Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Guest post with help from a wonderful dad named LJ

I am addicted to writing and using Linked In is where I spend a lot of time communicating with some great dads and learning that there are even more of you wonderful men out there.  This blog comes from a Linked In post and I loved the comment from a new friend named LJ and I had to share this with all of you. The post started off with these ugly statistics that were actually old numbers.  I needed to put my voice to this post and because of that LJ added his voice and again I just wanted to share it with all of you. 

Calling all dads!! I keep hearing startling statistics that the fathers out there are dropping the ball. (Including myself cause I know I'm surely not perfect)
I would like some feedback on a couple points
1) The average father spends 17 seconds a day looking his child in the eyes.
2) The average father doesn't know the color of his child's eyes
3) In a home with a single mother, children are less likely to grow up involved in drugs, alcohol, or end up in prison, than a home with a disengaged father. But a home where the father has a strong interaction with the children, the chances of them turning to drugs, alcohol, or ending up in prison are only about 3%
To me this sounds like it's the fathers that are dropping the ball. Maybe this is the difference between a male and a man. Let me know what you think.
ME(Tommy) *Here is the thing that keeps driving me nuts about stats. When we bring up these it makes us men/dads look even worse that the media already shows us. Please show me stats that are positive and then you will see that there are wonderful men/dads. Stop the negative angles that are only going to continue to showcase that we suck as dads. There are SO many wonderful men/dads out there and they do not need to always need PR to show it but maybe we should start.

LJ*” I agree with Tommy's comment about the media attraction to stories that aren't the norm and tend to be more appalling or attention getting. With regards to the gentlemen that are facing court proceedings, keep in mind that the courts still tend to favor the mother, not the father. While its not something that receives media attention and would be denied in public, it's something that's been common knowledge for decades. In many instances it's up to the Dads to defend themselves and prove their worthiness to raise and care for their own children.

I experienced the flipside of this situation as a young child when my mother and father went at it in a very nasty court battle. As a result I grew up in a single parent household and never managed to meet up with nor find my father in later years. I swore that if I ever had children of my own, they would never have to endure either of those situations themselves.
I've been blessed with four daughters. Two during my first marriage and once again two more with my second. The older two are now off and running with their own lives having graduated from college and working in their own respective endeavors. I made lots of mistakes raising the older two. At times I even questioned why anyone would have thought I would make a good father. But somehow the older two both survived and turned out to be wonderful young women with lots of smarts going for them. I still wonder where the smarts came from. :-)

I'm working hard at helping to raise my two younger daughters’, they turn 2yrs old at the end of January, even better than I did the older two. It’s not any easier the second time around, especially with twins. I'm hoping to avoid the mistakes and wrong turns that occurred the first time around. Only time will tell. At the very least I plan on spending more time with my younger two and being even more involved than I was with the older two.
BTW...I've never been one to care much for statistics, at least not the kind that involve personal opinion gathering. They are way too fickle, subject to change at a moment’s notice, and involve too much emotion.”
I am hoping that you enjoyed this because it shows that there are truly dads who are out there like you who sometimes need to be reminded that you are great men just trying to do what is best to raise your kids.  All of you I know are doing the best job as dads that you can and even if you are not in the same household just knowing that you  care about your kids and taking the opportunity to be in their lives is very powerful.  Keep doing what you are doing and someday it will come back to you in droves.

Comments, concerns or verbal abuse send them to me please and thank you.

(Tommy Maloney is the author of the book “25 Tips for Divorced Dads: How to create special memories and grow your bonds with your children” He can be contacted 303.263.3118 or thomasmaloneyjr@yahoo.com to speak at your group.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Maybe or We will see dad

