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Mean What You Say—Say What You Mean

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

It was happening two lines over from where I stood in line waiting to pay for my groceries. A mother was yelling at her child. “Behave or I will whip you,” she said for the fourth time. “That’s it. I’m never bringing you out of the house again! You can just sit home alone while the rest of us go out.” Nothing changed in the boy’s behavior. In fact, his disobedience elevated. He knew the sound of empty threats. (I will set aside commenting on yelling, “I will whip you” to a child for another time, but right now I want to comment on the poor parenting.) You see, he knew his mother didn’t mean what she was saying. Mean what you say—say what you mean. Numerous times I have heard a parent start “the count.” You know what...

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Daddy, Read Me a Story

Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 1 comment

My mother tells me that when I was a child I could not get enough of the Dr. Seuss classic, The Cat in the Hat. I asked her to read it to me repeatedly. Eventually, as the years passed, she sat while I read it to her. Over and over we shared that book. Yet as a father, it was high on my list of least favorite books, and I would try and suggest other books to my sons to distract them from that classic. It rarely worked, but like father, like son, they continuously craved it. Even as the monotony of the rhymes grated at me, I treasured the time I had as my sons cuddled up on my lap for story time. The connection was wonderful. A few weeks ago, I shared this with some friends. Many...

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The Family Table

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

“Growing up, I learned life’s important lessons at the dinner table.”—Chef John Besh I am not only a dad; I’m a university professor as well. One of the things we value at Kingswood is community. To perpetuate this, we often invite students to join us for a family meal. One of my fellow faculty members shared a heartbreaking story. A student had joined them for dinner. About halfway through the meal, the young girl began to weep. This, of course, confused her hosts. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “It’s just that this is so special,” she said. “It’s just meatloaf.” She continued, “I have never had a family meal like this. Our family didn’t eat meals together. Even on Christmas we served ourselves and sat around the den watching TV.  We never sat and talked like this. The only time...

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Make a Note to be Thankful

Posted by on Jul 18, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

This past Mother’s Day we as a family invited those around us whom might feel a disconnect to join us for our special meal. By “disconnect” I mean those who would be separated from children or parents on Mother’s Day. As it turned out, our choice was my new supervisor and his wife. They have recently moved from Indiana and were separated from family. We had a nice lunch together blessed with laughter and camaraderie. A week later our mail contained a nice handwritten note: a thank you card.  My wife opened the envelope and read the contents.  It was a simply stated but obviously heartfelt expression of thankfulness. One of my sons commented, “A thank you note for lunch?” “Sure,” I said and gave him the card to read.  Then I asked, “How does that make you feel?”...

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The Value of a Good Father

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Michael G. Moriarty, (The Perfect 10: The Blessings of Following God’s Commandments in a Post Modern World, p. 113) reports that: “Almost 75 percent of American children living in fatherless households will experience poverty before the age of eleven, compared to only twenty percent of those raised by two parents. Children living in homes where fathers are absent are far more likely to be expelled from or drop out of school, develop emotional or behavioral problems, commit suicide, and fall victim to child abuse or neglect. The males are also far more likely to become violent criminals. As a matter of fact, men who grew up without dads currently represent over seventy percent of the prison population serving long-term sentences.” Further statistics are staggering.  Numbers from the US Department of Health, US Department of Justice, and the Center for...

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Filling the Gaps

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Recently our family was watching a game show. The contest was based on contestants guessing names of famous people. The players knew rappers, TV roles, and all the current and former partners of something called a “Kardasian.” One name they needed to guess was Abraham Lincoln.  The host began the clues: “A very famous president” “President during the American Civil War” “Was assassinated” “Gave the Gettysburg Address” “On the penny” They could not guess it. Eventually he had to make up a silly name to form a final clue.  “His name sounds like Brabraham Plinkon.” That is when one contestant buzzed in and hesitantly gave the answer. She was still obviously unsure of the answer. Later in the show the name was Harry Truman, the lack of responses were worse. My boys were as amazed as I was and...

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