Archive for October, 2010

A DadPad Rerun: Nice Hat!

October 21, 2010

originally written by Roger Thompson

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Some of the best memories I have of my Dad are the times when we started something with excitement, got half-way in, and then didn’t know whether we could salvage it from disaster. There was that woefully under-powered go-cart we built, named the “Chug,” assembled from a scavenged motor, a plank stolen from the basement shelves, and wheels bought at the hardware store. We were stumped when it came to rigging up the steering mechanism, and the assembly stopped. I was eleven, and an eager helper, but the engineering was way over my head. One night we were seated at dinner when my Dad jumped to his feet, shouted: “I know how we can do it!” and bolted down the basement stairs. I was on his heals, still swallowing my chicken casserole. There, with shafts, axles, and chunks of steel the basic geometry of our steering dilemma was solved. The next day we went to the welder for a few precision bends of the steel spindles, and progress resumed.

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A DadPad Rerun: Father, Forgive them

October 15, 2010

by Leary Gates

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I had lunch this week with Dave, a friend of mine and father of three adult children.  The topic of this blog came up so I asked, “What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned as a dad?”  Dave’s answer was profoundly succinct, “Expect less, love more.

As I reflected upon his advice, I remembered Jesus’ prayer on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  (Luke 23:34)  Now that’s expecting less and loving more!

Then it hit me.  When it came to my kids—and many of my other relationships—I bought into another similar sounding message: “expect more, pay less.”  It’s the slogan of Target Corporation and it’s been heavily advertised into my heart.

It’s too easy to expect more of my children, particularly as they grow into young adults.  And I want to pay less too.  I’d like the sacrifices I’ve made as a dad to be paid back or, at least, to cost me less.  The “expect more, pay less” combination applied to relationships, however is lethal. Expectation of others without personal cost is demandingness.  Ironically, it’s a childish attitude.

Show you my tongueWhen my teenagers take off with their friends, leaving chores undone, do I really expect that they would put their parent’s desires above their own?  I say to myself, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  When they come home later than we wanted to stay up waiting for them, can I admit I did the same at their age? Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. When their forgetfulness means more work for me, can I realistically expect a heartfelt appreciation for the schedule overhaul I just engineered? Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

And when my Father looks down on my ungrateful, demanding spirit, wanting my way, my agenda, my comfort, in my time, can I hear Him say, “I forgive you, for you know not what you do?”

SOUND OFF:  What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned as a dad?

$%#* My Dad Says: Funny Yes But Innocent Fun?

October 12, 2010

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I love social media.  I love the potential it has to connect, inform, extend and expand relationships and influence in business, personal and ministry realms.  In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time reading, watching and learning about it while I help others try to use it for more than sharing their meal habits or doings during the day.  So, it’s not surprising to me that it’s been not only in the news but it’s currently in the forefront of our entertainment.  Social Networking, the movie about Mark Zuckerberg’s journey with Facebook is the #1 movie in the country as I write.  And, a TELEVISION SHOW has been created out of a Twitter stream!  Who would have thought that a seemingly innocent effort by a young man to share the phrases his dad says would bring about a Twitter following of more than 1.7 MILLION and be the basis for a new fall TV show on CBS called, #$&@ My Dad Says.

Now, before you go to read Justin’s twitter feed, I warn you that the words and phrases on the Twitter stream are not decoded and are very explicit—definitely “R” rated.  I’ve read the stream and do find it very funny much of the time.  But, I think that’s because he’s not MY dad.  How would I really feel if he was saying that to me?  It’s one thing when it’s someone else’s dad.  But it’s ALWAYS SOMEONE’S dad!

Here’s my thought:  As funny as Justin’s dads comments might be, what would happen to our kids if we were to say these things to our children on a regular basis–i.e., what REAL impact might they have?  Most of our conversations to our children that cut them down, minimize their decisions, ridicule their comments or simply question their intelligence will not be fodder for a nationally shown television show.  And, I argue, even if they were, is that the model we want to shoot for?  Funny?  Maybe?   Words can tear apart the soul of a child.   Is it worth the momentary laugh if you deflate your child for a lifetime?  Can you justify the damage your words could do to your child by telling them that they are nothing more than an idiot for thinking or saying something I didn’t agree with, all for the sake of pumping yourself up or for a quick “LOL”?  I guess it begs the question, “how do you talk to your children?”  Do you lift them up with your tongue or use it as a whip and a platform for your comedy?  It’s an important question.  The answer might leave long and painful scars or provide a safe harbor for your children to mature within.

When it comes to evaluating the cost of success for the family emulated in this television show, I believe the cost far outweighs the millions they all get from TV, books, and other money making ventures associated with this theme.  I guess being a father of courage, giving up your own interests for the interests of your family, sacrificing time and energy to show them how important they are doesn’t make for good TV material.  So, ripping your kid because he said something stupid doesn’t have any ill effect.  I’ll just tear them apart because it’s funny and will make us a fortune when they cast our family’s dysfunction into a prime time show.  It’s a lie.  A fathers words carry a huge impact on our children—both for good and for evil.

I’m often saddened by the way that fathers are portrayed on television.  Name ONE from today’s shows that you’d like to be YOUR dad?  Dads—we don’t get our example of how to father our kids from television, that’s for sure.  But, where can we get a model of how to do this thing called “fathering”?  B  I  B  L  E.  It’s the only book I’ve ever found that gives me wise counsel every time I open it up.

Additionally, I tap into the network of dads in my life who really WANT to be Godly and influential dads.  None of us do it right all the time.  That’s OK.  As long as we’re doing it better today than we did yesterday we are becoming the dads God created us to be.  Hang in their dad!  Don’t emulate TV dads.  Follow our Heavenly dad and find a few down here who will come alongside you and be an encourager and, when needed, provide a little butt kicking too (without the coarse language :).

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No, We Haven’t Stopped Writing for the DadPad

October 6, 2010

I was recently asked if we stopped writing for the DadPad.  We apologize for the “hoards” ***snicker*** of you that follow our little blog.  I (Jeff) take full responsibility.  It is the death knell of any blog to leave it dormant for nearly two months.  Shame on us.  Our apologies.

OK…now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…we truly do apologize for the latent posting activity.  Latent because I’ve started at least a half a dozen posts that are still in draft mode.  I’ve got a lot of thoughts and things I’d like to share to get your response but just haven’t finished them enough to hit the “publish” button.  But, thanks to the gentlemen that prompted my inner writer, I am committed (at least temporarily 😉 to resume posts about fathering on The DadPad.

We do want to let you know that we are in the very early stages of revamping our blog, considering how we can get some additional voices as authors, engage a larger number of dads to contribute content and make this a place where dads of all shapes, sizes and ages can come in, learn a little…share a little and feel a little more of the fatherhood fraternity.

So, look for more regular posts as we intentionally share more of our experiences as dads with the hope of being a source of encouragement to everyone who holds the esteemed title of “father”.

In the meantime, if there are some issues you’d like to see us address, subjects you have immediate concerns about or just want to share some of your fathering insights, please feel free to share them as comments to this post or email us at adadpad@gmail.com.

Until our next post (and we promise it will be sooner than 44 days from now)…

Go get ’em, Dad.