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Be a knight in shining armor

Be a knight in shining armor

PARENTING MATTERS

Cynthia Martin

This article is to be read by fathers only. In it are some of the keys to becoming a hero to your wife and children. At the same time, you can learn to enjoy life and participate more fully in being a member of the family.

Fathers have a tendency to be considered second parents to their children. As a result, moms become the heroes. Moms are the ones who buy things for the kids and who generally take them places. Moms are the ones who suggest where the family goes and dads just come along. Moms are even the ones who most of the time do the disciplining. Fathers may help with older children but sometimes the role has totally shifted to the mom by this time.

Be a take-charge father and do things with your family. Be the one who plans the outing in the park or who takes them to the zoo. Be the one who at dinner prompts your little one to tell about the wonderful sites he saw at the park. Be the one who takes them to the store and lets them pick out their favorite foods. A trip to Dairy Queen or the ice cream snack shop is a great time for just you and your little girl to talk about what she has been doing and what she would like to be doing.

Be the one to plan with your little boy which movie he would like to see this weekend. Be the one to put your daughter to bed tonight and read to her one or two stories before she goes to sleep. Tell your wife you are taking her out to dinner tonight but you be the one who arranges for the baby sitter and picks out the special place to go.

There are so many ways for you to be a hero to your family but all of them take a bit of time to plan.

Plans don't have to be elaborate or expensive. But, most importantly, it is great to have your family think you are really a knight in shining armor ... a genuine hero.

Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and now director of Parenting Matters Foundation.

The foundation publishes newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents. Reach Martin at pmf@olypen.com or at 681-2250.

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