up some Tylenol or Motrin.

If you’ve never bought one of those things yourself, let me just tell you that the prices for them continue to rise and it’s going to cost you over $10 a pop.

6.) You Need to be Flexible


Remember those aisles that I spoke of?

Be prepared to be going through that aisle at different times.

Along with the early morning runs to the store, you will have to leave work for mommy and baby checkups, along with many other things that will take a stab at your day.

7.) You Will Learn How to Save


Not much of a choice, but you will soon become some type of saving expert whether you like it or not.

From thinking that “it’s only a $1” you will find yourself saying, “hey, that’s a $1 we could’ve saved”.

Money is definitely going to be tight and if you’re not financially ready, this part will become apart of your daily life.

8.) Baby Can Come Anytime


I don’t care when your due date is, you need to be ready.

Around the due date is a great time to start being around more and not be out of the house that much.

Hang around, don’t get drunk, and be ready for mom to say “I think it’s time”.

9.) Getting in Shape Gets Harder


If you’ve got a beach body, you might just inherit a dad bod if you’re not careful.

Rembmer those days when going for a run was easy to do and fitting in some gym time was more on the if you want to side of things?

Well, let’s just say that you will wish that you could really decide on stuff like that because those days are long gone.

This is where programs like Insanity come into play and you will now be involved with a living room type workout rather than going to the gym to socialize with all your muscle head buddies.

Whatever the case may be, please, and I mean please, try to find a way to get or stay in shape as you will need to build that energy as a new dad.

10.) Long Nights


You saw this coming, but probably didn’t understand it that much and it’s really just normal.

This is where teamwork comes into play and you and your other half will need to share the duties or you’ll get burnt out.

Some of you dads might end up pulling more shifts because that’s just how things are these days, but like I said before, deal with it.

11.) It’s Time to Grow Up


Forget about how old you are or what you’re interested in because it’s time to give the wants and needs to the littler person you are about to bring into the world.

This doesn’t mean you forget about everything completely as you still need to care for yourself or you won’t be able to take care of baby.

And if you’re the type that likes to grow a beard or have a little stubble, you might want to get into the habit of getting a closer shave, especially if your baby comes across eczema like my first child had.

Sorry to be so straight forward, but parenting is no joke.

Now just because there is a lot of responsibility to take on, do know that there are going to be some great times ahead.

The last thing you need to expect before baby comes is that they definitely grow fast.

I’m sure you’ve heard someone tell that to someone else and never thought you’d be hearing it yourself.

Soon enough, you’ll be going to soccer games and promotion ceremonies like I do and all the hard work will payoff no matter what.

Congrats on your new addition and please do enjoy that new bundle of joy as yes, my friend, they do grow fast.

Cheers!

8

21 Things Dads Can Learn From The Movie Bad Moms

So I was on a flight headed somewhere WITHOUT my 4 kids and I decided to give the movie Bad Moms a chance and I must say I have learned a lot more than expected, even if I didn’t plan on learning anything.

Let me just say that this movie was flat out hilarious! So even if you decided to read this article without watching the movie, you might want to actually watch it as it is very much recommended.

As a parent we hardly ever have time for ourselves and a lot of the time we take things for granted, to include the mother of our children.

Sometimes I think I do the best job as a parent and my other half knows nothing, but in reality, it’s not about knowing that really matters.

If you think you are some super dad like I did, this article is for you.

Here are 21 things that the movie Bad Moms has taught me and I’m sure you dads can learn from as well, so enjoy.

1.) If Mom is Present, She is NOT a Bad Mom


People can talk all they want about a mom doing things that aren’t very traditional, but if she is present in their kid’s lives, she at least needs a pat on the back. At least.

Not the perfect role model, but at least appreciate them being in your kid’s lives as there are many parents that aren’t there at all.

2.) Moms Need Help


I’m sure most of you dads work and maybe even most of you moms, but we all know that that’s just apart of life.

Even if we don’t have the boobs or the mother hen like care that kids demand, dads need to help whether we like it or not, even after a hard day’s work.

Take the baby for a while and let mom breathe as I’m sure she could use some time to clear her brain from constantly worrying about what the kids are doing.

3.) Moms and Dads Need Me Time


We spend a lot of time with our families (almost all of it), but we all need to take the time to have our special time.

Let guys be guys and let girls be girls, almost like it was before you started making babies.

Mom goes on the first week of the month, and dad can go on the last week, but do things without each other every now and then and you will keep things interesting.

4.) Parents Need Mommy & Daddy time


I always thought that being that we made our kids we should be the ones to take care of them, but I think I’ve changed my thoughts on that.

There is nothing wrong with calling in the grandparents to watch your kids while you and the misses go out on a SHORT date.

Of course there are those wanna be parents that drop their kids to grandma and grandpa’s house all the time, but please don’t be like them.

