Growing as a man

We need to grow personally before we can really be of any use to our kids or significant others.

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Semper Fi!

Check out the podcast I’ve been working on with Omar Fuentes!

www.semperfiproject.com

 

Sign-up for a Free Trial of New Mood! Pay $4.99 for shipping and handling and we’ll rush you your free 30-count bottle of New Mood. Experience how New Mood can help support your response to daily stress, help you relax, and maintain optimal mood balance. To ensure you don’t go a day without New Mood again, we will automatically send you a full-month’s supply (60 count bottle) of New Mood 30 days after your free trial order has been placed for only $59.90 plus shipping. You can cancel at any time without hassle. Cancel before day 30 for no additional charges. *Qualifying customers are new Onnit customers residing in the United States only.

Frontline Fatherhood

The very fact that you’re visiting this website shows that you care about being a great dad. I didn’t introduce you to the idea of personal growth, but hopefully I’ve helped you along your journey.

Now I’m going to give you an opportunity to put some real skin in the game and level up in your dad game. If you’re interested in getting extra content throughout the week that will challenge you and stretch you to become better everyday, give Frontline Fatherhood a chance.

If you sign up for membership, you’ll receive audio, video, and texts from me covering all areas of personal growth and fatherhood. You’ll also gain access to a secret, subscriber-only group on Facebook for extra access to content and to me.

Give it a go. There’s no contract or anything, so if you don’t find it valuable, you can stop at any time.

Visit https://messagetribes.com/frontline-fatherhood/ to join the most elite Tactical Dads group to date.

Stop comparing yourself to others!

There's danger in comparing yourself to other people because you miss out on great opportunities. Click To Tweet

 

Sign-up for a Free Trial of New Mood! Pay $4.99 for shipping and handling and we’ll rush you your free 30-count bottle of New Mood. Experience how New Mood can help support your response to daily stress, help you relax, and maintain optimal mood balance. To ensure you don’t go a day without New Mood again, we will automatically send you a full-month’s supply (60 count bottle) of New Mood 30 days after your free trial order has been placed for only $59.90 plus shipping. You can cancel at any time without hassle. Cancel before day 30 for no additional charges. *Qualifying customers are new Onnit customers residing in the United States only.

Tactical Dads are committed

Are You Committed?

Commitment is something that has been on my mind lately as a family man. In thinking about commitment I believe there are two categories. One is making commitments, which is basically an obligation that you have to fulfill. For example, you make the commitment to be at your son’s ball game tomorrow night. The other category of commitment is more of a state or quality in which you’re dedicated to a cause or activity. For example, you are committed to raising your children to be quality kids. You are committed to being there for them, investing in them and fulfilling your duty and responsibility as a father. It is this second category of commitment that I want to briefly focus on today.

For many men today, being committed as a father is not even on their radar. They were there when the conception happened and maybe they are physically present in the home and perhaps they financially support their family. However, is that all that we as fathers are called to be? The answer is a resounding NO!!! Yet, that seems to be the accepted norm- just enough to get by as a dad and leave the rest to the mothers (or grandmothers). However, we are NOT called to “just get by” as dads! We are called to excel, to invest, to initiate, to lead… to be committed to our children!

So what does being a committed dad mean? I believe that being a committed dad means putting yourself second and the commitment of fatherhood first. In other words you put your relationship with your children first and your own wants and desires second. This isn’t something you can do once or twice and then put on autopilot. You have to work at this every day. Everyday we’re faced with choices that we have to make as fathers. The choice to invest in our kids, or just do what we feel like doing. The choice to sit and talk and listen, or just brush them off and tune them out. The choice to plan ahead and have margin in our lives, or to be so consumed with our work, business, workouts, sports etc… that we have no down time.

