Fathers and Father Figures, “YOU GET TO!” (A reflection of your mindset)

My wife made a statement to me one day when she was in a bit of a funk, she was feeling a certain way about day to day life, parenting, and all together “adulting” pretty much!

We talked it out a bit, well, she talked, I listened…
During our conversation she began to re-frame her thinking and gave me the phrase “I get to.” Which sparked the inspiration for this blog. Enjoy!

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Often times we may work a full day, then we have to get the kids ready for practice or activities, sometimes at multiple locations! Then we have to cook dinner, then do homework, then we have to read to our kids. We must listen to them, feed their great ideas and not so great ideas. We have to end arguments between friends or sibling, in addition to keeping them occupied, engaged or busy, depending on the day and our energy level. After all of that, we have to make sure everything is ready for the next day, clean, etc. etc.

We used to always say, “I have to do this, I have to do that…” Stop! Take a deep breath, shut it down!
We had to begin to change our mindset. When we looked at those things, as tasks, they looked and felt tiring, exhausting even!

First things first, we don’t HAVE to do those things! I’ve learned doing these things has benefits, so we make the CHOICE to do them. In making the choice to do them, the joy and happiness in our kids lives, and in our families begins to grow. Our children learn, grow, and have life experiences that will have value later in their young adult lives. Because we realize these benefits, we should now re-frame our mind to think, “I GET TO.I get to” help my student with their homework. “I get” the chance to read to them at night. “I get” to redirect them when necessary. I get” to watch my children’s practice and/or games. “I get to” watch them grow, learn, develop, and so on…

My wife helped me realize my “I get to,” moments of being a great father. I take great pride in going above and beyond, to provide great experiences, and to be completely involved with my children and family while I can. After all, tomorrow is not promised!

This outlook provided true value to me. Sometimes our significant others have good ideas, I guess!

Let me leave you with something…                                                                               My advice, don’t grow weary! Take advantage of these moments. Remember, “You get” the opportunity to do these things for your family. Not everyone has the same opportunity, cherish, value, and hold on to every day that you “GET” the opportunity to be a great man.

Remember, You don’t have to, “YOU GET TO…
Begin to change and re-frame your mind starting now.

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Let me know, What’s one area where you can change the “I HAVE TO” to, an “I GET TO?

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-LineBackerDAD out

My 5, To Mental / Health Wellness & Caring for Ourselves

I began writing this after a DAD-SCUSSIONS session on Mental / Health Wellness and Caring for Yourself. I found there were some things that I needed to revisit regarding my own mental & health wellness. I’ll preface by saying I am a man of structure, discipline and regimen, even I need this topic! Every man does!

DAD-SCUSSIONS w/ Alameda Father Corp.

During DAD-SCUSSIONS, our panelist Floyd Burrell, and Dr. Tony Jackson, gave some solid nuggets and areas to personally unpack, regarding this topic. Initially, I wanted to give a synopsis, but I don’t want to mis-interpret their words. For that reason, I’m going to expand on their awesomeness with…

LineBackerDAD’s 5, to Mental or Health Wellness and Caring for Yourself

1. There is Something Greater Than You, a High Power…

2. Honest Self – Reflection

3. Peer Accountability

4. Be Adaptable

5. Center Yourself

It is my belief that men who know they are of strong value, but at the same time, a small part in the grander scheme of things, are mentally prepared for wellness. It’s also my belief that we must know there is a higher power. For me, That’s God!

Below are a few points, for your reference, to my 5 Keys to Wellness. I hope this adds value to your life!

#1 There is something greater than you!

  • A. You must know you’re not the end all, be all! (Some men actually think they are “everything!”)
  • B. Your values, morals and beliefs must be different than the world systems. What that governs you?
  • C. You should answer to a purpose greater than you (You must move, shake, and operate as if you are accountable to something)

#2 Honest Self – Reflection

  • A. You can’t have a false sense of reality. (Are you in tune with reality?)
  • B. You must self-talk and ask yourself honest questions (what is self talk?)
  • C. You respond, You make amends, You forgive, and You continue to intentionally move forward

#3 Find Peer Accountability

  • A. Don’t isolate yourself!
  • B. Find a circle or a group that mirrors the positivity and good you want in your life.
  • C. Who will keep it real with you? That’s likely the type of person you want as an accountability partner, we all need one. Build a better relationship with that person and let them know they are your accountability.

#4 Be adaptable

  • A. Don’t be so stuck in your ways you can’t see a good thing
  • B. Have a willingness to change. It first starts in your mind.
  • C. Sometimes you have to go with an audible!? Dont allow negative things to happen because you fail to switch it up/audible.

#5 Center yourself

  • A. Take time to meditate
  • B. What are you feeding your mind?
  • C. Release things that are out of your control and prepare for the things that are in your control
  • D. Psycho-cybernetics (The Book)

Number 5 is one of the most important elements I practice to properly caring for myself and remaining physically and mentally well. Consider 1-4 as me having an internal conversation with myself (Self-Talk). I share them with you in hopes that they add value to you! Number five will add definite value to your life! I want you to implement and practice these things. Over time, I am certain if you are consistently practicing, you will begin to see noticeable positive changes in every area of your life.

View my message on YouTube. I condensed almost two hours of self-talk to bring you what I hope is 12 minutes of true value to your wellness.

Do you currently see the true value of wellness & caring for yourself? What do you do to practice mental wellness & caring for yourself?     Let me know.

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What’s Your SUPERPOWER?

