Today is Friday the 13th! Here are 13 things Parents really should be weary of…


Friday January 13th.  I think I’m supposed to be afraid today of black cats, open ladders, and a bunch of other crap which has been debunked by science, but not being a superstitious guy, I thought I could help parents with 13 things they really need to worry about – not just on Friday the 13th.

Please read and comment with tongue planted firmly in your cheek.  They are all true, however, your level of worry and fear will be determined by the age of your children and the number of children you have – meaning more kids usually equals less fears…

Sit tight, watch out for open ladders and let’s go!

13.  Kids + playdates + school = germs and sickness.  Remember that anti-bacterial anything is evil and make sure that you’ve got all of your natural and medical aides on hand plus a ton of tissues.  You’ll forget what it’s like to be healthy every now and then.

12.  It’s best to never sit in on a child’s playdate because you will be mortified by what your child says / does and you’ll want to send them to boarding school or never allow them to have playdates again.

11.  Clothing – when kids are young, you buy them colours they like and you stock up, but then that day will come when they will hate everything in their drawers and refuse to go to school.  You can’t plan for this day, you can’t take them with you and buy what they want only.   They wake up hating everyone…

10.  … and everyone.  Prior to the wardrobe catastrophe, comes the parenting realization that they just can’t stand you / can’t stand to be around you / be seen with you / won’t hold your hand in public.  IT’s really hard to accept, considering all that you’ve done for them (ungrateful), that is until…

9.  … They need stuff and they need it to be fancy, and expensive and they need it now.  No longer is that 10-year old Wii that they never play with good enough, because little Jimmy has a PS4, and little Jane has an X-box…  When they need something they will be in your face all the time, remind you a thousand times a day, and go between begging and anger as they try to figure out what it will take to get you to do as they say.  They’ll drive you to the cliff of sanity and if pushing you over gets them what they want, I hope you’ve packed a parachute.

8.   Kids are great at negotiating their position when they want something but when you need them to clean their rooms, pick up after themselves, or clean their dishes off the table, good luck!  Nothing can be more frustrating to parents than having kids who just cannot / or refuse to understand the basic premise of cleanliness

7.   Beware school bags and lunch boxes, especially after 2-weeks of holiday break.  The contents of a plastic container which at one time held lunch but now contains a vomit-scented science experiment can scar a parent for life.

6.   I don’t need to go into great detail here, but children’s underwear which get tossed in the laundry and have sat there for a couple of day and should have been brought to the parents’ attention before they smell / touch / spread throughout the rest of the laundry / house.

5.   As a child I was scarred when someone came into our school (likely Public Health) with these pink chew tablets and when we chewed them the plaque on our teeth turned dark pink.  I was horrified to chew the tablets but also became a fanatical tooth brusher / flosser later in life.   If they tool was still available, and we gave them to our children, the result would be horrifying, especially when we pass the tooth brushing on to them.

4.   Find the kids hiding spot in the house / car… I dare you.  The candy wrappers, chewed gum (especially if you don’t let them chew gum) and other crap they have accumulated / borrowed / stolen / broken would make you tear out your hair.

3.   Sleep!  UGH.  You’ll never get enough, never make up the lost sleep, which makes you look and feel older, and forget sleeping in your own bed!  There are nights where I have slept in every child’s bed with them because of; nightmares, weather, threat of bad weather, sickness, threat of sickness, loneliness, manipulation, I woke them up, or because they’re kids and kids are awesome and just want the attention.  Spending quality time with your kids and being there for them is awesome because there will come a day when the think you’re gross, but as for your sleep… Forget about it!  It’s over.

2.   When girls and boys go from being “yucky” and “gross” to silence.  That silence means they have taken notice and it might be time for that puberty check (armpit hair).  Then it’s a whole different ball game, my friends!  A completely different set of nightmares and worries.

1. Once you get it all figured out and everything seems to be in order (meaning you finally broke them and they are fully complying, or they’re moving out to go to University) you realize just how much you’re going to miss them.  Miss picking up after them.  Miss telling them to chew with their mouths shut.  Miss giving them advice and miss their company, their senses of humour, and they ability to lighten up a room (or clear that room).

 

So make sure this Friday the 13th, after you explain to your kids the myths and superstitions, that you hug them, kiss them and tell them you love them.

Deep down they love you too and might even admit it today (but take it back tomorrow).

… Is that a black cat!!!

 

Aaaarrrrrggghhhhhh.

