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Hey Dad,What is the difference between right and wrong?

It was one of those questions that people either do not  have an answer for, or refuse to share their answers because of their fear of what may happen. And so the person or child is  brushed off and sent somewhere else to seek answers. Either way, options are few.

 

We can (again) brush them off, which  effectively sentences them to a life of giving  the right questions to the right answers from the wrong  places.  We can make a nice, polite joke about how the person asking  those questions  is really growing in to manhood or womanhood. Or , we can create another generation of people who have  to experiment in order to get a respectable  answer to  a challenging  question.

I did  not take either route. I promised  my kids that they could ask me any question, and that I would answer them. There were no age limits  or gamesmanship. My response  to his question: Why do you ask?

he said to me……dad another murder turned acquittal has taken place, and people were in the streets sharing their  concerns.  He went on to say: They keep  on saying that these men were found innocent  of murder. But dad, the people in question were guilty of  murder because  they shot someone. How can a picture  with their  face  and  their gun “not ” be a smoking gun?? How can that be right?

I sighed,  and my head fell faster than a roller coaster. We are working hard to find cures for cancer and other illnesses  that were once thought to be incurable. But still we  cannot  find a way to bring the races together without it being for a fight or a debate.

 

I don’t have an answer ,  son .I don’t have an answer.

DAD. HOW DO YOU TELL A BUSINESS THAT YOU ARE NO LONGER DOING BUSINESS WITH THEM?

It all depends on what your true motivation and ultimate  goal is. If your desire is to get their attention, then you email a manager or someone else in the  leadership team  and express your concerns.  In this age of social media,  no company would take a chance on having something go viral, especially something that amounts to a $20 mistake.

Another option is to create some form  of system to share the best and worse customer  service stories. You could have your friends email you the stories, and use your  blog to share great stories, and sad ones.If you do this weekly or  daily or as often as necessary.  companies  will reach out to you.

For example, I would nominate Chase Bank for the business that  I will no longer do business with  award !! Why, you might ask? Because I have been a banker  with Chase  for  almost 30 years. My money has been a fixture in their bank  for what seems like an eternity. And then, I did the unthinkable! I  did  something that I will pay for …… forever!!

 

I applied for a job!! OMG yes…  I asked Chase  to hire me. Now, I know what you are thinking…..well, I don’t ! But here is what I was thinking. I bank with Chase. I get a job, working for Chase. I get a check from Chase. I cash it, at Chase,  and  put the money where? At Chase bank!! Keeping it in the family. We all win!! But Chase said no!  All  I can think of is…..I’m good enough to bank there, but not good enough to be an employee.

 

I am reviewing  my options……….

 

Am I wrong?

 

Hey Daddy ….can I have playground for Christmas?

It was a quiet Sunday. A day that would be perfect for a question. Hey dad, he asked: can i have a playground for  Christmas?

 

hmm. that’s a tough one One that would require a creative answer. I started by asking him to  face a couple of facts. First, there is an old adage that says that the road to hell is paved with good intentionsl is true?  he wasn’t sure.  I told him that it was not true,  and that the road to hell is not paved with good intentions.  I’m not sure who came up with that  old adage, but it is not true.  I’d rather say that the road to heaven is paved with confession and belief  Wait, that’s not my point.

 

You watch the local news and at least once per month  they are doing a feel good story . It   is a story  that  touches the  hearts and minds of all those who hear about it. It compels those that tune in to do something. Something different.  something amazing!  That is not what I’m trying to say.

 

Often times, the philanthropic moment takes place in  a church recreation center or on the basketball courts. The children are elated! the parents are moved to tears! Everyone is on cloud 9. And here lies the problem!

 

Why oh why does the magic moment have  to  take place on a playground ? And  why does the star of the show have to a basketball? Are the children promised a basketball scholarship once they graduate?  Is  the National Basketball Association  promising these kids a job after they graduate?  Does the playground provide invaluable skills that the kids will use for a lifetime?

 

Playgrounds  do not train student  athletes?  Do they give they offer skill trades training for kids that are not NBA bound? What happens when the kid graduates and the household income has only increased by a penny? The temporary elixir that is the  basketball court has done nothing but lead the kid down to a dead end. now what ?

I’m not saying that community investment is a bad thing. it is a good  thing! But there has to be something behind it. We are paving  the road to depression and despair.  We are setting them up for an even greater failure than the one that they will receive if we do nothing at all.

