My Kindergarten Boy, Part 1

This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

“Don’t blink!” They say…“before you know it, he’ll be graduating high school!” Well…he may not quite be there yet, but tomorrow my son heads off to “Kinder Camp” for a week to learn a little bit about his new school before he goes for real in about a month. We’re definitely feeling a mix of emotions in our house, but the feeling I feel the most right now is pride. Continue reading

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Summer Learning

This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

Ahh…summer. The perfect time for vacations, laying by the pool, exploring new places and…learning? Wait, schools are on break…we shouldn’t have to worry about kids learning during the summer right? Continue reading

Father’s Day

This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

To me Father’s Day is one of the best days of the year! I always see it as an opportunity for me to celebrate the blessing of fatherhood by doing something fun with my kids. From going fishing with my son for the first time to camping to going to the Lego store together we’ve had lots of good Father’s Day memories and I’m looking forward to making more this year!

In addition to my love for being a dad, I also have a passion for engaging with other dads: encouraging and supporting each other on this journey as we strive to do the very best for our kids. So this Father’s Day, I wanted to write about a few things that I have learned that have really helped me be a better dad and that I want to share with all the dads (and any parent!) out there.

Presence – Being present and engaged with my kids is one of the best gifts I can give them. They love their toys and going out to do fun things, but over and over again what I’ve seen they crave the most is my attention and love and knowing that I am there with them in that moment. I’ve got to be honest, this can be very difficult to give some times, but I have noticed that my kids and I are so much closer and they enjoy life more when I give them my full attention.

Modeling – Kids see and understand so much more than we give them credit for and they are watching our every move to see if what we say matches what we do. If we want them to apologize when they make mistakes we have to show them how by doing the same. They will follow our lead in how they treat and talk to other people. They will follow our lead in how they treat and talk to themselves. We can have a profound impact on their self-esteem simply by modeling how we take care of ourselves.

Love – Telling them, showing them and finding out what makes them feel loved. Kids need to hear affirmations over and over again and they experience that love and affirmation in different ways. Really take the time to get to know your child and what makes them feel happy and safe. You’ll find that the act of trying to get to know them more and what they are passionate about is often one of the best ways to show them how much you love and care for them.

I hope you enjoy your Father’s Day with your children and wish you all the best as you continue your parenting journey.

This is fatherhood…

Rainy Day Play

This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

We definitely enjoyed the run of great weather we had to start the month of May around here…did you?  We played outside in our backyard, went to the park multiple times, went to our local children’s museum and had an awesome experience watching the swallows zoom up, over and around the pedestrian bridge nearby as well.  We also had a fun backyard barbecue with our Grandma Great on Mother’s Day where we learned how far each of us could kick my daughter’s new purple ball! In our house, when the weather gets nice we try to spend a lot more time outside enjoying it. Continue reading

Kinder-ready!

This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

Kindergarten. I can’t believe it’s almost here. I’ve written before about my son’s journey through preschool and how we’re so grateful that he was able to do that this year and how much he has grown. But it’s still is hard to believe that he is now old enough to go to Kindergarten and start elementary school in the Fall…where did the time go? Continue reading

Same Old, Same Old

This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

Do you have a favorite routine in your day?  Perhaps it’s your morning coffee…or sitting down with a good book after a long day at work.  Maybe your favorite routine is just sitting back and doing nothing during the very few precious minutes you get during the day when somebody is not asking you for something.  Whatever your favorite routine is I’m sure that if something keeps you from enjoying that routine your whole day gets thrown off and it can be really hard to focus or enjoy much of anything during that day. Continue reading

So You Had A Bad Day

This was originally posted by the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub here.

Have you had one of those days recently where you just feel down and nothing seems to cheer you up? Perhaps you spilled your coffee before you could even take a drink and then you stepped on that same toy that your child keeps leaving out in the same spot…no matter how many times you’ve asked them to put it away when they are done. It has happened to all of us and unfortunately it’s probably likely to happen again! Usually, we can just chalk this up to one bad day or a bad week perhaps…but we try to give ourselves some grace and start again with better hopes for the next day. Continue reading