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Monday Musings and More


Monday Musings and More

Exercise:

So my wife found a 21-day exercise program for us to do.  My first question to her was, “will there be fat people in the video?”, because I am not doing any exercise program where every person is 20-years-old, has 1% body fat and muscles where I didn’t know muscles could be.  It is those workouts where I feel my age and more afterwards.

After one workout, I have to say that I can still move, and yes, there was a “less-fit” person in the video.

If you have never seen me, I have to explain that I am a fairly big guy, bone-wise, and I hide my weight well considering how much I actually weigh, probably because I’m active – play ball-hockey in a league at least once a week – and I try to get active a couple more times per week.

In fact, I hide my weight so well that I always win in a guess-your-weight contest, the last couple of times the “expert” was off by 70lbs. I even gave him a second and third chance but he just got more and more upset, then was embarrassed once I stepped on the scale… Oops.

 

Sports:

Does NYY DH A-Rod deserve to be an all-star? No, but I have to say that I was sure I would NEVER be able to forgive this cheater for being such an arrogant asshole while cheater the entire time, but with all the crap the Yankees heaped on him, I actually feel that if he is clean, he has worked very hard to earn his playing time and I’m actually kind of rooting for him.

TNA / Impact Wrestling:
Because of the dumbass decision to have their program on The Fight Network, one of few stations we do not get in our massive cable package, I have to resort to watching it on YouTube.  The YouTube broadcasts are worse than awful, the program is still very confusing and with rumours of wrestlers leaving en mass, I’m watching less and less.

Even worse is Josh Matthews pretending to be at the event when we all know the show is taped and the commentary is being recorded after, but why does it look like he’s in a bee hive and does it sound like he has his hand over his mouth when he is speaking.

Again, I’m thrilled that Mike Tenay is not on these shows, but the quality of these broadcasts make Impact look more like Ring of Honor.

Why can’t TNA just finally drop the TNA, merge with a legit brand or bring back a real name and get back to basics. Fewer wrestlers, more stories, and get fans excited about the brand again rather than having us rush to be watch the death of the show.

Before it’s too late…

 

Coffee:
The Second Cup’s Butter Pecan coffee might just be one of the best coffee’s available. It’s fantastic, and requires less sugar than other coffees.

It was nice to see my new favourite coffee company, Javaworks, is the official coffee supplier for one of our favourite breakfast joints, Steve’s on Bathurst Street, just north of Wilson Avenue, in Toronto. The coffee there is always delicious, and now I know why!

 

The Urban Daddy:
If you’re looking to be more involved in The Urban Daddy, now might just be your chance! I’m looking to get back blogging on a more frequent timetable and to have some time to address the pitches and requests which come my way daily.

I cannot get to them all, and as of right now, I’m giving preference to the local (Toronto and surrounding area) ones.
If you are interested in writing a post her and there, or attending an event on behalf of The Urban Daddy, and then writing up a post, with some pictures, please let me know by email to: realurbandaddy@gmail.com

I’m not just looking for one person, to be honest, the more the merrier.

 

Children:
With 2 of my 3 kids away at sleepover camp, I have found that the 3rd and youngest really seems to be growing up fast!

I also cannot believe how much she talks! It seems like it’s been non-stop and while I felt this way last year, I find this year is even more tiring.

Anyone else have similar experiences?

 

Tax:
As many long-time readers will be aware, I’ve been operating a tax consulting business for a few years now, and I thought it might be interesting to point out in a parenting / family blog, that the most common question asked of me this past week had to do with divorce.

More specifically, what happens when a husband and wife are in the process of divorcing and the husband either has not filed, nor disclosed his accurate income to the courts. Is there any recourse on the wife’s side, or should the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) be made aware of this?

Furthermore, if the husband has a debt owing to the CRA, can the CRA take actions against the soon-to-be ex-wife and / or seize and sell the house.

The answer is… Maybe.

It depends on the details and I’m more than happy to listen to a situation and provide my thoughts.

My email is info@intaxicating.ca

Should you pay your kids to do chores?


Such a great topic, and one in which I have spent a lot of time discussing with my wife over the years.  Last week, I was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on this very topic and the article can be found here:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/should-you-pay-your-kids-to-do-chores/article23076370/

Here is the article for you to read and comment.  I’m curious as to your thoughts as a parent who has tried this and found that it works, or failed, or if there a compromise which worked.

