What Makes a Father a Daddy?

Daddy Life Podcast Episode 28Dads, Marriage Counts and you need to take the lead in your home.

Get to know your wife and children better

Lead devotions: We just started doing things different.

  • Pray a simple prayer asking God to speak to you.
  • Reading a chapter from a children’s bible.
  • Pray and thank God and ask Him to fill your needs.

Be present

  • Attend appointments (school, medical, etc) (Mom’s let dads help)
  • Take your kids camping…even if in the back yard
  • Go for a bike ride

Being a great husband even when you disagree

  1. No name calling
  2. Leave the past in the past
  4. Keep your hands to yourself
  5. Allow a disagreement resolution to play out in from of the kids

Boys want to be like Daddy
Girls want to gain Dad’s approval

Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/DaddyLife

Levi’s Birthday Our youngest turned two on Memorial Day

Levi turns 2

Happy Birthday to my Baby Boy

Babywise Friendly Blog Segment

God’s Faithfulness Through Infertility


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Breastfeed your preschooler

Children of parents who follow this advice will never be a school bully and will always look their parents in the eye. That’s what Dr. William Sears says in an ABC News article drawing attention to a very controversial Time Magazine cover. Attachment Parenting (AP) made popular by Dr. Sears promotes breastfeeding as the silver bullet solution to parenting challenges. The new Time magazine cover shows a young mother allowing her three-year-old son to serve himself breast milk while he stands in a chair to be able to reach her breast. While the Time cover will appear in the grocery store checkout line it is a little too graphic for this web site.

Breastfeeding is one component of the radical Attachment Parenting philosophy that is very child-centered promoting everything short of using your God given wisdom in your parenting decisions. The three pillars of AP encourage extreme breast-feeding, baby wearing, and co-sleep with their children against American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations. Parents are taught to allow their child to decide when he is ready to wean from nursing. This issue of Time goes into the fact that Attachment Parenting provides no room for dads in the parenting partnership. The Attachment Parenting model puts dad’s on the sidelines. Time points this out by stating in a supporting article to the controversial cover:

“Advocates of attachment parenting might claim that their approach places demands on both genders, but we fathers know the truth. Regardless of our best intentions as equal partners, attachment parenting is really attachment mothering.” Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2114453,00.html#ixzz1utwNHgUM

The ABC article goes on to quote Mayim Bialik a mom and Phd of neuroscience who says she uses breastfeeding as a response to her toddler’s tantrums. Ironically this same mom does not believe the Time Magazine story will help the Attachment Parenting movement.  The Time Magazine cover alone paints Attachment Parenting as extreme. Extreme is the word used on the Time cover to explain Dr. Sears’ Attachment Parenting philosophy as it relates to the graphic breastfeeding scene.

There is a practical alternative to the extreme Attachment Parenting style. That alternative promotes dads being fully engaged in the parenting process and teaches a philosophy called Parent Directed Feeding (PDF).  On Becoming Baby Wise (aff) teaches moms how to use their God given wisdom as parents to breast feed their child in a way that is more healthy for the child and mom. Parents also learn to train their baby to adapt their sleeping habits to become a welcome member of the family. Most infants of PDF families are sleeping seven hours per night at approximately three months old. There is plenty of room for dads in the equation too. Using the Babywise model dads are an equal member of the partnership that God has put at the center of each family…a marriage made up of a husband and wife relationship. PDF parents are taught to use their knowledge and experience to make healthy decisions for their child.

Dad’s role in FTO training

By Maureen Monfore, www.childwisechat.com

Dad and First Time Obedience TrainingIn On Becoming Childwise and Growing Kids God’s Way, the Ezzos make it clear that training a child in first-time obedience (FTO) is one of the most important parenting tasks. When we train a child in first-time obedience, our primary goal is that they will obey us the first time we give an instruction, no questions asked.

