Generosity: Inherited or Learned? (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

BTAboutThemIn numerous studies across the globe parents report that their number one goal is to raise children who are prosocial: generous, compassionate and empathetic. High life achievement through material success ranks much lower.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome children are naturally able to express generosity and compassion at a very early age. Most do not. While research from identical twin studies suggests that between 25 and 50% of the propensity to be a generous person is inherited, there is ample opportunity to teach almost all children to become prosocial.

What Studies Tell Us
In a 2015 study, Paulus and Moore observed that when children between the ages of 3 and 6 are guided to talk about feeling of being left out or included related to sharing, those children tend to exhibit greater generosity than children who are merely offered the opportunity to share without a discussion of feelings related to being included or excluded.

Other researchers found that during the first two years of life, children who are encouraged to talk about feelings are more emotionally intelligent and can better anticipate the emotional state of others. This in turn contributes to greater capacity to offer generosity as children age.

And, for 7 to 11 year olds, it has been found that the capacity to express generosity is linked to the development of moral judgment – an ability to experience compassion and mercy.

Two Interventions
Two factors that influence the capacity for generosity are modeling and “preaching.” There is little evidence that preaching or lecturing has much short-term effect, but it has been found to be effective in the long run.

DTrussellCompelling support for these two interventions was demonstrated in a recent study that included elementary and middle school students. A “teacher” demonstrated sharing tokens won in a game by donating them all to a needy family, donating some to a needy family or donating none to a needy family accompanied with a lecture about the value of selfishness or generosity or no preaching at all.

A control group simply played the game without a “teacher” demonstration or commentary. Following the game they were asked if they wanted to donate some tokens to a needy family and this established a baseline of giving.

When the experimental students were given an opportunity to play the game to collect tokens and were then asked if they wanted to donate, results were surprising. When the teacher modeled generosity whether preached to or not, students gave 85% more than the control group. Moreover, when the teacher acted in a generous manner but preached about the value of selfishness, students still gave 49% more than the control group. This certainly suggests that actions speak louder than words.

In all the studies above it is likely that negative bias played a strong role. Negative bias is the concept that behavior is more strongly influenced by the desire to avoid negative emotions than by a desire to make another happy.

Importance of Parental Influence
This leads us to consider the importance of personalizing praise and direction when teaching young kids about generosity. For example, directing your child by saying “don’t lie” is less effective than saying “don’t be a liar.” Likewise repeated statements of “good job” have minimal impact whereas statements like “you are a kind person” when a young child shares or “you are a good helper in the kitchen” send a strong message of ownership and increases displays of future generous behavior. Research suggests that by the age of ten, praising a child’s character or praising a precise action have equal effect.

Additionally the experience of shame or guilt impact the growth of pro-social behaviors like caring and generosity. Multiple studies conclude that when parents express excessive anger at children, withdraw love or exercise frequent threats of punishment, child learn to internalize shame. These children often withdraw socially and curate few prosocial behaviors. Conversely, children who experience guilt rather than shame about poor choices often become more generous as they mature.

While genetics does play a role in how we manifest generosity, kindness, compassion and mercy, the nurture aspect of the nature/nurture dichotomy plays an equally important role. And research indicates that parents have a strong influence from infancy to adulthood. Modeling generosity, helping children associate feelings to actions, personalizing accomplishments and avoiding shaming children all contribute to pro-social behaviors and produce individuals who cheerfully offer generous responses as adults. ###

Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]

 

The Power of Dadhood (Guest: Col. Michael Byron Smith)

BTRadioIntOne of the greatest challenges of society today is the “reconnection” of families. Solid and reputable research has shown us that, as two-parent, married-couple families have declined, there have been corresponding increases in poverty, ill-health, educational failure, unhappiness, antisocial behavior, isolation and social exclusion of many children and adults.

MSmithphotoIt is the consensus of many that these issues are rooted in the lack of structure in the family. Most often, father absence is both cause and result of family dysfunction.

These problems are not going to repair themselves. Our guest on this program, Michael Byron Smith, believes that now, more than ever, fathers must be present and engaged with their children if the family is to function as it should. Michael understands all too well the impact of a physically or emotionally absent father.