The article:

Final_wrk1+(2)

The phrase “the value of a dollar” is misleading. The truth is, there are so many values contained in a buck it’s hard to count them all. It’s these values we are trying to impart when we give kids an allowance – that money has to be earned, that not every desire can be instantly gratified, that it’s important to give to those in need. Perhaps the biggest point of contention is whether to pay kids to do chores. Dan Lieber argues against it in his new book, The Opposite of Spoiled. Parents don’t get paid for housework, so neither should children, according to Lieber. But a strong case can be made for the other side of the debate as well. We asked parents on each end of the debate to explain their allowance philosophy.

NOT TIED TO CHORES

Kids should do chores to help the household and learn to take care of themselves, not to pocket cash. “Let’s fast-forward to when your child goes to college. Is he going to want to be paid to take out the trash and keep his room neat?” says Kristan Leatherman, co-author of Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats.

Lori McGrath, Vancouver-based blogger of The Write Mama

Kid’s age 6

Allowance $3 per week: $2 goes into his wallet, $1 goes into a piggy bank.

The lesson “I want him to learn how to be independent with money. I want him to feel empowered about it, and to learn how to make good decisions about money.”

Why it’s not tied to chores “He does have chores, but [the allowance] is just to teach him financial responsibility. We don’t want it to be an emotional thing – ‘You’re being a good boy, here’s money.’ We want it to teach him about making his own decisions and saving for things.”

Warren Orlans, Toronto-based tax consultant @ inTAXicating and blogger @UrbanDaddyBlog

Kids’ ages 10, 8, 5

Allowance $5, $4, $2 per week, respectively.

The lesson “The value of money. Money is not something you throw away, but it’s not the be-all, end-all. You can do without money. You don’t have to buy everything you see. But if you see something you want, you can save up and purchase it.”

Why it’s not tied to chores “The kids have to do chores as part of being members of the household. … I’m a big sports fan, and there’s nothing worse than having a player on your team who’s only in it for the contract.” But if Orlans has to clean up after the kids after two warnings, he makes them buy back the items, whether socks or comic books, from their allowance.

Denise Schipani Huntington, NewYork-based author

Kids’ ages 12 and 10

Allowance $12 and $10 per month, respectively.

The lesson “That money has worth. And it has consequences.”

Why it’s not tied to chores “The very idea of that turns me off completely. None of us [in the family] pay each other for doing what needs doing. But they get an allowance so that they can decide what they want to do with money. We presented it more as a way to help them understand how money works.”

TIED TO CHORES

Paying kids to do chores teaches them about working for what they want. “Having the feeling that the money comes from your effort appears to be related to the notion that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that you’re not entitled to any money,” says Lewis Mandell, an economist and financial literacy educator.

Tibetha Kemble, Edmonton-based consultant in First Nations relations

Kid’s age 6

Allowance $10 after a full slate of chores is completed, usually every two weeks.

The lesson “That there is a direct connection between doing work and getting something for it … and that things are expensive and if you save up your allowance you can afford to buy it – that it’s not just about immediate gratification.”

Why it’s tied to chores “It was really the only way that we could tie money to something without it seeming arbitrary or punitive or behaviour-related.”

Jen Kern, Toronto-based events and business development director

Kids’ ages 6, 3

Allowance No allowance for the three-year-old. Older son has a chore chart with various amounts (25 cents for making his bed, for example) with a weekly maximum of $7. His parents match whatever he saves.

The lesson “That money isn’t free … linking savings to that was really important. Neither my husband nor I were ever taught that, and as result we were really crappy with money for a lot of our late-teens, early 20s. We’re trying to explain to him that if he puts his money away, it will be there when he needs it. He’s saved $85 already.”

Why it’s tied to chores “There was going to be no free ride.”

 

Danielle Riddel, Calgary-based real estate assistant

Kid’s age 14

Allowance $70 per month ($10 has to go into savings)

The lesson “Nowadays I feel like kids get money all the time for everything. I want her to learn that you can’t have everything as soon as you want it. You have to work for it. You have to save for it.”

Why it’s tied to chores “She doesn’t get allowance for cleaning her room or taking care of the dog. She gets it for doing all the floors in the house and cleaning three bathrooms. I wanted her to have money because I want her to learn to spend and how to save money, but I didn’t want to just give it to her.”

Thoughts?

Comments?

Looking For Structure While Adding Responsibilities To The Children? See How Our School-Year Started!


Structure.

Consistency.

Responsibilities.

Independence.