In my blog, www.childwisechat.com, and on message boards, I hear moms struggle with the fact that their children seem to respond to the FTO training they have done. But the minute their husbands get home, the children don’t listen to him.

So let me be clear that although much of the training can be done by mom since she’s home most of the day, dads must also work with their children on first-time obedience.

It would make sense that all you have to do is teach a child a skill like first-time obedience one time and it will carry over to all other relationships. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Our children figure us out very quickly. They know that moms and dads have different standards, however minor they may be, and they will only rise to the standard you each hold.

So unfortunately, dads, this means that you cannot rest on your laurels after a long day’s work and let your wife do all of the obedience training. All of the aspects of first-time obedience training apply to you just as much as they do to your wife.

If you’re new to the idea of first-time obedience training, you can learn more on my blog or in my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience. There are several principles to consider when laying a solid foundation for FTO training. They include:

Understand that first-time obedience is a skill your child needs to learn. It’s also a new habit you will need to set for yourself. It will be difficult at first, especially if your child is used to ignoring you, but the payoff is so rewarding.

Babywise Tips for Working Parents

It’s Babywise Blog Network Week! All week, we’ll be featuring blog posts from other Babywise-friendly blogs. The schedule is as follows:

· Monday: Valerie Plowman, Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
· Tuesday: Maureen Monfore, Childwise Chat
· Wednesday: Hank Osborne, Daddy Life
· Thursday: Rachel Rowell, My Baby Sleep Guide
· Friday: Bethany Lynch, The Graceful Mom

Help us promote solidarity within the Babywise/Ezzo community by subscribing to these blogs.


by Bethany Lynch from The Graceful Mom

Dancing with mom

Photo Credit van city 197

I read Babywise while pregnant with my first child. It just jived with our natural parenting philosophy and gave us structure for how to start. I think that is what I love most about Babywise…the ”start as you mean to go on” mentality. We parent very similarly to this day as we did over 4 years ago. We do not change our tactics after they sleep through the night, or walk, or start preschool.

What I was unprepared for was losing much of the structure when I returned to work. I was heartbroken at the thought of daycare changing everything I had worked on the previous 3 months. It took a lot of trial and error and a few tears to figure out how to keep our parenting goals and philosophies when we were not always physically there.

While our goals may not match everyone’s goals, I think there are quite a few things that are applicable to many working moms and dads. Here are my favorite aspects of babywise that make a huge difference in our satisfaction and ability to be very involved while we are at work:

  • Find a mutual caregiver. If daycare is not working, find something else. If your family member refuses to work with you, consider daycare. For us, a nanny was the best solution. We still evaluate it every 6 months or so. Being happy with our caregiver was probably one of the biggest factors in my peace and happiness while away at work.
  • Use a log just like daycare even if your mom or best friend is watching your children. Sometimes just knowing if they ate or slept is extremely helpful. Down the road, you can use it to look for structure, potty training, time outs, funny stories.
  • Don’t be afraid of structure when you are home. For awhile, I thought that I needed to be fun and carefree on my days off or the weekends. My kids really do like predictability, and they need to know the rules and reasons are still the same.
  • Don’t be afraid of flexibility. Yes, I know I just mentioned structure. I also tend to be overbearing or overstructured as a working mom at times. Recently I decided to start waking my son up 40 min early when my work schedule changed. It was much more important to cuddle with him and start his day early than to deal with the attitude from missing me.
  • Take your children on dates. I think this is important if you stay at home or work outside the home, but I think it is crucial for working parents to provide that extra special attention. I have even taken personal days specifically for taking a child on a special date. My kids need one-on-one time on a regular basis. We often run errands with one child, and not for ease but for special time. Make sure that dates are dates, and not errands, though.
  • Aim to stay on the same page as your spouse, especially with obedience and discipline. My husband backs me up 100% as a mother and validates almost all of my parenting decisions. We regularly take time to discuss discipline strategy, sleep needs, education, childcare. While this tip is not unique to being a working mom, I am absolutely certain that I would not be the mother that I am without the support of my husband.
  • Find unique ways to implement structured activities like room time and couch time. We still make a point for our children to observe us in conversation without interruption each evening. It may be while we fix supper, while we sit in the backyard, or while the kids finish eating those last 3 bites. Roomtime comes and goes. I wish I could do it every day but it depends on our nanny and how often I have errands on my days off. As they get older, it gets easier, and I try to do it even for 15-30 most days. Some of my favorite moments have been listening to them play together nicely and use their imagination by themselves.
  • Give your children (and yourself) the gift of sleep. I work with so many parents that feel guilty about missed time and let their kids stay up late every single night. We have certainly made exceptions but consistently teaching our children to sleep well has been one of the best things we did. Bedtime is usually without exception. We also started sleep training from birth. Our kids slept through the night around 4 months of age, for the most part, and I could not imagine working full-time more than a couple of weeks without a full night’s sleep.
  • Don’t over-commit your family time. As a working mom, I feel like I need to have the same attention to detail and opportunities as moms that work in the home. Soccer, classroom volunteer, playgroups. Sometimes it just isn’t possible, and the most important thing is that our family gets enough time together even if that means cutting out other obligations.
  • Don’t wish for what isn’t. I love the structure and parent-directed emphasis of Babywise. I love the results of sleep training. I hate that I am not here all day to implement my dream routine. I hate that I feel like I have to compromise with caregivers. I hate that I often wonder “what if.” The best tip I could ever give another working mom (or dad) is to value what you have. Value what you can do, the values you can instill, the time you can structure…and those sweet grubby hands.

Bethany Lynch is a full-time mother of two young children, a son and daughter. She also works as a full-time NICU pharmacist. Frustrated with the lack of resources for Christian working moms, she decided to start her own inspirational blog. She is very passionate about encouraging other mothers balancing work and family.

It’s time to take the guilt out of sleep training

By Rachel Rowell from mybabysleepguide.comSleep training gets a bad rap. You don’t have to talk to too many moms or look on the internet for too long to get this message. If you want your child to sleep well (especially for reasons that don’t involve your child’s welfare), people start to point fingers and call names.

“What a bad, selfish person!”

“What an uncaring parent!”

“How dare they not put everything, their health, marriage and well-being included, before their child’s every need and happiness.”

“What a bad, selfish parent!”

Maybe you don’t even need someone to tell you this before the guilt sets in. As parents, we give physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to our children all day, every day. We sacrifice like crazy. But what about us? What about our marriage? What about our family as a whole?

Can nurturing ever be taken to the extreme?

I think it can. There is a balance in all things. And we have our own personal limits to consider. There is a time when we turn from a great mommy to a mommy martyr. And it seems the subject of sleep is often one of these times.

We need sleep to survive and most of us need a fair amount of it to take
us from a mindless zombie to a functioning human. We shouldn’t feel
guilty because we want some of it. We need it just like our children
need it. It isn’t a desire, it is a need. Sleep is food for the brain and body.

Inadequate sleep has many costs to us, our family and others. If you aren’t getting enough sleep you’re more vulnerable to depression, your marriage can suffer, your temper and emotional stability suffers, your health suffers and your children suffer. “A sleep-deprived family is an unhappy, unhealthy one.” (Bedtiming 4) For more on this see adults and sleep and children and sleep.

We need to balance our needs with the needs of our family. We are no use to anyone when we are too tired to think or control our emotions or function in any ability beyond eat, step, sit. If you don’t nurture yourself, you won’t have any energy left to nurture your family.

A baby’s sleep must work for the entire family. Everyone’s needs should be considered. You are a family, after all.

Maybe this will mean you will continue doing what you are doing. Everything is peachy. Maybe this will mean your sleep training will only involve the encouragement of good sleep habits. Maybe this will mean you will do some kind of further sleep training (my thoughts on some of that). Personal capabilities and limits vary just as situations vary. We need to do what is best for us, our baby and our family.