Once in a while is fine, but just don’t make it a habit.

5.) Moms are Not Perfect


The name of this movie can be very misleading but it fits everything perfectly after watching the whole thing.

Moms can miss things and do things that aren’t very “motherly” but we are only human.

They are not perfect and the same thing goes for us dads, so once again, don’t think that you are Super Dad, even if you might just be.

6.) Kids Aren’t Like They Used to Be


Gone are the days of harsh discipline and in are the new rules that a lot of us parents can’t adapt to.

At the very least, try to understand that we live in a completely different world and our kids are not us, so we need to understand that.

We got spanked, they didn’t.

We didn’t get nice things, but who cares?

These days are not like the old days and if you can put that pride away, you will understand what this generation is really about.

You might not like it, but it is what it is.

7.) We Need to Learn to Live


Work sucks (not mine) but we need to dig deep and find a way to make things fun for our families, even if we work longer hours that most.

Forget about being tired from work for once and get out there and actually enjoy your time with your kids.

This alone will help with behavior and all that stuff, so just live and put work on the side for once.

8.) No One Knows it All


We are only human and I’m sure we all make and will continue to make mistakes.

If you’re “mr. know it all”, make it a point to not know it all and be one within the family and everyone else that doesn’t know much.

Whether you’re smarter than everyone else, that does not make you better so keep that in mind.

9.) Moms Need a Break


Dad, we get it, you work hard and you need a break.

Although my other half is a stay at home mom, she still needs a break from the kids, even if it’s just to not have baby in her arms for an hour.

Take a break from work, and give mom that much needed break.

10.) Everyone Has Their Own Story


Just because someone is being “mean” to you doesn’t mean we always need to lash out and attack them back.

Completely hard to do, but try to understand that they might be going through some things that we may never understand.

11.) Kids Will Teach Us A Lot More Than We Know


If you really take the time to watch your kids, you will see how amazing they really are.

It may be the way they swipe the iPad, but you can learn a lot about them if you took the time to watch them grow.

You will learn a lot about them and you will learn a lot about yourself if you just allow it to happen.

12.) We Need to Grow Down


Yes, we’re adults, we have responsibility, and we want to set the best examples for our kids.

Every now and then, take the time to make a fool out of yourself and be a kid for once.

This past Halloween I dressed up as Michelangelo and even if I looked like a weirdo, my kids absolutely loved it.

13.) Working From Home is Awesome


If you are working countless hours and you feel trapped, do know that there are legitimate ways to make money online.

I make my living completely for the internet and I only did it because I wanted more time with my kids.

Give the kids the quality time they deserve and at the very least, give the online world a chance.

14.) Let Kids Be Kids


Discipline is a must, but if your kid wants to write on the wall, let them.

Find the joy that they feel and just watch them do something that they know isn’t right, but they get to do it anyways.

15.) Don’t Allow Your Kids to Be “Entitled”


Kids are super spoiled these days but that doesn’t mean we need to give them anything and everything because other kids have them.

Put your foot down and remember that by giving them what they want all the time, it will only set them up for failure.

16.) Parenting is Not Easy


Even if you think you have everything under control, there will ALWAYS be something to remind you that this whole parenting thing is not easy.

It’s the hardest job in the world due to the completely unknown that comes with the job.

Unlike your 9-5 that you do like a robot, you don’t know what to expect.

17.) You Don’t Know it All


We always think we know more than mom just because they can’t wait to rush off and get on Instagram, but that’s not the case.

Just like how no one knows it all, we are very much included in that line, so don’t think otherwise.

18.) Hold on to What You Have or it Will Disappear


As humans we are prone to take things for granted and there are a lot of things we tend to overlook.

Don’t be like Mike and be the other half mom needs you to be or things can disappear without you even knowing.

19.) Know That YOUR Kids Are Awesome


Sure we all think our kids are the greatest, but do know that they really are.

We get to be around their unique personalities and that is really what makes them awesome.

I’m sure if we were around other kids, we would think the same thing, but that’s why we have our own.

20.) Kids Grow Way Too Fast


I know we all hear this all the time, but we need to sit there and really think about this one.

I mean, do the math and calculate just how long they will be kids and you will see that it is a really short time.

21.) Life is Way Too Short


This comes to the end of this post and we need to realize that our kids and their moms will not be here forever, to include ourselves.

Don’t let life pass you by and do a lot more listening than trying to be “the man of the house”.

Conclusion


We can disagree on a lot of things as a mother and father, but in the end, being a parent is not the easiest thing and I’m sure we can all agree, at least on that one thing.

Although we live in a completely different world that does have dad doing a lot of stuff only moms used to do, take the time to appreciate what they do even if it’s just being there.

No one is perfect and although we may think that we know it all as a dad, I hate to break it to you but we don’t.