Fortunately, Michael brings to this program some thoughts and suggestions for how fathers can connect and better connect with their children. In fact, he will share with us how the “Seven Characteristics of a Successful Father” can help all dads become more present, more loving and more nurturing with their children. It could well be the most important task they will ever accomplish, as it stimulates the growth and character of their sons and daughters.

MSmithbook(Be especially mindful of the end of this interview when Michael shares “What Every Dad Should Teach His Children.”)

Michael is a retired Air Force colonel and former military pilot. He’s also a retired civilian engineer for the US government in the aerospace industry. In addition to being the author of the new book, The Power of Dadhood: How to Become the Father Your Child Needs, Michael is a husband, father and grandfather dedicated to helping fathers to be present and involved dads through his blog, “Helping Fathers to be Dads.” (29:47)

http://www.michaelbyronsmith.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

Never Forget … (Anonymous)

BTLifesMoments

 

 

…………

jarNever Forget–It’s much more difficult to read the label when you’re INSIDE the jar!

–Anonymous

Restorative Justice: An Old Voice & Way in New Times (Ken Johnson)

BTAboutThemAugust 8, 2015 was a great night for me. In front of my peers, at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association President’s Awards, I received not one but two gold medals for my book, Unbroken Circles for Schools. But, what really moved me were the words of wisdom given by Mark Wayne Adams, FAPA president and multi-award winning author & illustrator, before the awards were given.

Mark told us there is always this one person in our life that encourages us to step out and do something great. He told us the medals will not matter and instead we need to focus on the one person that brought us here to the awards.

IN A GOOD PLACE

Each time I went to receive my award, Mark made it a point to tell the audience great things about me. When I thanked my publisher, Terri Gerrell, for having faith in me and my message (most authors can understand where I was coming from) she simply said, very sternly might I add, “It’s a good book!”

Ken Johnson receiving gold medal1Later that night, someone was joking and said, “Hey Ken, how many awards did you get – four?” To that I meekly replied, “Just two.” Not thinking of how it may have sounded, I heard a joking reply, “Yeah, JUST TWO!” Looking around the table, I laughed in joy because my peers and my loving wife were by my side and I was in a good place.

After putting a little blurb on Facebook about the book doing well, a friend of mine wrote back that the award merely proved to me what they already knew about me – I nearly came to tears. Again, I was in a good place.

I say all of this to make note how, for me, I was always pushing and uplifting the book while family, friends, and colleagues were instead pushing and uplifting ME.

When is the last time someone has done that for you? When have you done that same thing for someone else?

THE OTHER HALF

In the United States, just a little under fifty percent of households with children are underemployed. Underemployment often translates into a child having unmet needs. Children of impoverished homes tend to have chronic illnesses, suffer neglect and abuse at higher rates, witness more domestic violence, and generally do not have the social resources a child needs to cope and adapt. Hunger and malnourishment are huge problems.

Moreover, there is a growing trend of child abandonment in America where parents, both mothers and fathers, are leaving children to fend for themselves for days, weeks, months and sometimes years at a time. Lest we not forget, there are also circumstances where middle and upper class children are suffering in plain sight, in their own unique and sometimes obfuscated ways.

So, these children come to schools where they are increasingly expected to perform like trained animals due to performance-based funding. Mom just got beat, but Johnny is told he needs to learn a nonsensical Common Core math problem or else he’ll be sent home – where he’ll probably be beaten or have to cry himself to sleep hungry and with a pillow over his head to drown out the yelling.

His friend Billy has a different problem. Billy has no mom or dad to take care of him this foreseeable month and so he has to “couch surf” from friend’s house to friend’s house hoping he might get a hot shower, a warm meal and a couch to sleep on for the night. Across town, in a gated community, young William feels much like Billy, being that he has to travel from house to house like a hobo – carrying his clothes and belongings in a small suitcase. This week, he is with his dad who left him with Cindy, dad’s latest girlfriend, because of yet another business trip. Next week, William will be at his mom’s apartment, where a similar occurrence will happen. His only companions are the trinkets his parents give him – mostly out of guilt for not being there for him. His only release comes from the self-cutting he ritualistically does to drown out the pain – the evidence of such cleverly concealed by his long, baggy clothing.

