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  • Writer's pictureMark

The best dads are GRATEFUL!

Happy New Year! All of us have been wishing for this day to arrive; perhaps more importantly, for 2020 to come to an end. This past year is memorable for everyone; unfortunately, for many of the wrong reasons.

But, I also feel grateful for 2020.

I didn't travel for work since February and I was blessed to work from home. I actually worked longer hours from home (and my kids noticed).

I rediscovered my family - my wife and two sons. We dedicated Saturday nights for Family Night. It rotates between everyone and the designated person gets to choose dinner and an activity. We found new ways to connect with our extended family (i.e., zoom calls, phone calls and texts.)

I improved my listening skills and I now communicate differently. I stop what I am doing, give my full attention, listen, ask good questions and only offer advice when asked. I am a problem solver, so this is more difficult than it may seem. I also discovered that my kids learn more from my actions, than my words. Kids see everything, it's amazing.

I created and we lived by a budget for the first time. It was a great to see how this improved communications with my wife and we understand our finances better. I was also surprised by the number of subscriptions we had and the number we didn't use or no longer needed. Not eating out, really does save money and is more healthy. (Note: we still enjoy a take out meal now and again to support our local favorites)

I found time to read, discovering a new world of podcasts and audio books for me and an interesting world of Youtubers from my boys. My youngest created his first Youtube channel and that has become his life's focus. It allows him to be himself, be creative, learn new tools (he created my sister-in-law's 40th birthday video) and do things he loves. His ideas are endless.

I found out that being a teenager today is actually harder than it was a few decades ago. We are blessed that my oldest son asked us for help to address his mental health challenges. He used to be the "easy one"; agreeing to everything we asked, but we discovered he was pushing everything inside. He is now an open book and expresses how he feels all the time, which can be interesting based on the mind of a 15 year old boy.

I learned again that sometimes my wife just wants to vent and my job is to listen, not to solve. Helping out around the house really does help. I now own the dinner menu a few nights a week which gave me the opportunity to improve my cooking and challenge my creativity. It's even more fun to cook together.

As I look ahead to 2021, I am excited for my family and myself. I am moving away from goals and shifting to focus areas. I plan to take time to:

- Listen

- Communicate

- Live a healthy lifestyle

- Make quality family time everyday

- Develop my relationship with God

- Reconnect with friends

- Recommit to thebestdadsblog

Helping dads be their best...mark



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