Organic “Good Egg” Tee
Jeff writes over at Daddy’s Toolbox when he’s not working (at home, or at the office). During the day, he is a developor and consultant for Springhouse, a computer training and consulting company, located in Exton, Pennsylvania.
Jeff has two great children. His son Logan is 4 and daughter, Kaleigh, is 2.
I asked Jeff several questions about his role as a parent and he shared several stories about his relationship with his children.
1) What makes you happy, as a parent?
I like watching my son get excited when I tell him he has done a good job or like the other day when I told him that I took his drawings and the paper that he wrote the alphabet on to my work. I told him I had my friends (coworkers) use it to help them spell! He was so excited. As for my daughter, she and I have the Father/Daughter bond going. We rub noses at night – that is our thing!
2) What is your proudest parenting moment?
I’ve had a few proud parenting moments so far in my children’s 4 and 2 years of life. There are things that I can’t believe our son knows how to do, so that makes me very proud. Like the other day he was writing all of this alphabet, his name and some other things. He’s really good with that! He then was drawing pumpkins. I watched him draw a perfect pumpkin, down to the 2 triangle eyes, nose and mouth! I was shocked.
3) What is your biggest parenting challenge?
Dealing with whining. I immediately go insane at the first whine.
4) What’s your favorite family-friendly restaurant?
We like Red Robin in Exton, PA. Oh EXCEPT when the “BIRD” is there. It scares my kids!
5) What advice would you give to new or expecting parents?
Sometimes you just have to “give in” or else it’s a battle with your kids. Like right now, I’m listening to my wife put our four-year-old to bed. He is fussing and screaming that it is NOT a school night. Well, it’s Monday night so, “Yes it is!” I would have caved in by now and given in. My wife is more stubborn and is up there trying to make him understand.
6) Who or where do you go to for parenting advice?
I mainly ask our other friends with kids. I’ve set up a group on Facebook for the parents of kids that go to our daycare. It’s starting to help. We are building a support network.
I think it’s a fabulous idea to start an online support group of parents that you know. Playdates and playgroups were first created for this same reason, but it’s great to have a place to go 24 hours a day to ask questions and chat with other adults after the kids are asleep – or during nap time.
What makes you a happy, healthy, hip parent?
My son- He’s nearly five and he is becoming such a mature young man. He makes me laugh on a regular basis and inspires me to be the best mom I can possibly be. I’m so proud of him and all he’s learning and accomplishing.
My son’s teachers– There are many teachers who work with my son on a weekly basis. From the two teachers in his classroom, to the Spanish, Art, Music, PE and Enrichment classes, these amazing educators put so much time and energy into each and every child that they teach.
My parents– My mom and dad are always there for me when I need them. They’ve flown out to San Diego so many times since my son was born that I couldn’t possibly pay them back for all the miles and airport adventures they’ve experienced on our behalf. They’re flying out again in mid-December and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have them here for both Christmas and my son’s 5th birthday.
My sister– She’s put up with me for years and still manages to listen, offer advice and know me better than anyone ever could. She’s a great mom, a super-cool aunt, a wonderful friend, fabulous wife, and an amazing massage therapist!
My co-workers – These are the women I see on a daily basis. They’ve seen me through a wedding, pregnancy and supported me through my divorce. They have truly become great friends and mentors who have guided me in my career and helped me in “real” life.
My colleagues – For providing emotional support, offering suggestions and allowing me to do the same.
My clients – For trusting me with their parenting issues and allowing me to work closely with their families and recommending me to other moms and dads.
My readers – I’m truly grateful for my readers, who loyally visit the sites I write at (here, Intent, and the Examiner) and leave comments, provide great feedback and share my site with others.
My friends – For those who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or who know me in the offline world, I could not have gotten through the last few years without them, especially those who listened to me bitch, complain and allowed me to share my random thoughts at wee hours in the morning.
Amy is mom to three-year-old Hailey. She was kind enough to take some time to answer some questions about her experience as a parent and offers some great advice for expecting parents.
