Being a Dad is one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of a man’s life.
However, if you are doing it on your own and/or sharing the time with an ex…it can be significantly more complicated. You are faced with so many challenges as a single father. These challenges range from: sharing limited time with your ex, getting used to your ex’s new significant other, getting the kids used to your significant other, constant changing of holiday traditions, making the limited time with your kids extremely impactful and positive…the list is endless. So, if you are a single dad and you have landed on this page…YOU ARE AWESOME…and I want you to know that! You are not just a Dad…but a Dad that desires to be his best and search for answers. This page is just for you! This page is full of critical information that will make your job easier and more enjoyable.

3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Teach our Kids Ninja Skills

 

Check out the video above and you will see what I am talking about.  This is a quick highlight recap of our day at KOR.  It’s a short clip with photos and video with some heartfelt music by Cold Play.

The Good Dad Project/KOR American Ninja Warrior Day was a day like no other! 

About four times per year, The Good Dad Project partners with local businesses in the St. Louis, MO area to do “Dad/Kid Meet Ups.”  In the past, we have held these events at St. Louis City Museum, The Painted Pot, and Upper Limits Indoor Rock Climbing.

Our most recent meet up definitely topped them all! 

We decided to partner with the KOR Complex, owned and operated by Brendan O’Neill in St. Charles, MO.  KOR is a VERY UNIQUE facility with an experience like no other.

If you are a fan of American Ninja Warrior, this facility is right up your alley.  KOR offers some of the most popular obstacles such as:  The Famous Warped Wall, Cannon Ball Alley, Salmon Ladder, Pegged Wall, Inverted Stairs, Floating Doors, and many more.

The Good Dad Project Meet Ups are more than just quality time with our kids.  It’s about creating a memorable experience.  The meet up experiences are meant to go above and beyond taking our kids to the park or going to see a movie.  Each experience gives dads an opportunity to be creative, adventurous, and do something completely outside the box.

 

1.  Much like our day at KOR, life is full of OBSTACLES:

Each day we have an opportunity to help support and guide our kids through problem solving skills.  When the obstacles show up in life, it’s so important that our kids can rely on us to help guide them through it.

Our Ninja Day at KOR provided Dads the opportunity to guide, cheer, and help their kids through the obstacles.   Smiles, cheering, positive reinforcement, and teamwork were the experiences that came from each obstacle.

Good Dad Project

Good Dad Project

2. We can show our kids that we can Face Our Fears:

I will admit, some of the obstacles at KOR can be downright intimidating at first.  The Warped Wall tops out at a daunting 14.5 feet. That’s a big jump to say the least!  Attempting to climb inverted stairs and then lache to the floating doors can be frightening.  However, every Dad and child took on these obstacles together.

In everyday life, we preach to our kids to face their fears, have confidence in themselves, and to take chances.  Very rarely do we get to show them by example.  Our Ninja Day provided this opportunity in a big way.

Some of the greatest moments of the day were not just the Dads cheering on kids, but the kids cheering on the Dads!

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3.  Celebrate the Everyday Victories:

The KOR complex erupted with cheer when one of our dads or kids would conquer an obstacle.  In everyday life, we overcome obstacles.  For our kids, it can be something as simple as getting a good grade on the big test, making a new friend, or a random act of kindness.  However, it can also be something as big as making the game winning run, getting a driver’s license, or graduating high school.

For Dads, it can be something as simple as we finally crossed two things off our honey-do list, we closed a new account at work, or we earned a raise.

The takeaway is this:  we have victories every single day.  It’s so important that as a family we cheer each other on through the obstacles and celebrate the wins together.

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A special thanks to all who participated on our Good Dad Project Ninja Day at KOR!

If you haven’t signed up to be a free member of our community, please do so below.  The Good Dad Project is dedicated to improving the lives of Dads and Families.

All the Best,

 

Larry

Speaker, Author, and Founder of the Good Dad Project

The Good Dad Project

3 Reasons to Take Your Kids on a One-On-One Trip…The 3rd Reason will really hit home.

It has been 9 months since I have started this Project.

There is one critical lesson I have learned…it is not the destination of this project that matters…it’s the Journey.

The Journey has transformed my life and the life of my family.  I  have learned so many lessons along the way from other Dads who are a part of our community.  My hope is that this community has inspired you as well.

Because here’s the thing…being a Dad can be humbling and even frustrating at times (even though we don’t admit it).

It’s small little changes along the way that can make all the difference.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is the importance of one-on-one time with each of the kids.

If this is your first time here…I am a Dad of 3 boys.

So, it is extremely complicated to get one-on-one time with each kiddo.  Just like any other family, we have homework, sports, church, family time, time with friends, and work.

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The work life balance is always a juggling act.

Hence the reason I am writing this blog at 10pm on a Friday night just after I got the crew to bed.