All things we want our children to have, when they’re older, so they are able to lead fulfilling lives and, to be honest, so we don’t have to do everything for them.  But when is it the right time?

How about now!

A week before school started for my children – ages ranging from 9 to 4 – I started modeling the morning routine, while my wife and I continued to follow the exact same evening and bedtime routine she set in place when we had one child and he was still drooling and in diapers.  That consistency has clearly displayed our expectations of the children and it makes the time we have with them after school more organized and enjoyable.

(Nothing screams routine than the summer when for one week the kids had no programs, no camp, and were going crazy looking for things to do.  “I’m bored” was a common expression of frustration from the kids many times during each and every day.)

With all that being said, here is the schedule I presented to the children on Labour Day, and we worked through today, their first day of school.  I’m sure there will be some tweaking done, but I can say that this morning’s routine was the smoothest it has been in a long time – for them and for me!

Children’s Schedule for the 2014 / 2015 School Year.

Good Morning!

Before you come downstairs in the morning, please:
• Make Your Bed
• Get Dressed
• Clean Room / Tidy the floor

Kitchen Routine:
• Say good morning to your father and to each other
• Drink a glass / cup of water
• Have a piece of fruit
• Help with, or make your own, breakfast
• Eat it

When You Have Finished Breakfast:
• Rinse off your dishes
• Place them in the dishwasher, or
• Wash them, dry them and put them away
• Make sure your place is clean (no food on your chair or the floor)

Help with Lunches:
• Make sure your lunch box is out, and put in it;
• Nori
• Vegetables
• Apples sauce with a spoon
• Fill your water bottle

Go Upstairs To Your Bathroom:
• Wash your face
• Brush your hair
• Wait for Daddy to help you brush your teeth

*Hug and Kiss Mummy

Front door:
• Sunscreen on / Snowpants on
• Make sure your glasses are in your bag
• Place your lunch and water bottle in your bag

8am – LEAVING the house to walk to school.

Home from school:
• Wash your hands
• Bring your lunch box to the kitchen and empty it
• Put dishes in dishwasher
• Put lunchbox on the counter
• Empty your water bottle
• Put water bottle on the counter

Free Time:
• Play / read / relax / enjoy.
• NO electronics during the week
• NO TV during the week

Dinner Prep:
• Come to the kitchen to see what you can do to help with dinner
• Set the kitchen table – plates, cutlery, glasses, napkins, water, and the mats in the middle of the table

Homework Time:
• Practice piano
• Spirit of Math
• Regular homework

Dinner Time:
• When You Are Finished, Ask to be Excused
• Thank Mummy for making you another amazing dinner
• After dinner take your plate, cutlery and glass to the counter. Put your napkin in the recycling under the sink
• Rinse plate and cutlery and place in the dishwasher
• Place glass in the dishwasher

Before Bed:
• Put everything in your bag for tomorrow and place it at the front door.
• If you are having a snack, make sure you clean up properly afterwards
• Put your dirty clothes into your hamper
• Brush your teeth
• Floss
• Hugs and Kisses
• NO coming out of bed! Get a good night’s sleep for another amazing day tomorrow.

Good night and sleep tight!

We love you!

 

The kids love the schedule, although my boys prefer a much simpler routine based on the current WWE Champion Brock Lesner;

EatEatSleepConquerRepeat

Sleep

Conquer

Repeat.

 

Stay At Home Dads (SAHD) needed for a Survey. Please.


Always happy and willing to help, I received a request from a student at the University of Regina named Nicole Storms, and she is seeking Stay-at-Home-Dad’s (SAHD’s), Dads at home currently on paternity leave, Dads, like me who are home full-time but work from home and also spend the majority of time with the children, or even a student who is also a parent but spends much of their time with the children, to complete a survey.

The fine print requires that the Dad be from a two-parent home with at least one child in the home who is under 5-years-old.

This survey is completely anonymous, it is very well written and can be completed online in under 10 minutes – but is only available in English.

I completed it and found it to have great flow and as I progressed through the survey I began to get curious about the final conclusion to see if my line of thinking is the norm or if I’m way off-base.

I don’t want to spoil the survey, but we can talk after. 🙂

Essentially, it is important to have fathers represented in the results, so the researcher can understand the well-being of this particular group and if this groups self-perceived wellbeing differs from the ways in which other parents see it.

The survey can be found here;  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YDM7H93.  Please do it, share it and together we can get Nicole more data for her project.

If you have any questions, you can contact Nicole, here;  Storms2N@uregina.ca

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help!