Raising Kids

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Riasing Kids Like a Man!

Raise Kids Like a Man
11 Smartest Things Ever Said About Fatherhood
More on Men's Lifestyle:

Our fathers, who art uneven
The dad commandments
How I drive a minivan … and live with myself
How to Speak Teen
Don't Raise A Serial Killer
How to Coach Your Kid
A father's surprise advice
Raise a comeback kid
Useful tips for freaked-out fathers
Are you raising another man's child?
Raise your daughter right
Parenting daughters: How to handle "I'm fat"
A complete guide to fatherhood

Also from Women's Lifestyle: Help fathers be dads

Raise Kids Like a Man


A stay-at-home dad rewrites the rules of fatherhood.

On his first day of kindergarten, my son woke at 5 a.m. He got dressed in 10 minutes, skipped breakfast, shouldered his backpack, and was out the door before sun-up. I called him back inside, and for 3 hours tried to contain his excitement. "It's not time yet," I told him at least a dozen times, as he paced and fidgeted.

Shortly after 8 a.m., we walked outside again. Soon a pair of blinking yellow lights crested the hill up the road, and the bus came to a halt a few feet from my son's nose. When the door folded open, an older man in black driving gloves smiled. "Good morning," he said heartily. My son looked at him, looked at me, and turned and ran.

I don't watch Jon Stewart anymore, because I live with the two funniest people I know: my 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. Sadly, my wife misses most of it. She works. I stay home with the kids.

I never thought I'd be a stay-at-home dad. My plan was similar to yours, I'll bet: Have as much fun as possible as I worked my way up the corporate ladder, then commit to a great woman when the time was right. We'd have kids, and she'd stay home to raise them. Not because I believed that's women's work I'm no caveman. I just figured she'd want to. But when my wife got pregnant, I did the manly thing by volunteering to do the womanly thing. It just made sense. She loved her job; I hated mine. And she earned a lot more than I did.

Childbearing may be excruciating, but it's a sprint. Child rearing is more like a marathon -- a slow, dull pain that can sap your energy and accelerate your aging. I knew I'd have to pace myself. So I made it my goal to find ways to suppress the pain. That led to the following rules. Institute them at your house, whether or not you stay home with the kids, and you'll ease your stride for the long haul.

Rule #1: There's No Crying. At All. Period.

Okay, there's some crying. But very little, in spells of 20 seconds or less.

Babies cry because they need something, typically food or warmth. Just give it to them. Toddlers cry because they are confused, sad, bored, or simply fond of hearing themselves cry. Interestingly enough, sometimes they're all these things at once. Shove a lollipop in their mouths. Four- and 5-year-olds cry because they are hurt. A cartoon Band-Aid should fix that, even if there's no blood.

No matter the age, you can stop most crying by redirecting the kid's attention. It's like calling a fake punt on fourth and long in your own end: totally unexpected. A few months ago, my daughter was chasing the cat with the extension tube from the vacuum cleaner. She took a turn too wide and ran face-first into a wall. She started welling and whimpering, so what did I do? I asked her to vacuum the hallway. Worked like a charm.

Rule #2: Tackle the Daily Chores as a Team

Kids love to do laundry. Who knew? Not Dr. Spock.

When my kids were small, the wash was fairly easy work. Baby clothes are all the same. And even if you ruin them, they cost only a few bucks to replace. But as the kids got older, the stacks of clothes became unmanageable. One day, I assume because I wasn't paying enough attention to him, my son asked if he could help. Jackpot!

Now he loads the washer and dryer for me and folds all his own clothes. He takes particular care with his underwear, to ensure that, once folded, Batman is staring right back at him.

Important note: Kids bore pretty easily. Change it up by folding only the blue shirts first, or all the playclothes. Or my favorite: See how many pairs of socks can be stacked on the cat before it moves.

Rule #3: Don't Race to Their Rescu

One day not long ago, right after breakfast, I asked my daughter to go to her room and get dressed. She didn't emerge for an hour. I could hear her struggling with her panties, confounded by the fact that they were inside out.

But I didn't go to her room to see what was up, as most parents would. I spent that hour reading the newspaper, paying bills online, watching Squawk Box, and performing superglue surgery on several broken toys. She finally emerged, naked from the waist down, handed me her panties, and said, "These ain't right."

Rule #4: Shop For the Family, But Not Your Wife

My wife's shopping list reads like a self-help manifesto. Last time she asked me to "just pick up" something, she scribbled "2 pairs L'eggs Sheer Energy, size B, nude, reinforced toe." I suspected, correctly, that these were panty hose, but just try locating this specific pair at Target or Wal-Mart. It can't be done by anyone with a Y chromosome.

The panty-hose rack is an aisle long. There are dozens of colors and three different sizes: A, B, and Q. What logic. And the difference between Sheer Energy and regular energy is a question for a physics professor. My wife wanted nude, presumably so her legs would look bare. But why not suntan? She's always spraying on that fake tanning stuff. Plus, I have suntan right here in my hand. No dice. Back to the store for nude.

Over the years, I've had a version of this experience with tampons, maxi pads, panty liners, mascara, eyeliner, foundation, moisturizer, toenail polish, styling gel, and bras. So I don't shop for her anymore. A man has to draw the line somewhere, although, if I'm being honest, I will make an exception for bras. Besides, shopping for her violates one of my most important rules...