So, let’s talk about what you came here to read…

The 3 Reasons to Take Each of Your Kids on a one-on-one trip.

If you are a Dad that takes their kids on a “date night (0r day)” …kuddos to you!  Most Dads try and get out for some one-on-one time.

However, I absolutely challenge you to take it to the next level.

I challenge you to take an actual trip.

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It doesn’t have to extravagant from financial point of view.  However, it has to be a trip that gets you both out of the daily grind for 48-36 hours.

Think of it this way…you have been in the work grind for how many days, weeks, months?

I imagine a long time.

How long has your kid been in the school, homework, and/or sports grind?  Days?  Weeks?  Months?

A trip with just the two of you might just be what the doctor ordered.

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Last month I took my 6 year old to Colorado Springs, CO for 4 days.  This was actually the 4th one-on-one trip I have done with my 2 oldest.  I started taking each of boys on their own trip 2 years ago.  It has been nothing short of epic and so worth it.

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This last trip was one of the most amazing trips we have ever been on.

We got to see and do a lot of things…we went up to the summit of Pikes Peak, we hiked through Garden of the Gods, we hiked through Pikes Peak, and we took an ATV tour through Canon City in the mountains.

I will definitely tell you that the sites were amazing…however…there was something that was much more amazing.

It allowed my son and I to totally disconnect from our daily grind for 4 days.  For him there was no school, no homework, and no sports.  For me, there was no work, no emails, no deadlines, and no obligations.

Our only mission was to enjoy the moment and be present.  Our only “to-do” was to enjoy each others company while we explored.

There was nothing distracting us.  There was only us and the expereince of the trip.

So…this leads me to our top 3 Reasons to get out and do this!

1.  Gets you out of the daily grind and into the moment:

Getting you out of your daily routine sparks a new connection and experience.

No kidding around…nothing will create memories more than getting out of your routine and into something new.  Being able to experience a new environment together for the first time will create some unforgettable memories.

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2.  Your kids will open up to you:

Getting your kids out of their daily grind and experiencing new adventures will open them up more than you can imagine.

The fact that you and your kiddo are out exploring new things will put your relationship on a whole new level.

They will open up to you like they never have.

I got to know each kid way more on a deeper level on each of our trips compared to being at home and asking them about their day at school.

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3.  The memories are priceless:

As each of our kids get older they will gradually pull away from us.

This is a tough thing for us as Moms and Dads.

Before we know it, our kids have grown into adolescence and they really don’t want much to do with us.

We truly only have about 10 years to make a lasting impact when it comes to some stellar memories.  When I tell you that a one-on-one trip will pay dividends later, I absolutely mean it.  Your kids will talk about that one-on-one adventure for years to come.

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If you haven’t signed up to be a free member of our community…please do so.  You will also get a free copy of our ebook (check it out to the right).

Thanks for stopping by and giving this a read.  If it really hit home, please share on your FB.

All the best,

Larry

Founder of the GDP

A Dad Legacy – 4 Lessons of Life

A Dad Legacy means more than just materialistic leave behinds

When you think of “A Dad Legacy” what comes to mind?

Most of us think of inheritance, money, or something of value left behind in a will.

However…

If you ask most of us Dads, we will tell you that we really don’t have a deep-seeded desire to leave behind trust funds, college funds, or property.  Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely want the best for our kids and we want to provide everything we possibly can from a financial stand point.  However, those materialistic items of value are not how we want to be remembered.

In October of 2013, I invited 10 Dads who were diehard followers of  The Good Dad Project Facebook Page to a focus group dinner.  

All 10 Dads had a two things in common:  

First, they didn’t know each other.

Second, being a Good Dad is something that is deeply rooted in every single one of them.

When I first arranged the evening, I didn’t know what to expect.  Some of these men I knew for one month and others I knew for over twenty years.

The night was pretty awesome to say the least.  I had ten questions to ask the group.

I really wanted to understand:  

1.  What Dads wanted most out of life and Fatherhood?

2.  What they battled with most and what challenges they faced through their own lives?

After two and a half hours, we had only gotten through four out of those ten questions.  There was so much discussion that we literally ran out of time.  It was almost like every single one of them had been holding in their own story and points of view on Fatherhood for too long.  Every single one of them shared successes, struggles, and goals.

There was one question that I asked in particular:

“What do you want your legacy to be and how do you want to be remembered?”

The answers really blew me away.  There was not one mention of money, inheritance, or trust funds.  No one said anything about leaving behind anything of materialistic value.  Every single one of them desired the basics.

1.  They wanted to pass on life lessons such as:  confidence, character, and integrity.

2.  They wanted to pass on lasting positive memories of spending time together.  Whether it be playing dress up (for those who had daughters) to taking their sons fishing and camping.