I don’t care if you work 10 hours a day and you think that that’s all that matters, do remember that taking care of a kid or kids is a completely different story.

It is very much different and I do believe that the workload we parents inherit should be shared.

So dads, do mom a favor and do the laundry or wash the dishes every now and then.

Play with the kids and remind them of how important their moms are no matter how “bad” you think they are.

Most importantly, tell the mother of your children how much you love them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

No one is perfect and moms definitely deserve a round of applause.

To all you moms out there that go above and beyond for your family, this is for you.

And to the mother of my children (Risha) I love you so much and I can’t wait to come home.

Thanks for all that you do and I am so, so, sorry for everything that I have done or not done as a father no matter what I thought.

You mean the world to us and I am forever grateful that you are the mother of my children.

I don’t think you will hear me complain about you putting makeup on anymore, so you have that to look forward to.

I would like to dedicate this post to all you “bad moms” that are simply just involved with your kid’s lives as that alone is an amazing thing these days.

You are truly awesome and thank you for all that you do as us dads will not exist if it wasn’t for you.

 

– John

AskDads

 

Becoming A Better Parent Starts With YOU, So Start There

So you want to be a better parent?

A lot of the time we try to blame our kids when it’s really not their fault.

With these helpful tips, I’m sure you’ll become a better parent almost immediately.

Kids are amazing. They bless our lives in so many ways that we don’t even realize it because, well, we are just too busy.

As much as they come into our lives to show us how to appreciate the little things, there comes this thing called parenting that a lot of us can’t really grasp.

This is taking “adulting” to a different level and something that I believe we all can use a hand with.

I am not the best parent in the world, but I do want to share some of the things that have helped and continue to help me become a better parent.

Some of this stuff you might already know, but I’m sure a little refresher won’t hurt.

Now if you don’t know it, I’m sure you will learn a thing or two on how to become a better parent.

Take a Step Back


I like to call this the step back method and is something I am very much proud of.

Everything in life requires some thought and with our ever so busy lives, we tend to go about things with some tunnel vision.

I don’t care if it’s your job or your kids, there comes a point where you need to step back and REALLY look at how things are going and not how you THINK they are going.

In this case, we are going to look at our kids and what they do, or don’t do, to make us react in a way that we might not want to react in the first place.

Prioritize


Sure we all have to work, but you need to realize that your children need your undivided attention.

Don’t be one of those parents that come home, feed the kids and then get on their phones like the kids don’t exist.

I mention undivided attention for that exact reason, so if you think that you’re giving your kids attention all while you’re on your phone, do know that that does not work.

We all think we can multitask but our brain can’t focus on two different things at the same time, so do know that you are not giving your children the attention they need.

I was once in the military, in college, and held a full-time job, but my kids became a priority and I knew I had to do something because I would’ve lost out on those “precious moments”.

Thanks to the internet, I found one of the best ways to make a living and I am forever grateful for what it allows me to do things on my own time, which results in more QUALITY time with my kids.

Don’t Be too Quick to React


“No”

“Don’t do that”

“That’s not nice”

“What’s wrong with you?”

The minute our kids do something our immediate reaction is to scold, lecture, and tell them exactly what they are doing wrong.

I’m actually a firm believer that you should correct on the spot (like you would a puppy), but do know that it does not work when they are already past the baby phase.

Not to say don’t discipline your kids, but do it in a way that you aren’t always trying to show them that they are doing something wrong.

My 2nd oldest son is not the most behaved and is really the one who showed me how to NOT jump the gun.

Patience is not easy to come by and with the stress from work and everyday life, it’s not the easiest thing to keep our composure.

Apply the step back method and try to understand why your kids reacts the way they do.

Maybe they need some 1 on 1 with dad?

Maybe they need some praising rather than scolding?

There are many reasons why they might act the way they do, so try to look at things the way they do or it will be a never ending battle with you on the losing end.

Know Who and What You are Dealing With


All kids are different.

Some may be the best behaved, while others are very curious and love to test the waters.

Treat all kids the same, but do make sure that you know that each child has different needs.

One may only need to be told once and others might need to be told over and over and over again.

If you have the child that won’t listen, you need to understand what you’re dealing with and know that sometimes saying “no, don’t do that” is not going to work.

Instead of getting mad and angry, I talk to him and try to get him talking about other things, rather than trying to lay the rules out so that he understands.

Be patient, but don’t be a pushover or they’ll run all over you.

Be Stern


I can’t stress enough on how different yelling is compared to being strong and portraying your message.

In case you don’t know this, yelling does not work.

It may startle them and let them know that you are angry, but it will get old real fast and they will soon block you out simply because they are used to it.

When talking to your child, be stern and let them know you mean business.

Tell them things in a way that they know you are actually talking to them rather than having them know that they got the best of you and made you break.

Let that happen and your household will consist of a lot of yelling and screaming with no real discipline or progress.