Of all the great things I have done in my life, I know, FATHERING IS MY SUPERPOWER!

Have you ever felt that out of everything you’ve ever done in life, that one “thing” just stands out better than the rest. Do you notice the feeling in you, of the “thing” you’re best at doing? Fathering is that one thing for me, I feel fatherhood was gifted to me for a very specific reason!

Gentlemen, fathering might be your super power too, it just might be!

Let me leave you with something, As cliche as it is, it’s fact! Even the greatest gifts, have greater responsibilities. I feel like Spider-man’s grandpa or something here!

When I look at my super power I compare it to “the greats” I’ve seen and admired. I must remind myself, the most talented whoever it is, must give a greater effort, they must practice, and they must perfect their craft to stay at the top of their game or maintain their God given gift!

I had to ask myself! Why would it be any different with fathering/fatherhood? It isn’t!!! It takes the same, if not more of a mastery approach.

#AwesomeFathers and father figures, what are we doing week in and week out to make sure we’re maintaining our fatherly superpowers!?

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THE KEY INGREDIENTS TO A WELL BALANCED CHILD

Full cup of Integrity

1 part Structure

2 parts Discipline

Whole dose of Respect

1/2 cup of Intellect

1/2 cup Perseverance

1/2 cup Grit

3/4 cup Character

And a pinch of Faith…

I’ve spent a lot of time with my children over the last 5 months as covid-19 has physically removed me from my work. It has been very revealing to the things I value most as a husband and father. I’ve learned during this time to listen attentively to my children and value them more as little people, who have deep dreams, little people aspirations, and a mind of their own. Our time together has given me another look at my family values, beliefs, mission, character and culture norms. There is still a lot we need to teach our children! But very once in a while our children do something that show us, we might be doing okay…

I’ve made a secret recipe for what I believe are key ingredients to a well balanced child.

Read. Reflect. Enjoy!

INTEGRITY

I take pride in this one! If anyone were to ask my kids what integrity means to them. I am 99.9% certain they will say, “who they are, when no one is watching.” I know, because I’ve intentionally taught them that! I’ve learned, teaching integrity is extremely important. More-so, modeling integrity is more important. In my speeches to fathers in schools across California, I do an activity to display to fathers and father figures, we are followed and modeled by not what we say, but, by what we do.

Be a model of your word #AwesomeFather.

STRUCTURE

” Practiced structure determines success.”

-Bobby Knight

Our children thrive off of structure and equally learn how to balance their life based on the practiced structures they see in their families. Especially their fathers!

DISCIPLINE

“Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind — you could call it character in action.”

– Vince Lombardi

“Think of athletics: discipline is the fundamental aspect on which sports have been created.” – Ashley Fern

Keep in mind, with strong discipline, high rewards are often awarded.

RESPECT

I treat my children with what some may see as an unusual amount of respect for a child. I try to consistently modeling to them, “this is how you should be treated!” In “respecting them,” I am showing them, how to treat others, in turn I hope they are learning how they should treat others, as well as setting the standard for others and how they are to treat my children. People who have high levels of respect for others, are confident in who they are, they are confident in the spaces they operate in, and they are confident in the value they bring to others and the world. Me personally! I want my kids and family to have that trait in them.

INTELLECT

Let me first say, there is a difference between being smart, I.Q., education, and what you’ve been taught. One could graduate from the most elite college and still be clueless about the world around them. A person’s emotional intelligence can be so low, they are completely oblivious to the disparities and inequalities of others suffering around them. I don’t want to foster that in my home.

Our children and families should be rich with, “Book smarts,” “Street smarts,” and “emotional intelligence.”

The ingredient Intelligence fosters the ability to be a self starter, a life long learner, and having a thirst for knowledge outside of what may be given in the normal construct of education.

PERSEVERANCE

It always seems impossible until it's done.” « Executive and Life ...
I want my children and family to have a cant stop wont stop mentality!

GRIT

What is Grit?

In the face of adversity a willingness to overcome all things.

– LineBackerDAD

The ingredient G.R.I.T, we must teach.

  • Give it your all, ALWAYS
  • Redo if necessary
  • Ignore the haters and spirit of giving up
  • Take the time to do it right

Studies show, those with high levels of grit, are able to overcome challenges which leads to positive outcomes.

CHARACTER

My days in youth development have taught me six character traits that every student should have. They are modeled through the six pillars of character. If you do not take the time to teach any other character traits, TEACH THESE!

Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.

We’ll focus on two today. Learning to trust and being trustworthy is a life long principle and cornerstone to building quality and meaningful relationships.

The golden rule… Go ask your children what’s the golden rule. If they replied, “treat others as you want to be treated,” you’re doing something right #AwesomeFather. If not, take the time to expand on what this statement truly means.

FAITH

We’ve got to have faith!

My mother taught me to have faith, even if it was the size of a mustard seed.

Faith is the complete confidence in something, or someone. When our children know without a shadow of doubt, “worry ends when their faith begins,” they will become stronger in their own pursuits! Faith and believing in a higher power is necessary in this recipe. Believing in something greater and someone other than self gives an accountability measure that our children need. Walking by faith even when it is not seen will become a fruitful gift if our children learn to whole-fully practice this. I’m going to let you in on a family secret, Faith is the secret ingredient to the success of this recipe.

During this time when we may have more time with our families and children, and maybe we are practicing a balance of father/father figure and teacher. Take the time to ensure children have a well balance of these ingredients.

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