3.  They wanted to pass on family values and traditions.

4.  They just wanted their kids to remember how much their Dad really loved them.

Growing up, I didn’t have a stable father figure in my life.

I don’t share that out of a plea for pity.

In fact, I don’t know many parents my age that came from a family that was not affected by separation, divorce, or family struggles.   It seems almost “abnormal” for to come from a family that hasn’t had a huge struggle of some kind.

Looking back, there was one man who really stepped up to the challenge of being a father figure.  My grandpa, Roy, was the most amazing man I have ever met.

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He was a confident and genuine man.

He loved to socialize and interact with people.   He would talk to anyone and everyone.

He was “that guy.”

He didn’t drive a fancy car.  He didn’t have a huge home.  He was a blue collar worker and worked very hard.

The aspect I really respected about my Grandpa is he didn’t seek out to be liked.  As I remember, he really didn’t care if people liked him or not.  He didn’t seek validation or approval.  He was truly an old fashion man who stood for what he believed.

He loved people.  That was the exact reason people loved him.

What Legacy did he pass on?

He didn’t pass down money or anything materialistic.  He wasn’t able to pass down a trust fund or large inheritance.

He passed down the best and most valuable lessons of life…

Lesson  #1:  A Dad Legacy means you don’t need a lot money to live a happy life

My grandpa didn’t come from wealth, nor did he have a lot of money.  He worked hard.  His work ethic was above and beyond anyone I have ever met.  He drove a truck for 7up for 40 years.  He would wake up at 3:30am every morning just so he could get out on the road early enough to make it home for dinner with his family.  Money wasn’t important to him.  Time with his family was above anything materialistic.

Lesson #2:  Compliment others and mean it

My grandpa was such a generous man when it came to affection and compliments.  He was always there with a warm smile, a big hug, or a pat on the back when you needed it most.  I remember him always being so affectionate with my grandma.  Even at the end of his life (at 73 years old), he would hug and kiss my grandma.  He always told her how much he loved her.  You could tell he meant it.

Lesson #3:  Talk to strangers, be nice to everyone, and be a person who enjoys people

As a young boy, I went everywhere with my grandpa.  Looking back, I remember everyone (literally everyone) knowing him.  It didn’t matter if we were in church, shopping for groceries, or picking out donuts at our favorite donut shop (Old Town Donuts), people knew him.  Not only did they know him, but they would light up when they would see him.  He greeted everyone with a smile.  People genuinely enjoyed being around him.

Lesson #4:  Spend time with your family

Growing up, my grandpa always took me fishing.  Fishing was one of the joys of his life.  He would take me on weekend trips to go trout fishing when I was just five years old.  I remember being just a little guy and always tangling the fishing lines.  My grandpa would literally spend the majority of the time trying to untangle my line or bait my hook.  I remember feeling so bad that I tangled my line and I would apologize over and over.  He would just smile, look down at me, and say…

“It doesn’t matter what I am doing…as long as I am with you.  I don’t mind untangling your line, baiting your hook, or helping you pull in a big fish…as long as I am with you…I enjoy every minute.”

I learned so many lessons from my grandpa.  He was such an amazing man.

Thank you again for all your continued support for our Good Dad Project Community.  There are so many resources out there for moms, but very few for Dads who just want to make a difference.  If you haven’t become a free member of our community, please sign up.  Your email will never be rented, shared, or sold.  Our community is about helping Dads be their best…simple as that.

 

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All the best!

-Larry

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Dear Son, You have taught me so much…

Dear Son

You came along in my life six years ago.  I still remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.  I have always been told that time flies when you have your own kids, and that statement is a very true reality.

As a father I am supposed to guide you, teach you, and point you in the right direction.  I have tried to instill manners, character, honesty, integrity, and responsibility.

However…

You probably don’t know this, but you have taught me more in the past six years than I have taught you.

You have taught me to love without conditions:

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In every relationship I have ever had, there were always “deal breakers.”  In every relationship I have ever had, there was something I did or something that was done to me that would end a relationship.  When it comes to you, my love for you is unconditional.  There is literally nothing you could ever do that would make me love or support you any less.  I may get frustrated with some of your decisions from time to time, but it is only because I don’t want to see you hurt or disappointed.

You have taught me to strive to be better than I was yesterday:

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I know you learn best by the examples you see in front of you every day.  Knowing that has forced me to strive to be my best.  There are days I struggle.  There are days that I am not my best.  However, knowing you are there always watching, always learning, always observing, it forces me to keep striving to be better.

You have taught me that grades are important, but learning how to think and make decisions are critical.IMG_0975

Grades are important.  Good grades are critical if you want to excel and get into a good college.  However, school is more than just grades.  School teaches you to think.  It teaches you how to make decisions.  It is an environment that forces you to grow both intellectually and socially.  Our society puts a lot emphasis on grades.  However, learning to think and make critical decisions are extremely important in all areas of your life.