Show them who’s boss, but try to leave out the yelling as it shows how much control you don’t have.

Transition Slowly


None of us are born parenting pros and who cares.

We never knew how to read once we got out of the womb and we sure won’t know how to be a great parent all in one day.

Step back, understand what you’re doing wrong (or right), and adjust accordingly.

Most especially, bet involved with your kid and don’t think that by yelling at him while you’re on your phone is anything close to being a good parent.

Don’t Spoil Your Kids


I’m not even going to lie, my kids are spoiled rotten.

That doesn’t mean they get anything and everything they want though.

What you want to make sure you don’t do is let them think that they run the show or they will end up becoming that spoiled brat that whines about everything.

Rather than saying “what does my baby want” or “anything for my baby”, let them understand how important hard work is by letting them work for it.

After doing the yard, I let my boys help me pick up some trash and that’s when I throw in some type of reward.

The materialistic stuff is actually not what I’m talking about because that type of stuff is exactly that.

Spoiling a kid is giving them what they want when they want and that’s what you need to understand.

Just because they want something doesn’t mean they can have it, so don’t think that giving your kids everything is spoiling them.

Giving them what they want, when they want is.

Be Fair Across the Board


In my time there was ALWAYS a favorite and I’m sure it is very much still around.

Having more than one child is already a huge responsibility so don’t make things harder than they already are by having one child feel left out.

Although you may feel that you are fair, your actions will show otherwise and kids are a lot smarter than we think.

One of my boys does as he’s told and the other one does the opposite actually.

The crazy part is that the well behaved one gets less attention than my son that doesn’t always listen.

This does not mean that I show favoritism to my well behaved son or vise versa.

Not only should you not have a favorite, but you should never compare the two either.

Don’t praise one constantly while the other one is around and just try to keep things balanced.

We were all kids and I’m sure you wouldn’t like being compared to anyone else, especially if it’s something you’re not doing right.

I wasn’t “the favorite” but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t loved and it is also not the reason why I think you shouldn’t have one.

Show Some Love


There’s no better way to spoil a child than with some love.

Every kid deserves to be loved and showing them that you love them does not need to be through saying I love you.

Spending time with them, disciplining them when needed, and everything else mentioned in this post is how you show love to your kids.

Show them that you have time for them and that your job is of course necessary to survive, but take the time to enjoy them.

You Are a Better Parent


Just by you looking for a way to become a better parent already shows that you are at the very least involved with your kid’s lives, so great job mom or dad.

Do yourself and your kids a favor and give them the quality time they deserve and not just your boss.

Be the example of what they need to do when they get older and everything will be smooth sailing.

Showing you love them is the ultimate way to becoming a better parent and if you can understand that much, you are very much on your way to becoming one.

No one is perfect so do know that you are doing a better job than most.

Give your kids a kiss, tell them you love them, and apply what was mentioned in this post and you will see how awesome you really are.

Don’t let your kids work against you, work with them and they will work with you.

Good luck and thanks for reading!

 

– John

AskDads

 

Having a Newborn Around is Not Ideal For Beauty Sleep – These Tips Will Help

If you are new to this whole “daddy” game or just about to enter the fray, be warned; sleep is optional. Your new baby has absolutely no logic of time and, therefore, if junior isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.

Your new baby has needs and these needs are going to happen and literally all hours and any and all times of the day or night.

If you have never been through the beginning stages of an infant, you have no idea what you’re in for!

It can be trying, hard, and exhausting, but most of all…

it’s worth it.

But no matter how “worth it” it is, you still need sleep.

So, what should you do to alleviate the lack of sleep in the house? You may be surprised that it’s not nearly as hard as you think.

For moms, combating sleep is a task and that doesn’t mean dad isn’t involved.

Things have definitely changed and I’m sure there are dads out there that have to go through the day playing mom due to the society we live in.

My Suggestions.

First of all, you’re going to have to share feeding duties. You can not expect your wife to have all of the fun waking up at 2am after having only gone to bed 20 minutes before, can you?

If your wife is breastfeeding, it takes tons of energy out of her. Waking up with her to make sure she doesn’t accidentally fall asleep and drop the baby is highly suggested. Especially in the first 4 weeks of bringing baby home.

The more you share responsibility, the easier it will be for both of you to set a routine and get more things done (including sleep).

Next, make and keep a schedule! This holds true to keeping baby on schedule and it sure does wonders for my business.

It’s easy enough to just go with the flow, especially at first. But, at the end of the day, winging it only causes more chaos the longer you allow it.

If your body knows you are going to wake up at 2am, 3a.m and 6am, every day, sooner or later it will actually become accustomed to it. Once that happens, it will become easier to fall back to sleep.

Remember to breath! Relaxing just before pre-planned bedtime can do wonders to the mind and soul. Personally, I enjoy a beer but my other half prefers some wine.

