Posted by: babbo | May 24, 2012

Are You An Unemployed Dad?

Daddy Brain is honored to be one of the guest writers over at Life of Dad.

My latest article, Are Your an Unemployed Dad?, is live if you’d like to check it out.

While you’re there, be sure to sign up for Life of Dad. It’s an excellent resource.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Posted by: babbo | April 23, 2012

Living with Loss

Loss. It’s something we all live with every day.

There are times where I find myself harping on what I’ve lost in life instead of what I have, or what I’ve gained.

The loss of a job, a loved one, or one’s own health can make it difficult for us to move forward with our lives. It can often feel that we’ve lost the ability to smile.

On the one hand, I don’t want to ignore how I’m feeling. But I also don’t want to dwell on the past. I have a future to create, and my family is depending on me to succeed. 

In order to counter my feelings of loss, I’ve started being very conscious of how I perceive my curent situation. I’ve been looking for the positive, instead of lingering on what’s lacking.

Every morning I smile, grateful that my wife is next to me, and that my two boys are healthy. I’ve started realizing how lucky we all are, and that although I have experienced loss in my life, every day we all wake up is a good day.

Each of us are creating our tomorrows. And what we focus our attention on has a way of manifesting as our reality. 

If we’re focusing on loss, than we’re perpetuating more of the same. And in doing so, we’re losing time to make a difference in our future by dwelling on the past.

I for one am tired of this. How about you? 

And remember, you are not alone …

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Posted by: babbo | April 2, 2012

Madison Mamas: A Great Local Resource for Parents

Are you a mom or dad looking for support in the Madison, Wisconsin area?

Madison Mammas is a great local resource for parents – bringing you information on groups, classes, activities and more.

A place for modern families with young children in the Madison, Wisconsin area, Madison Mamas was created by Rachel Barnes, “the mother of two and wife of one who lives in the beautiful city of Madison, Wisconsin. Madison Mamas is a resource of links dedicated to modern families, focusing on pregnancy, support groups, classes, activities, fitness, services, dining and shopping.”

By the way, don’t let the name Madison Mamas fool you. You’ll find support for the whole family here in a well organized, easy to use format.

And remember, you are not alone …

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The Daddy Brain Workshop
A Dads-only Event

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
7-8pm CST
The Goodman Community Center
Merrill Lynch Room C
149 Waubesa St.
Madison, WI 53704

This Month’s Topic …
The Discipline Dilemma: How to teach our children without traumatizing them.
Positive and negative forms of discipline are discussed, along with some of the adverse affects that negative discipline causes – including physical brain damage and the impairment of brain development. In addition to providing positive alternatives, we’ll also cover how the parent’s brain is wired, and how each of us can develop new habits that will help our kids grow into happy, healthy adults.

Click here for more information on Daddy Brain Workshops.

Reservations suggested. Walk-ins welcome. FREE.

Contact: Joey Donovan Guido

E-mail: daddybrain@live.com

Phone: 608-216-6760

And remember, you are not alone …

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Posted by: babbo | January 28, 2012

There are Little People in My House

There are little people in my house

Not as little as before,

Yet compared to me, still small

They’re my boys, Max and Joss,

And they are a great gift

Especially great,

Since we lost two children to ectopic pregnancies

These little people are filled with sweetness and innocence

But enjoy them much, I do not

Distracted I am with the stress of the day

The apparently never ending struggle

Children fighting, whining

My wife’s diabetes

And my own issues with my gut

Detract me from the simple fact:

I have a beautiful family

The universe has blessed my wife and I with two little boys

One day they will be grown

And I will yearn for these times

When Legos and coloring and playing the Wii

Were what was requested of me

It’s not too late to stop and play

Before there are no more wondrous days

Of little people in my house

Possibly there is a better way

To enjoy these precious gifts?

And remember, you are not alone …

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How Much Value?

How much value would you put on a dad’s relationship with his children?

Could you put a price on it? Considering that this relationship is going to have a huge impact on that child’s future?

I’d say it has incredible value.

From the relationships that our sons and daughters will form, to the types of people they will marry, dad’s influence has a huge impact. A child’s relationship with his or her dad will play a big role in how they perceive themselves throughout their lives, and how successful they’ll be as professionals and as human beings.

So why aren’t dads supported, encouraged and challenged to be better dads? Instead of being insulted, degraded, and dishonored by the media, the court system, society — and even their own families?

What kind of seed is this planting in the minds of future fathers? Not to mention our kids?

The good news is that, as of late, there has been a transition manifesting in the media. There’s a commercial running on TV from Foundation for a Better Life with a hockey player singing to his daughter, which speaks volumes about a man’s ability to be a good dad — even in the face of ridicule. Two current films also portray dad in a positive light: The Descendants with George Clooney, and We Bought a Zoo with Matt Damon.

Dads are a tremendous value to their kids. More support will only mean better lives for the entire family.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Posted by: babbo | November 11, 2011

Grow a Moustache, Help Cure Cancer?

selleckmagnumWelcome to Daddy Brain, where the moustache is more than fuzz on a man’s face.

Grow a Stach and Help Cure Cancer
Movember.com is the place to go if you’re interested in registering to grow a stash for a very good cause – “raising funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.”

You can also make a donation without actually growing a stash (this is a great option, especially if you’re a woman).

Looking for Information About the Stash?
The New York Times wrote an interesting article a while back. Kind of a fashion meets history take on the subject.

THE MOUSTACHE METAPHOR …
What in the world could a moustache have to do with your future? Especially if you’re a woman?

Like a moustache, the thoughts we think & the words we speak grow out of us and become reality. In addition, these same thoughts and words attract energy to us. This energy actually manifests into reality.

