Ahhh the magic of summer. Warmer temps. School is out. Lots of burgers on the grill. And if your schedule allows, some outdoor summer adventure with your family. One of my favorite parts of the summer schedule with school being out is that the kids are often looking for something to do and more excited about the idea when you offer it up. I’ve got a bit of a Clark Griswold-like obsession with creating memories for my family, and look forward to being able to reminisce about those memories we shared together. I’ve got young kids myself so I’m in those prime memory making years where my kids actually still think (somewhat) I’m cool. But I know the clock is ticking there.
Category Archives: Dad
We started our business in 2007, and we will turn ten years in 2017. What a great and uncommon accomplishment from a business standpoint. While we work with a broad range of industries, our focus has always been on ministry. In an age where 543,000 businesses get started each month and double that fail each month, you can imagine how hard it is to stay in business. During the recession, I just kept my head down, nose to the grindstone and any other saying that worked. But God was faithful by leading clients to us and kept me focused on serving them for His Glory.
Snapchat, LOL, FML, ROFL, TTYL. Kids are speaking a different language in the digital world. I mean, it might as well be an entirely different language. Well, this is a challenge many men I work with face on a daily basis. But you are not off the hook if you and your son both speak English.
Imagine this; you are living in a country far away from America. You’ve lived here with your family for generations. You may have even lived in a time of peace and prosperity: the good old days. But now your life is extremely hard. You are living with the possibility of death or imprisonment or even starvation. The dangers around you and your neighbors have made you vulnerable enough that you are left with no choice but to seek refuge elsewhere. So you end up in a makeshift city with thousands of other of other people. Now only one thing is sure: your life will never be the same for you and your future family.
Welcome to 2017! I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. As a matter of fact, my standard resolution is not to make any. How’s that for a resolution?
However, as I watch my two children, who are 5 and 2, get a little bit bigger and a little bit older each year, I keep having this thought in my mind that there is more I could be doing as a dad. Other than my wife, my kids are the most important thing for me. But does my time or attitude when I am with them reflect that? Or do I act like they are more of an inconvenience, always shuffling them in their mother’s direction?
So you got a couple of weeks or maybe days to the holidays. Being a leader in your family means taking the lead for the holidays as well. That doesn’t mean you have to pack your schedule with tons of activities or spend tons of money to make those Christmas memories. Just don’t be one of those zombie dads you see walking through the mall who look in a total daze and completely unsure of what’s happening next. Truth time: many men are notoriously bad at planning around the holidays for social gatherings, work parties and planning out great activities for the family that can help create those lifelong memories. Time to change the situation.
Here are a couple of UNCOMMEN ideas. Instead of spending a lot of money on gifts, why not invest some of that money on creating an experience? Depending on where you live and age appropriateness, that might be a hike through the woods in the snow. It might be a Christmas talent show that you organize in your living room. It might mean piling in the car with hot chocolate and finding the best Christmas lights. There always seems to be that one place or neighborhood that has the best lights in your city or state.
Time for daddy daughter date. Get dressed up nice and take your daughter on a Christmas date! No matter the age, that one-on-one time can be something they will never forget. Same thing goes for your sons. It can go a long way in creating a holiday memory or a tradition for them to look forward to each year. Kids love building traditions!
Time to serve. The holidays are a time to be very thankful for you what you do have. And one way to be thankful is to be giving and generous to others. Sign your family up for a service opportunity and do it together. Be generous with your time, money and effort to help another family in need. Remember the Christmas season originated with a gift to us all. And we give and receive gifts to remind each other of that.
Time to remind your kids what it’s all about. Spend time with your kids at the dinner table leading up to the Christmas season talking about what’s most important about the season to your family and what it represents. These things are as much taught as they are “caught.”
Watch a classic Christmas movie with your kids; make popcorn, cookies, and drink hot chocolate. This is always a hit in our family. Have a family board game night. Try to play a different game that you only play at Christmas time. Not with your kids on holidays? Set up a time on FaceTime or Skype, or exchange letters or fun gifts.
About the Author: Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative based in Matthews NC.
We all remember that feeling: making our way through noisy school hallways. Sounds of yelling, laughter, footsteps, lockers slamming, feet shuffling, doors opening and closing. The announcements burst through the loudspeaker, the bells ring, the hallway clears, and we sit down at our desks. Class is in session.
One of the things I’m challenged with as my kids grow up is, “how can I help them make sure they are getting the most out of their school year?” If you want to help your child get the most out of their school year, stop thinking about them returning to school and start thinking about your own. Children whose fathers are involved in their schooling early on show significant advantages in reading achievement and lower rates of grade retention. In nearly half of all two-parent families today both parents work full time, which is a sharp increase from previous decades. That means many parents are sharing the workload of working all day and running carpool duty as well. I encourage all dads to share the workload with school volunteering as well if your schedule permits.
While it may seem like moms appear to gravitate towards getting involved in and volunteering at the school, that doesn’t mean dads are excused. Research by the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that this is true even when a child’s mother is already involved in the school. A father’s involvement “exerts a distinct and independent influence” on a child’s success in school. What, then are the benefits of father involvement?
When fathers are involved in school, their children:
- Learn more.
- Perform better in school.
- Exhibit healthier behavior.
- Have fewer discipline problems.
- Are more likely to participate in extracurricular activities.
- Enjoy school more.
Here are a couple of suggestions if you find yourself pondering the best fit for you:
Volunteer in your child’s classroom. Volunteer with plays, special projects, or a regular literacy or math block. By assisting in your child’s classroom, you communicate to them that you care about their education.
Assist with an extracurricular activity. Assist with a sports team, or help out with homework club. When you help out with extracurriculars, you provide your child with opportunities that he or she may not have found elsewhere.
Attend school board meetings. Attending school board meetings are one of the best ways to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings at your child’s school.
Join the Parent Teacher Association. Joining your PTA is a great way to stay well informed, connect with teachers, and make your child’s school a better place.
Chaperone a field trip. Chaperone a field trip and share in your child’s excitement as he or she connects his or her learning in the classroom to the outside world.
Attend a school open house or “back-to-school night”. Familiarize yourself with your child’s teacher and the current curriculum. A lot has changed when it comes to teaching methods in the areas of math and literacy; take the time to understand those changes so when your kids ask you for help on their homework, you can assist them in it.
About the Author: Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative. As the father of two small children, he finds himself running the carpool line from time to time and trying to learn to be more involved with his kid’s education.