My son Connor and I were at our local hockey rink when he asked to go into the hockey shop to just “look” so I said sure.  He picked up this hockey stick that had the Chicago Blackhawks logo on it.  He said to me that if he makes the hockey team next year can he get it and I of course said “maybe we will see.”  I recently had a light bulb go off as this event popped back into my head.
In August of this year I decided to do something that several of my family members told me that I made a stupid choice.  I quit my job as a software trainer because I wanted to do something crazy like spend more time with Connor.  When he asked for the stick I knew that because I have not been able to land another job that money for me is very tight but I do not want to be the type of dad who says maybe.  I understand that I also do not want to spoil my son either but my point is how I have felt not just being a dad but a man how I have let my son down.  I want to be a better provider to him. 
Yes my quitting my job was a very emotional decision and yes it has added more stress in my life but I would not change it.  Not only have I had more days with Connor but we have bonded even closer these past few months.  I made sure that he has gifts to open for Christmas and even though his moms house he will have more I again would not trade my time with him for having a job I hated. 
I want to eliminate “maybe” or “maybe we will see” from my vocabulary.  I want to be a better dad, a better provider and a better person over all.  I have a some tough personal issues that I need to get through in these coming months but I have met so many positive dads this year that have told me that what I did took some “stones” but would love to spend more time with their kids as well.  That is wonderful validation to just prove that dads are not always thinking about the office.  I have become friends with one dad from Connor’s hockey team who picks up his son every day from school.  I know of other dads who make it a priority of being the one who picks up the kids from school, come on how cool is that?
Instead of saying maybe when our kids want to spend extra time with us or want something within reason let’s just spoil them a little.  We as dads have had such bad reputations from the media and in some cases from former spouses.  However we can change this perception today.  One of my hero’s was Jim Rohn who was a great business leader and speaker.  He talks about how people think that we have plenty of time to do things. NO!  We only have so many years left to spend with our kids. I want you to at least think about my proposal but don’t say “maybe” you will or “we will see” instead just make a stance.  
Comments, concerns or verbal abuse send them to me please and thank you.

(Tommy Maloney is the author of the book “25 Tips for Divorced Dads: How to create special memories and grow your bonds with your children” He can be contacted 303.263.3118 or thomasmaloneyjr@yahoo.com)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And the answer is......

I was recently asked to guest blog for a local website.  They wanted me to simply write why it is so important for kids and their dads be together.  As I thought of the answer to the question the old parenting phrase of “because I said so” was, well not the correct or even an answer.  I had to think back of my own relationship with my dad but also my friends as well.  I remember my times hanging out with my friends or during the school year having assemblies.  During that period of my childhood I can still remember seeing more moms then dads at school events.  SO again to the question of why do kids need their dads?

I am a parent and for the first two years of my son’s life on this planet I was a stay at home dad.  I LOVED every minute of knowing I got to be part of his life and help him learn early on.  He and I would go to one of the local malls and just bond.  We would go to the park or get brakes put on the car.  I wanted to create the relationship that I felt growing up had been missing because of my parents divorce.  Oh my gosh the mistakes I made trying to learn about how to be a dad and to take care of a baby were both scary and wonderful at the same time.

Tonight I was checking hockey scores and came across a story from one of my favorite writers who lives here in Colorado and that is Rick Reilly.  The story is on the front page of ESPN.com website.  It is about a little boy who had a very bad seizure and ended up not able to walk.  I am sitting here crying about this story because the story deals with the child’s family but also a football player who is also a dad (I can not do the story justice so please check it out).  This story hit home to me because of having a son who is around this little boys age and the bond the little boy has with this football player.  I kept thinking of how much I miss my son. 

When I am at out and about I am one of those people watchers and I get a huge smile on my face seeing dads or grandfathers with the kid’s.  I see the smiles on both the adults and kid’s faces of that special bond.  I am fully aware that we have different bonds with our moms VS our dads.  I have a awesome relationship with my mom and I do not give her enough credit of raising me.  The main point is again why do kids need to have their dads?

I still have no clue and tossing out statistics bores me to death.  I believe that kids do need both parents to be involved in their lives.  I am so tired of hearing the phrase “deadbeat dads” well guess what there are moms out there as well.  Yes I do have a point and that is kids do really need their dads oh and yes their moms too.  Still our original question was specifically of why kids need their dads.  I have pondered this question and may even moseyed while pondering this question.   The best answer that I have come up with is really the one I should have stuck with in the first place.  The final answer is??  Because I said so.

Please spread the word of this blog and again I am open to your submissions.  If you have any questions, concerns or verbal abuse please email me @ thomasmaloneyjr@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Special Memories

I have a wonderful memory of being on a school bus going to downtown Chicago for a field trip to one of the local newspapers.  This was a very special day for me because it was the first time my dad was a chaperone on one of my class field trips.  This was a moment in time that makes me smile thinking about it.  I remember the day very well because not only did we spend time learning about how a newspaper gets all put together, we ate our lunches in an area I was very familiar with.  We spent time at Lincoln Park Zoo and it is across the street from where my dad at the time lived.  What a special day of getting to hang out with your dad, holding his hand, spending time with him and yes kind of showing off at the same time.