Rule #5: Don't Spend More Than 15 Minutes in Any Store

Like most kids, mine thought of the grocery store as a giant toy store for the palate. We'd spend half an hour looking at every cereal box with a Disney character on the front. I couldn't take it, which is why I invented this rule.

Here's how it works: Before we leave for the supermarket, I make a shopping list. I ask my kids to do the same. They write slowly, so their lists are short. If it's not written down, we're not buying it. That's the deal. The kids usually forget their lists, so this exercise doesn't add a whole lot of time or cost.

At the store, I load both kids into the front of a race-car cart. I do enjoy flying up and down the aisles while my kids yell, "Faster, Daddy, faster!" I doubt many moms have experienced how those carts handle at speed.

My kids love speed shopping. Our record is $71 worth of groceries in 11 minutes. But I know I can beat that -- we had to backtrack for peanut butter.

Rule #6: Be Buddies With Your Kids

A lot of so-called parenting experts with newspaper columns will tell you this is a bad idea. Well, let me tell you: Listening to anyone with a newspaper column about parenting is a bad idea. As long as you know when to be the adult, it's okay to be a kid yourself sometimes.

Truth is, I conceived of this rule out of necessity. When I agreed to become the primary caregiver of my children, I imagined women flocking to me at the playground. "You stay at home? Really? How ... intriguing," a hot blonde mom might say as our kids took turns on the big red slide. I'd fend off the hot mamas' advances and eventually meet their husbands. Then we'd all hang out on weekends. This hasn't happened. The women mostly say hello, then ignore me.

So, essentially, I've given up all the male bonding in my life. But I still go to the barbershop, watch football, and drink beer on weekends. It's just that my kids are my company. My son knows all the NFL teams with animal names. He likes to tease my wife by telling her the Chicago Bluebirds are playing the Miami Wildcats. She doesn't have a clue.

My son and I play basketball regularly, and we have backyard water battles with the neighbor kids. I take my daughter fishing; she loves watching the worms squirm. Sometimes we dig holes in the yard just for the heck of it.

I really don't miss hanging with the guys at the office anymore. How could I? I have an inflatable soccer stadium in my backyard.

Rule #7: Don't Become Mr. Mom

Men can still be men in a woman's profession. I am my kids' father. I am nothing like their mother. When my son was an infant, I learned to change his diaper in less than 10 seconds. My wife, on the other hand, turned every diaper change into an event a chance to bond with him. Let me tell you: This eventually pisses a baby off.

Had my wife decided to stay home, my daughter most certainly wouldn't have learned to appreciate a good deal on a miter saw or know that the best time to get an oil change is midday during the week, after a nap. Or that cars even need oil. My son would have been strapped into his stroller at the park, not sitting on my shoulders atop a mountain we climbed together.

As for me, I wouldn't have gotten preferential treatment at the quick lube, jiffy mart, dry cleaner, outdoor-sporting-goods retailer, or home-improvement store had my kids not been with me, causing a commotion. I would have been stuck in a cubicle, maybe just like you, YouTube-ing Daily Show clips.

Women have a few-thousand-year lead on us in the child-care game. But we men don't have to follow in their footsteps. We can develop our own strategies and apply our unique problem-solving skills to the situations kids throw at us.

Which brings me back to my son's first day of kindergarten. After he took off running, my wife would have chased him down, wiped his tears, and mothered him onto the bus. I did nothing. The moms at the bus stop stared at me, horrified.

But it was the right thing to do. After he ran about 20 feet, my son stopped and looked back. He saw the neighbor kids filing on. He slowly made his way back and, without a word, climbed aboard. I was so proud. I took my daughter's hand, and we went out for breakfast.

In 2 years, when my daughter boards that bus, I will relinquish my stay-at-home-dad badge. I will just be a dad. That will be a sad, sad day.
Source: By Brian Fortner, Men's Health, men.msn.com/articlemh.aspx?cp-documentid=4980596&GT1=10056

11 Smartest Things Ever Said About Fatherhood

1. "It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping." -John Sinor

2. "They don't grade fathers, but if your daughter's a stripper, you f—ked up!" -Chris Rock

3. "Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could... adopted a role called 'Being a Father' so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life." -Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

4. "Whatever you are, be a good one." -Abraham Lincoln

5. "My mother protected me from the world, and my father threatened me with it." -Quentin Crisp

6. "There must be many fathers around the country who have experienced the cruelest, most crushing rejection of all: Their children have ended up supporting the wrong team." -Nick Hornby

7. "My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, 'You're tearing up the grass.' 'We're not raising grass,' Dad would reply. 'We're raising boys.' " -Harmon Killebrew

8. "You don't put kids under surveillance: It might frighten you. Parents should sit tall in the saddle and look upon their troops with a noble and benevolent and extremely nearsighted gaze." -Garrison Keillor

9. "A man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man." -Marlon Brando

10. "When I was a boy of 14 my father was so ignorant that I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in only 7 years." -Mark Twain

11. "Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express." -Joseph Addison

Source: Compiled By Tia Albright, Men's Health

*    *    *



Contact Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Menstuff® Directory
Menstuff® is a registered trademark of Gordon Clay
©1996-2017, Gordon Clay