1) What makes you happy, as a parent?
Oh my, so many things! I look at the world so differently now. I notice my surroundings more because I see them through my daughter’s eyes. I mostly love having someone to teach. It’s a fantastic feeling knowing that she’s learning something new each day and I play a big part of that.
2) What’s the healthiest thing about your relationship with your child?
We are very open with each other. Granted, she’s only three, but we communicate with each other very well. I hope we can keep the lines of communication open for a long, long time.
3) Kids say the cutest things. What is the funniest story you recall about your daughter?
I probably Tweet something new and cute she says everyday! One of the funniest things I always tell people is when she was just under two years old and she needed a diaper change. I told her it was time for the diaper change and she patted her butt, looked up at me and matter-of-factly said, “Nope, stays in my diapee.” That was the first time she really started showing attitude.
4) What is your proudest parenting moment?
Tough question. I have many “proud” parenting moments, hard to pick out just one. I feel very proud when we’re out and she uses her manners. I always feel good about that. She’s very polite and that is important to me.
5) What is your biggest parenting challenge?
Picking my battles and being consistent. I want to maintain openness with her throughout the years, especially when she’s school-aged. My goal is to have her always feel comfortable confiding in me, no matter what.
6) What’s your favorite family-friendly restaurant?
Oh, we LOVE dining out. I suppose my absolute favorite is Red Robin in Plainfield, IL. We go there a lot. My daughter gets her balloons, the food is good and we always have a fun time.
7) What’s your favorite activity you enjoy with Hailey?
Just being out and about. I love taking her to the zoo, museums and to the park.
8) What advice would you give to new or expecting parents?
Be prepared to be totally unprepared! Each day, each stage is something different. Embrace it. I never believed it would go as fast as it has but here I am, with a three-year-old already and I was once wishing the baby stages away! Soak it all in, ladies.
9) Who or where do you go to for parenting advice?
10) How would your daughter describe you?
She’s still unbiased. Though, I’m pretty sure if you asked her, she would tell you that I’m the coolest thing since sliced bread.
For more great everyday tips and articles on single parenting, visit these great sites:
Single Mom – for single moms by choice or by chance
Single Mothers – resources for single moms
Single Moms – this site is for all single parents (both single moms and dads)
Single Father – resources for single dads
Just 4 Dads – resources and legal advice for single fathers
Are you a single parent looking to date another single parent – who understands your issues and schedule? There are several sites that offer dating services for single moms and dads:
If you’re a single parent and have success stories – or horror stories – to share about these sites, please let us know.
Those on my top ten list include:
Dating Coach David Wygant offers articles and provides great examples for dating inspiration.
Since singles have a more difficult time with being on their own during the holiday season, it makes sense that more singles put themselves out there prior to Christmas so they’re not standing under the mistletoe alone.
David’s Five Reasons Why the Holiday Season is the Best Time to Date:
1) People have taken year end inventories
2) Christmas shopping
3) No one wants to spend New Year’s Eve alone
4) Unlimited holiday events
5) Plan your own events
He also offers suggestions to single moms on how to jumpstart their dating lives under the following scenarios:
1) How to meet a man while your child is having a temper tantrum
2) You’re trying to negotiate with your child in the grocery store
3) Meeting a single dad and his kids for a playdate
4) Online dating techniques
5) How to write your online profile
6) What not to say when you’re on a date
David Wygant offers dating bootcamps and is also the author of Always Talk to Strangers: 3 Simple Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life.
Like many single parents, Carla works numerous jobs. She is a substitute teacher, an on-air talent for Froggy 106.7 and a Recovery Coordinator for her church.
Carla took some time out of her hectic schedule to talk about what makes her a happy, healthy, hip parent.
1) What makes you happy, as a parent (besides when your kids finally fall asleep)?
As a single mom I’m not ashamed to admit it’s having a night off!
2) What’s the healthiest thing about your relationship with your children?
I let them feel what they feel. I was taught “cry today, get up tomorrow,” but I want my kids to know that it’s ok to have a bad day. I want them to live life instead of plowing through it.