When I became a parent on March 11, 2003 around 5:04 AM, I wanted to create those special memories as well.  Because of that field trip as a kid that memory helped me realize why it is so crucial for dads to be part of their kids’ lives.  That day had such a profound impact on me all because of simply asking my dad to be a chaperone. 

Not only have I been on several field trips with my son Connor but we do guy trips back to Chicago for the past three summers.  My dad and I took trips together when I was a kid and had a lot of fun.  My dad took me places where I learned how to water ski and Foos ball.  With Connor we have been to the sites and sounds of “The Windy City” that includes Wrigley Field, The Bean and Chicago Pizza. 

When I hear about stories that I have read on-line or in the news paper about when kids have achieved an award and they talk about the influence that their dad made on them; those stories just make me think.  I think of the first trip to Chicago with Connor.  This was the first time he and I were on a plane together and I had asked the pilot if I could take a picture of Connor in the cock pit.  When he said yes, it was like I just won the lottery.  These are just some stories to show why we as dads need to be there for our kids.  I have special memories with my dad and have created ones with my son; you keep on doing it as well.

Comments, concerns or verbal abuse send them to me @ thomasmaloneyjr@yahoo.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thank you

WOW what a great response to the new blog so THANK YOU for reading this.  My goal for this blog is to be more of a mediator then a contributor.  I have started to reach out to some of you on being a guest blogger because I want this site to have many voices.  One suggestion was to also include points of views from grandfathers since many grandparents are raising their grandchildren.  I have also thought of the different areas of being a dad and what I mean by this and maybe I am not phrasing it correctly.  The fact that kids are raised by single dads or step dads that to me would be great topics because I would like to know how they structure their parenting skills.   

As of today we have had 309 views of this blog so THANK YOU for stopping buy and reading this blog.  Through Linked In and my email (thomasmaloneyjr@yahoo.com) there have been wonderful responses to this blog.  I am just so grateful to hopefully help get the word out that there are wonderful dads and again grandfathers as well out there.  I still am in awe of 309 people having read the first blog post.

To make this blog successful I want to invite anyone to send me 300 word document on positive dads/grandfathers to help showcase wonderful guys who are doing parenting right.  I was watching a new show on ESPN where the host Dan Le Batard has as his co-host, his dad.  How cool is that?  This is wonderful of a father son relationship. 

I was also watching this morning (Tuesday) the Dan Patrick show.  He had on Jerry West on his show (former LA Lakers great and GM) to talk about his new book “West on West.”  Jerry talked about how horrible his relationship with his dad was.  He also spoke openly about going through and battling depression because of what he went through as a child.  I thought of how vital my relationship not only with my son but with my dad.  After listening to the interview all I wanted to do was hug both my son and dad.  Please tell your kids and dad (if you have that type of bond) that you love them.

Please spread the word of this blog and again I am open to your submissions.  If you have any questions, concerns or verbal abuse please email me @ thomasmaloneyjr@yahoo.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hello and Welcome

There are so many and I mean many dads around the world who are truly great people.  However because of the media we are portrayed as morons who need permission to tie our shoes.  I say enough is enough of this and I want to show the world that kids need their dads too.  For those of us who have gone through the heart ache of divorce we are taken out of the picture and in some situations replaced by another male figure.  Some stats I found:

ü      Forty percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. (Wade, Horn and Busy, “Fathers, Marriage and Welfare Reform” Hudson Institute Executive Briefing, 1997)
ü      Children living with both biological parents are 20 to 35 percent more physically healthy than children from broken homes. (Dawson, “Family Structure and Children’s Health and Well-being” Journal of Marriage and the Family)
ü      65% of children living with a stepparent live with a stepfather.

My reason of putting this blog together is a bit of therapy for me and again I want to share what great men there are trying to be the best dads that they can be.  I want to showcase dads with either guest postings or pictures but I want people to know, as well as kids, that we dads are needed to be in any child’s life.   I feel that even if you are not a parent but an uncle, cousin, or just want to mentor a kid in need.  The point is that we as men need to be around for ALL kids. 

My vision for this blog is to give a voice to you dads out there and share stories or tips about how you bond with your kids.  I want to hear from you and let’s create something positive to share with other dads and moms as well.  It is about helping our kids and each other grow. 

That is my story and I will do my best to improve upon this site but I won’t be able to do it with out all of you.  Please send me postings or pictures and we will make this blog one of the best dad’s blogs somehow and someway. 

Have a great day and I hope to hear from you very soon @ thomasmaloneyjr@yahoo.com