The 5 Best Gifts You Can Give Your Children

This article was originally posted HERE on back in April but I found it thoughtful and that it might help others.

Quick Note: Notice how this guy admits he is not there yet – we are all working on this stuff. Just make sure you keep working, Grappling is an ongoing fight – Don’t Get Pinned!

The 5 Best Gifts You Can Give Your Children

gifts– By Daniel Robertson –

Do you ever feel that you aren’t doing a good enough job of preparing your kids to enter the world as adults?

I know I do. I get easily distracted by my smartphone or other unimportant things that don’t add lasting value to my life, or theirs.

Just the other day I had to make the conscious decision to put my phone away and spend focused time and attention with my kids. I found great pleasure in joining my 1 year old daughter in playing with a Noah’s Ark toy.

I showed her how to open the little door and place an animal inside, then shut the door. I opened the door back up and took the animal out. She picked up on this fun game really fast. After that we rolled a ball around. And then I put her on our little plastic slide and pushed her down. She had so much fun that our 4 year old just had to join in, so they took turns going down the slide again and again.

It’s the simplest pleasures of life that add the most meaning. 

As a father and husband I have to constantly fight off the tendency to slip into unintentionality. I have to remind myself that the things that so easily distract me are sucking the joy and meaning out of life.

Here are 5 areas where I am working on being more intentional about investing in my kids: Continue reading

The Standard of a Man

From the moment that my wife and I found out that we were going to have a son the rest of my week became a mix of emotions. The first emotion that swept through was excitement. I have always wanted a son and the thought of having my oldest be a boy has always been a dream of mine. (Not that I wouldn’t have loved a little girl, but you know what I mean.) Shortly thereafter, the excitement was replaced with the thoughts of what it takes for me to teach my son to be a man. How do I help him become more than a grown up male? How do I teach him to become a Real Man?

Along the way, as I ran down this thought, I realized I did not have a great idea for my self and began taking to heart the things that I was learning as they played out in my own life. It was sobering for me. I would like to share with you a few of the assumptions that were underlying for me and the results of my thought process with you in hopes that it might be useful to other fathers.

A Few Conclusions

  1. My Son will not always want to talk to me. I have this dream that my son will always talk to me, but instead of wishing that be the case I figure that it would serve me better to assume that there will be a time when this will not be the case. It was for me. I am just going to plan on it.
  2. Structure provides a place for awkward conversations. I am speaking of those talks that most parents dread. Sex, masturbation, drugs, drinking, etc. I am not addressing those right now but as you will see I am setting up a context that those conversations fit into. If they fall within the structure I believe that my son will better understand how those decisions relate to the rest of his life.
  3. Numbers are essential. I am referring to the community of men that I ask to be involved in my son’s life, what I call the “Enlistment of Service”. This is important for three reasons: I want to place before my son role models that he can watch throughout his life, I want him to have men he knows are invested in him that he can ask for counsel and when he becomes a man I want him to be among Men. This last one is not to say that being able to stand next to your dad as a man is not powerful but a community of men, I believe, is even more powerful.
  4. What I place before my son to pursue, I must pursue with him. I have tried to figure out how to illustrate for my son that this is something that we are both pursuing. I choose to do this by framing the definition of a real man twice. One goes in his bedroom next to his bed and the other next to my side of my bed. My hope is that he grows up seeing them and I can show him that we are both pursuing the same thing.
  5. My son needs me to be proactive. I know that there are men who are true men and never had a father who taught them this stuff but I believe that my son has a greater chance of learning this at an earlier time if I intentionally teach him then if I leave it to the world. I do not trust the world, I want him to learn the truth and I believe, as his father, that is my responsibility.

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What defines a MAN???

Is this a TRUE MAN?

I have spent a good bit of my life trying to figure out what a man is. It almost seems to be fleeting. What I always seem to catch however is what a man is not.

Now let me clarify this by saying that I have found numerous explanations of what a man is but have not really been satisfied with them. Many in our culture will not say that a true MAN is the guy who will demoralize his wife, cheat on his taxes and maybe even mix the two and cheat on his wife but what I see on a regular basis is men who are striving or settling for just that. As they seek after what it means to be a true man they are willing to sacrifice their relationships, even their own marriage, along with their integrity in attempts of finding it.

Know I am not out to prove exactly what a man is by saying that I am him but to help others understand a little bit more about me and what I am after. I consider myself to be a man not because I have attained some high level of stature but because I take one word very seriously, and that word is RESPONSIBILITY.

Continue reading