So drop the guilt and get some sleep!

Dads Are Parents Too – Babywise Friendly Blogs

Dads are parents too

Dads are parents and they should act like it. Be weird. Be different. Be more than just a biological father to your children. Be a Daddy.

The transcript from the last half of this episode can be found posted on each of the blogs listed below on Wednesday 3/14/2012. Check them out and add them all to your RSS reader.

Babywise Friendly Networked Blogs

Giveaway – Hot off the press is the Revised and Updated edition of On Becoming Babywise.

Everyone who subscribes for the newsletter before midnight March 21, 2012 will be eligible the giveaway. The subscription form is provided below or you can use the one in the sidebar.

Thanks to Andy from the betterdadpodcast.com
Thanks to my friend Manny for his encouraging words following the last episode.

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Raising Teen Girls – Interview

This podcast episode contains an interview with a man’s man who is raising a house full of girls. Stacy Ratliff is an independent video consultant, producer, and editor with over 25 years of experience. He has produced a ton of content in the hunting/fishing/shooting categories over the past two decades. Stacy wrote and produced the ESPN Ultimate NASCAR 100 Defining Moments, The Bassmaster Yearbook, Driven to Hunt and much more that has aired on ESPN, the Outdoor Channel, and the Sportsman Channel. He has done camera work on the National Finals Rodeo, music videos, commercials, and industrial films. You can see some of Stacy’s video work on his Vimeo page.

Stacy is they guy who took Dale Earnhardt Jr on his first hunt. Stacy worked with the three time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart on a show title Driven to Hunt. in that episode they were working with some kids through the Make A Wish Foundation. Stacy has also worked with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt as well as Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Kevin Harvik, Martin Truex and many more.

Stacy has been married to Anne for 21 years. They have three teen girls ages 14, 16, and 18. They are key couple leaders in the Growing Families International parenting ministry.

Stacy has recently moved into the role of being an independent video consultant, producer, and editor. I am sure he would greatly appreciate any work you can send in his direction. You can connect with Stacy on LinkedIn.

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Fathering a Broken Heart

Caden in PCICU in 2008I have a very clear memory of the events of July 29, 2004. We arrived at the medical university OB/GYN clinic and were taken into an ultrasound room. The technician was very nice and seemed genuine in her concern for Sherry’s comfort. Things seemed to be going well. The technician gave us an unofficial comment that told us the cyst was not a serious concern. The moments to follow began to change the mood of the room. The technician stated that she needed to verify something and left the room. She returned with another technician to verify what she saw on the ultrasound monitor. A few minutes later one technician left to get a doctor. This doctor brought in another doctor and a genetic counselor. Sherry and I noticed the tears starting to build in the original technician’s eyes. The doctor then broke the news. The technician had detected a fairly significant hole between the ventricles of our baby’s heart. This heart defect is referred to as a VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect).

This was all quite overwhelming to Sherry and me.  At the time we had no idea that the VSD would be the least of our concerns.  She was crying, the technician was crying, and I didn’t know what to do as tears flooded my face. The doctor said he was referring us to the Pediatric Cardiology Department in the main hospital for an echocardiogram to verify the findings.  We waited while calls were made to get us in to Cardiology immediately.

This was the beginning of the end of the name game. Sherry and I decided that there were going to be enough surprises in the remainder of this pregnancy so we asked the technician to tell us the gender of our child. “It’s a boy!” We were excited! Now my list of names to choose from was cut in half. Even better, we could now refer to the baby as “he” instead of “the baby”.

