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67 Resolutions To Be A Better Dad in 2009

Posted Dec 30 2008 12:11pm

W ith 2009 literally right around the corner, have you thought about how you plan to be a better dad in the upcoming year? Sure, we all make resolutions about loosing weight, or going back to school, but what about resolving to play with your kids more? What about starting everlasting family traditions with your kids?

I emailed a group of fellow dad bloggers and asked them how they plan on becoming better fathers in 2009 and I received responses back from 8 well know dad bloggers. These are the guys who plan on making themselves better for their children and their wives during the upcoming year and this post would not be possible without their help.

Let me be the first to thank you all who took the time to contribute to this project. I know I emailed you all about a week before Christmas and I’m sure you were being pulled in many different, time-consuming directions. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing where you stand at the end of the year.

Chuck from D is for Dad resolves to:

  1. … show my kids more of the world. This may not translate into world traveler but it should mean learning more about different cultures and experiences beyond our own doorstep.
  2. … show my kids more of my world. Help them understand a little more what Daddy does when he is away from home all day.
  3. … be more involved in school activities - Self explanatory
  4. … continue to work hard to see things as the kids see them. I need to remember that my kids are children with limited experiences and regardless of how old they seem they are still very very young.
  5. … continue to work at not bringing home work frustrations. Self explanatory
  6. … make a real effort at letting my children see me happy. Really happy. The day to day responsibilities can get to the best of us. The kids don’t need to see this running off of me.
  7. … quit letting vacation time accrue and take more of it off with the family. Self explanatory
  8. … get better at doing my daughters’ hair. Self explanatory
  9. … be a good example at healthy living. We all have our vices. There are a few I should get rid of
  10. … practice what I preach

Clay Nichols (aka. Daddy Clay) on DadLabs.com shares 7 insightful parenting resolutions for the new year:

  • More activities – Seems like with the oldest child, I was more prone to go out of my way to create or host some kind of special activity or outing with the kid. Now that we have three, I find myself more in a sit back and watch the madness unfold mode. I really should put down the cocktail and get down on the floor with the kids. Or just go on a nature hike, or get one of the dozens of little “kits” we have accumulated over the years. Lets put the goal at one per week.
  • Travel very little – Being away puts huge pressure on my working spouse, and increases stress for everyone in the family. Seems like half the time I travel, the kids get sick, which is even worse. This is a tough one because we’re getting asked to speak at conferences and events more and more, and with the book coming out in June, this is just going to pick up. It’s tough to turn down a great opportunity, but I resolve to. No more than one business trip per month, no more than two nights per trip.
  • Find tradition with youngest – I’ve created special one-on-one traditions with my older two kids; a fishing charter on the Cape with Bubba, and going to the Nutcracker with Ri-ri. The kids love these events out of all proportion with how much fun they actually are. Me, too. So now that Coop is four, it’s about time to think one up or him. The ideas came pretty clearly for the other two. Coop may be tougher. He loves puzzles and pirates and animals. Maybe a trip to the San Antonio Zoo? I resolve to have this picked and ready to execute by his birthday in May.
  • Make sure “discussions” with wife are understood – My wife and I both have forceful personalities and we have our moments of disagreement. But that’s not really the issue. We’re so spirited in our opinions that when we are in complete agreement on a subject talking after dinner, the kids sometimes think we’re fighting. They’ve said this on a couple of occasions. I know that worries that parents are fighting can be deleterious to kids. So my wife and I need to tone down our agreements. Resolution to take place immediately.
  • Keep sports/extra-curricular involvements in balance – From the moment our oldest first started with 3-on-3 soccer when he was about 5, my wife and I decreed that we would never fall into the trap of over-scheduling or over-programming our kids lives. No more than one activity per season! Period. End of paragraph. Problem is we started to doubt ourselves. Other kids seemed to be progressing faster because of deeper involvements. Maybe we were holding our kids back with our philosophy (dangerous thinking). So we’ve had some Activity Creep. Letting a little overlap between seasons seep in – a few little extra training camps…But no more! It’s back to the one activity per season rule. Starting with the Spring season in 2009.
  • Get back on track with college savings – Nice fat returns on the college accounts we’ve established over the years had lured me into easing back on our monthly savings discipline. By the time the crash came, I hadn’t invested in our 529 funds in months. Now, with those funds decimated, it’s time to get back to socking away the cash. I’m going to look at vehicles other than 529s, but those tuition bills aren’t going to go away just because the Dow has tanked. Resolution: to set up a vehicle with the first automatic monthly withdrawal on January 15.
  • Lose weight – The classic Resolution, but this year it’s serious. At DadLabs we are launching a HQ-wide contest/initiative: The FitFatFit Dad challenge. It wasn’t so much the “big fat daddy” lines from the kids as it was being forced to watch myself get slightly larger with each successive video on DadLabs. I know that I would be more active with the kids (see #1) if I shed a few. My goal is 20 lbs. If you want to join in the FitFatFit, you can register at DadLabs and slim down with us.

