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Jane Brown, Author at Mr. Dad | Parenting Resources and Advice for Expectant Fathers, New Dads, Dads of Teens, Single Dads

Author: Jane Brown

Having Kids Later in Life? Read This First!

While the numbers certainly suggest that most married couples will at some point have kids, the actual parenting notion strikes some of us rather late. Whether it be schooling, a career focus, or just not believing that it’s the correct time either financially or emotionally in order to take on this momentous undertaking, some of us just wait longer in life to have children. For your average dad, the reasons vary as to why you’d elect to have children later in life, but financial security, stability and job security are always among the top reasons. At some point in life, you’ll wake up, realize that you’re nearing middle age, and realize that it’s really now or never. While men can father children for most of their lives, their wives have far different complications with advanced age pregnancies. For those of you wondering about the term, “advanced age” it’s commonly accepted to mean age 35 and older when referring to women intending to start a family. So, why is this such a problem? Well, for one, risks of pregnancy complications increase significantly in women age 35 and older. Another contributing factor is fertility. Fertility rates begin declining in a woman’s late 20’s, although it’s not as drastic of a decline as we’ve been led to believe in previous years. That said, this decline certainly exists, and it picks up significant...

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Family Camping Never Loses Its Magic

Camping is one of those great family activities that requires everyone to sacrifice a bit of their time to open a window of opportunity for some real family bonding. Often times, parents take cell phones and keep them somewhere safe on camping trips, so that the members of the family can communicate and bond without outside interference. So why doesn’t every family go camping? Well, depending on several factors, camping can be expensive, time constraining, or unsafe. However, these are very special circumstances. For the average family, camping can be done without spending a ton of money, during a time that’s good for everyone, in a completely safe and fun way. The most common reason for not camping is the expense factor. Camping can be extremely expensive, depending on your requirements. However, camping is about “roughing it” a little, and not having to worry about a little dirt under your nails. Tents and sleeping bags are typically the largest “required” expense for camping. It doesn’t have to be super expensive, though. For a summer camping trip, summer equipment will do just fine. You can find quality summer tents, with rain flies, big enough to sleep 4 people and their gear for as little as $80. Sleeping bags can be expensive, but, if you are summer camping, you don’t need a -40°F bag. A simple 20°F sleeping bag will work...

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How to Know When It’s Time to Change Your Style

Whether male or female, we all tend to get stuck in fashion ruts, sometimes for a lifetime. That’s not necessarily a good thing. For better or worse, we are judged by how we look. The fashions we choose could be the subconscious, deciding factor on whether or not we land a job or promotion that we are after. Not getting that job means not improving our income, which means having fewer options, with depression and self-esteem issues tagging along for the ride. All this because we chose the blue sweater instead of something more fashionable. Sometimes we just have to force ourselves to escape our fashion rut. Here’s how we know when it’s time: New Relationship Status Relationships develop their own styles. Something happens when two people come together to form one social unit. They develop a look and a sound and a fashion that is easily identifiable, even when the two are not together. When that relationship changes, so must the style and fashion of the individuals involved. That doesn’t mean you have to throw everything out and start with all new clothes (though that may not hurt). That is good news for the guys who want to hang on to those shirts they’ve had since college. Some fashions never seem to fade. But even they will want to try some different colors, pick up some long-sleeve surf polo...

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Good Manners Might Just Be the Most Important Thing You Can Teach Your Kids

Nobody likes a screaming, disruptive, out-of-control kid, even yours. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but, there it is. ADHD is a serious disability with serious social consequences. But not every unpleasant child is suffering from ADHD. Many of them are suffering from something just as annoying, but a lot more treatable: bad manners. #518811539 / gettyimages.com Experts draw a clear link between spoiling a child and the development of bad manners. Parents spoil their children with the best of intentions. But the results are almost always bad. There are reasons why giving a child everything she wants is a really bad idea, and can lead to poor behavior down the road. Here are some manners every child needs to learn, and why a spoiled child finds it so hard to learn them: Mindfulness of others A baby is the most solipsistic creature in the world. They are born, seemingly incapable of empathy. They are hardly aware of the fact that other human beings like them exist. They are the ultimate takers. They will remorselessly drain you of your last bit of energy, then demand even more. They will never grow out of this on their own. Empathy and mindfulness of others must be taught. They must learn that their actions can please or harm others. They must also learn that other people are just as important as themselves. Spoiling a child only...

