Friday, April 22, 2016

Positive Fatherhood #2

What is your name of your children? 

Miriam 10, Maggie 7, Evelyn 3, Gavin 1

Where do you live?

What is your favorite thing about being a father?

Just being loved by my kids.  When I can be at my best, serve them well and see they way they return that spirit makes me feel like Superman.  It’s wonderful to see them grow, change and develop.  The time and effort (and money!) it takes to invest in them means other selfish things have to be set aside; but the returns are well worth it.  When my youngest daughter asks to sit on my lap, when my 2nd oldest wants to go to the hardware store with me, or when my oldest earns a new privilege I feel like a million bucks.

What was/is one of your favorite things to do with your children?

Every Sunday night is family night.  We’ll make pizza, let the kids pick a movie and enjoy just being together.  The kids also love legos or puzzles.  When we do small projects like that together it’s great.  No stress, or pressure, just the simple enjoyment of being together.

What has been the most helpful thing for you in being a father?
A good family and church relationship.  Whether it’s other couples in my small group, the community at our local church, or the help of aunts, uncles and grandparents. Having help and support means a lot.  Kids get sick, schedules get messed up, I take on projects that are way bigger than I can finish alone, or I just desperately need to take my wife out for a date and some adult conversation.  When these things happen having support from the community of Christ makes all the difference in the world.

What is one piece of advice you have for other fathers?

1) Let your yes be yes and your no be no. and 2) Pick your battles and always win.
Per scripture I don’t want to exasperate my kids.  I want to be kind and consistent with what is expected of them, what we can do and what we can’t.  As such, if I’m parenting the way I should I communicate with them, follow up with my commitments and be consistent.  This gives them boundaries and will build the trust that Dad is fair and he can be counted on.  To that end, kids need to be kids and I shouldn’t demand that they be perfect.  It’s ok to let small, unimportant things go.  Not every battle needs to be fought.  However, there are times when kids need firm discipline and instruction.  When No means no and obedience should be expected.  These are the times that it is imperative to stand firm.

Do you have a favorite story (something funny, a mistake you made that you learned from, a special memory, etc.) that you would like to share?
Since I don’t make mistakes, I have limited things to share here but will do my best.

Several years back Miriam was taking horse lessons.  One day, the horse decided to shake its mane rather briskly.  Miriam was unaware and unsuspecting of this, as it caught her by surprise she was tossed off the horse and landed face down in the dirt.  I was watching from the side and saw the whole thing happen.  I rushed up to her and saw right away that she was ok but didn’t want the slightest thought of discouragement to enter her mind.  So I said “Hey Miriam, way to go!  You’re a real cowgirl now!”  The other instructors praised her as well for her first fall.  Miriam sniffled a couple times but then, without hesitation, climbed right back on the horse and finished her lesson.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been more proud.  Miriam had every reason to quit, but she literally got back on the horse.

Bonus:  Little kids need nutritious food and naps.  You can save time by having your kids do both at the same time!

Friday, April 15, 2016

We Say Goodbye To An Amazing Lady

This week we lost an amazing lady who gave her life to help children and families. Dr. Karyn Purvis passed away on Tuesday, April 12. I (Matt) will be forever grateful for her and her work of helping kids from hard places. The material that she developed and has shared with so many has been the conduit to so many children being able to experience deep levels of healing. We are committed to spreading this hope giving message and we will continue to do so through hosting the simulcast and teaching our 9 week parenting class. Our prayers are with the family of Dr. Purvis and her team at TCU. Thanks for investing in the lives of children.

In an attempt to give you a little picture of the impact this material has on families, we thought we would share with you some direct quotes from our simulcast we hosted last weekend. Enjoy.

"This was such a helpful weekend of information and learning."

"I am so thankful to take home the various resources to not only integrate with your future adopted child, but also to our biological children right now."

"This was our first time attending ETC and we loved it! Such great info. Hope to come next year."

"It was eye opening to hear Dr. Howard say...'The consequences of neglect are far more serious then that of abuse. By giving these kids a voice we are telling them they matter and have value.'"

"Our takeaway was, behavior emerge from needs."

"I feel more equipped and encouraged to address parenting that often is intimidating and seems unmanageable."

"I have received some tools I am very excited to put into practice."

"I am hopeful that the things I have learned will bring healing and growth to our family."

"You have to regulate yourself first before you can help regulate your kiddos."

"Where was this 19 years ago?"

"This has really helped me understand behavioral and emotional needs."

"This has been so good!"

"We now know for sure what has happened to our biological son while raising him along with our adopted children, thank you!"

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