BACKSEAT, MUTED VOICES

Children sometimes get placed in the “backseat” of society even though they are our future. We do this for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is due to simple ignorance. Other times, it is out of fear due to sensational media stories. Other times, it is because we let our need for money and happiness cloud our views on things. And still, there are a plethora of other reasons. Yet one thing remains constant through it all – the children’s voice is muted.

As school starts back up, we are once again on track to see the same old trends. We can expect to see nearly 2.2 million children being arrested at school for trivial offenses. Each school day, we can expect to see 7,000 children drop out. And we can expect to also see students suspended in great numbers – each suspension now known to increase a child’s chances of dropping out by fifty percent. All of this, academics now pose, is aimed at skewing performance-based testing by culling out the poor performers. But, what if I could tell you these numbers could be turned around while also saving lives?

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

Restorative Justice is a very old voice and methodology which has been adapted for our contemporary times. You know, when I was first training to be a mediator, the instructors said to never say, “So, what’s your story” or “Tell me your side of things.” I was also reminded that a person’s problems are not mine and I have to remain objective, neutral and always allow the problem to be owned by the persons with the problem.

RJ does just the opposite of this. Essentially, RJ thrives off storytelling. We are not talking about fictional storytelling, rather a person being able to express their views and retell an account of what happened to them, how they felt, what they expected, etc. This discussion is driven by a facilitator who is as much involved in the problems and issues as are the people who are talking about the problem. At the heart of this is something profound – focused attention. Focused attention is focusing direct attention on someone to hear their story, to empathize with their situation, to show genuine compassion, to encourage them, to uplift them, and to offer insight and counsel.

RJ IN USE

In a typical classroom situation, the teacher is usually involved either as a facilitator or a circle keeper in the process. A round of praise is generally done so students can uplift each other and offer encouragement – something child psychologists are finding to be profoundly beneficial. Today, maybe the teacher decided Susan was a little “off,” so she inquired as to everyone’s well-being. When it comes around to Susan, the circle learns how a girl from another school has been tormenting her via text messaging and social media. The girl makes fun of Susan’s appearance and the rented home. She can’t turn off the phone because her mother uses the phone to keep in contact with Susan between breaks waiting tables. Susan can’t use the computer because the school has gone to a computer-only system of paperless instruction. So, the students offer support, possible solutions, etc.

KyleesitJanet tells the circle how she went through the same thing and what worked for her. In the end, Susan agrees to tell her mother what is going on, a report is made to Principal Tsulakis to let him know what is going on and a school counselor is called in.

Two weeks later, Susan’s bully is now in a similar session where it’s revealed the girl, Erica, was being abused by her mother’s fiancee when she was at work. Now, Erica is getting help and Susan is no longer bullied. In the end, the two even become friends as they call each other every day to make sure the other is okay and doing well.

It sounds different. Some might even say, “Oh he had to use bullying! It’s the new, hot-button word – just tell her to get over it and move on!” But here’s the deal: We are now finding out how bullying acts as a catalyst for suicide – which is the top reason for premature death in teens and pre-teens. We also know now that bullies generally are bullied themselves. The act of bullying essentially is a spin-off of the classical “fight or flight” response where the child loses power in one aspect of their life, then try to rob a weaker person of power through bullying. Restorative Justice diffuses the situation through allowing all parties a right to tell their story through the implementation of focused attention on the individual. In a nutshell, it puts people in a good place by giving a voice back to those who once had none. ###

KJohnsonbookKen Johnson is a culturalist and conflict specialist. His book, Unbroken Circles for Schools, deals with issues of conflict in the school system while also proposing common sense, cost-effective solutions using Restorative Justice strategies. Until November, you can get $9 off Ken’s book by entering in coupon code “NACRJ” at checkout when you go to www.syppublishing.com.

 

Audio Clip: Changing Behavior by Challenging Thought (Dr. James Sutton)

BTCounselorIt’s long been established that poor behavior in children and adolescents can be an issue of poor or missing skills. No argument there. The premise is that, if a youngster lacking in certain skills (like social skills) could do better, they would.