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Driving a Mile in My Father’s Tire Tracks

It doesn’t get any snazzier than a 1965 cherry red Mustang convertible – the ultimate bachelor-mobile – a muscle car that was really a 1964 ½ model vehicle, which my Dad got about three years after his divorce. This was how Dad stopped moping around. He bought this car, which he expected would make him the sexiest bachelor in New York City, and he took a vacation in the Caribbean to work on his tan and his tennis game, although it was the former that he seemed to concentrate on the most. The Ford Motor Company had his number. He bought a brand new 1966 Mustang and followed that up with a new one each year through 1973 or so, by which time the Mustang had dropped its lightweight image and had powered up to a long, slender vehicle with plenty of juice, but little of the sex appeal that had made the early “Stangs” such a hit. The later model Mustangs were viewed as Corvette wannabes. They didn’t have the muscle of the Camaro or the low-rider, aerodynamic appeal of a Corvette, however. They were overgrown with a trim, but tiresome look. They were called “fat and lazy,” although in reality they were thin and lazy. This is what happens when a company listens to their customers even with the best of intentions. The original Mustangs were viewed...

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Reclaim TV Time by Making It Safe for the Whole Family

What ever happened to just hanging out and listening to music or reading? We live in a world where popular music has to be marked with an explicit tag, and you have to show ID for the latest beats as if it were beer or cigarettes. The subtle lyrics of romance have been replaced with crass declarations. Your kid’s radio needs parental control settings. They took away comic books by making them even darker and more sinister than they used to be. The heroes are more troubled and morally ambiguous in the name of character complexity. We call them “graphic novels” so that baby boomer adults can feel justified in buying them. And they are, as advertised, more graphic—and more disturbing. Now, they’re coming for your TV. Actually, they’ve already got it. You may have purchased that big-screen TV for wholesome, family entertainment, but show by show, network by network, you’re losing the ability to turn on your television without it undermining the values you’re trying to instill in your kids. Violence and sexual situations make even prime-time, “family” TV shows earn their MA rating (for mature audiences only). Aside from TV Land and the Cartoon Network, our options as parents are getting narrower by the day. The time has come to reclaim your family TV for your family. Here are a few suggestions: Use a Curated Service There is...

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Redefine Your Retirement With These Unique Hobbies

Today’s seniors are embracing their retirement like never before – with gusto and imagination. If you’re retired, or nearing retirement, redefine your retirement by focusing on activities that bring out your unique inner qualities. The following is a list of post-retirement hobbies that will have you experiencing life like never before… TRAVEL Whether you’re visiting distant relatives or planning a trip to Europe, it’s how you get there that supersizes your retirement. Anyone can purchase plane tickets or go on a cruise, but the truly unique find alternative routes. Imagine touching down in your childhood home at the helm of your own small airplane. It’s not difficult to garner a pilot’s license, and you’ll have all the years of your retirement to fly anywhere you like. Plus, you’ll look chic sporting a pair of aviators and an aviation headset, among the other pilot supplies you’ll need to get you where you’re going. If soaring through the clouds isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of interesting travel opportunities on the ground. For domestic travel, a motor home is an excellent way to see the country and still wake up in your own bed. Alternatively, you could fly or sail to a foreign nation and experience backpacking, camping, and more. CREATE “I’m finally going to create my masterpiece,” said nearly every retired person ever…But, how many of them actually moved forward and...

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Plan a Happy Surprise on Mother’s Day

For several years, millions of people across the globe have made Mother’s Day a day to prepare a happy surprise for the loving women in their lives. The roots of this very special day can be traced to ancient Greek and Roman times but the theme began to catch on in the UK where Mothering Sunday was celebrated long before the day became an official holiday in the United States. Julia Ward Howard and Anna Jarvis are credited with pushing to make Mother’s Day an official holiday in the U.S. Now more than 40 countries around the world share this special day in honor of the women who bring life into the world. Although the holiday has certainly taken on it’s own significance as time has evolved, the initial intent of the day was to celebrate the peace and nurturing that a mother brings to a household. Initially the holiday was scheduled for June 2nd according to historical accounts, but later the official holiday was slated for celebration on the second Sunday in May. President Woodrow Wilson is credited for officially making the day a national holiday in May of 1914. The tradition of giving mom flowers on Mother’s Day also began with Anna Jarvis. Her mother’s favorite flower was the carnation. Jarvis frequently would gift her mother a bouquet of carnations to commemorate the holiday. After her mother’s...

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