I was never prepared to be a dad let alone a dad of two daughters. I mean I was a boy so when we had our son I kind of had that one figured out. But daughters really, two of them, I was really deep in the weeds. So I wanted to be able to share with you some of the things that I have learned being the dad of two daughters that have grown up to be amazing women. So here you go:
- Listen to your wife! I had to listen to my wife a lot because I am the oldest of four and my sister was ten years younger then me. So I was clueless to a lot of areas when it came to what girls didn’t need or did need from a dad.
- Hug them always. One of the things that I always have done is hug my girls. I hugged my girls even when they didn’t want me too. Yep I went against the first one but that was only because I wanted my girls to know that I was going to love them and care for them whether they wanted me to or not.
- Be Honest with them. Now if you are a dad to a girl then you know the dreaded questions that start like this, “Dad what do you think about . . . ” insert hair, dress, make up, and a long list of others. Unfortunately when we first started with these questions I was to honest and I did not set up my answer. So I had a lot of looks from my wife and coaching with, “You don’t say that to a girl”. To which I would answer, “Well then why did she ask me?” So I would preface my answer by saying, “Do you want me to be honest?” Now I said that when I didn’t like what I saw and I have said that when I did like what I saw. (Be consistent)
- Set the Tone. If you want your daughter to have a man that is going to love and care for her, then you need to set the tone. So that is where you as the dad need to model exactly the kind of man that you want your daughters to look for in their life. In fact I think that you should set the bar so high that your girls will go out on dates with the young men in their life and expect them to act like you. And when the young men don’t act like you make sure you teach those same girls to not except it. So if you haven’t got what I am saying, then here you go. Love your wife the way that you want your daughters to be loved.
- Prepare them for Life. I know that you are probably thinking, well that is a big statement and you are right it is. But I believe that it is something that is very important. So prepare them to handle their finances, prepare them to take care of their car, prepare them to defend themselves if needed, prepare them to speak up, prepare them to trust, and prepare them to leave home well. I don’t expect my daughters to have to have a man to take care of them, I know that they can do it. But I also want to prepare them for a life with another, so prepare them to talk with a man, prepare them to love someone, prepare them to sacrifice for someone, you see prepare them for life.
There are just a few of the things that I would say are important when it comes to being a dad to daughters. But here is the last one and the most important prepare them to say, “I am sorry.” How do you do this? Learn to say it yourself. If there are some others that you can think of then feel free to comment and share them.
When you get to a certain mile stone in life you should take the time to reflect on how you got there. The reason that I believe that is important is because wouldn’t it be great to share that information with those that are coming after you. Especially as parents and to be honest in this day an age as a father we need to show more young men on how to lead the way in married life. So here are a few things that I have learned over 25 years of marriage. (This is the short list)
- Keep a long list of ways that you can make her feel special and loved.
- Keep a short list of the fights that you have and the things that are said.
- Make time for talking about her day not matter what she does in life.
- Find older men that can talk to you about what they have done to be a healthy husband and father.
- Have a group of men that you can have the tough conversations with about marriage and parenting. (Your wife will not always understand you. DUH!)
- Always find time to get away for at least 24 hours without the rest of your family. Couples need to take time for themselves, your relationship needs to matter or your family will not get your best.
- Celebrate the things that show your wife and your family that they matter. (Anniversary’s and Birthdays are the easy ways, get creative.)
- Make sure that you take the time to date your mate. (If there was more courting in marriage there would be fewer marriages in court.)
- Pray daily for the ways that God can continue to grow and unite you as a couple.
- Start back at one . . .
If you have an idea of one thing that you think is important to remember for a long lasting marriage please feel to make a comment and share. The more that we learn from each other and the more we share the better we become as men.
Ok so I have to say that I am not a fan of Pokemon Go. But it is making people crazy and I am not going to lie, I love the idea of this game for parents and their kids. So I was thinking that we should list some very simple tips for playing Pokemon Go with your kids:
- Make sure that you are dressed for the adventure. If you are going to be outside a ton then make sure you are dressed for where you live. Also make sure that you have something to drink while you are out and about. Who knows this might be something that you can assign to one of the kids to handle. Give them some ownership for the adventure. But ultimately wear good shoes, don’t want those dogs to get tired.
- Don’t worry about catching duplicate Pokémon. Whenever you snag a new Pokémon, you may notice you will also earn candy and stardust. Both items will help level up your characters to make them stronger. With enough candy, you can also evolve your Pokémon into something bigger and more powerful. Any duplicates you transfer to the professor net more candy. So those extra Pidgeys will come in handy.
- Eggs are a good way to snag more Pokémon. When you visit a Poké Stop, you can earn Balls to capture more creatures or Eggs. Players can stick an Egg in an incubator and birth their own Pokémon. All you need to do is once the Egg is inside the incubator, you must walk to complete the process. Now being dressed for the adventure will be worth it.
- Have your phone charger ready always. You sure don’t want the phone to die while you are on the adventure do you? So play with the kids and let them know that with out the phone the adventure stops. So make it fun for how you get the phone on the charger and off when you go hunting.
- The way you toss the Poké Ball is important. When you capture a Pokémon, you flick the Poké Ball from the lower end of the screen toward the Pokémon to catch it. The better the toss, the more experience points you earn. You can even toss a curveball to catch them with flair. A green circle expands and shrinks when you hold down on the Poké Ball before the toss. The wider the circle, the greater the odds of making a catch.
