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They say a good man is hard to find, let alone a good Dad. But I’ve had the great pleasure of being married to one and enjoying friendships with guys who are exemplary fathers.
One friend in particular is both a colleague and Facebook buddy. His name is Darryl Duncan, an accomplished musician and owner of Gamebeat Studios in the Chicagoland area. Darryl became a single father a couple of years ago. He was awarded sole custody of his twin teenaged sons, Shaun and Stephen.
Darryl is the consummate father who believes that you can be your teen’s best friend AND strong disciplinarian when needed. He has made certain his kids know when and where he draws the line, and they learn not to cross it.
I was struck by Darryl’s Facebook posts which often featured his sons as the subject. In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to share a few of them with you.
On being a father…
“As a father what does it mean to provide for your children? No, not just clothing, food, shelter or a support check. But if you aren’t teaching them 2 respect everyone no matter how different they are, and giving them the emotional & mental tools they need 2 cope with life and deal with others, then they’ll lack the most important part and they don’t have to live with you to provide this to them.”
“I’m not bragging, I’m just grateful, grateful that my 15 yr old twin boys are just not interested in the things many of their peers are. They don’t swear, they could care less about the latest gym shoes, they despise saggin’, they’d rather be home than hanging out, they have a healthy respect for their female peers, and they still address me “Yes sir/No sir”. If I could bottle it, I’d GIVE it away! Yes, I’m Grateful!”
Hittin’ the books…
“[Proud Dad Brag Alert:] Sophomore year – Shaun GPA 4.0, Stephen GPA 3.8, and in honors classes! (My GPA back in the day?……noneyadamnbiz :)”
“Ok, my sons…want a bit of advice? No? Well you’re getting it anyway! The reason it is taking you 4 hours to do one hours worth of homework is because you WON’T PUT DOWN THAT FREAKING IPHONE!!! focus baby boys focus. Yea, that’s ya boy….and yea, she is cute…but they can WAIT!”
“So my boys are split on wanting me to get my first Tattoo. Been wanting one for a couple of years now and I know what I want. I have Shaun’s full endorsement, but Stephen says he won’t give me a hug or a kiss for 2 years if I get it. Hmmmm, I can ambush him for a hug and I am pretty accurate at blowing kisses. So…”
“Who’s turn is it to take out the garbage, empty the dishwasher, vacuum the steps…, fold the clothes, clean the toilets, or whatever….To end all the squabbling, bickering, arguing and debating over who does what, I have now declared that everything between Stephen & Shaun be decided by a chess match. What son? You’ve already done that chore 4 times in a row……well sharpen up your game buddy! lol”
Supporting their interests…
“My 15 year old teens have the absolutely most diverse musical taste for their age it is freakin’ me out…..acid metal, jazz, classical, Japanese rock, pop, hard core rap, I guess that’s a good thing, but listening to them pump their music I don’t know what the hell mood to be in!”
Giving quality time…
“No School today for my boys, we’ll do a movie (Skyline), then some house cleaning, Then I’ll cook dinner (Chili), then we’ll play some Call of Duty Black Ops later on.”
Leaving a legacy…
“I believe there are but 3 main criteria by which a man’s legacy is ultimately judged. #1. What he has done or tries to do for others, #2 His body of works, talents and accomplishments and #3, The character & integrity of the children he has raised to carry on. To simply be aware of and to strive for all 3 is an accomplishment in itself and I feel the continued endless pursuit of this trinity, makes our Maker happy.”
Now that’s raising your kids well.
Our first Lady Michelle Obama recently launched the Let’s Move program to combat the epidemic of obesity among children, adults and families. Our kids are spending more time on the computer and playing video games than being physically active. Raise your kids well by encouraging them to move. Enroll your children in sports or other activities in your community. If they’re stuck on video games, buy a Wii or XBox Kinect system which has awesome dance videos. Get up and dance with your kids. We parents could stand to shake our groove things too. Mrs. Obama has some smooth moves herself. Check her out!
How do you keep your kids (and yourself) moving?
My grandson did the darndest thing…
His mom didn’t beat him senseless. But she did let him know the importance of letting Mommy help him wash his hair. What would you have done if your baby got into something he shouldn’t have?
I was put to the test just the other day as I was writing this post. My grandson got into my bathroom and sprayed Windex everywhere. Then he poured Spongebob bubble bath on my tub. He wanted to clean the bathroom. I followed Jayden’s mommy’s lead. And said to him next time we can clean the bathroom together. He helped me wipe away the mess, which he was happy to do. Moms and grandmothers can learn from each other.
Kid’s are natural explorers, all the reason to keep a super watchful eye out for our little buggers. I didn’t childproof my bathroom cabinet. My bad. I will be buying safety latches pronto. If you’ve got little ones in the home, I suggest you do the same. Also make sure you childproof your electrical sockets with outlet covers. There are companies, e.g. OneStepAhead.com, that sell a host of childproofing gadgets.
We also need to let our kids know what they can and can not touch. Some parents remove all valuable or breakable objects out of reach of children. What I did was take my kids around to look at the items. I let them touch them and say, “Pretty, pretty…” That took away most of their curiosity. Then I told my kids that this was the items’ home, so let’s leave them alone. For the most part that worked. But kids will have their “cookie jar moments”. We can correct them without yelling or beating our kids senseless. And it helps to see the humor in things like Jayden’s mom did. That’s raising them well.