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The Father Factor


Talking to Your Kids about Disasters

As the recent news of the earthquake continues to come in, the Haiti situation looks grim. When serious events such as this happen, kids (especially younger ones) naturally turn to their parents for explanations and reassurance. Here a few pointers on helping guide your kids through the emotions resulting from serious natural disasters:

  • Ask them if they've heard about these events. If they are in school, they might have also discussed it there. Ask them what they think about the event, and if they have any concerns related to it.
  • Assure them that you care for them and are doing everything you can to keep them safe. Answer any questions they have for you; it is important that children have a sense of hope and perspective on natural disasters.
  • Work with your kids to develop positive and constructive action steps to respond to the disaster. Children like to do things that make a difference in the world. Be creative. Encourage your children to write letters or donate "piggy bank" money to relief efforts. Pray with your children for the people who were affected. Help them focus on helping others in their time of need.
Do you have additional thoughts? How do you help your kids with difficult situations in the news?

Maxim's Advice for Dads

Maxim magazine (yes, that Maxim) published a list of "10 Things Every Father Should Teach His Son." Here is their list:

1. Never Fight Over a Woman
2. Never Let Anyone See You Punch Inanimate Objects
3. Buy the Women in Your Life Flowers
4. Know How to Make Scrambled Eggs
5. Always Buy a Laid-off Friend a Beer
6. Never Get Mad ... Get Even
7. Silence Is Golden
8. Drink Liquor Straight Up
9. Own a Roll of Duct Tape
10. Never Be Afraid to Dance

Now, some of these are pretty good (2, 3, 7), some of them are not so good (6, 8), and some of them are downright silly (1, 4, 5, 9, 10). Given the questionable content on their website, I will not link over to the list, where they provide brief explanations for each item.

All in all, I would classify this list as "how to be a man in the way 21st century manhood has been defined." You can take it for what it is worth from that perspective.

But we at NFI, of course, think there are a few important things that Maxim left off the list when it comes to the real, actual things that sons need to learn from their fathers.

A few suggestions, from the mundane to the profound:
  • Work hard, even when no one is watching.
  • Know how to fix a flat tire.
  • Don't have children until you are married to their mother.
  • Honesty actually is the best policy.
  • Know how to cook.
  • Have a good strong handshake.
  • Always look people in the eye when you talk to them.
  • Serve your community.
  • Be willing and able to do house chores, like vacuuming, ironing, dusting, and washing dishes.
  • Treat all of the women in your life with respect.
  • Don't be afraid to experience and process the full range of emotions.
  • Always keep an updated resume.
Do you have any more suggestions? What lessons will you share with your sons?

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