 

AYD

Hey Dad: is making comparisons between the KKK and FRATERNATIES Unfair?

A 7 letter word for  activity and punishment meted out by a  group of women and women who only want  to  fit ?  You have men and women who are essentially exchanging a chance to pledge for their lives. They are fed alcohol until they pass out. They are given water  until the water becomes poisonous. They are beaten and verbally abused and sometimes left for dead.  And all that is still not enough to get them “in.”  What’s worse, as if  something  could be worse, is that those who are abused today will be the ones doing the abusing tomorrow.

They treat you like crap. They do things to you that  can best be described as inhumane. The end result….death;  sometimes. Other times, you survive but  are never the same. Of course, I am talking about the hazing.  It seems like fun to some,  kinda like a group bully  program. Not only that, but where else can you go where the prey chases after the hunter. Kids want so badly to pledge that they allow themselves to be mentally and physically whooped.

 

It still happens. People are still so enamored about the prospect of pledging,  that they trade it for their dignity,  their reputation, even their  lives.

But, why is it that institutes of higher learning cannot make this go away?  Why must a parent with a college aged student have to get a phone call stating that their kid wanted  so badly  to  pledge that they let down their guard and lost their lives?

 

Why are there no marches or rallies  for them?

 

something has to change……

ASK MY DAD… HOW DO I AVOID OR RESIST TEMPTATION

There I was….strolling through the kitchen, on the prowl like a jungle cat. It’s 3 AM,  and I am again looking around for something to answer the  question:  What shall I eat? If only it were that easy?

This is more than just a story about the joy of  Oreo cookies.  It is not about being a predator  or satisfying  hunger.  Actually, it’s all about something a lot bigger.

 

Any writer, good or bad, has moments where  the hand and the heart are willing and able, but nothing comes out of the  pen. Try though you might, you are left with a piece of paper, a blank  piece of paper. Writers Cramp.

The  pressure mounts. Self imposed deadlines only add to the stress and the anxiety associated with the blank piece of paper that rests  before you. Sports! Football season is beginning and baseball is heating up and basketball  has had a very active offseason and all of a sudden  you have tons of material with which to massage and relieve  the writers cramp.

And then you look at the newspaper and the front page  of every paper has some witty  anecdote about the President o f the United States and all of a sudden you have gone from being a writer without a cause to being a writer whose cup runneth over.

You are now tempted to write something quick, easy and topical. You can now load  up and write blogs that will last you a month if  not longer.

But you must not give in to your temptation. You must hold on to what  you think is right. Once you have cured the Block, you are  more  likely to know  how to a handle it if it comes back again. Temptation  must be met with mental strength and resistance.  Y( must be prepared to  deny your body and cravings, telling  yourself that  you  cannot win if you keep giving in. If you stick with  it, you will find that  temptation becomes  easier and easier to manage.  Give it a shot! o f a sudden.  I’m going back to bed….sans cookies

LATER

 

 

ASK YOUR DAD ABOUT BIRTHDAY GIFTS FOR CHILDREN

Someone asked me  about the gift giving business for children. What about it? Well, it hasn’t changed for decades. We essentially went from Barbie and Ken dolls to gadgets, and nothing in between.

We went from baseball gloves to soccer balls to cell phones. Is there or has there been a revolutionary concept or gift idea that changed the world, the neighborhood, the block? the living room?

 

Hmm. Take it a step further: look at the anniversary gifts between husband and wife. Paper and diamonds and this and that… there is a methodology behind anniversary that keeps it vibrant; keeps it going.

Probably cannot experiment on the wife, but it is something to think about. What type of plan can be put together for young people??

how about

age 5 first phone

age 8  memory  upgrade on their electronic device.

age 11   Your choice

age 13 Wardrobe upgrade

age 15 license

I’m not thinking  that this is a finished product,  but it will definitely start some conversation between kids and parents. Imagine calling your kids too the table to sit down and discuss what gifts they want! I think my little people are going to be thrilled  to   know that I have that much  faith in them, and am willing to allow them to have some input in their gifts.

 

so, as the sun sets on another summer vacation,  wouldn’t it be cool to be able to work with an Amazon or similar Big Box on a plan to spend more money with them?? Think they’ll complain??

later

HEY DAD: HOW DO I TELL MY KIDS I’M PROUD OF THEM, WITHOUT IT BEING OVERKILL

We live in a time where compliments are passed out too often, but not enough. Go to a kids sporting event. and listen. One team can be up by 1,000 points, and the coaches and parents and friends are clapping and celebrating like it is a close game. There is a difference between encouraging and celebrating. Encourage is what you do when your team is losing by 100 and makes a good play. In short, you want to incent the right behaviors and coach the wrong ones.

