The Honourable Dad Presiding

Some day I might have a couple of kids, and odds are they’ll be fighting at some point. I’m gonna incentivize them to solve their quarrels on their own. If one of them comes to me, and says, “Dad my stupid brother/sister did this,” they will have the option of taking them to Dad Court. Dad court is not free. In Dad Court the plaintiff must pay the $0.50 court fee (fee goes up as they get older), and the loser of the case must give up their favourite toy for 3-14 days. 

Kid: “Dad! Jimbo did this!”
Me: “You taking him to judge dad? You got $0.50?” 
Kid: “No, I don’t.” 
Me: “Better solve it on your own without fighting then.”

Dad court.


Working with Kids

Today one of the kids from class came running up to me, “Hi, hi, hi, hi! How are you?” When I was opening my mouth to answer, the kid popped a lychee out of her mouth, all half chewed up, and crammed it into my open mouth, “This is for you!” Then she gave a great big grin, and her grandmother shoved a bunch of peaches into my hands, and off they went.

Thanks… I guess?

Everyday Wonder

You have reached the point of old when the wonder is gone from the ordinary. When you can walk down the street and no longer see the street curb as a tight rope needing to be walked, then you are old. When you no longer see raised stones as a broken bridge for crossing a ravine, then you have lost something precious, and when it no longer matters whether you step on the cracks in the sidewalk, you should mourn for something lost. You have reached the point of old when you see a plain path, and an path filled with tight ropes, jumping stones, lava pits, mountains to climb, jungles to brave, and other adventures, but all you want to do is take the ordinary path. I certainly hope I never get old.

Keep wonder alive, and never DREAM small

Nurturing Nature of Guys

Every once in a while I take something to personally on Facebook. I know I shouldn’t put so much stock in what is said, but sometimes I do. I wasn’t angry, mad, or any other version of being upset, I was hurt.

I put up a simple status on Facebook:

       Children often discover “no” at an early age and it becomes their go to answer. Then this go to answer becomes a battle of wills between the adult and child. One of the reasons for the “no” stage is, it is the word they hear most often in their life, it is familiar behaviour modelled to them.
       One way to lessen the no stage is to present correction in a positive way, “This is for adults, but over here are lots of toys for you,” “If you do this, you will get hurt, but there are lots of fun things we can do over here.” If the situation calls for a startling “No” such as about to touch the oven, follow it with a positive statement as well. It takes more time, but it will save time and frustration later. 
Boiled down my status says: “Monkey See, Monkey Do.”
The first response I received on this thought, “I love how single guys without kids feel they have something to contribute to the parenting discussion.” At first I wanted to be angry when I read this, then I realized I was just hurt.  If he was interested in debating me on my thought, I would have welcomed it. I was not opposed to a differing point of view had it been presented, I was opposed to my being belittled simply because of my marital status and gender.
I wanted to respond directly, but I didn’t want to fly off the handle. So, I deleted the status, and along with it the comment. Several hours later, after I sorted out what actually offended me from his comment I responded to him for his all to commonly held viewpoint, “Boy’s don’t know anything about childcare.”
       I’ll be honest, I didn’t find your comments funny. This is not being typed in any other manner than straightforward and factual. It is not in a tone, or with any sort of an attitude. I have worked very hard to become a respected member of the childcare industry. I worked for the most respected Nanny Agency on the Westcoast in Calgary as their only male nanny. I worked in a system where my abilities were more scrutinized than my female counterparts because I wasn’t in a male industry. My abilities were accounted for to be sure I not only babysat the kids, but was able to provide a loving, caring, educational environment for the children to not survive, but thrive. I was questioned on my discipline, activities planning, teaching, caring, abilities based on providing top notch care for parents to feel comfortable leaving their children with me sometimes for days at times because of business travel. You are correct, I might not have children of my own, but I do have the trust of a well respected nanny agency, and all of the families who have trusted me with their sons and daughters to be a part of caring for them.
      I have 16 years experience of 10(+) hours a week with different children’s programs from toddler to elementary school aged children. I do not allow children to be a slave to screens, sugar, or anything else which does not promote healthy living and decisions when I am caring for them. I have a degree which is filled with both children’s education, as well as children’s ministry courses from a well respected university. I am not saying (writing) a single word of this to say how wonderful and marvellous I am. Quite the contrary, I am always learning and expanding my knowledge base, and experience. I devour parenting information, as well as childcare information. I weigh it against my own experience, and create my worldview on childcare through this process.
       While I don’t have children of my own, I do feel these experiences qualify me to add to the discussion of child care. I was not making a dogmatic statement of, “You must do this,” I was making an argument for, “A causes B, if the child copies the behaviour modelled for them.” 
There aren’t many positions where men hit a glass ceiling, but childcare is definitely one of them. It is hard, I have devoted so much time, effort, energy, and learning into the world of childcare, and many people tend to discount me because I am male. I am sure I will write more about this topic in the future, but for now I am just looking to vent at the moment. Every person is not suited to childcare, and gender is not a guarantee of a nurturing nature, but there are many women and men in the field of childcare who know what they are doing, and absolutely love caring for children. I just wish men could be more respected/accepted in childcare.

Princess Puzzle

First Day of School

The first day of school for any kid is a big day. It is one of the major life changes you find yourself going through. I have recently found the old family VHS tapes and transferred them to digital. I cannot remember my first day of school, so it is interesting to see how excited I am to be going to school. In this video I try to drive the car, but this wasn’t my first time trying to drive. When I was 3 or 4 my grandmother left me in the car for 2 minutes while she ran into our family’s gas station. This was enough time for me to get to the gear shift and put the car in drive. The car then drove itself into the Ice Cooler outside the store. The dent was in the ice cooler until they got rid of it in 2005 or so.

Shawn First Day of School