Jim415smBut there are also those youngsters that have the skills in place but, for whatever reason, choose not to use them. Oppositional and defiant behavior fueled by anger, resentment or power issues would be an example. These children and teens often act out because it serves their immediate or short-term needs to do so. When added up, however, these behaviors can create serious trouble, like failure at school and retention in grade. In instances like these, difficult behavior could could be more an issue of how youngsters think than of their skills. (Obviously, in these instances, we are ruling out thought disorder, a different concern entirely.)

In this audio discussion, psychologist and author Dr. James Sutton shares his work and the work of psychologists Dr. Doug Riley and Dr. Greg Lester in suggesting ways a youngster’s thought can be challenged using five simple questions.

parcovjpg5These five questions and their use are intended to be challenging, but not inflammatory. The approach is noncoercive; an attempt to encourage the youngster to reflect on aspects of their behavior they might not have considered before. These questions are also excellent to use with groups.

Dr. Sutton is the founder and host of The Changing Behavior Network, and he’s the moderator for the Network’s Support Forum. He’s also the author of What Parents Need to Know About ODD, revised. (For more information about the book, click on the title. (17:09)

http://www.DocSpeak.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)

 

Five Back-to-School Tips for Parents (Dr. Tom Phelan)

BTAboutThemIt’s almost that time of year again. Believe it or not, your kids will be heading back to school in the near future. You can almost taste it! But making the transition from summer to fall means that you’d better think ahead. There are a lot of changes that must be managed. Here are five back to school tips to help you and your kids make the shift as easy as possible.

TPhelanphoto1. Bedtime
Gradually start getting the children to bed earlier and earlier, so that one week before school starts, they are on their fall schedule. Once school begins, bedtime should be the same every night. Weekend times for bed, of course, can still be a little different from the rest of the week.

2. Homework
If you have youngsters who handle homework on their own (yes, there are children like this), leave them alone or say something like: “Boy, you really did a good job last year doing your schoolwork by yourself.” With other children, sit them down and discuss how homework will be handled every day. Good rules of thumb are same time, same place and try to get it all done before dinner. TV is not allowed while doing schoolwork, but many kids do better while listening to music.

3. New Schools
If you have a child who is going to a school they haven’t been to before, make sure you take them over for a visit. Take them to their new classroom and—even better—see if you can meet their new teacher. Even if you can’t, try to find at least one friendly person in the school that your child can talk to for even a little bit. Your visit—and that friendly memory—will help to counter some of your child’s fears of the unknown.

4. School Supplies
Make a fun shopping trip out of buying school supplies. One-on-one shared fun is the best parent-child bonding method in history. That means ONE child plus you go shopping and to lunch, not THREE kids plus you. Kids cherish being alone with a parent, and for you the pleasure is partly due to the fact that sibling rivalry in this situation is impossible.

5. Listen and Talk
While you’re out getting things for school, or anytime really, be a sympathetic listener. Ask your child how it feels to be going back to school. “What’s good about it and what’s not so hot.” Then, from time to time, fill your young one in on what it felt like for you to be going back to school at about her age. Don’t be scared—be honest. ###

Dr. Tom Phelan is an internationally recognized child and adolescent psychologist. He is the author of the aclaimed bestseller, 1-2-3 Magic! His website is www.parentmagic.com.

 

Synergy of Friendship: Competition or Cooperation? (Christy Monson)

BTAboutThemTodd ran across the playground. “I’m faster than you,” he yelled to his friend Ben.
Ben looked up from his game of marbles. “I already told you I’m not racing.”
“I’ll beat you in the 50 yard dash at the school track meet,” said Todd.
“I’ll cheer for you when you win,” said Ben.
Here’s an interesting exchange between good friends. Todd loved the competition of a race. Ben enjoyed a game, but didn’t seem to care about winning.

CMonsonphotoGrowth of Synergy
As the relationship between these two boys developed, a magical synergy began to grow. Since Todd loved the race and the thrill of competition, Ben started to run with him. He knew that if he sprinted with Todd then Todd would play a game with him. Sometimes he talked Todd into a game of marbles, basketball, or Four Square. It didn’t matter to Ben; he loved to be with others.
The boys began to take pleasure in each other’s activities. Todd had fun playing the games with Ben and enjoyed them more as he grew older. Ben even joined the track team in Jr. High to be with Todd. The relay race became his favorite.
The mothers of these two watched the boy’s collaboration and felt grateful for the friendship. Both boys developed skills they wouldn’t have had without the friendship.