 

Parents and educators are trying harder than ever to lift the spirits and skill sets of their players.  Making them better doesn’t mean that every action is met with applause.  IF your aim is to make them better,  then it has to start with honesty. My son and I talked after every one of his volleyball matches. Win or lose, I started out by saying “good game.” I was proud of the effort. We went on to discuss high’s and low’s.  I let him tell me what he and the team could have done better.

I love to celebrate the effort. I want them to have given it their all, and  be proud of themselves for trying. I know this sounds a little petty, but’ I’ve  watched teams get a 50  point  lead, and their coach continues to yell at players and try  to  score more points.

 

I’m not a coach , but I want what is best for my children.. I want every bit of feedback that they receive to be  valuable.  Not within my control! But  your feedback will probably stick with them  longer than the feedback of any other person.

HEY DAD. WHAT DOES THE “A” IN STEVEN A SMITH STAND FOR

Hey Dad….a buddy of mine laughed….I knew thee was something a little crazy coming,  so I  prepped myself  for the coming question.

 

Then He Hit me with the question  of the month. What does the “A” in Steven A Smith’s name stand for?? We started laughing all over again. Then,   the answers started flying , in:

argumentative

astute

Astute

angelic

adaptable

apologetic

angry

articulate

 

I complimented them  for their cowardice, and challenged them  to sharpen their pencils and do it again tomorrow

HEY DAD, WHY DON’T DADS GET CREDIT FOR BEING GOOD PARENTS

Dad, I’ve got one for you!. Thinking about the days  of Mr. Mom. At A time when television was just beginning to acknowledge and support the concept of single parenting .More and more dads were shinning the light on dads stepping up. They were putting careers on hold and focusing  on their kids. it’s now 2017, and we have not come full circle , we’ve gone backwards. Male led households are dysfunctional and comedic. The dads are poor examples, and are okay with that.

 

Dad: why don’t men  get credit for being good parents?

 

Where to begin? First,  we should not generalize! Some dads have traded  a promising career for a chance to be a part of the entire maturation process experienced by their  children. You still  only  get one shot to be an eyewitness to the growth  of your children.

 

But there still exists a bias towards females as it relates to child rearing. Step into any courtroom where there is a custody battle, and you will find a judge   with a sympathetic ear towards mothers.

Why don’t dads get  credit? Some do. But the best way to fix that is to fix the current parent model and address the dad stereotype.  Have dads show up for musicals  and recitals, and not just their kids’ g0ames. Dads will forever be viewed  as the fun parent, until they change the public view..

you agree?

 

DAD; HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH BOREDOM?

Dad; August is here, and pretty soon the streets will be filled  with yellow school busses and plaid uniforms. People  will be  getting up  earlier and coming home later and later. As a  result, houses will become quieter.  Parents will be left to have riveting conversation  with the television and their dogs. I’m  looking forward to it. I am! Well maybe I am a  little. Maybe I’m not.

 

When they are gone, it’s just me. The cooking and cleaning does not bother me. A clean space is a beautiful thing. But the problem is that the silence can become boredom, and boredom becomes depression.  How can I address being bored? Is there any solution  in  sight?

That is a great question. So many make  their  families their lives,  and forget how they used to enjoy themselves. The great mistake made by millions of families is  that they make their  children (or spouses) responsible for their fun. And if that  person is not up being the minister of fun , then the household takes a hit.

If you want  to keep your house in order and have fun at  the same time,, all you need is a plan.  Start by documenting your current schedule. You want to make  sure that  the  schedule is  in 1/2 hour increments. you don’t want to document  the 2 minutes that it takes you to fill the candy dish.  Once you have your schedule documented, the next step is to find time to schedule  some cheap fun. You may have an open spot between noon a and 2:30. Invite a friend out for coffee  or go  and play  a couple of  video  games at the  video  arcade around the corner. Or go and catch a movie! All of these things would  address your  need for a  break without  ruining your schedule. Coffee  with a friend  may cost about $5 bucks.  A trip to the video arcade  may cost $10, and a movie  with popcorn may cost about $10 as well. The point isn’t to find Black Tie events (not  yet anyway …) but this  would be a great start.

Let Me Know How It Goes