47 of 100 Dads – Decision Making

Ben is an adoring and tuned in Dad. He loved parenting so much he took on two rounds, with four children; Ben’s oldest is 34 and his youngest 11. This Dad is happy to hold their hands or heal their hearts, whatever it is they need he’s on deck.

Ben loves to be actively involved in both play and in their development. He loves to listen to their concerns as much as he loves to snuggle. There is no parenting duty Ben won’t tackle or appreciate.

Strong male role models such as Ben’s Granddad Banford, Dad Elbert and his Uncle Myles have showed him everything he needed to know in life and in parenting. He’s proud to carry their teachings forward.

Ben’s dream for his family is that the find healthy and strong relationships. He also hopes all his children will have happiness and enjoy a career they love.

Ben, “Involve them in home and in external events. Even from a young age they should be involved in decisions. Doing this will give children a sense of inclusion and will teach them how to be responsible. This will help with a lot of skill development and will instill a sense of belonging and an appreciation for teamwork.” Tip 11

I’m so glad Ben has had the chance to raise four children. I’m happy to know there are adults out in the world with this foundation.

Ben is a military man, a burly biker, with a very bushy, manly moustache. He is also a sensitive and fun-loving Dad. In reading his tips, I could imagine the cozy cuddles and the comfort he gave to each of his babies.

Ben and I share many parenting practices. As he expanded on in his 11th tip, we too provided a lot of opportunity for involvement in decision making. I think building the skill of decision making is one of our most important jobs.

We started in the early years, the formative years, as soon as Michael could talk, as soon as he could point. I knew the importance of decision making. I started right away.

If kids get a choice in the more benign decisions, when the big ones come they will be well prepared, “Which sweater, vegetable, hat, book, or outing?” Making fun and easy decisions serves as the first stage. Each decision will help to build a strong foundation for what lies ahead.

The isolation and comfort of home, and cozy cuddles are short lived. In our case, Michael was heading to day care at just 18 months. He would be making decisions there. I was painfully aware my decisions for him would be happening in a very small, ever-shrinking, window of time.

I knew, even at age two, Michael would be making decisions. My first plan of attack was convincing him he was already good at it. “Michael, you make such great decisions.

Every time he picked blue instead of green, “Great decision buddy.” When he picked green instead of blue, “Nice decision buddy.” He selected this shirt instead of the other, “Great Michael, good decision!” He ‘decided’ to wear mittens, “I knew you’d make the right decision.” I said it at every turn. I reinforced every decision. I was alert and on deck.

I quickly convinced Michael he was the best decision maker ever! By the time Michael entered elementary school, he could tell you himself he was a strong decision maker. 

Repeating to kids they have the ability to make solid decisions is a gold-star technique. This skill is tied for importance second only to reading (in my humble opinion).

I’m hoping solid decisions will be up ahead for all our children. Ben and I can sit back and enjoy the view as their precious lives unfold.

Thanks Ben! You not only provided the country a great service with your career, but also with your parenting.

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