If our thoughts and words are negative, then negativity is coming out of us AND we’re drawing it toward us from the outside. As you can imagine, the results of this are, well, negative.

On the flip side, positive thoughts and words helps us emit positivity, and in turn we draw the positive to us.

This is not some random idea that I’ve chosen to express. This concept has been around for a very long time. Here’s what Napoleon Hill has to say about it in his fantastic book, Think and Grow Rich. Although it was first published in 1937, it remains relevant, inspiring and motivating to this day (in other words, I highly recommend it):

“The ether in which this little planet floats, in which we move and have our being, is a form of energy moving at an inconceivably high rate of vibration, and the ether is filled with a form of universal power which adapts itself to the nature of the thoughts we hold in our minds; and influences us, in natural ways, to transmute our thoughts into their physical equivalent.

Our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts we hold in our minds.By means by which no one is familiar, these “magnets” attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts …”

One thing I wonder about is this: if I know this, if I believe it – then why is it so difficult for me to be positive? Why does it seem so much easier to be negative when I KNOW that it’s working against me?

Every day I set a goal to be positive – no matter what. Yet every day it is a struggle to be consistently positive.

Is it a personality trait, a human trait, a learned behavior?

What I do know is that feeding my mind with the positive helps tremendously. Whether it’s books, music, movies, talking with an empowering friend like my wife – whatever – the more positive stuff I put in, the more positive I am.

Being mindful of what I think about and focus my attention on also helps. Having command of our thoughts is a habit that needs practice in order to get good at it. We need to learn to stay positive, even in the face of negativity from others.

Simple, yet effective, smiling can change my mood in an instant – although my wife says I look insane when I make myself smile.

Whether I’m growing a moustache, or living my life, I want to grow something good.

And if anybody sees Magunm, tell him to put a shirt on already. 

And remember, you are not alone …

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Posted by: babbo | November 10, 2011

The Daddy Brain Radio Show

Join me for The Daddy Brain Radio Show on Monday, November 14th @ 7pm CST on WORT Radio (Madison, WI).

The topic of our discussion? Dads are Not Second-class Parents.

I’ll be taking calls from dads to talk about how we’re often perceived as second-class parents by society, the media, the court system – and even our own families.

Local Listeners
Tune in to 89.9 FM

Listen from Anywhere in the World
Just click on the following link to download live online streaming audio in either MP3 or AAC format. It’s as easy as clicking a button to start listening!

http://www.wort-fm.org/listen.php

Want to Join the Conversation?
I’ll be taking calls throughout the hour at: (608) 256-2001.

Whether you’re married, divorced or a widower, this is your chance to be heard.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Posted by: babbo | November 4, 2011

Ebay Dishonors and Insults Dads

Ebay has released a commercial to market their mobile device app — which in and of itself seems harmless, right?

Except for the fact that it’s insulting and offensive to dads — portraying us as the stereotypical overweight dolt that’s more interested in ordering rims for our car instead of watching our kids perform in a school play.

Ironically, this commercial aired only days after I published my post, Are You an iDad, which discusses how a lot of parents are choosing to be plugged into their mobile devices instead of watching their kids during after-school activities.

If you have 31 seconds, check out the commercial and see what you think …

Is portraying dad as selfish and disengaged supposed to make me want to buy stuff off Ebay?

Dads are not second-class parents. We are capable of providing our kids with everything our wonderful wives do — including love, attention and compassion. It is our children that we put first, not our cars — or even ourselves.

And remember, you are not alone …

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Posted by: babbo | October 28, 2011

Are You an iDad?

Every week, I take my boys to their after-school activities — swimming and karate. While I’m there enjoying my kids,  I’ve noticed that a lot of parents are plugged into their mobile devices.

They’re not watching their kids — at all.

Instead, they’re checking e-mail, reading a book or using an app on their iPhone. Sure, from time to time I’ll use my iPhone for a minute during a lesson, but never for more than that.

What it comes down to is where each parent is choosing to be engaged.

Would it be easy to stay plugged in to my iPhone? Sure. I’ve already seen Max swim across the pool dozens, quite possibly hundreds, of times. And I’ve watched Joss do his karate moves so often that I have them memorized myself. But I’ve also checked my e-mail hundreds of times.

Here’s the thing: My e-mail will be there later.

But there are precious moments that will only happen this one time as my kids partake in their respective classes. I don’t always know when they’ll happen, but if I miss them they’re gone. Forever.

So my decision is simple. I’m there to watch my kids.

I work so much (2 jobs, 6 days a week right now), and these half-hour classes are a chance to see my boys growing, learning and having fun. And if I’m paying attention, I can give them honest feedback and encouragement when they’re done.

There’s also another component tethered to this. When my kids look over at me, they see that I’m paying attention to what they’re doing, which makes them feel important (which they are). If they saw dad’s head buried in his iPhone, how would that make them feel? Insignificant and unimportant, that’s how. A definite contributor to poor self esteem and feelings of inadequacy.

It’s a great feeling to see my boys’ eyes light up when they see me watching them, really watching them, as I give them a big thumbs up.

Plugging in is tempting. These devices are addictive, they’re easy to get sucked into. And they can rob us of precious, one of a kind moments.

Just the other day, Max did two different types of backstrokes. Each time, I was awestruck as to how well he did them. My jaw literally dropped. I would have missed it if I were plugged in.

What it comes down to is this … Are you an involved dad or a chauffeur?

Being involved does not mean driving our kids to and from their after-school activities and being plugged in in-between. It means being present throughout. Which can sometimes be hard when we’re exhausted, and don’t have much time for ourselves. 

Am I an iDad?

As much as I love my phone — nope. Although I’ll admit that I can sometimes become distracted, I remain firmly plugged into my kids lives.

And remember, you are not alone …

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