How Excited is too Excited when it Comes to Birthday Presents?

Birthday PresentsSeven years into this parenting thing, I still don’t know how to strike the right balance with anything. Am I too hard on them or too lax with discipline? Do I give them a suitable number of presents or do I spoil them? If there’s one thing I’m sure about, it’s that I overthink things.

This week’s lesson in self-doubt comes from my son’s birthday. By now, he knows the drill: for several days on end, every friend of ours he meets will give him a present of some sort. And I’m sitting here trying to temper his excitement by focusing on that old nugget, “It’s the thought that counts.”

My son, always one to wear his thoughts on his sleeve, has made no bones about how excited he is to receive presents. He’s even approached our friends and asked, “Did you get me a present for my birthday?” When he does that, I squirm uncomfortably because it seems like that’s all he cares about.

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My 5 Goals for an Amazing Summer with my Kids

Summer Sunset

I usually feel like I don’t spend enough time with my family, and that feeling gets worse in the summer. I definitely don’t want to be the dad who works through every vacation. But, alas, I’m a bit of a workaholic. I not only have my normal full-time career, but also two part-time jobs.

So I’ve made a few summer resolutions I’m hoping might help make sure the season goes down as an enjoyable one instead of one that I wasted working, again.

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My Daughter is Seriously Good at Creeping me Out

Creepy Kid

There are many awesome parts about having a Halloween baby. Then there’s the creepy parts. Creepy can also be awesome, but it does definitely catch me off-guard sometimes.

Kids have built-in weirdness, but my daughter seems to fully embrace her unusual side. As long as she uses it for good, I’m okay with that. Of course, the fact that she was born on Halloween is a coincidence.

Kids don’t need an excuse to creep their parents out. But my daughter happens to exhibit this sort of behavior more than her brother. She’s also great at emoting, which makes anything she does memorable.

Here are just a few of the ways she’s made me raise an eyebrow.

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I Joked about Getting Fired, and Kind of Freaked my Kid Out

Kids Hearing

I’m decent (not great) at avoiding profanity around my kids. But I tend to have loose lips with other topics that I never considered to be a potential issue. For example, after a bad week at work, I made an offhanded comment to some friends that I’m lucky I didn’t get fired.

My son immediately asked me to rewind in my conversation and go over what I had said again. He really looked worried. By this point in his life, he not only realizes that money provides him with safety and comfort, but that my job is the primary source of money in our household.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!

4 Lessons I Learned from a Family Trip to Hawaii

Hawaii

After years of planning and saving, our family finally managed to take a dream vacation in Hawaii. Getting there, which involved 14 hours of flying and shifting through five time zones, was a pain. Returning home introduced challenges. Everything in between was paradise.

While my wife and I had taken a similar vacation for our honeymoon, our kids had never traveled so far or spent so long away from home. As a result, the whole trip was a learning experience. In addition to plenty of souvenirs, we took the following lessons home with us.

Read more at BabyCenter.com!