My Interview on the Life of Dad Show

life of dad

life of dadHad a great time yesterday chatting with Ryan Hamilton and Art Eddy from Life of Dad. Check out the podcast here.

If you haven’t already heard Art and Ryan, you really need to. They’re smart, thoughtful, and inspiring. But most of all, they’re committed dads who are walking the walk. Check ’em out on Facebook and their blog.

Something You Probably Didn’t Know About Sexual Assault in the Military

Source: DoD News, U.S. Department of Defense. Photo by Glenn Fawcett (Released)

Source: DoD News, U.S. Department of Defense. Photo by Glenn Fawcett (Released)

Source: DoD News, U.S. Department of Defense. Photo by Glenn Fawcett (Released)

When people talk about sexual assault, the assumption is that the victims are all women and the perpetrators are all men. But in a speech on April 22, 2015 that didn’t get nearly enough coverage, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter demonstrated the dangers of assumptons (which, as one of my Marine Corps drill instructors was fond of saying, “make an ASS out of U and ME).

Speaking to ROTC cadets and midshipmen from a number of colleges and universities, Carter pointed out that “last year, we estimated that at least 18,900 service members — 10,400 men and 8,500 women — experienced unwanted sexual contact. And too few of them — particularly men — report these incidents as assaults.

Wait, what? Men can be victimes of sexual assault? Sad but true. Even sadder, most male victims are too embarrassed to report it.

The Secretary added that’s 18,900 too many, and that “no man or woman who serves in the U.S. military” should ever be sexually assaulted.” He then went on to say something that every one of us needs to hear.

“When victims are most vulnerable, their leadership and their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines need to stand by them in solidarity, not turn their back or turn away. We need those assaulted to have people they can count on. It may not be easy, but I need you to be one of them — in person and online…. That’s why I need you to be leaders,” Carter said, “not just in the line of duty, but online also. I trust most of you would intervene if you saw someone being bullied around campus. But too many people let that stuff slide online — we know that — and sometimes offline too… We can’t allow those who do the right thing — either in reporting an assault or standing up to stop one,” he continued, “to be belittled on Facebook, ignored at [the] chow hall, passed over at promotion time, or mocked in the officers club. That’s counter to the ethos you signed up for, and it’s just plain wrong.”

Amen, Mr. Secretary. Amen.

April is Foot Health Awareness Month so Play it Safe

mrdad - foot health

mrdad - foot healthAlthough this post is sponsored, all opinions 100% my own. In the U. S., more than 38 million children play some kind of organized sport each year. That’s great except for one thing: kids’ bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are still growing, which makes them more susceptible to injury. Actually it goes beyond “susceptible”: A third of children who play a team sport are injured seriously enough to miss practice or games. Ankle sprains and breaks are among the most common sports injuries for both children and adults.

So what can you do? Kids should have at least one or two days off from any particular sport each week to avoid overuse injuries. And on “on” days, a good stretching session can loosen up those muscles and help prevent muscle tears or sprains.

It’s also important to makes sure your kids—and you, too—are wearing the right shoes for the right activity. For example, tennis shoes (the ones made specifically for tennis) will provide different support and traction than shoes designed for runners. And cleats for baseball are different than the ones for soccer or football.

The best way to ensure that you’re getting the right footwear is to go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes, or call the office of a local podiatrist for suggestions. Be sure to have your feet measured every time you purchase new shoes, as feet size and shape can change (especially in kids) as we age.

Don’t underestimate how important it is to take good care of your feet.  A 2014 survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association showed that a quarter of adults were unable to exercise due to foot pain. And nearly 40 percent said they’d exercise more if their feet didn’t hurt.

If you or your child experience a foot or ankle injury while playing sports, getting it treated right away is key to preventing further damage. Putting off treatment for too long can cause toe deformities and other podiatric problems. And don’t be fooled by the old adage that if you can move your foot, it’s not broken. The truth is that it’s entirely possible to walk with certain kinds of fractures.

To highlight the importance of taking care of your feet, the American Podiatric Medicine Association has launched their Play it Safe campaign. Visit their site for tons of great foot-related info.

Useful Advice for Teaching Kids to Ride a Bike

A guest post by Leona S. Green

Riding a bicycle is one of the biggest milestones that a kid can ever achieve. It is like a rite of passage that shows the young ones the joys, risks, and thrills, of being independent. If you were a very active kid, you can still probably remember the first time that you pedaled your two-wheeled vehicle. And now that you have your own children, you probably want to share with them the happiness that you felt when you managed to maneuver your ride and went through daring adventures with your friends.
For older people, riding a bike can be as easy as breathing. But for the little ones, balancing on their bicycles can be a little bit challenging. That’s the reason why parents need to be resourceful and patient with teaching them how to balance and pedal their ride. To help you out, check out this post and discover the most effective ways for teaching your kids how to ride a bicycle and love the experience.
1. Choosing their Ride
Of course, it always starts with choosing their two-wheel ride. Unlike clothes, it is highly recommended that you avoid buying bmx bicycles that are too big for them. They won’t grow into their over sized bikes, and it will slow down their development rather than hasten it.
To check if it’s the correct fit, make sure that they can still stand on the top tube while keeping their feet on the ground. In addition he should also feel comfortable while sitting on it.
2. Safety first
To lessen your worries about any potential risks, let him wear durable bile helmet that meets safety standards. In addition, consider buying gloves, shin guards, or knee pads.
When you’re practicing how to ride, make sure that you choose an area where there’s not too much traffic. The road should also be flat and paved. You can start in your front yard, driveway, or a vacant parking lot.
3. Run alongside your kid
Work with your kid by running alongside him while controlling the steering. Once he gets the hang of it, gently hold your son’s shoulders and allow him to steer.
4. Teach them how to use the brake
Sometimes, we get so excited about teaching them how to pedal that we forget one of the most vital steps in cycling – learning how to use the brake. Teach the young ones how to do emergency stops. Regularly perform these stops until hitting the brake becomes second nature to them. Teach them about braking gradually, and how to use the rear and front brakes.
Got any other tips to your fellow parents? Feel free to share them in the comments section!

Babies Can Sometimes Bring out the Worst in Us

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m a new dad and I sometimes get incredibly angry when my son cries. Of course I haven’t acted on my anger, but I’m feeling really guilty that I get so mad in the first place. I’ve always been a pretty patient guy, but I don’t think I’ve ever had such intense feelings before. Am I a bad parent?

A: Babies have an amazing capacity to bring out feelings in us that are powerful, unfamiliar, and sometimes scary. On the positive side, we get to experience being on the receiving end and the giving end of unconditional love—something I don’t believe exists between adults. On the negative side, there are the feelings you described. We’d all like to believe that we’d throw ourselves in front of a moving train to save our children, but every once in a while they make us so furious that we think (very briefly) of throwing them in front of the train. I know that sounds horrible, but here’s a reality check: Everyone has feelings like that. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying to you or doesn’t have children. So, no, you’re not a bad parent at all.

That said, while there’s nothing wrong with feeling intense anger, it’s what you do with it that can be a problem. Here are some suggestions that can help you get your anger under control.

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