Podcast Review of Monumental and the Easter Bunny

Daddy Life Podcast Episode 26I am here to help you Dads to be the parents that God intended for your to be.

Yes folks, Things are changing. Regular listeners may have heard from intro that I am changing things up a little. I am refining the focus of the Daddy Life podcast. Feedback continues to prove that dads are hungry for more encouragement on the parenting front. I almost exclusively get feedback from the non-technical content so that is where I am going to focus attention. There are plenty of dads out there covering the things that entertain. I am here to equip and challenge you to rise above the level of mediocrity in your marriage and in your parenting.

I will add tech tips in as subjects questions are raised. As in recent episode, I will only include a tech time in occasionally moving forward.

So what am I talking about this week:

This week I am going to provide you with an audio version of my review of Kirk Cameron’s new documentary titled Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure. Only you will get more in the audio because I can bring Kirk into from the trailers and let him tell you about the movie in his own words.

Before we get into that I want to talk about Easter. If you are new to the show you will know that I am very big on relationships. In particular I am big on telling the truth to your kids concerning things like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. And you guessed it, I am in favor of keeping it real and true concerning the Easter Bunny. We do Easter baskets and egg hunts, but we tell our kids the truth about where the candy eggs and chocolate bunny’s come from. There is no magical bunny. Really! Seriously!

Also mentioned in this episode are some points from David Platt’s book titled Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.

Monumental is Highly recommended! DEMAND THE MOVIE

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Episode 20 – Holiday Traditions

Gingerbread Train 2011

Gingerbread Train

I talked about Family Identity in Episode 12. It is important for dads to cultivate a sense of family identity. Getting your family together for a project like an annual gingerbread train or house is a great way to build family identity. Enter your creation into a competition. Have some fun with the project by creating some custom cars. Read more about the annual Osborne Family Gingerbread Train on Grill’n Time.

The Father’s Mandate – Where to learn more?

Best – Take a Growing Kids God’s Way class in a small group setting
Better – Go through the videos as a couple at home (GFI.org sale)
Good – Read On Becoming Childwise: Parenting Your Child from 3-7 Years

Find a Growing Kids God’s Way Class in your local area by visiting the GrowingKids.org web site. Use the “General Ministry or Curriculum” contact email address to ask about classes in your area.

Listen to the eight part series on The Father’s Mandate

1.  A father must cultivate a sense of family identity.
2.  A father must regularly demonstrate love to his wife.
3.  A father must understand and respect his child’s private world.
4.  A father must give his children the freedom to fail.
5.  A father must be the encourager of the family.
6.  A father must guard his tongue and his tone and learn to measure his response against the excitement on their faces.
7.  A father must routinely embrace his children.
8.  A father must build the trusting relationship on God’s Word, not on human wisdom.

Update on Caden – He broke his arm and the next week was hospitalized with pneumonia.

Tech Time:

Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson – Security Now Podcast

Which apps are safer? Apps from the Android market or the Apple App store?

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Why do we do Santa?

Tonight we visited a local Christian radio station (WKCL) with the Caden’s Tiger Den from the Cub Scout pack. It was a Go-See-It event that helps the Tigers earn the next rank in scouts. While there we learned all about mass communications. But it was a minor conversation that created the most excitement for our family. One of the scout leaders asked if the kids were ready for Santa. And then it happened. Our little four-year-old Josiah stepped up to educate the leader on the truth about Santa in the midst of a room full of 1st graders and their siblings. Sherry was able to stop him before he spilled the beans and sent a room full of kids out of the building crying. I was left once again asking myself why we parents feel so compelled to do Santa?

Maybe because we are immersed in Santa Claus. We are surrounded by Santa no matter where we go these days. Santa is in parades, sitting in the malls, standing on the street corner, popping in at various Christmas parties, inflated standing fifteen feet tall on the neighbor’s lawn, and zooming across the weatherman’s radar screen delivering gifts on Christmas Eve.

Parents go to great lengths to explain this mysterious man to their children. Children are told to be good so that Santa will bring them lots of stuff in return for their good behavior. They are told how Santa will come down the chimney and leave presents under the Christmas tree after the children are asleep on Christmas Eve. Then the children start to grow and learn how difficult it would be for one fat man in a red suite to visit billions of homes in one night. The parents then more often than not become more creative in their explanation of how Santa gets things done. Some children like those who live in mobile homes start to wonder how Santa will get into their house since their home has no chimney. This was a big issue in my home as a child. The parents then may hang an old skeleton key outside and tell the children that this is for Santa.

All of these things are done in fun and with the best of intentions. Parents and children alike enjoy these times. Then one day a child comes home with that question, “Is Santa Claus real? Susie told me that Santa’s not real.” Some parents come clean at that point while others find a way to extend the fun for just one or two more years by further exaggerating the story.

What’s wrong with having a little fun with your children at Christmas time by pretending there is a Santa? It’s just innocent fun, right? My wife and I felt that it was okay for the first two years that we celebrated Christmas as parents. Then my wife came home one night about a month before Christmas from her book club meeting and said, “I am not sure how you feel about this, but I would like for us to reconsider how we celebrate Christmas.” Man what a relief it was for me. I was playing the Santa game to keep my wife happy. So the conversation was not as long and complicated as Sherry thought it might become.

That year we asked our family members not to make such a big deal over Santa. And we have not turned back. We are still often faced with the situations like the one we faced tonight, but we have not regretted the decision one bit.

There’s no way to avoid these types of situations like tonight, but what you have planted in your child’s heart will eventually shine through. My oldest son at a tender age of three was responding frequently with, “we celebrate Jesus’ birthday for Christmas at our house.” You would be absolutely amazed at the smiles that response brings to so many adults. You see, we are not teaching our children that Santa is bad or wrong, but rather we are teaching our children that Christmas is a day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Okay I know Jesus may have not been born in December, but Christmas in the Spring would jam it up against Easter. We give gifts to others to show our love for them. I personally try to make sure that the spirit of giving is similar to the spirit of giving God showed when sending Jesus. That gift of Jesus was not based on how good or bad we were, but was giving as an unconditional love gift from our heavenly father.

Oddly enough I have found some of the most frank responses to how so many people(Christians included) do Santa on the Atheism section of About.com. The article is titled Santa Claus: Should Parents Perpetuate the Santa Claus Myth? and it is packed full of great explanations on why, in my opinion, the “little white lie” is not a healthy practice. By the way, it should be obvious from my previous paragraph that I do not endorse the anti-Christian atheist aspects of the About.com page linked above.

Update: A very wise mommy (Erika Shupe) has shared her advice on What to do with Santa over at Large Families on Purpose.

Do you do Santa? What are the reasons behind your decision?

Reason for the Season

Sherry and I recorded a new episode of the HSSN Podcast this week. Sherry shared some great resources to help teach your kids the true meaning of Christmas. These resources are valuable regardless of whether you are a parent of a kid in public, private or home school. Check out the post and podcast over at the Home School Support Network.