The Pediatric Cardiology Department was able to see us that same day as requested by Sherry’s be OB/GYN. We made our way to Peds Cardiology in the rain. This was my first time stepping foot in the Medical University of South Carolina hospital.  Entering the hospital was intimidating enough without the stress of the underlying purpose of our visit. The place was huge. It was bigger than any civilian hospital I had ever been in. Unlike us, most people were moving about as if they knew exactly where they were going. We finally found our way to the Pediatric Cardiology Department on the sixth floor of the Children’s Hospital in the maze of interconnected buildings.

We were met by a very friendly and compassionate staff. I didn’t know it then, but this was a scene that they had experienced before. We went into a room with a machine very much like the room we had been in at the OB/GYN clinic where the last ultrasound was done just hours before. The technician came in and spent what seemed like an hour taking pictures of our baby’s heart. The process was almost identical to an ultrasound from our perspective with the exception of the monitor showing only our son’s heart. Very few words were spoken. The technician finally got up and told us that the doctor would review the images and then come talk to us shortly. The doctor came in sooner than we expected. He was a very nice man who seemed as compassionate and sincere as everyone else we had talked to that day. He explained to us the details of our son’s heart defects. Yes, there appeared to be several of them. The most serious defect was referred to as an Interrupted Aortic Arch (IAA). The doctor said that the aorta, which carries oxygenated blood away from the heart, did not appear to be connected properly. Part of the aorta was believed to be narrowed or may even be missing. They were unable to tell the exact diagnosis with the angle of the two-dimensional picture from the echocardiogram. The doctor also reported that the PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) was enlarged. The PDA is a natural bypass that allows the blood between the oxygenated and the less-oxygenated sides of the heart to mix while a baby is in the womb. Babies get their oxygenated blood from the mother until after birth, and the PDA helps mom’s blood mix with the baby’s blood.

The doctor proceeded to tell us that if our son’s PDA closed after birth it could be fatal due to the suspected narrowing or restriction of the aorta. He told us that our son would require open-heart surgery shortly after birth. We asked for a better definition of “shortly”. He told us that our son would most likely require surgery within a week after he was born. These drawings were given to us to illustrate what they had found during the fetal echocardiogram. We would later learn how eerily accurate these drawings were even though there representing a child’s heart that was only about 22 weeks in womb.

Normal Heart  Broken Heart - IAA Type B, VSD, ASD

The doctor went on to tell us that these heart defects would require medication called prostaglandins to be administered immediately after birth to help prevent the PDA from closing before the surgery could be performed. He told us that this drug could only be delivered through a central line. A central line is an IV-type line that runs through the baby’s belly- button or a central artery, and is threaded in as near as possible to the heart. This would allow the drug to be delivered to an area of the circulation system that would allow for the fastest distribution of the drug. He told us that these lines are normally inserted immediately after birth before the blood starts to clot in the veins that are fed by the umbilical cord.

The doctor took as much time as we needed to understand what he was explaining to us. He had drawings of a normal heart. He had another drawing of what he derived from the echocardiogram to illustrate what he believed our son’s heart looked like. He did give us a tiny bit of hope by telling us that we needed to follow the progress of these defects with more echocardiograms. There was a chance that things could get worse, but there was a chance that things could get better. By no means did the doctor give us a gleaming ray of hope that the defects would completely disappear.

Sherry and I were pretty overwhelmed at this point. The whole thing had really not sunk in for me just yet. The staff realized that we were near a state of shock. They told us to sit in the examination room as long as we needed before leaving. They offered their contact information for us to use to call with any questions that we had after we got home. They scheduled follow-up appointments for Sherry to have the echocardiograms throughout the remainder of the pregnancy to see if the defect had progressed in either direction. We finished our talk with the doctor and prepared to leave.

A nice lady from their office escorted us to the elevator. What happened next still gives me chills to this day. I started to have trouble breathing. My knees felt as if they were about to come out from under me. I grabbed the wall and asked if there was somewhere I could sit down. The lady walking with us immediately helped me into the nearest room. I sat down and began to sob uncontrollably. Sherry comforted me as she cried. I cried and gasped for air for a while. It seemed that nothing could stop it. The reality of the day’s events had finally caught up with me. I had no idea how to deal with what was happening to my young family. How could this happen? Our first child had nearly perfect health compared to this. Why was this happening to us? What had we done to deserve this? I had more emotions and questions in that moment than I can remember  ever having in my life. I finally was able to gather myself enough to depart the sixth floor of the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital.

