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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: 10/21/2021 - 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

Burning Building

By Chris Barnardo

Youíve just split up from your long term partner. Itís been tough, but after a difficult ending youíre suddenly free and ready to conquer the big Wide World. Itís a heady feeling that washes over you as you climb into your car and metaphorically drive off into the sunset. Museís epic Feeling Good, playing nice and loud, over the stereo really fills you up. The song confirms your belief in your strength of spirit, ďItís a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, for me, and I'm feeling goodĒ. The track delivers its powerful anthem for the newly single, as a celebration of relearning how to live and find love again.
. . . Some people never get it, a few never lose it, but for most people that intense feeling of release, the joy of freedom and the promise of so much opportunity that courses through you immediately after a break up, is at best a fleeting emotion. At some point, usually sooner rather than later, the reality of singledom kicks in, and the other half of the equation that balances independence, aloneness, comes collecting.
. . . Another New Day dawns, and you wake up and take a peek outside the covers. Through the smoked glass window of your new life, all you seem to see are happy chatty people gabbing on mobile phones with friends youíll never know, or idly leaning on bars, laughing easily with people theyíve been mates with since junior school, or buying family travel cards for two adults and two children in the railway station queue in front of you. Yes, it might well be a New Day, but how are you meant to enjoy it all on your own? After all, you donít have the sort of job that regularly puts you in touch with new people, your friends are all married with kids and when you join a writing club to broaden your horizons, you find that you halved the average age. Finally, along with over 10 million other people (in the UK alone) you decide to take matters into your own hands.
. . . In the pre-internet era, if you were brave, (and some may uncharitably have thought, socially challenged), you would have advertised your companionship needs in a Lonely Hearts Column. A mechanism, that by its very name, seemed to be telling the rest of the normal population the sort of person you were, and told you a fair bit about the sort of person you were likely to meet. Of course now, like mostly everything, you can get what you need on the web. Or can you?
. . . I stare across the coffee bar at the good looking internet date I have just met. For the last ten minutes she has been telling me all about her pet parrot, which she says has a mental age of an eight year old child because it can turn the radio on with its foot. I smile back and wonder if I can stick this out till I have drunk my coffee. Her eyes clearly reflect my mild desperation and vague sense of failure at not being able to meet someone normal, normally. I drink up. We wrap up, and I use my best business technique to say good bye politely while making it perfectly clear that I will never have to endure another millisecond of her parrot stories. As I am driving back to the flat it dawns on me that internet dating is a tiny bit 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.
. . . What exactly did I expect when I was diligently filling in all my details and desires on the web-based application form. I suppose I rather naively imagined an almost sentient piece of software whirring away at the very heart of the dating site, sifting through potential mates, intuitively weighing up our vital statistics to find the perfect match. In reality, I guess Iíve probably been lucky to get a two out of three match on eye colour, hair length and postcode. Hang on a minute though, true love it might not have been, but thereís no denying that it was fun. Taking into account all the preamble emails, the endless window shopping of "potential love interest near me" and the nail biting wait, I can think of worse ways to pass the time. I resolve to do it again and as soon as possible, although I might screen out animal lovers this time. You never know, one of these days, I might strike it lucky.
. . . The months go by, the dates come and go. I spend hours on the web chatting to various attractive people in cyberspace, I drink a lot of coffee and even go out for a few dinners and have some full-on fun times in realspace. And then one day, just when I am getting the hang of being single, I meet someone I really get on with, although itís not through the dating website. Itís just one of those chance meetings where everything comes together at the right time.
. . . It's only then I look round and realise Iím not in the burning building any more, Iím one of those normal people chatting on my phone and arranging to go out for the evening with my friends, partner in tow.

MicroBlog Archive
WEEK 14, 2009
DadÖ can we make something?
Making something with the kids for homework can turn into a memorable and heroic enterprise.
WEEK 13, 2009
How to stop arguing: Part 2
How do you stop an argument if you are already in one, here are our top ten tried and tested ways of halting an argument in its tracks
WEEK 12, 2009
How to stop arguing: Part 1
Ten reasons actually why people argue (and that's not including what they argue over) to help you avoid the argument traps and habits
WEEK 11, 2009
Getting ready for a new arrival
When you become a dad for the first time your life changes dramatically,so here are ten top tips on how you can prepare practically for the new arrival
WEEK 10, 2009
Don't say goodbye...
Ten top tips for dealing with all the goodbyes a single dad has to say and keep on saying.
WEEK 9, 2009
Can I do that again?
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
Food of the gods
Chocolate isn't all bad, in fact it's mostly good, see our top ten reasons why chocolate is good for you
WEEK 7, 2009
The last thing I remembered was...
Everyone has their own way of recognising the importance of the moment, but here are my top ten tips, conveniently sorted in to Mind, Body and Soul.
WEEK 6, 2009
Caring for a sick child
Caring for a sick child is never easy, but if you are divorced or separated then you might find these top ten tips helpful
WEEK 5, 2009
On Passion, Love and Happy Endings
My top ten couples through history and how they measure up on Passion, Love and Happy Endings
WEEK 4, 2009
Another Place at Breakfast
Introducing a new partner to your kids in the right way can make things so much easier for everyone, read our top ten tips for getting it right
WEEK 3, 2009
What's better than a New Year?
We can learn some good lessons from the traditional values upheld at Chinese New Year, we pick 10 customs that would be worth following.
WEEK 2, 2009
Who needs New Year's Resolutions?
Ten of the best New Year's resolutions designed to help you make 2009 your year.
WEEK 52, 2008
Christmas is here
Christmas is here!
WEEK 51, 2008
Christmas without your kids
Every parent's nightmare and many single dads' reality, is a Christmas Day without your kids. Here are ten top tips on how to have a great Christmas even if you aren't able to see your kids on the day itself.
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
Finding a date is never easy, but it is doubly hard when youíre a single parent. Read the first part of James's story here
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
When parents split up their childrenís routines are the first casualty. New routines need to be set up quickly; we've ten top ideas here
WEEK 44, 2008
Rules for Rules
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
Smack or snack
Post separation discipline can turn out to be a problem, so here are our ten top tips for basics of discipline and how to get things working smoothly in your home
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
Where you choose to go on your first date says a lot about you as a person and how you think, so make the most of it with these top ten tips for a great first date venue
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
So, everyone knows how good reading is for their children, but how do you encourage them to read, or read more. Here are ten top tips to get you started and get your children reading books.
WEEK 38, 2008
The best ten British TV comedy series shows ever
The beneficial effects of laughter 10 of the funniest British TV comedy shows to help start you laughing your way to health
WEEK 37, 2008
Ten ways to be positive
Ten practical ways to be positive when it's tough, from the queen of positive thinking, Dawn Stannard
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
How can the avoidance of pain be the main human drive when we tolerate so much discomfort in our relationships and our day to day lives?
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?!
What is it that is so seductive about blame? No one is immune to its satisfying qualities and its effects ripple through society at every level. Our kids are an easy target...
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
Living apart together
Society is changing, and more and more people have two places they call home, so why is Shared Residence still such an issue?
WEEK 27, 2008
The Children Act, 20 years on, so what's going wrong?
A TV documentary asks what exactly is going wrong with the Children Act, 20 years after becoming law. You can take part and have your say.
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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