Fathers and Dads

19 06 2012

It is the 18th of June, and I just celebrated my very first fathers day, as a father.  Unfortunately our boys are in Nebraska right now with their Nana and Grampy.  They are having a blast I’m sure, but I do miss them.  This fathers day has brought some things into perspective though.  Let me explain.

The new Branch of the Barton Family

I always thought I would be the most amazing father.  I have so much love to give and can’t wait to share it with my children.  Looking back now on the time that I’ve had with Gabe and Finn, I feel that I haven’t been the father that I want to be.  I’ve been good about discipline and teaching them right and wrong, but I don’t think that I’ve been cherishing them like I should.  I’ve been thinking about what a “Dad” is opposed to what a “Father” is.  A Father is someone that has given life to a child.  You have fathered a child and have given them life, but a “Dad” is different.  A Dad is someone who has taught their kids right from wrong.  Someone who has shown their kids that they will love them no matter what they do.  No matter how many times they’ve screwed up or upset me, I will love them and they know that will never change.  A dad is the man in your life that you learn everything from.  How to throw a baseball, how to act at the dinner table, the man who teaches you how to play board games and card games.  The man that’s going to talk to you when your upset, and get advice from.

These are all things that my dad has taught me.  He’s always been a friend to me, but I know not to cross him.  I have a healthy fear of my father just as we should our heavenly father.  You know if you screw up your dad’s going to set you straight, but afterwards, he’s going to make sure you’re ok.  My father is now my best friend and my confidant.  I know I can go to him with ANYTHING.  He has taught me everything he knows, shown me how to play sports, cards, games, how to be a good worker, how to fix things around the house, and the 3 most important things he’s taught me…what it looks like to love GOD, how to love my wife, and how to be an amazing father.  Can you ask for anything more in a father?

So as this fathers day has come and gone, it’s now made me realize what being a father really means, with the 2 most amazing examples…God, and my Father/Dad/Friend, Rusty Barton.  I love you pops and I can now start to build my legacy as you have made yours live on through me and Josh.


I can’t wait to have kids, and yet I can.

13 06 2008

At the marriage conference this past weekend, the topic of kids came up.  I have been having alot of contact with kids lately and I have been itching to talk to someone about this subject.  I have strong views on kids now.  I’ve seen what happens when you do not discipline them or stick together and to your word.  The expression “give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile” is now more real to me. 

Now granted, I don’t have kids so I don’t know what it’s all about, but I know some things that I will not allow or some things that I will always remember.  First off, your kids need to respect you and know who’s in charge.  If you’ve ever seen, “The Dog Whisperer”, a.k.a. Cesar Millan, he has some principals that he follows with dogs that I think are very applicable to kids as well.  For example, kids need discipline.  Not just to keep them in line, but it’s healthy for them.  In “The Dog Whisperer”, there was a german shephard that wasn’t behaving and Cesar told them that a german shephard is a working dog.  In order to feel that he has a purpose, this dog needed to be put to work and he needed discipline.  When he was put to work and not always allowed to do whatever it wanted, the german shephard shaped right up.  With the discipline, he felt that he had a purpose and he needed to follow the rules that his master had set up for him.  I believe strongly that kids need this as well.  Kids need to know that you, the parent, are the boss.  If you give them an inch of leeway, they will take it and stretch it as far as you let them.  You don’t always need to keep them under wraps, but if you tell them not to do something and they do it, you need to reprimand them however it seems appropriate.  You have to stick to it though, don’t tell them to sit in the corner for 3 minutes and let them get up after 30 seconds.  You’re letting them know that they are in control and that you aren’t. http://www.flickr.com/photos/21766152@N03/2575923996/

An interesting diagram was shown at the conference.  It was a diagram of the timeline of a parents protection and preparation over time.  The older your kids get the less protection you should give them and the more preparation for life you should give them.  It’s like the Biodome in Tucson, they wondered why the trees weren’t growing as tall and strong as they should have been.  When they studied them, they came to the conclusion that the trees needed the wind to grow strong.  Without the wind blowing through trees forcing them to grow stronger in order to survive, they couldn’t grow to their full potential.  Same with kids, if you protect them all their life, they aren’t going to grow and mature into the person they are supposed to be.  Overprotective parents think that they are doing their kids a favor by keeping them out of danger.  They are going to need help with things, but as they get older, they need to do things on their own. 

Think about the person you want your child to be and start helping them get there.  When your kids are getting to the 16 year mark or so, start thinking about making them do more chores.  When they move out they are going to need to know how to do their laundry, make dinner, take care of the dishes, clean the house, mow the yard, change the oil and so forth.  If you haven’t taught them these things by the time they move out, how are they going to learn it?  Most of the time they bring this stuff back to you, because you’re the one that’s been doing it for them up till now.  I lived with 4 other guys in a house and immediately I could tell who had to do chores and who didn’t.  One of my buddies and I were always cleaning the house and mowing the yard while two others did absolutely nothing except destroy the place.  You know who you are.  It’s very apparent when people are on their own if they were taught to swim or relied on their parents to swim for them.  TEACH YOUR KIDS TO SWIM, OR THEY WILL DROWN WITHOUT YOU CARRYING THEM!

So you ask, why am I excited to have kids and yet I can wait.  I am excited to see how I do as a parent.  A little conceded and misdirected I think, but it’s the truth as of right now.  It’s a tough world kids have to deal with right now.  With drugs, alcohol, pornography, reality shows and lack of discipline, it’s amazing kids these days respect authority at all.  There is nothing wrong with spanking!!!  All of you who think it’s abuse, get over yourself!  There is a time to spank and a way to spank.  If you tell your child not to do something and they keep doing it, let them know if they do it again they will get a spanking, and when they do it, give them a firm spank on the butt.  It shouldn’t leave handprints or welts, but they should not want to get spanked agian.  It’s called discipline!!  My kids will be disciplined regardless of people telling me it’s child abuse.  Not disciplining your child is CHILD ABUSE!

Sorry, this is a long one, but it’s an hot topic for me.  Am I wrong?  Is spanking abuse?  Should kids and dogs never be compared to each other?  What are your thoughts?