Being a committed dad takes time, energy, forethought, sacrifice, humility, courage, selflessness and self-discipline. Those last two are probably the most difficult to master as a dad. Men tend to be selfish to a fault and undisciplined in many areas of life. I know this is VERY true in my life and I have to work at it every day. However selfish and undisciplined you may be, that cannot be an excuse for failing to meet your duty as a father. You’re not always going to feel like being a dad, you’re not always going to feel like investing in your kids and you’re not always going to feel like taking the time it takes to be the dad you were called to be. But fatherhood isn’t a feeling! It’s a duty and responsibility that each of us assumed the moment we became a dad, like it or not. It’s kind of like love. Many today talk about love as if it was simply an emotion, but it’s not. Love is more than an emotion, it’s an action. To love someone is to think the best about them, do the best for them, say the best about them and desire the best for them. You may not always feel like doing those things, but if you truly love someone, you’ll do it anyway. The same holds true for fatherhood-you may not always feel like doing what it takes, but you do it anyway.

As I wrap this up, I wanted to leave you with a brief action plan for being a committed dad:

1. Make the decision to be a committed dad. When you decide to do something, you’re cutting off the option to not to it. Decide to be a committed dad.

2. Plan in advance. Plan to be a dad who takes time with his kids, who listens to his kids, who is present physically, mentally and emotionally. Plan some nice times with your kids. Daddy dates, boys night out for your sons or girls night out for your daughters.

3. Quality vs. Quantity. People talk about spending quality time with their kids. Did you know that what you think is quality time might not be perceived as quality time for your kids? In fact, you can’t really tell what is going to end up being quality time for them. So what you have to do is focus on spending a quantity of time with them and in that quantity of time there’s sure to be times that they perceive as quality.

What you think is quality time might not be perceived as quality time for your kids Click To Tweet

4. Listen. Listen to your kids and I mean really listen. This is something that I’m currently working on. Often we listen with an eye toward how we’re going to respond. Also, we tend to interpret what they’re saying through the lens of our life. If you’re doing this, then you’re not really listening. When you listen to your kids, just let them talk and really hear what they’re saying, try to see things from their point of view. Don’t jump right in and try to correct, fix or judge what they’re saying. Often when we really listen and empathize with our kids they end up resolving their own issues.

Take care dads and make the decision to be a committed dad!
Patrick Antonucci
pantonucci@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/patrickantonucci81

STRATEGIC Parenting

As many of you know, I’m a fan of acronyms and acrostics because of my time in the military. Sometimes it can just be a lot easier to communicate something through a word that stands for all of the other words. Such is the case when it comes to parenting. There are so many things I have to say about good parenting, and somehow they tend to fit nicely into acrostic packaging. Today I’m going to focus on STRATEGIC Parenting, the characteristics that every great parent should have. If you don’t have these traits, aim for developing them.

Supportive – Just because you’re the parent of a child doesn’t automatically mean you’re supportive. Some of us were blessed to grow up with parents who looked out for us and encouraged us in our efforts, but there are lots of mothers and fathers who just criticize all the time, never lend a helping hand, and never utter an encouraging word. Sure, sometimes my kids have bad ideas, but they’re creative. I let them know that I appreciate how much thought they put into the idea, but direct them in how it may be better put into practice. My oldest son wants to be an inventor. I have to balance being supportive and not letting him destroy everything in the house by taking it apart. Being supportive doesn’t mean you never tell your kids hard truths either. It just means you’re not out to put them down and you’re thoughtful with your words.

Tough – Maybe you didn’t think you’d see this characteristic make the list, but it’s vital to parenting. Being tough as a parent means several things. It means not letting your kids walk all over you and being strong enough to set boundaries. It means being resilient when things don’t go the way you expected so you can set an example for your kids. It also means protecting your family and taking a hard stand against anyone or anything that could threaten them. Being tough requires mental discipline, physical stamina, and emotional stability.