How Parents Can Contribute
What can a parent do to augment a situation like this?

1. Be aware of what’s happening with your children and their friends.
2. Listen when your children talk to you about activities with friends.
3. Support the positives you hear from them.
4. Define with your children the function of competition in our society and in your family as you see it.
5. Identify the role of societal cooperation and family cooperation and its importance for them.
6. Help each child recognize his or her strengths.
7. Aid them in setting the personal goals they want to achieve.
8. Talk, talk, talk with each other.

Family Talk BookWhich do your children value most? Are they get-ahead people? Or do they enjoy the journey with others? What do they learn from their friends? What is your role as a parent in helping them become well rounded?
Use family councils meetings to help children become the best they can be.

Check out Christy Monson’s latest book, Family Talk, and discover more ideas about holding family meetings. For more information and additional resources, go to Christy’s website at www.christymonson.com.

 

Video Games and the Internet: Protecting Our Children from Cyber Addiction (Guest: Kevin Roberts)

BTRadioInt

 

What a timely interview! Exactly what are the risks when our children spend too much time playing video games or chatting on the Internet? Can texting become a problem?

Our guest on this program, Kevin Roberts, has answers to these questions, answers he learned the hardest way possible. Kevin is a recovering cyber addict; he can speak to the costs of video gaming and Internet addiciton, including employment problems, distancing of relationships, and even health and fitness concerns.

Kevin shares warning signs parents (and teachers) should look for if they suspect a youngster’s video gaming is getting out of control. He will also outline steps that can be taken to initiate immediate improvement. (26:25)

Kevin is the author of Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap, and he regularly trains therapists, physicians, nurses, educators and parents on the perils of the Internet and video gaming. His informative website is:

www.kevinjroberts.net

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Target as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK

We Become What We Think About (Earl Nightingtale)

BTLifesMomentsThe late Earl Nightingale was aboard the USS Arizona when it was sunk by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. He was one of only 15 marines that survived. He made his mark in radio in the 50s and went on to be a leader in the new field of motivation and success building. He was co-founder of Nightingale-Conant, one of the first businesses of its kind to specialize in the production and sale of audio learning materials.

strangesecretIn 1956, the first ever spoken-word record to go gold (over 1,000,000 copies) was recorded and distributed. It was a recording by Nightingale entitled The Strangest Secret.

Here’s the main point of his message that caused that recorder to sell over a million copies:

We Become What We Think About

 

Actually, a few other folks said essentially the same thing:

King Solomon, known for his great wisdom, said, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!”

Shakespeare said, “Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

But we do have to hand it to Earl Nightingale. He nailed it in only six words: “We become what we think about.” ###

 

What I Learned in Prison about Being a Great Dad (Keith Zafren)

BTAboutThemI know, it’s the last thing you might expect.
Men behind bars often learn to become better criminals.
But for me, it was a very different story.

What I Learned

When I was in prison in Texas for six years at the Cleveland Correctional Center, I learned that:

• It’s never too late to become a great dad.
• No matter what mistakes I’d made in my life, kids can be incredibly resilient and forgiving when they feel loved.
• Even though I’d had a really painful relationship with my own dad, it was still possible to become the dad I wished I’d had.
• It’s actually a lot easier than I thought it would be to become a great dad.

KZafrenphotoHow Did I Learn All This?

Well, by teaching it to other dads, most of whom had little or no relationship with their kids. And then by watching remarkable changes take place.

You see, I wasn’t locked up myself. I enjoyed the incredible honor and privilege of being a coach and teacher to about 600 inmates who were part of a larger training called the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). Through teaching these men and working with them each week over six months, we quickly realized that they would be much more likely to succeed in business in the outside world if they had a meaningful family support structure and better relationships with their kids.

I will never forget the transformations I observed in these men, and in the lives of their children (about 2,000 of them). It changed me as much as it impacted them, and it shaped my life’s work.

How Did These Changes Take Place?

