Active-Duty Dad

Active-Duty Dad

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Image: – – Macho Spouse

 

EverettDaughter-220.jpgIf we string Webster Dictionary's definitions of "active," "duty," and "dad" together we get "active dad dutifully taking care of his child(ren).

All too often I find myself watching dads who are disengaged with their children.  I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that there may be extenuating circumstances that I cannot see.  The Dad may be tired, just come off a long shift of work, not feeling good, or just plain needs a break. I can understand that and I've been there too. By the same token we still need to be active in the rearing of our kids.  Taking the time to be the example of how to interact with the world.  We need to put the cell phones down, stop checking Facebook or emails.  I'll also take into account the physical limitations placed on folks too.  We may not be as flexible in movement as we once were, but we can still try. 


Being an“Active Duty Dad” starts by getting involved with what our kids enjoy.  Participating with our kids in stuff like sports, the arts, school activities, church, and other activities, shows our children that we support what they're doing while preparing our kids for the real world.  My Mom went to a couple of my marching band shows in high school and college. She didn't make every event, but she did what she could with what she knew as a parent.  I think that's maybe a reason why I'm such a big supporter of my daughter and of the kids I work with today.  My mother taught me that we have to be the biggest cheerleaders for our kids.

Why is this important? Why do we have to be “active duty dads?”

Because children need role models.  Who better a role model than their dad?  Our positive influence has the ability to set the course of how our children will interact with the world from a very early age. Children also need teachers, both in and out of the classroom. Humans learn by asking questions and our children ask a lot of questions, so we need to be there to answer them...even if they make us uncomfortable or we don't know the answer.  And here is another opportunity to be an “active duty dad,”because what better way to spend time with your child than to look for those answers together.  When our children get hurt, emotionally or physically, a sense of emotional security can be forged when we show up with the hugs, kisses and bandages (if needed).  One of my favorite reasons for being active in my daughter's interests is for the encouragement I can give her, I know that my encouragement will go a long way in her life.  I encourage her every chance I get, even if her activity is something I personally cannot do.  Her dance classes are a perfect example. I have two left feet, can't dance to save my life (hey, I'm a musician, not a dancer!), but I'm always there to encourage and cheer her on!

I think I could go on forever with examples of how to be an “active duty dad,”but those details are for you to figure out.  Our best plan is to be as active and supportive in our children's lives as possible, because it's up to us to prepare them for life after us.  If I can give my daughter the best I've got, then I think she will be able to do the same for herself and those that pass through her life.

(About the author:  Everett is a male military spouse, stay-at-home-dad, and Macho Spouse contributor.  His wife is active-duty Navy currently stationed out of Jacksonville, FL.) 

See also...

image for Male Military Spouses: We Need Your Help!

Male Military Spouses: We Need Your Help!

According to whatever stats you want to view at any particular time, we as male military spouses are still small in number, relative to the total number of military spouses. You don't have to look far to know that the challenges we face are great. Facing the challanges alone is no fun. That's why we need your help, whether you're just starting out, or you're a 15-year-plus male military spouse veteran.

A few months back, I was looking for a ways to help male spouses and I stumbled upon a Macho Spouse video. I called Chris Pape and asked him how I could help. Using what I know as a web developer and IT consultant, I immediately began working with Chris to develop this website as an online community for male military spouses.

The Macho Spouse website is an online resource, providing valuable information to military spouses, stay-at-home-dads, advocacy groups, corporate organizations and others. MachoSpouse.com is also an online community - allowing spouses to connect and share experiences. Almost daily, we are adding features to the website to allow those of you who sign up as members different ways to contribute to helping another male military spouse.

How?

image for The First  Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

The First Male Military Spouse Day and Scholarship Giveaway

MMSScholarship.jpgThe School of Firearms Technology (SFT) at Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI) and Macho Spouse have announced the first ever Male Military Spouse Day dedicated to the male spouses of America's service members. To celebrate the launch of Male Military Spouse Day, SDI is offering a scholarship opportunity for male military spouses. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must be a member of the MachoSpouse.com community (registration is FREE and all we ask is your email address). This year's debut Male Military Spouse Day will see one spouse within our community win a full-tuition scholarship for the School of Firearms Technology professional Gunsmithing certificate course. The winner will also receive a complete build of an AR-15 rifle, for a total award value of more than $3,000.

SFT created this course specifically to fit within the MyCAA scholarship. However, you do not have to qualify for MyCAA benefits to be eligible for this scholarship opportunity.  Hear from Terry Fields, a male military spouse on this great opportunity in the video above.

Male Military Spouse Day

The first Male Military Spouse Day will be May 7, 2015 in order to honor the lives and struggles of our under-recognized population.
With nearly 190,000 male military spouses globally (per DoD), our large but scattered group faces significant challenges. Stigma and social disconnection complicate common military spouse issues such as underemployment and family stress, leading to a divorce rate nearly three times higher among military-affiliated couples in which the wife is the service member. (Just released stats show this high % of divorce for male military spouses to be dropping, great news, but we still have a lot of work to do!)

The purpose of Male Military Spouse Day will be to raise the public profile of this group in order to facilitate awareness of male military spouse concerns and the development of solutions to preventable problems such as social isolation and educational access. Here's what Macho Spouse founder, Chris Pape, had to say about being a part of Male Military Spouse Day: “Considering that Macho Spouse is the only legitimate resource available to male military spouses, it is a great feeling to be part of an official "Male Military Spouse Day." In fact, given that this is probably the first official Male Military Spouse Day ever, it's even more exciting! Now, throw in the fact that one or our members will be awarded a life-changing opportunity to receive an SDI Gunsmithing scholarship, and this will be one hell of a day!”

Gunsmithing Scholarship Opportunity

SDI's scholarship opportunity offered in conjunction with the first Male Military Spouse Day is intended to showcase the resources that are available to male spouses who have yet to take advantage of their military-sponsored My Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) education entitlement. However, the Gunsmithing scholarship recipient does not need MyCAA eligibility to qualify for the award.
The School of Firearms Technology's Gunsmithing certificate course is an introductory class that teaches the knowledge and skills required to obtain an entry-level position as a gunsmith. All coursework is online and accessible from any location. Hardware for the course is shipped to the student as needed.  Graduates of SFT's Gunsmithing course will receive a certificate to present to employers as evidence of their training in the building, maintenance, customization, and legal sale of different types of firearms. Certificates can be used to obtain valid employment as a gunsmith. Many graduates take the course to get more knowledge on an enjoyable hobby or to get started on their own business. With military connections, they have a ready-made customer base.

Follow-Up Information

Macho Spouse and the Sonoran Desert Institute are initiating Male Military Spouse Day and the 2015 scholarship giveaway as a gesture of recognition and solidarity with male military spouses who struggle with economic or family stress. Readers can learn more about Gunsmith training at the online home of SDI's School of Firearms Technology or register as a member of Macho Spouse before the May 7th announcement of the scholarship winner.

About Sonoran Desert Institute: The School of Firearms Technology began in 1921 (that's even older than the NRA!), under the name of the School of Gunsmithing. Since then, it has transformed into an internationally recognized school offering multiple programs, including one of the only Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degrees in the country, some of the nation's best Gunsmithing Certificate programs, and a diverse armorer's programs. The School of Firearms Technology's elite faculty and staff include celebrated military personnel, nearly 75 years' worth of combined higher education experience, nationally recognized firearms experts and more.



 

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