Whit Honea from Honea Express offers up some tidbits on how he plans to be a better father in 2009:

I want to work less and play more. Most of my resolutions revolve around this. I never thought I’d be an all work and no play guy, but it has happened and I don’t like it.

Along those same lines, I’d like to have more empathy. My boys see nothing but joy and I’ve become too quick to dismiss their excitement rather than partake in it. At the end of the day I feel like I’m letting moments go by without living in them. Sure, sometimes it’s necessary, but not always.

Finally, in terms of the areas that require my improving- anger. I’m not sure when it became an issue, but I don’t like it. Seriously, how does one get so upset at a 2 or 5-year-old? It’s ridiculous.

So yeah, I’m not perfect.

However, some of the things that I want in 2009 are already in play. I want to continue to give my children a safe home full of love. I want them to continue to grow and learn and challenge their own curiosities. I want them to build their own mold.

That’s it. Basically I want to be a better person, which will, hopefully, translate into a better father. I’ve got two good reasons to make it happen.


Vincent, author of The Dad Jam, put together a great plan for 2009:

When I started The Dad Jam this year, after Sweet Cheeks was born, I had no idea what impact it would have on my life and those of others. I met many great dads, including Tyler at Building Camelot, who have all been happy to share their experience and knowledge in the realms of blogging, parenting and marriage-ing with me.

Well, this is just the tip of the ice-cream cone, and it’s a triple-scooper. There’s sure to be a scoop of Rocky Road in there, but I’m hoping it’ll mostly be smooth chocolate. Maybe there’ll be a cherry on top, maybe there won’t. As long as I keep licking (and avoid getting licked), I’m sure to find out.

Here’s how I plan to lick, and avoid getting licked, in 2009:

  1. Spend one-on-one time with each of the kids, everyday.
  2. Spend one-on-one time with my wife, everyday.
  3. Learn some cool kid’s magic tricks, to wow Smarty Pants (my toddler son) and his friends.
  4. Exercise at home; so that I can be fit and alert for the wife and kids.
  5. Meditate; so that I can be relaxed and focused when dealing with the kids (I am already signed-up for a Tai-Chi course to kick this one off).
  6. Think win-win and foster relationships of trust and understanding with each of my family members.
  7. Write entries in the journals that we keep for each of our kids more often; to remind me of the things I appreciate most about them.
  8. Cook healthy meals for the family and learn some new recipes that they will enjoy.
  9. Do more crafts, drawing, and writing with Smarty Pants.
  10. Embrace the values of community and the environment as a family, by continuing to walk more lightly on this Earth, and giving back to the community and those in need along the way

And as a bonus, I will keep on jamming and collaborating with all the dads you see here and more, to continue to learn, improve and inspire.

Tom from Being Michael’s Daddy Here are my dad resolutions for 2009:

  1. To go into situations of conflict with patience and understanding instead of reacting with anger and reprimand.
  2. To spend more time playing with the kids.
  3. To teach each of my kids (who are old enough to reach the counter) one meal to cook each week.
  4. To teach all the kids the art of preparing the table for dinner and helping the chef.
  5. To read to the kids more.
  6. To instruct them in the faith in our Lord.
  7. To teach my youngest how to ride a two-wheeler.
  8. To build that jungle gym out in the back yard.
  9. To play more, watch TV less.
  10. To be sure my wife knows just exactly how great a mom she is, and to thank her every day.


Fred from Mocha Dad offers up his resolutions for 2009:

  1. I will take care of myself physically by exercising, eating right, and scheduling regular exams and checkups.
  2. I will love my wife with undying devotion.
  3. I will play more tag, Red Light Green Light, Hoolabaloo, Uno, and Mario Cart
  4. I will work hard at my job to provide a comfortable living for my family.
  5. I will get a puppy.
  6. I will remain involved in my children’s education by going on field trips, volunteering at school, attending Parent/Teacher conferences and helping with homework.
  7. I will teach my children spiritual principles.
  8. I will treat them as individuals. It’s easy to lump them together as my kids, but they each have a unique personality that I must help nurture and develop.
  9. I will complete a family tree so they will not forget them ancestors.
  10. I will live a life that my children will want to imitate.

