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Over 200 top tips and words of advice, to help you really get the most from the time you spend with your kids
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Searched for: 3/27/2017 - Found: 7/30/2008 to 8/5/2008
Cautionary Tales For Children
Wonderful witty poems great for reading to your children. The stories and rhymes will stay with them for the rest of their lives.


Research has shown how important YOU are to your children and how as a dad the things you do, and keep on doing, really count, whether you live with them, or you are a single dad and are only able see them once a month, once a week or more, what you do really matters. This site is dedicated to all dads but will be of special relevance to the single dad. Remember, you are half the reason your children exist and they need you whether you live with them or not. As their dad, you have what it takes to make their lives successful and fulfilling no matter how often you see them. This site is about all the positive things that we as parents have to offer our children.
Microblog Microblog

Winners and Losers?

Microblog
By Chris Barnardo

When the swallows return, cricket displaces football and the summer holidays are only round the corner, I know that school sports day canít be far off. Here in the UK, we hope for a ďniceĒ day, because if rain is threatened, then sports day is likely to be canceled for health and safety reasons. Weather permitting then, good dads and mums up and down the country take time off from whatever they would normally do in the afternoon and make the annual pilgrimage into school to watch their kids compete and hopefully win something.
. . . The big day arrives, and either down to luck, or global warming, it is a glorious summerís day of the sort that only England can serve up. I arrive at the school grounds a bit early and walk round the field, head full of thoughts of when I was a boy, running out on to the green on sports day, brimming with excitement and hope. In my mind's eye, knots of boys mill about in white sports kit, nervously waiting on the call to their events. Freshly mown grass glistens in the sunshine, etched with the chalky lines of that seemingly endless, six lane, running track, stretching off and away in its strangely compelling curve. The long jump pit, raked like a Japanese Zen garden, is marked out with tiny flags and begging to be jumped all over. The trophy tables already looking triumphant, full with polished cups flashing in the sunlight, billow with crisp white linen table cloths fluttering in the gentle breeze, and last but definitely not least, the finishing line twisting in the wind, buzzes with anticipation, waiting ready to be broken by the first to cross it. These are bittersweet memories, because I never held a trophy aloft in victory nor was I ever the first to break that finishing line ribbon.
. . . In those days, sports day at school, like most of the rest of time spent at school, was all about winning, and implicit in that, beating your opponents. Mind you we had to endure the odd pre-sports day lecture about the honour of competing and how to show good sportsmanship if and when we lost. After all, sportsmanship is very important, because one canít have all those losers spoiling the fun for the winner. Iím sure it wasnít always like that. Certainly the English have a cultural aversion to outright winning by doing anything other than turning up on the day. For most of the 20th Century (and likely before that), English sportsmen caught doing any serious practicing beforehand were more or less considered as cheats. In those days, professional practicing was held in very low regard and seen as trying to get an unfair advantage, in much the same way as we might consider the more modern practice of taking performance enhancing drugs on the sly.
. . . I focus back to the beautiful day before me, and search the groups of happy, smiling children for my two boys. There they are; I wave, they wave back to me. Today, there are no individual races, there is no finish line, and no individual winners will repeatedly make their way to podium while the rest of us losers cheer them on with good sportsmanship. The school has been divided into 10 enormous teams, each made up of children from every year. The teams move round the school field each tackling a game for a set number of minutes before all moving round to the next. This year extra points are awarded for the teams that cheer on their fellow team mates on with the loudest shouts. There is uproar as everyone tries their level best to help their team win. Stickers are handed out to all participants to mark their efforts. Occasionally I hear odd parents saying how this is nothing like the old days when there were proper winners. It seems to me that itís only the adults that are obsessed with winning. I think that we feel compelled to imprint the desire to be a winner into our kids in the hope that it will make them more successful, but on reflection, I think it actually makes them far less happy, because for every single winner there are hundreds of losers. It would be a help if we could actually teach our children to confidently do their best for themselves, to not need to have to beat others to measure their own personal achievements and to learn that real happiness in life comes from being able to be part of something worthwhile.
. . . When itís all over I ask the boys which team won.
