I am in my late 30's with the heart of a child. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and, probably 90% of the time, I do what is right rather than what I 'want'. I am a high school graduate with 3 years of college (2 Associates Degrees; Business and IT), I was active duty Marine Corps in Cryptology and had zero skills as a father until January 14, 2005. With only what I had learned from my parents to guide me, I stepped onto my heretofore unknown path of Fatherhood. I believe that God created me to be a Daddy. I have my parents (still married and kickin-it after 43 yrs) to thank for teaching me by example how to raise my own children. I hope I can be just half the parent they were and are to me.
I'm learning how to be a parent one day at a time and have discovered that if I cannot laugh and roll with the punches, it can all be pretty overwhelming. One very important lesson I have learned is that laughing and trying not to over dramatize things are a must! My children are young, and they do not understand everything that I, as an adult, understand. Knowing that up front makes it little easier on all of us. For example, you won't catch me reaming them for 15 minutes with an 'in-your-face' lecture about why they should pay better attention in class, or 'why didn't you catch that pass during the game', or flake out because they went nuts in the supermarket. I think that when a parent displays a lack of control, it destroys a child’s respect and trust in that parent.
I choose to believe that children will mature into 'paying better attention in class', and I can do my part to mitigate their attention span at home. I'm not going to flip out because my child isn't paying attention in class 100% of the time. All of you have probably witnessed parents literally going ballistic at the supermarket because their child was being just that - a child - in the store. I once saw a dad snatch his 3-4yr old out of the shopping cart for opening up a pack of snack chips. This guy was in his child's face cursing, digging his fingers into his arm and shoulders and telling him that he was going to "beat the crap" out of him when they got home. I wonder if that $0.95 bag of chips was worth the trauma that little guy experienced that day. I also wonder if that child actually learned anything from that father’s display of lack of control. Now if that's you, please don't take this example the wrong way. Later on, I'm going to tell you about how I almost went postal with mine in the grocery store one time and what I learned from it. I think you will get the point when you read that part of my story and, hopefully, you won’t have that issue again. That's a good thing right? Avoiding your own frustrations by planning, informing, and listening will be a tremendous help. I, as a single parent of four young children, have learned some key strategies, but we'll get into that later…
When I tell you what I have learned and put those lessons into real situations, the light will come on and you will begin to get it. That's the whole point of writing this book… to pass on what I have learned in the hopes that my "self-parenting-education" helps someone else. Didn't God put us here to do more for others than ourselves? And isn't parenting merely doing more for our children than ourselves?
I want you to know upfront that this book is not just for single parents. There are a lot of two-parent homes that can learn from this book as well. I am sure that I won't hit all of the points out there - being a parent is a pretty complicated and complex role (not to mention that my children are still pretty young and there are a LOT of things still headed my way). But, hopefully, you will think about it a little bit differently than you do right now.
For the rest of Chapter 1 - and the book itself - visit Amazon.com (Link to the book coming soon - the book is due to be published Nov. 18th, 2012)