Here’s what I did to foster the kind of changes that made such a difference:

1. I started by creating low-risk conversations among the men in small groups. They shared the names of their kids, their ages, and a little bit about what their family situations were like, including their relationship with their own father.
2. I told lots of stories about my difficult relationship with my own father, and how I slowly overcame the negative effects of that relationship so I could become a good dad to my three sons. When I talked about my boys, I showed the men pictures of them and honestly told real stories—successes and failures.
3. In small groups, the men talked about what they loved most about their kids, how they missed them, and how great it would feel to reconnect with their kids, and to build relationships with them.
4. I encouraged the dads to write letters to their kids on a regular basis, sharing about their lives, and asking questions about what was going on in their kids’ lives. I taught them how to do it by reading some of the letters I had written to my sons.
5. Many of the men had to ask permission from their children’s mother before writing these letters. I challenged the men to do this, and I taught them how. I asked each man to write to their children’s mothers, apologizing for not being there, telling them about the positive changes they were making in their lives, and sharing their commitment to be more present as a dad, even while still in prison. I challenged them to offer more time with their kids, and financial support to their children’s mothers when they got out of prison.
6. I then encouraged the men to ask permission from their children’s moms for visitations while still locked up. Would their mom’s be willing to bring the kids to visit dad in prison?
7. I coached each man who wanted help in writing his letters to his children. I helped them figure out what to say, how to say it, what not to say, and what to promise, and not yet promise.
8. And finally, I asked the men to invite their families to their graduation in prison at the end of the PEP program.

Tears of Joy

If you have never seen a grown man cry, especially a man who has not been close to his kids, I wish you could have been there to experience one of these graduation ceremonies. Each father made a stuffed bear for each one of his children, like the Build-a-Bear brand in stores. At the end of the graduation ceremony in the gym on prison grounds, the dads stood in the front of the room while we invited their children to get out of their chairs and to come to the front to find their dad. When they did, the dads pulled the stuffed bears out from behind their backs, embraced their children (some for the first time), and they all wept together. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I tell more stories about these events in my book.

In that moment, and others like just like it, I became convinced that coaching fathers to become great dads, no matter what their family or life situation, was the most meaningful vocation I could experience. That’s why I now say that I found my life’s work in prison.

Every Father Can Become a Great Dad

When I stood in the classroom teaching—with executive volunteers in business suits on one side of me and men in prison-issued jumpsuits on the other—I realized that it doesn’t matter what our backgrounds, histories, or education levels are. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a good dad or a bad dad, or a present or absent dad. Every father can become a great dad now if he desires to do so, and he gets the help he needs.

So here’s what I learned in prison: If the 600 men I coached, all of whom had such limited exposure and opportunity to connect with their kids, were able to do this, you can, too.

Your Turn

Here’s how you can get started today:

1. Imagine what it would feel like to have the relationship with your kids that you dream of. What would it feel like? What would you do? How would your life feel different?
2. Take a few minutes to think about and then actually write down what you love most about each of your kids.
3. Now, take 15 minutes to write that down in a short letter to each one of them.
4. Then, either give that letter to your child in person, or leave it as a surprise under their pillow or in their lunch box/bag, or mail it. If you aren’t living with or in contact with your child, mailing your letter is a great option.
5. Finally, do the same for your child’s mother. It doesn’t matter if you are deeply in love or deeply divided, or if you are not in contact at all. Writing to your kids’ mom can be very difficult in some situations, but it’s worth it. Take one small step to reach out to her and apologize for not being there more for your child (if you haven’t). Let her know how much you value and appreciate her (look for and find the positive). It will go a long way towards repairing some of the breakdown in the relationship (if it exists). You can make it better. And when you do, it opens the door for building better relationships with your kids, or seeing them more.

To learn more about the simple yet amazingly effective steps you can take towards creating fantastic relationships with your children, check out my short, free video training (link below).###

Post by Keith Zafren, founder of The Great Dads Project and author of the award-winning book, How to Be a Great Dad—No Matter What Kind of Father You Had.
KZafrenBookMen who want to be great dads love the stories Keith Zafren tells, the practical skills he teaches, and the personal coaching he offers. Keith has spent seventeen years learning firsthand how to raise three great teenagers and stay close to them, no matter what. He coaches busy dads not to repeat the mistakes their fathers made, but instead, to create fantastic relationships with their kids. Check out his FREE Great Dad video training course.