3) Kids say the cutest things. What is the funniest story you recall about each of your children?
Miss E. is the comedian of the family but her most recent funny moment was this Halloween. She was a bee… “so I can sting the boys.”
When Bud was in sixth grade we started talking about his future and how to achieve his goals. He wanted to get online and look at colleges so I showed him how; five minutes went by and I heard “Mom I’ve found the college for me!” I asked how he knew it was the one to which he replied, “Because it has two floors in the cafeteria!” I was quickly reminded that he’s still very much a kid.
Kaitybug likes to tell on me. I got pulled over by a police officer for speeding and while he was standing at the window asking for my information she piped up and said “Hey Mom, does he know you ran that red light too?”
4) What is your biggest parenting challenge?
Crawling into bed at night and not having someone there to fall into.
5) What’s your favorite family-friendly restaurant (name and city, please).
Casa Mare in Fort Wayne, IN.
6) What’s your favorite activity you enjoy with your children?
It’s different with each of them…I love when I put Miss E. to bed and we say our prayers. She is truly selfless in those moments. With Kaitybug she and I are growing closer and I’m watching her become a young lady. I love to listen to her talk about her friends while she helps me cook. And my son…my favorite thing to do with him is take him out to eat alone. I get his full attention and he gets mine. It means a lot to him, which in turn means a lot to me.
7) How would your children describe you?
A few weeks ago we had a meeting at church which my son and I were apart of. We each had assigned seats so he sat at the back of the room and I was at the front. At the beginning of the meeting, we were asked if anyone wanted to share good things going on or blessings in their life. A few people stood up and shared and then my son stood up. He said with a trembling lip, “I am so thankful my mom is my mom. She taught us about God and that changed our life. My mom is my hero.”
My children and I have been through so much in their short time on this Earth and that night he gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, they see my heart above my past. They hear my love above my words. The feel God above the moment.
8) Who or where do you go to for parenting advice?
I have an inner circle of friends that know my heart and know my past. They aren’t afraid to tell me the truth and I have the utmost respect for each of them so I turn to them often. But before any of that, I pray. I simply pray.
9) What advice would you give to new or expecting parents?
Your job is to be their parent not their friend.
10) What is your proudest parenting moment?
When someone tells me how much they enjoy being around my kids, not because of my parenting but because of the people they are…I think my kids are awesome and love to hear when others see them that way too!
Carla is an inspiration to all parents and I truly believe that her kids are the wonderful people they are because of her. Children learn by example, and through hard work, discipline and balancing work and family successfully, Carla’s three children are just as successful; just as happy, healthy and hip.
by Steve Goodier
A golf enthusiast listed three mental techniques to improve one’s golf game. And the great part is this: these techniques not only help to improve a game, they can help all of us live better lives. They are mental attitudes that can help you and me live more in the moment and less in the past or the future. Here they are… golf tips for better living.
1. Resist the urge to add up your score as you go along. If you anticipate your score, you’ll be distracted from the task at hand. In other words, live more in the present. Clear your mind of past mistakes and even past successes, and try to think only about the here and now.
2. Focus. Concentrate on hitting great shots rather than worrying about bad ones or what others will think if you miss. Visualize the ball going to your target. This is a terrific technique for daily living. Focus. Concentrate on doing the present task well rather than worrying about what others will think if you should “mess up.” And get a picture in your mind’s eye of succeeding at the thing you are doing right now.
3. Keep your mind on the hole you’re playing. Don’t think about how you are going to play the last hole. This is about resisting the urge to think ahead. If we pay close attention to the present, the future will take care of itself. Our present moment is full of power and wonder. It deserves our full attention.
Now, did you notice what all of these tips have in common? They are not about understanding the past or setting goals for the future. They are simply about living in the present moment.
The present is too important not to pay attention to it. One doctor said, “I have learned from speaking to many cancer survivor groups that (when you have cancer) the watch on your hand no longer says, ‘Tick, tick, tick.’ It now says, ‘Precious, precious, precious.’”