Ready – The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be prepared” and I share in that mentality. There are plenty of scenarios that can play out before we have children, and a ton more that can happen after we take on the role of parent. We will always fail to our highest level of preparation. That means that before we find ourselves in a predicament, we need to have already planned for such a thing to happen. When we’re unprepared we can freeze, but when we have already readied ourselves and our family, we can remain undeterred by the events of life. Nothing is really an “unforeseen circumstance,” just one we haven’t prepared for. Plan for events like natural disasters, have a bag packed and ready to go in case of evacuation, keep fresh batteries in your flashlights, always have a rally point in case of separation in public places. Plan and be ready.

Attentive – There are far too many distractions in our lives. Every few minutes, there is something that could potentially call you away from paying attention to your loved ones. But we only get so many days, so many hours, with these precious young ones. Soon they’ll be grown and gone and we’ll have missed out. They will have missed out. Kids need the attention of their parents. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ever let them go play on their own. I’m not advocating for helicopter parenting, but let’s be honest, a lot of us are a far cry from every being accused of such a thing. We’ve got to put the phones down, spend time face-to-face with our kids, and really listen to them. They crave our attention. Let’s not starve them of it. Priorities.

Tender – It may seem contradictory to list both tough and tender among the traits that parents should possess, but I assure you they’re both important. As much as we need to lay down rules and boundaries and enforce them, as much as we need to be resilient and steadfast, we also need to be caring and reassuring. Kids need discipline, but they also need to hear that we still love them after they’ve received it. They need boundaries, but they also need hugs. They need us to be leaders, but they also need us to be there to listen. No matter how hard a day we’ve had, my kids always hear that I love them before bed and get hugs. They all know that I’m available to talk about anything whenever they need me, even though I’m the same person who makes sure they follow the rules. Tough and tender parents have kids who know boundaries and know love.

Empowering – I’ve already said I don’t advocate helicopter parenting. I believe that kids need they support of their parents to really achieve. Of course, we can’t let them go do every wild thing they may want to try, but within set boundaries, we should let them be free to explore and use the talents they were born with. Some of the most successful people on this planet had parents who took a role in their dreams, encouraged them along the way, and helped them to develop their skills. We can all be that for our kids, but it’s so easy to crush their dreams because we think what they want to do is impractical, impulsive, or just foolish. We’ve got to remove our egos from the equation and look at things from a different perspective.

Generous – Don’t read this trait and think that I mean we should give our kids a ton of stuff. Not what I’m saying at all. Kids learn from watching our example, and all too often what they learn from us is how to be selfish and stingy. I love watching families who serve others together. I love when I see a kid light up at the sight of their mom or dad giving a gift to someone else or volunteering their time to help someone in need. Generous parents result in generous kids. If you want to break your kids of their selfish mindset, model generosity for them. Let them see you write a check to a charity and tell them what it’s for. Let them see you volunteer and include them. We’re all born with selfish hearts. It takes practice to become generous.

Intentional – Good parenting doesn’t just happen on its own. One thing every good parent has in common is intentionality. Every good parent tries to be one. When we’re in a constant state of reaction, we never really get to interact with our kids in the best ways. When we prioritize our family, set aside time for just them, and make it a point to really engage, everyone benefits. Everything doesn’t have to be planned out on a calendar, but we have to be proactive in parenting in order to succeed because life is full of things waiting to fill in the gaps. There’s always something we could be doing rather than being available for our family, but with intention we can make sure that no one is left behind.

Committed – One of the major problems I see today in families is lack of commitment to each other. There are so many moms and dads out there who prioritize anyone and everyone but their own household. How easy it is to say yes to things that take us away from our families, but how harmful that becomes. One little thing here, one little obligation there, and before you know it your kids won’t speak to you. Do you ever wonder how it is that some families grow so far apart? It’s not overnight. It’s small little things that chip away at their commitment to each other. Commitments are taken lightly nowadays. This isn’t true, though, in STRATEGIC Parenting.

These are not all of the traits that great parents exhibit, but they’re some of the most important ones. What do you think? Did I miss some really important ones? Am I off the mark here? Join our STRATEGIC Parenting group on Facebook and join the discussion with lots of other like-minded moms and dads.