Caden is now seven years old and has endured many major surgeries including multiple heart surgeries, back surgeries, stomach surgeries, neck surgery and much more. He is still exclusively tube fed and has been given no hope of ever being able to nourish himself by mouth. He is expected to live a long life with proper medical treatment including regular cardiology check ups.

You can read Caden’s Page for the ongoing story of his life.


Temperaments and Parenting

In this episode I have a very special guest. My wife Sherry and I introduce you to the four temperaments. Sherry and I also co-host the Home School Support Network (HSSN) podcast and blog. We have produced a HSSN episode on temperaments as well.

Why temperaments? 

Our understanding of temperaments has been most helpful in understanding what makes our family members tick. This is helpful in a marriage relationship, with understanding why grandma and grandpa do things a certain way, and most importantly what makes our children “tick”… so to speak. We have taught parents on the subject of temperaments for over five years. We have learned over the years from books, observations of parents we have mentored, and from various speakers throughout the country.

Your temperament is God given and does not change. Each temperament has strengths, weaknesses, and one specific area of weakness that is more dominant than other weaknesses. There are four types with many “blends”- most people have a primary and secondary and keep in mind you may have the strengths of one and the weakness of another.

What are the four temperaments we will cover in this podcast episode? 

Choleric (lion): task oriented-extrovert
Sanguine (otter): 
people oriented-extrovert
Melancholy (beaver): 
task oriented-introvert
Phlegmatic (golden retriever): 
people oriented- introvert

Resources mentioned in this episode:


Spirit-Controlled Temperament by Tim LaHaye

Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself by Florence Littauer

The Treasure Tree: Helping Kids Understand Their Personality by Dr. John Trent and Gary Smalley

Wired That Way: An Easy-to-Use Questionnaire for Helping People Discover Their God-Given Personality Type

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God’s Wisdom Above Man’s Wisdom

Fathers Mandate number 8.  A father must build the trusting relationships on God’s Word, not on human wisdom.

The Fathers Mandate Part 8 of 8
Reference: Chapter 4 of Growing Kids God’s Way by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo

Mr. Ezzo says that if you don’t get this then everything else in the other mandates does not matter.

From Psalm 118:8 (TLB) “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

Who is God and what does He mean to you and your family?

Please remember that much more is caught than taught.

“Adapted from a recent online discussion.
New dad wonders how to juggle parenting with football season
Football season!: How much is my child going to hate me as he grows up with me watching three football games in a row on Sundays, and another on Monday nights? (I do chores during breaks, I swear, but I’ve never had a baby or child to care for during football season before.)” Source Tampabay.com

This issue of building relationships with your children based on God’s word is not about choosing church over sports on Sunday.  It is about having the ways of God “on your hearts. Impressing them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the street, when you lie down and when you get up.” from Deuteronomy 6: 6-9 New International Version (NIV)

Read God’s word in the Bible for yourself. That is how you will be able to determine what God’s wisdom is verses what other people around you say.

Reading Plans

By the numbers

The Bible has 66 Books made up of 1189 Chapters. To read the Bible in a year you will read on average:
99 Chapters in a month
5.5 Books per month
3.26 Chapters per dayYou can read the entire Bible from cover to cover in less than 100 hours.

Here are some audio Bibles: (aff)

The Word of Promise: Complete Audio BibleThe Complete Audio Holy Bible: King James Version

Why read? To get a better understanding of who God is and what He means to you and your family.

Proverbs 14:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

How to become a Christian:

1 John 1:9

New King James Version (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-9

New Living Translation (NLT)
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

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