Teaching Children to Value Kindness

Teaching Children to Value Kindness

Note:  This is my response to The Today Parenting Team challenge. The current challenge invites writers to answer the following question:  How do you teach your children to value kindness? If my son does not get accepted into Harvard or win a Pulitzer, I will not be bothered, but if he fails to become a kind person, I will be dissatisfied. I consider it my responsibility as a parent to keep...
Toddlers and Spiritual Lessons

Unexpected Teachers: Toddlers and Spiritual Lessons

I triple check stove knobs before leaving the house, recount pages in stapled assignments, and proofread text messages long after hitting the send button. At my worst, in the middle of the night, I lie awake debating whether or not I closed the garage door. My desire for control pervades my daily life; it ranges from stove knobs to completing tax forms to remaining hydrated. I desire control so...
8 Things NOT to Say to a Stay-at-Home Dad

8 Things NOT to Say to a Stay-at-Home Dad

Stay-at-home dads receive peculiar comments. Why? In the minds of many people, we remain a new concept. Despite a significant increase in men choosing to provide full-time care for their children, we are at odds with mainstream gender role expectations.  The comments and questions we encounter range from innocent to insulting. It never fails at the playground, grocery store, or doctor’s office...
The Gaze, Picasso, and Fatherhood

The Gaze, Picasso, and Fatherhood

I adore the first picture taken in the hospital of me and my newborn son.  My eyes gaze on the small face resting against my chest. The dark rings below my eyes, formed from my wife’s two and a half days of labor, extend to the top of my cheekbone. I tilt my head to study the tiny features of the face cradled in my hands, only a few hours old. My soul intertwines with the nine pounds of soft...
Stinky Fingers Tips to Keep Curious Hands Clean on the Changing Table

Stinky Fingers: Tips to Keep Curious Hands Clean on the Changing Table

Few things defeat parents more than poop on tiny fingers.  Poop on your child’s fingers makes you want to give up.  It makes you want to cry.  It represents the utmost violation of basic hygiene.  All day long, you work hard to keep your child reasonably clean (out of the dog bowl and Target urinal) but your efforts prove futile when they stick their hands in their own poop.  Defeat....
Wrap Daddy

Wrap Daddy

I feel like a cat tangled in Christmas lights, and judging by the raised corners of my wife’s mouth, I need more practice. Despite my messy effort to tie the Moby wrap, Cara lifts Henry, our newborn son, and slips one of his legs through the band of cloth hanging from my left shoulder, and does the same with my other shoulder.  Strapped to my chest in the soft band of orange cloth, Henry...