You have taught me what it’s like being a kid again:

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One of the most rewarding aspects about being your Dad is being able to watch you grow up. I have been able to relive my childhood all over again just by watching you.  You have taught me how to play again.  You have taught me the importance of quality time together.

Son, whether you know it or not, you truly are my inspiration.  I am so thankful for everything you have taught me.  Watching you, guiding you, and being a part of your life has truly been the best six years of my life.

Love you,

Your Dad

If you haven’t signed up to be a member of our community, please do.  Your ideas and talents are welcome here.  There are so many resources for the everyday Mom…but very few for Dads.
 
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The Lego Movie and 2 Critical Life Lessons For Dads

Lego Movie Spoilers Below:  Alert!

This past weekend was the opening for The Lego Movie.  My boys and I were definitely excited to see it.

To be honest, I am a big fan of animated films.  Being a Dad of three boys, I cannot tell you the last time I saw a movie that was not animated.

I even have a couple of animated films that are my all time favorites.

“How to Train Your Dragon” was such an amazing story.  Moreover, it really illustrated the struggle and connection between a Father and Son.  “UP” was another that will always remain in my top 10 because it truly showcased several life lessons.

As we walked into the theater this past weekend to watch The Lego Movie, I didn’t expect much.  I thought this would probably be a typical animated film with some cool special effects and some laughs here and there.

I was wrong…

Not only was the movie extremely entertaining, but  the ending of The Lego Movie really blew me away.

The movie was filled with hilarious moments, fantastic special effects, and an engaging storyline.

The Lego Movie Plot:

The whole story is about a little Lego man by the name of Emmet.  Emmet is an everyday construction worker (builder).  He has a pretty good outlook on life.  He is pleasant to everyone around him and he thinks everything is “AWESOME” (including his $37 latte).  Emmet always looks at life as the glass is half full.

On the other hand, when it comes to his own self-worth and confidence, he struggles.  He doesn’t view himself as anything extraordinary.  He doesn’t view himself as someone who can make a difference.  As a result, he sells himself short.

Critical Lesson 1: 

Throughout the movie, Emmet is reminded by those around him that simply believing in yourself makes all the difference.  It reminded me of the classic saying, “Whether you think you can or you can’t…you are right.”  The Lego Movie truly drove this life lesson home in a big way.

It reminded me as a Dad to always be my kid’s biggest fan and not their loudest heckler.  It also reminded me to always find ways to instill and pass on self confidence, positive self-talk, and the attitude of believing in yourself.  The critical difference between an enjoyable and fulfilling life and a life of struggle is the belief in ourselves.

This holds true for us as Dads.  We are important.  We are critical.  Sometimes we don’t realize how important we are and how much we matter.  Our kids desperately need our attention and affection, even if they don’t always say so.

So, if you are here and reading this, here is your reminder:

You are critical and important.  Don’t sell yourself short.  When you start to hear that negative self-talk, you need to silence it.  Look at all the positive things you do for your kids.  It may not feel like it, but you are probably doing a much better job than you think.

The Ending:

The ending of the Lego Movie definitely hits a sentimental cord with Dads.  At the end of the movie, you find out that the entire movie was actually in the imagination of a little boy.  The movie villian, President Business, is actually representative of the little boy’s father.

The Dad, played by Will Farrell, is an avid Lego collector.  So much so, that his entire basement is a massive Lego City display.  The Dad is extremely particular about his collection of Legos. He actually uses crazy clue to hold the entire city together.  He comes home frustrated to find his son playing with pieces from his collection.  The little boy used his imagination to build all sorts of different cars, motorcycles, robots, and other creations.  When the Dad sees what his little boy has done, he becomes very irritated  because his display is no longer “perfect.”

The two argue a bit back and forth.  The father stating his case that his Lego City is not a toy for imagination.  The son stating his case that Legos are meant to bring out the imagination and to build something personally unique.

Critical Lesson 2:

In the end, the Dad sees his son’s perspective.  He realizes that his Lego display doesn’t have to be perfect.   He realizes he doesn’t have to take life so seriously.  His son convinces him to not only allow him to play with Legos, but they should build things together.  You can literally see Will Farrell have a moment of enlightenment.

The final scene of the movie is the two of them playing together and enjoying each other’s company.

This was such a great reminder.  Our kids will only ask us to play with them for so many years.  It’s our job to take advantage of those times.

The Lego Movie sends us three strong messages.  It reminds us to embrace our imaginations, to believe in ourselves, and to spend quality time with our kids.

If you haven’t signed up to be a free member of our Dad Community, please do so.  Your ideas and talents are welcome here.

If you enjoyed this, you may also like:  Star Wars and Being a Good Dad

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