Another helpful bit of advice is to eat just a bit more healthy. Get plenty of fresh foods, fruits and veggies, and lay off the convenient burger and fries!

I know, it is not the easiest thing to do, but at least try. Not to mention the price for fruits and vegetables these days. Sometimes we just can’t blame ya, but if there’s a will, there’s a way.

And dads, if you do decide to drink that beer at night, be sure to have a glass of water after. This will help keep your body hydrated, thus easier to fall asleep and wake-up when needed.

If you know you’re going to get carried away and beer turns into “beers”, then you might want to skip the whole beer thing.

The Nap: Taking a nap is a magical thing, so don’t be afraid to do it.

If you’re home with baby and he/she’s sleeping, ignore those dishes and take a 30 minute power nap.

Power naps are the best. Remember now, there is a difference between napping and actually sleeping, so don’t get them mixed up.

For me, if I “napped” for over an hour this will mean nothing but more headaches for me. There is a very fine line with my naps and if I go past 30 minutes, I will wake up feeling worse.

In the beginning phase of your child’s life, you can expect a whole bunch of napping and a lot less beauty rest. Once baby is on their own schedule, you can get back to putting them cucumbers on your eyes.

Dad, this advice is not just for you. It’s for mommy, too. Make sure she naps when baby naps. Those dishes will still be there later.

A big mistake my other half does is not taking advantage of when baby falls asleep. Rather than catching up on some sleep, you’ll find her on Instagram.

Do you think this is going to leave all the duties for me?

Nope.

So if you think looking at photos of what your BFF ate for lunch is worth it, then by all means, stay on Instagram all night.

Once you hear that crying alarm go off, don’t think that dad is going to pick up your slack or vise versa. Get rest when you can as it is now about baby.

Not you.

Create a routine and you will be in sync with baby. In a couple of months, baby will be on a regular sleep pattern and this time, both of you can get that well deserved rest.

For some of you, this whole parenting thing is a breeze, but that’s not the case for most. Follow these tips and you should be good to go.

And, if all else fails, feel free to call in the experts:

grandpa-grandma

That’s right…the grandparents.

Whether it be yours or hers, there is no way Nana and Paw-Paw wouldn’t miss a chance to spend a night with the little one if given the chance.

Grandparents, by sheer definition love to be “grand” in baby’s eyes so asking for a little help from them is not only going to give you and the misses a little break, but will likely be a treat for them as well.

These days, the grandparent role is not as strong as it used to be, so consider yourself lucky if you have this option.

Most grandparents can’t even enjoy retirement with how things are as they find themselves out looking for more work, just to make ends meet.

So put that into consideration before you call in the “G” team as each household is different.

So, there you have it! Just a few of my little suggestions to get a bit of rest while caring for a newborn. I know you have jobs to factor in, as well, but helping mom with baby as much as you can will help keep the home from turning upside down.

 

– John

AskDads

 

Learn How To Stop A Baby From Crying With These Simple Tips

how to stop a baby from crying

Babies are going to cry. That’s a given. Stopping them from crying is a must or we’ll have nothing but an unhappy baby and a couple of stressed out parents.

For some of you, you probably start with the frustration, but you might want to learn a few things about your baby before you start swearing at anything everything.

For the initial reaction, you pic the baby up and comfort them. Then you rock them and soothe them hoping they will stop crying.

In mommy and daddy-ville, those will do nothing more than make them stop for a good 5 minutes.

Understand Your Child


All babies have needs and some require more attention than others. For the most part, they all need some tender loving care.

On top of that, they all cry for different reasons and sometimes the patting on their butts or backs is not enough.

If you can see passed this, you can solve the problem before you take it a step further.

If you’ve gone through the patting on the butt, the rocking, the carrying, and whatever soothing tactics you may have, sometimes they just don’t work

Here are other reasons why your baby is still crying and how you can combat this before you lose your mind.

The No Brainer – Did You Check Their Diaper?


diaper-change

I don’t care if you just finished changing them, babies will go at any time of the day. Even right after you just put that fresh diaper on.

My son went through a recent diarrhea trip and he was going like 5 times before it even hit lunchtime. Rather than using baby wipes, I would rinse him off after each session, just to prevent him from getting a rash.

70% of the time, when a baby cries, it is because they have a wet diaper. Whether it be poo or pee, it is not going to be comfortable.

You try it, and tell me how it feels.

Feed Me and/or Give me Some Doose (juice)


Most of the time babies need to reach the point where they are pretty full (not almost full). Don’t hit that sweet spot and they will probably cry thinking that they need more food.

Don’t forget that this includes the nice little juice that your baby is constantly asking for.

 

Personally, I think it’s best that you get them used to water, just to be on the healthier side of things.

