These days it’s not uncommon to see a father with a beard kiss his baby. If any of you have thought of shaving or asking your loved one to shave for the baby’s sake, think again. Take a long hard look at the pictures above, happy babies with their bearded fathers, their bearded dads.
Almost inspirational, perhaps you don’t sport a beard and now imagine sharing one with the world; trust me, it’s worth the effort. If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot, because you have to try everything at least once. Your kids may not like it, you wife may hate it, but at least you know what it’s like to have a beard and kiss your child wearing one.
Go on, join the club: Bearded Men With Babies.
So you’re having another baby… Congratulations!!! You never know what to expect, but you try to imagine: dark or light skin with curly hair, perhaps blue or green eyes… These days our world has become such a melting pot of deliciousness that it’s hard to predict what our babies will look like.
My wife and I had a blonde baby boy; I’m Colombian, dark hair fair skin, and my wife, half Haitian half white. No one could have predicted the blonde blue eyed monster and to this day I look at him in awe.
Unfortunately, our blonde mystery baby doesn’t sleep at night, which would explain his very very fair skin and his habit of biting people (perhaps he’s trying to feed). Either way… we love the little guy to pieces.
Please, tell us about your baby and what makes him/her an enigma. We’d love to hear your stories.
Building self confidence takes practice practice practice. Like any skill, the more repetitions the better, the easier it feels to perform that skill. Self confidence is defined as a skill here because it can be trained, you can train yourself to be self confident.
Dr. Ivan Joseph gives a wonderful talk on TEDx describing how to build your confidence in a four easy… well its never easy, but four simple steps that take… come on you know it: Practice practice practice.
Steps To Self Confidence
2. Positive Self Talk
3. Praise Positive Behavior in Yourself and Others
4. Interpret Feedback in a Positive Manner
While you may not be able to answer the question with great clarity, by the end of the article you’ll be left analyzing your parenting strategy and that of others. Before diving deep into the data, what can be said is that those parents that spend the time to read up on and analyze their parenting will in the end, put their children and their children’s education first.
The Economist posted an article titled, “Parenting in America:
Choose your parents wisely,” in which they divulge some good news and some not so good news about parenting. The good news is that in the past century parents now devote an extra four or more hours to their children. The bad news: research also shows that rich and educated parents fair much better as parents than their poor uneducated counterparts.
If you are one of those parents who is utilizing their dishwasher and leaving your clothes sitting in the dryer, in order to have time to play “fashion show” with your kids, the world applauds you. Today, mothers and fathers are giving up time spent on housework and their career to focus on their children. So overall, American parents are improving, but the problem is that there’s still a major gap between the top earning and low income parents.
Richard Reeves and Kimberly Howard of the Brookings Institution call it the “parenting gap,” the large gap of development between rich and poor children. Reeves and Howard measured the amount and quality of intellectual stimulation and emotional support given by parents in their household and then related it to how well those children excelled later in life.
Reeves and Howard discovered that among the weakest parents were 43% of high school drop-outs. Evaluating income alone, the poorest individuals made up 43% of the least effective papas vs the richest families making up over 35% of the most effective mommies/daddies.
The major gap between the rich and poor could be genetic, assuming all intelligent parents are among the top earners in the country and their genetic traits of success are always passed on to their children. But, it could also indicate that the rich have the money and time to place their kids in the top schools, find the best teachers, and register their kids in every extracurricular activity imaginable. No matter how you look at it, a fact remains: hands-on parenting is very important.
While the busy rich parent may get criticism for not spending enough time with her kids, she makes up for it because the rich have the means of placing their kids in after school programs and elite day cares. At the same time, when the busy well-off parent does hang with his kids, the time spent is truly valuable: taking kids to the local zoo, museum or traveling and experiencing different cultures.
While this leaves very little for the poor parent and child to look forward to, there’s still hope. Most US states and counties offer programs to help poor kids get a kick start in education. Organizations around the country can visit your home to evaluate and provide further education/support for your children. In addition, most public libraries offer educational activities free of charge. The state of Florida helps prepare children for Kindergarten by paying for children’s VPK program. The solutions are out there, unfortunately some parents may be too busy to look for them or sign up; if that’s the case, perhaps taking a long hard look at these statistics will motivate them to work harder.
Don’t be fooled. Winning the lottery or working 2-3 jobs is not going to help your children excel. Spending quality time with your kids is the winning ticket. Pay close attention: while parent A may spend 4 hours watching a football game with his kids, parent B takes his child to the museum for only 2 hours. Although parent A has a greater quantitative measure, parent B takes the cake with his great qualitative parenting: offering his child a more personal and educational experience.
Again, don’t let the graphs fool you, its intellectual stimulation and emotional support that makes you a great parent.
Image from Remain Simple
Woman wakes up noticing her husband is not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of hot cocoa in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, simply staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes away a tear from his eye.
“What’s the matter, dear?” she whispers as she steps into the room…. “Why are you down here at this time of night!?”
The husband looks up from his drink, “It’s the 20th Anniversary of the day we met.” She can’t believe he has remembered and starts to tear up. The husband continues, “Do you remember 20 years ago when we started dating? I was 18 and you were only 15,” he said solemnly.
Once again, the wife is touched to tears thinking that her husband is so caring and sensitive. “Yes, I do” she replies.
The husband pauses…. The words were not coming easily. “Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?”
“Yes, I remember” said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.
The husband continued. “Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or I will make sure you spend the next 20 years in prison?’”
“I remember that, too” she replied softly…
He sighed as he wiped another tear away from his cheek and said, “I would have gotten out today.”
To sit here and try to tell you all “How to live a good life,” was a difficult exercise for me, because the very definition of “a good life” varies from person to person. Although there’s variation due to personal taste and lifestyle, you have to agree that at least 10 of the items listed below would appear in your “most valued keys to living a fruitful and happy life.” Take a good look and if you believe I missed one or rated an item too highly, please leave your comment below.
Keys To Living The Good Life
2. Love is a choice, don’t give up on love.
3. Ask for what you want.
4. Cherish friends and family.
5. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.
6. Be a lifelong learner and try new things.
7. Help others. It’s called Cooperation.
8. Practice gratitude.
9. Buy most of your groceries from the produce section.
10. Ride your bike or walk as much as you can. You need the exercise and gas is expensive.
11. Avoid junkies and addicts.
12. Don’t spend too much money on expensive clothes. With the physique you’ll have from exercising, you’ll look good in anything.
13. Save money and invest wisely.
14. You can prevent a lot of misery: STDs, abortions, DWIs, head injuries, speeding tickets, cirrhosis of the liver.
15. Develop the habit to give every task your best effort.
16. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
17. Find work you love. If you can’t do that, then find a job where you love the people.
18. Practice good hygiene.
19. Learn to fix things, in addition to a home cooked meal.
20. Keep your home clean and organized.