Reasons to hug your dad on the day after Father’s Day


Yesterday was Father’s Day, and for most of you — being the good little children we know you are — it was the day you took your dad out to breakfast, showered him with praise for his new haircut and helped him with his newest project: remodeling or fixing or painting something. If you’re a true golden child, you may have even bought him a spanking new tie to go along with the Christmas tie, the birthday tie and last year’s Father’s Day tie you got him. Your dad deserves more than a single annual tribute to fatherhood, however. We at the Clog want to remind you of a few reasons you should appreciate your father, even when it’s not Father’s Day.

He would take a bullet (or shoot one) for you. If you are a daughter, chances are, each time you brought a boy home, whether or not the relationship was romantic, your dad was itching to grab his shotgun. If your dad was like some of our dads, he may have literally grabbed it. No matter what, your dad is the No. 1 proponent of your safety and well-being and would gladly take on the job of your own personal bodyguard if the position were available.

He will do almost anything to make you laugh. Whether your dad is the dancing type, the singing type or the crack-jokes-until-they-crack-a-smile type, fathers love to make their kids laugh. They will stop at nothing, throwing dignity out the window and making themselves look like fools in order to brighten your day. In fact, if you pride yourself on your inappropriate joke-telling, it’s likely your own worst jokes may have come from Pop himself.

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Power struggles create distance and hostility instead of closeness and trust. Distance and hostility create resentment, resistance, rebellion (or compliance with lowered self-esteem). Closeness and trust create a safe learning environment. You have a positive influence only in an atmosphere of closeness and trust where there is no fear of blame, shame or pain.


I have never seen a power drunk child without a power drunk adult real close by. Adults need to remove themselves from the power struggle without winning or giving in. Create a win/win environment. HOW? The following suggestions teach children important life skills including self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation and problem-solving skills — instead of “approval junkie” compliance or rebellion.

  1. Decide what you will do. I will read a story after teeth are brushed. I will cook only in a clean kitchen. I will drive only when seat belts are buckled. (I will pull over to the side of the road when children are fighting.)
  2. Follow Through The key to this one and all of the following is KINDNESS AND FIRMNESS AT THE SAME TIME. (Pull over to the side of the road without saying a word. Children learn more from kind and firm actions than from words.)
  3. Positive Time Out. Create a “nurturing” (not punitive) time out area with your child.
  4. Distraction for Young Children and lots of supervision. Punishment decreases brain development. Children are often punished for doing what they are developmentally programmed to do — explore. (Please read Positive Discipline for Preschoolers.)
  5. Get children involved in the creation of routines (morning, chores, bedtime). Then the routine chart becomes the boss

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“Walk Please” VS. “No Running”

10 Things Not to Say to Your Kids

When I think about all of the phrases, anecdotes, and sayings about the power of the spoken word I am reminded of how I changed my way of communicating with children upon learning Play Therapy principles. I realize that using Play Therapy based language is a learned and practiced skill that requires time and effort, so I thought it would be helpful to share ten commonly used phrases parents say to their kids. I will also give the Play Therapy based alternative with a short explanation of why it is more effective.

1. No (running, hitting, yelling, fill in the verb)!

Kids hear the word “no” far too frequently (Read more about that here). You can always rephrase the sentence from a negative to a positive, which will correct the behavior without sounding critical. Train yourself to say what you want them to do instead of what you don’t. So, you can say “Walk, please” instead of “No running”.

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