I know we can’t help but give them the overloaded with sugar drinks, but you might want to break them from that or they’ll be a sweet drinker just like me.

My baby is constantly whining to eat and it gets me thinking that he is about to throw up. Weird, I know, but that’s how he is.

I feel like I’m overfeeding him and I try my best to let his brain register that he’s full, but he will not stop until you put that spoon in his mouth.

This is just one of the few reasons your baby is crying and a little snack will do the trick.

The Good Old Ear Infection


Almost impossible to avoid and babies will naturally go through an ear infection at least once in their baby phase.

First they will be really fussy and then they will start to cry. If you’ve already changed their diaper and fed them, it might mean they have an ear infection.

You might want to take them in to the clinic to find out what the problem is, because along with ear infections come the fevers, and we all know how worrisome this will make you.

If there’s two things I can’t stand, it has to be fevers and asthma. Whether it’s my first or last child, these two things get me more worried than anything else.

Some signs of an ear infection can be the obvious tugging at the ear. This will almost be a sure sign that your child has an ear infection.

Take them in to get rid of the pain, as this is something that you don’t want to “heal on its own”.

I Need Love


dad-baby

Babies are really, really smart in case you didn’t know that.

On top of that, they have feelings just like every single one of us.

The difference between them and us is the fact that they can’t talk!

So if you know and feel that your baby is lacking some attention, it might be a great time to pick them up and show them some love.

Talk to them.

Try to make them laugh.

Ultimately, do something.

They are your own kids and they require attention like every other kid.

This tip alone will save you from getting a headache, so take the time out of your busy schedule and give some of that attention to baby.

Especially you dads that are gone almost half the day.

Shame on you.

Conclusion – Babies Cry For a Reason


Either they’re a colic baby or they have some real problem with why they won’t stop crying, check on these routine problems and you can stop your baby from crying.

This will lead to a happy baby and a not so stressed out parent. Cut back from the yelling and swearing and give these tips a try.

You will see how this will help in your future “I can’t stop my baby from crying” stressors.

I know, very simple and basic, but it works. As parents, we can’t fix it all, but we try and do what we can.

These are just some of the things I check for when my baby can’t stop crying and for the most part, it is always one or the other.

We all have tricks and we all don’t know certain things especially if it’s something internal, which is another animal on its own, which we can save for another article.

Until then, what are your thoughts on helping baby stop crying? These are just some of my remedies, so please do share some of yours below. Cheers!

 

– John

Ask Dads

 

How To Survive A Family Vacation

family-vacation

When you think of a vacation, you think nice beaches and nothing but relaxing. Sounds like an amazing thing, unless you are going with the whole family.

Things can get very stressful if you don’t plan and most especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Now, a vacation for you may be very different than a vacation for another family. Also, the age of your children will determine the “type” of vacation you take.

For example, if you have little ones, going on a 2 hour car ride to visit grandma for 3 days could be considered a vacation. For others, piling the teens into an RV and trucking it to Branson could be your vacation.

In addition to considering your children’s age, you also need to consider your mode of transportation for this vacation: Car ride, Bus, Train, RV, etc.

All in all, not matter the mode of transportation, the age of the children or the destination, family vacations are a pain in the head of household’s behind.

So, since I am a father of 4 with much knowledge, I have compiled a little advice on how to smooth out the kinks and service your next family vacation!

Going Old School!

I want to start off with the tried and true methods that my own parents used on me.

When driving (no matter the vehicle), try playing “Road Trip Scavenger Hunt!” Weather you are looking for detailed exact objects or just simply letters of the alphabet, this can keep the kids entertained for miles as they absolutely scour the roads for the next item on their list.

Add a bit of information with each thing and it’s not only fun, but educational as well!

RULES: Give each child a list of items to watch for while driving. Check off each item when they find it.  The list can be made up ahead of time and adjusted for the scenery. For a younger child who can’t read, you might draw a little picture of each item next to the word so they will know what to look for.

Click Here for an example (School Aged Children).

Click Here for another example (Toddler/Preschool).

Another favorite from childhood would be “Mad Libs”. Actually, “Mad Libs” is by far my personal favorite because I find them to be very hilarious!

What are Mad Libs?

“…is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story, before reading the – often comical or nonsensical – story aloud. The game is frequently played as a party game or to pass time.” – Wikipedia

Go to your location dollar store or supermarket and purchase a “Mad Libs” book. They have all kinds of styles, levels, and age appropriate ones. Choose the one that best fits your family.

Don’t want to purchase a book? No problem, write your own or print some from online. Just Google “Mad Libs Printable” and you’ll have several options.

“Dad, I”m bored!” they say? Well, surprise, little Timmy, give me a verb ending in “ing” and let’s get the party started!

Have some young one’s not too keen on looking for passing by treasures or thinking of an adjective?