- Beware of your surroundings. One thing that I have already seen is people wandering around without an awareness of what is going on around them. So a good idea would be to have some one as your safety guard through the whole adventure. In fact this also might be a good time to talk with your kids about being aware of people around them when they are walking to and from school, or playing with friends, or walking to practice. Make this a teachable moment about safety.
I think it is important to know that the family that plays together stays together. I also think that a family that attends a church together has a stronger bond then they will ever know. If you want to know more about a church in Aurora, CO then just click here and find a place for you and your family. Don’t let the adventure stop when you are not playing Pokemon Go!
I was not ready to be a father. (Not like anyone really is. . .) So when we had a daughter then a son and another daughter I knew that I was in the deep end of the pool. So I started doing all that I could to learn about what it meant to be the best father that I possibly could be. I read books, I watched videos, I talked with other fathers with grown children and usually I would ask, “Do you have any children that are in prison?” If they answered no then I would spend time asking them questions about how and what they did as a father. Ultimately it lead me to the parenting statement that my wife and I would use as our goal for our kids, “We wanted them to leave well.” That would mean that when we were going to make decisions about different areas of life. We would ask ourselves, “Is this going to prepare them to leave well?” Now I know some of you might be thinking that this sounds like a horrible statement. Where is the love in this statement? Where is the faith in this statement? Where is . . . you name it! For us we felt like that there was nothing more faithful or loving then to prepare our children to leave the safety of the home well. We made tough decisions that we hoped and prayed that would prepare them. We challenged them in areas that we hoped and prayed would prepare them. We disciplined them in ways that we hoped and prayed that would prepare them. But most of all we loved and cared for them enough to prepare them to leave well. So what are you doing as a father or as a parent that is preparing your children to leave well?
And just so that you know that I am not talking out of turn. I am proud to say that our oldest is graduating from college this May with a degree in elementary education and seeking to attend possibly for her masters, our son is playing college football where he walked on and earned a scholarship and is pursuing a degree in exercise science, and our youngest plans to run cross country and track at the same college as her older sister and brother where she plans to get a degree in exercise science with an emphasis in physical therapy. (There were bumps along the way, but we are seeing them leave well.)
A couple of Sunday mornings ago I was just wrecked by what we found on the top of these stairs at Mrachek Middle School. You see it was a typical Sunday morning for me, I got up early. Took out the street signs for the church that morning, praying over each sign as I put it in place. Then I drove back to the school and begin helping the different teams that we have setting up for the experiences that we offer at Mrachek Middle School as a portable church. There was the typical conversations going on over the music that we have playing while things are getting put into place. I have to be honest it is really fun to be with every one while they are setting up. But then Morgan my daughter came over to me and said, “Dad I found something when I was taking out the trash. There are feet sticking out at the top of the stairs outside the school.”
With that comment I immediately went walking very quickly to where she had seen the feet. I told her to stay at the bottom of the stairs and told her if I tell you to get help do it quickly. So as I cautiously walked up the stairs I noticed that it was not just one set of feet but two. I noticed that there was a bike leaning against the wall at the top and that there as I cleared the top stair were two high school aged boys laying there.
My first thought and pray was please God don’t let them be dead, because the way they were laying was very odd. So I quietly as not to startle them said, “Hey Guys are you okay?” There was no movement at all, but by this time I could see there breath coming out as it was one of our first cold nights. I again said the same thing only this time I shook the foot of one of the boys and I spoke a little bit louder. They both moved and looked at me with sleepy and very bloodshot eyes. I asked them if they were okay and if they wanted to come in and get something to eat and drink or to even to just warm up. But they both sheepishly said’ “No”. I asked again and they said, “No”. I then turned and walked down the stairs to see my daughter there standing before me. By the time I had walked back into the school I was overwhelmed with a series of thoughts here are the top three:
- Why didn’t any of us notice that they were there? (Other then my daughter Morgan who came after others were already in the building.)
- Where were their parents? Were they looking for them?
- What could I have done differently?
Then through all that I started thinking about Jesus and how in the bible it shares his perspective on those that are lost:
Luke 19:10 (NLT) 10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
I thought about how every day that you and I walk around our neighborhoods and we don’t notice the feet of those that are missing out on a relationship with Jesus. I thought about how God being the good dad that he is says in Psalm 23 that he is pursing us. I thought about how I need to be more intentional when it comes to not just running through life and that I need to stop and look around for the feet at the top of the stairs.
What are you doing in your life when it comes to looking for the feet at the top of the stairs?
How does Memorial Day matter to you? Is that you get a long weekend that is all that matters? Is that you get to barbecue and have a few beers with friends is that all that matters?
For my family and I it has always been an opportunity for us to remember that there are men and women that gave their lives so that ours would matter. That we have generation after generation of men and women in our family tree that have served in some form or another for our country. So for us when it comes to Memorial Day it is the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can have the freedoms that we enjoy. Like having a long weekend. Like having a barbecue and a couple of beers with friends. Let us not forget why we have this holiday.
So thank you to Clayton P. Hoffman (grandpa), thank you Phil Bloyer (dad), thank you Clay Bloyer (brother), and ultimately Sheldon E. Bloyer.
Who are those that you choose to remember when it comes to Memorial Day?
It is so easy to be able to sit back and just buy a card. But when it comes to celebrating one of the greatest days of my life I don’t ever just want it to be easy. So here is a special gift to my bride on May 16th our 21st Anniversary.
I praise God for the woman who has made me better and stronger because she is in my life.