Ben Murphy, Founder/CEO of TheFatherLife.com lists 5 of his dad resolutions:

  1. GET SOME SLEEP - I work. A lot. I squeeze it in by not getting enough sleep, which works for awhile, but isn’t a good long-term plan. I’m going to sleep more in 2009. I have a feeling I’ll function better!
  2. LET MY FAMILY KNOW “IT’S GOING TO BE A BIT CRAZY!” - TheFatherLife.com keeps growing by leaps and bounds, which is a really good thing! But it’s getting crazy as I’m juggling it with my full-time job. My family is on board with making this dream a reality of me supporting us full time off of TheFatherLife.com, but I’m honest with them in this transition period that there may be some insanity, but, it will be worth it!
  3. EXERCISE CONSISTENTLY. I have stop-and-go periods of working out. I mountain bike and do medicine ball/bodyweight training, which is very effective. But I don’t do it consistently. I’m determined to be on a consistent routine by the end of 2009.
  4. BE PRESENT - with everything going on I’m not as present as I should be when I’m spending time with my family. I’m working on that…
  5. CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE RIDES - despite the insanity, I’ve never been having more fun or enjoying life more! So, I continue to do so!

A nd last, but certainly not least, Buck Rogers (aka BuckDaddy and fellow Memphis dad blogger) can be found blogging almost daily at Buck’s Blog where he shares product reviews and adventures/mishaps of trying to stay fit, debt-free all while raising a little girl from a father’s perspective.

  1. Find a way to make additional income through blogs and stores.
    I have started doing this with affiliate links on my blog and opening stores such as A Christmas Story Store, Tacky Christmas Sweater Store, and Everything Barack Obama store but I need to take it to a new level. If I can make a little extra money then I can quit one of the two part time jobs I have. That in turn would make me a better father because I would have more time for my daughter, Danni.
  2. Which leads me to my next resolution.

  3. Get out of debt: I am fine with having a mortgage for the rest of my life but the credit card debt that we mounted because of my last job is overwhelming. I didn’t make a lot in the last job and we had to live off credit cards. I am slowly chipping away at this through my retail job.
  4. Buy a 2nd Car: My wife’s,Chelsea, car broke down on Halloween. Riding around in our truck is not safe. It also doesn’t help with 2 or 3 jobs that I need a car to get to jobs. Which is contradictory with #2 but I figure if I can make #1 happen then I can get #2 and #3 done
  5. Teach Danni to ride a bike: She is 2 1/2 years old and I think it is time. Well it’ll be time soon as it warms up.
  6. Teach Danni to swim: I learned to swim before I could walk. I used to teach swim lessons and should be able to pass this on to my daughter but haven’t. In 2009, she will be able to swim.
  7. Take my wife on a honeymoon: Chelsea and I got married on the courthouse step little over two years ago. We never got to go on a honeymoon and I want that for her and me. If we don’t go on a full blown honeymoon then maybe just a small trip just the two of us.
  8. Find a church: I was raised Catholic and so was my wife. My Mom takes Danni to church when Danni spends the night on select Saturday nights. Danni seems to enjoy it. With the 2 to 3 jobs I am usually a) working b) too tired. Those are going to stop being excuses. Which leads me to my next resolution.
  9. Get Danni baptized: This is kind of self explanatory. It is important to me, my wife, my parents, my in-laws, etc.
  10. Buy a treadmill: When we lived in an apartment, we had a mini gym. This helped both Chelsea and I lose a bunch of weight. Since buying the house, I have fallen off the wagon. My wife is still doing really well. Which leads me to my last resolution.
  11. Lose weight: I know I know, everyone says this but I am serious. If I could lose the 30 lbs I would feel better about myself. Also if would help with a bunch of the items on my 99 things to do before I die. Run a marathon, lose 30 lbs, 100 push ups, etc.

I broke one of my cardinal rules with writing about religion but I think it is an important part of my life that has been missing. Good luck to all you Dads out there with your resolutions.

What do you think? Leave me a comment below and if you enjoyed the article, I’d appreciate a stumble (and a review if you have a minute) or a bookmark on Delicious. Thank you!

All thumbnails were provided by http://www.thumbalizr.com/

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