Why not try a simple sticker/activity book? It may seem like you’re cheating by letting someone else come up with the activities, but when in a pinch, a nice little game of “stick the crown on the princess” will keep the kids happy and calm until your next pit stop and beyond!

The Search is on…

“Slug Bug, No Tag Backs”,

“Padiddle”,

“I spy with my little eye”

Do any of those sound familiar? They should. These are some of the most common games children play when on a road trip. Here’s how to play each:

Slug Bug or Punch Buggy:

“Punch buggy (also called punch bug, punch car, punch dub, piggy punch, slug bug, or beetle bug) is a car game generally played by children in which participants punch each other on the arm upon first sight of a Volkswagen Beetle while calling out “Punch buggy!” or “Slug bug!” in reference to the Beetle’s nickname, the Bug. The color of the Beetle and “No Tag Backs” is also stated.” – Wikipedia

Padiddle:

“Game played with multiple people in a moving vehicles when traffic is present in which one searches for a vehicle with only one headlight shining. First to call “Padidle” and hit the roof of the vehicle wins, other remaining players will have some sort of consequence. Like a Truth or Dare or even something as silly as making an animal sound. You can also play for points instead of consequences. Or you can combine the two. It’s up to you and your family.” – Hullabalooloo

I Spy:

I spy is a guessing game where the Spy or It says “I spy with my little eye…” and players have to guess the object the Spy saw.” – View more detailed rules at Wikipedia.

Make it Educational…

Of course, you can always go the educational route. Help your little ones perfect their ABCs by having them find all the letters, in order. They can use signs, billboards, licenses plates, etc. Take it a step further and have them use the licenses plates to find all 50 States!

Like I said, these are great for younger children to learn and fun for older children to compete.

Modern Day Technology.

We haven’t even touched on video games, phones, or even portable DVD’s players yet! In today;s technology, there are tons of traveling games on tablets and phones, portable gaming systems, etc. Most children already have these devices, anyway (especially the older ones).

So, don’t rule out the “put in your headphones and listen to some music” option.

Do note, that this does kind of make a disconnect with the whole family road trip thing but for a flight or even a train, it would be my go-to option.

In Conclusion…

Pack up those tents. Load up those grills. Go on a 3 day drive.

The destination is only half the trip.

The fun part is always the journey.

 

 

1

Dealing With A Brooding Teenager Is Not The Easiest Thing

teenage-boy

There it is… the moment when you realize you no longer have a little girl or a little boy. You have a Teenager.

You’re no longer cool enough to know their secrets, to talk to about the other kids at school or even to walk together in the mall.

You are the proud parent of a moody, self cautious, confused, pubescent, brooding adolescent.

Now how does that make you feel…

More than likely, you are feeling overwhelmed, under-appreciated and at a complete loss as to how to handle the next few years of raising your kid.

First thing you need to realize is that you are not “the worst parent in the world” nor are you the only one who’s sweet, adorable child turned into a raging monster over night.

This is one-hundred percent natural.

And essential for children to break away from their parents at this age. Through this emotional break, they are learning to become well adjusted adults.

It’s your job to help them through it and help them grow into those functioning adults.

It’s your job to help them get past this phase.

For those parents that retreat from this task, you’re making it more difficult for your child to learn what being a man or being a woman is actually all about.

But, if you’re reading a blog for Dads, I doubt you’re one of those parents. So, for you, I compiled a little list of tips that may help.

5 Parenting Tips To Help You Get Through These Difficult Years

  1. Give You Kids Some Leeway. Allowing your teens the chance to establish their own identity, allowing them more independence, is essential to helping them establish their own place in the world. Now, still monitor from afar, ensuring they are staying safe and away from the wrong crowd.
  2. Choose Your Battles Wisely. Doing harm to themselves or someone else… Doing something permanent (like a tattoo or intercourse)… Those are battles worth fight. Purple hair or a messy room – those don’t matter, in the grande scheme of things.
  3. Invite Their Friends For Dinner. Know your kids friends and dates. The best way to do that is, of course, feeding them. Be open minded. It’s the age old saying, “you catch more bears with honey than vinegar.” If you flatly say, you can’t go out with those kids, it often can backfire — it just increases the antagonism.”
  4. Decide Rules and Discipline In Advance. If it’s a two-parent family, it’s important for parents to have their own discussion, so they can come to some kind of agreement. It’s important for parents to be on the same page. Whether you ban them from driving for a week or a month, whether you ground them for a week, cut back on their allowance or Internet use — whatever — set it in advance. Make sure you feel the punishment fit the offense, then follow through with the consequences.
  5. Discuss “Checking-In”. Yes, let your teen go out with friends and on a date or two but discuss “check-in” times. The older they get, the less often they should need to check in. Discuss the importance and know exactly where they are going. I’m that crazy mom that shows up when my kid misses a check in call. lol

I know this was just a quick list. You’ll also want to educate your kids about risks, and yes, I mean to talk to your teens about sex.