. . . ďOh we wonít know that till Friday.Ē They both chirp.
. . . But when I ask the kids whether or not they enjoyed their sports day, I get an emphatic yes, and while I may have a host of nostalgic memories of my old sports days, I donít think I could have ever said that I enjoyed them quite as much as my kids seem to enjoy theirs.
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MicroBlog Archive
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WEEK 14, 2009
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WEEK 13, 2009
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WEEK 10, 2009
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WEEK 9, 2009
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Think twice before you dismiss your kid's quirkiest comments, because children approach life with such an open mind, that there is often a great deal of sense in even the strangest things they say.
WEEK 8, 2009
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WEEK 7, 2009
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WEEK 6, 2009
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WEEK 5, 2009
On Passion, Love and Happy Endings
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WEEK 4, 2009
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WEEK 3, 2009
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WEEK 2, 2009
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WEEK 52, 2008
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WEEK 51, 2008
Christmas without your kids
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WEEK 50, 2008
Finding dad a date: Part 2, The Dates
Read the second installment of James's search for a new partner with the help of the Absolute Radio Breakfast Show team
WEEK 49, 2008
Finding dad a date
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WEEK 48, 2008
Christmas and the kids
10 top tips on how to make the most of the Christmas season with your kids when they don't live with you.
WEEK 47, 2008
What do you do about holidays?
10 practical top tips about how plan and negotiate your access over the holidays.
WEEK 46, 2008
Tackling a teenager
10 top tips on how to maintain a sense of fairness and discipline and yet still managing to remain friends with your teenager through those difficult teenage moments
WEEK 45, 2008
Reliable routines
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WEEK 44, 2008
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With the right kind of rules kids feel confident, here's our ten top tips for getting getting the rules right in your home
WEEK 43, 2008
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WEEK 42, 2008
Getting it right on your first date
Ten tips on how to make sure that a first date turns into a second date
WEEK 41, 2008
Ten great first dates
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WEEK 40, 2008
Getting started with internet dating
Internet dating is a good way to meet new people, so here are some top tips to help you get the most out of online dating
WEEK 39, 2008
How to encourage your kids to read more
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WEEK 38, 2008
The best ten British TV comedy series shows ever
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WEEK 37, 2008
Ten ways to be positive
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WEEK 36, 2008
10 ways to grow your kids' creativity
Developing your children's creativity is your job and a very important part of their upbringing, here are ten ways you can help them develop their creativity
WEEK 35, 2008
Relativity: When dark days feel like months
When you are experiencing the trauma of a serious relationship break up, ironically Time seems to slow down, dragging out the pain and making things much worse.
WEEK 34, 2008
Feeding the machine
It's Randomised Variable Interval Reinforcement that makes gamblers gamble and traps normal people in destructive manipulative relationships where they feel unlovable
WEEK 33, 2008
Avoiding pain: Why we stay where it hurts
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WEEK 32, 2008
Burning Building
Internet dating is like being in a burning building looking for someone to help get you out, but the only people who can help you are trapped in the same building with you
WEEK 31, 2008
How far have we come?
Humans have been evolving for 1 million years and it's been 10,000 years since Cro-Magnon man developed the family unit, how far have we really come?
WEEK 30, 2008
Who put that cup there?!
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WEEK 29, 2008
Winners and Losers?
A thoroughly modern school sports day, that's more about taking part than about making one winner and loads of losers out of us
WEEK 28, 2008
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WEEK 27, 2008
The Children Act, 20 years on, so what's going wrong?
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WEEK 26, 2008
Mummy says we need a haircut
Do you feel like you're being told what to do by your ex-partner? We explain a little of what's going on and how you can deal with it.
WEEK 25, 2008
Alchemist's Dream
Single parents achieve the alchemist's dream of putting separated things together to turn lead into gold for their kids
WEEK 24, 2008
Happy 100th Birthday, Father's Day
100 years after the first Fatherís Day, is this day just another ďHallmark HolidayĒ or a special time we can use to say what we really mean.
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