They will reject you at first but keep your door open. Keep your door open for any conversation, whether it’s about liking a boy or getting in a fight.

You should be there when your kid is ready to talk.

Oh, and let your teen feel guilty. It helps them make the right decisions in the future.

Finally, be a role model. Are you the kind of man you would want your daughter to marry?

Are you the kind of woman you would want your daughter to be?

Remember, children mimic their surroundings and, ultimately, usually end up the same kind of person as their parents.

Be the example that helps your kid be a better version of yourself.

 

 

Is Martial Arts The Key To Your Kid’s Survival Against Bullying

mma

Violence. It’s all around us.

More and more children are coming home with busted lips and black eyes. Bullying is at an all time high in our society.

Will your child be the victim of more bullying? What about stolen lunch money and swirlies (yes, they still do this to children! So old school…)

No matter the reason, children need to learn to defend themselves. And not only defense, but discipline and anger management.

Personally, my answer to all this is…

Martial Arts or MMA


We’ve all seen The Karate Kid and, at some point in our lives, wished we have a Mr. Miyagi in our corner.

The truth is that, in a way, we do. Through the masterful artistry and craft that makes up the martial arts world, your child could find that perfect teacher and mentor.

So perfect, in fact, that they help shape the very men and woman your children will become.

But, not all Martial Arts is created equal. So, before you run out and start comparing enrollment fees, please take a moment to read my article.

I want to talk a little about the different forms of Martial Arts and how to pick the right Martial Arts teacher for you and your children.

How To Pick Martial Arts Styles.


To help narrow down your options, the first thing you should do is consider your interests and your goals.

How formal would you like your little one to train?

Is this mostly for fun and to learn some discipline or do you have longer term goals?

For example, you may be mostly interested in helping your little one learn self defense, get exercise and learn about another culture.

Take a moment to write these down.

And don’t be afraid to talk to your child. See what they want or how they feel about it. Odds are, if they think fighting could be “cool” they’ll actually pay attention and learn something while they’re there.

In addition to considering your personal interests, you will also need to examine the area of focus and the level of formality of various martial arts systems or styles.

Some styles, for example, focus on a particular type of movement, while others focus on certain weapons. Furthermore, some styles are more formal than others.

Those that are formal will place a greater emphasis on things such as style of dress, training etiquette and ceremony, while others will be far more informal in nature.

An informal martial arts training program may be something as simple as cardio kickboxing, while Kendo would be on the other end of the scale.

While every school and teacher is different, a general guideline of the most formal styles to the least formal styles would be:

  • Kendo/Kumdo
  • Aikido
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Karate
  • Jujutsu
  • Kung Fu
  • Kenpo
  • Silat
  • Ninjutsu
  • Tai Chi/Bagua/Hsing-yi
  • Arnis/Kali/Escima
  • Capoeira
  • Krav Maga
  • Jeet Kune Do
  • Kickboxing
  • Boxing

Finally, before choosing the perfect Martial Arts training style, you need to look and see what is in your area. Obviously, the more formal training probably is not available for children but, no matter what your goals, be sure to interview the different instructors.

Make sure you are both on the same page and that your personalities match.

How to Pick the Right Martial Arts Teacher for You and Your Child


Choosing the right person to train your your little fighter is just as important as picking the style. I have personally witnessed the harm and corruption the wrong instructor could have over an impressionable child. So, here’s what I suggest:

  • Do your research! Look into their social media and call their references.
  • Discuss how much one on one training each student receives. How big are the classes?
  • Before giving a dime to someone you just met, observe one their classes. Bring your little one, too. If they like it and say “I wanna do that” then you may have just found the right place. Also, watching the instructor’s coaching style will help in deciding whether or not their students respect them or not.
  • Proves the claims! Does the instructor just bark out orders or does he practice what he preaches? Example: If the instructor is 100 pounds overweight with a sloppy look but requires good diet and appearance for his students, would you trust what he says?

In Conclusion.


Use your better judgement. Help your children through those difficult school years and protect them from bullies. Self Defense knowledge can make or break a young person.

Personally, I put my boys in Tae Kwon Do and it’ snot because they are getting bullied. It’s for discipline and that “just in case” moment that they need to defend themselves.

They love the class and although they can be a bit irritating shouting out all the stuff they’ve learned, I can smile and shrug it off, knowing that they are not only enjoying it, but also learning and want to continue learning.

Bullying is all over the place and sometimes your child won’t mention it to you, You should seriously consider putting your kid in some type of martial arts, so that you can have that peace of mind too.

I am not a fan of bullying and although we don’t wish it upon any of our kids, it is definitely out there. This is not a solution for it, but it will definitely help your child if he or she encounters one. Your thoughts?

 

–  John

Ask Dads