Vacationing this winter? Stay healthy & energized with a quick smoothie-on-the-go!

Easy_green_smoothies

For a Limited Time Only!!!
Free Shaker Bottle with any order of 2 or more powdered supplements!

We just got back from a short vacation in sunny Florida. It was nice to get away from the cold of the northeast for a few days. AAHHHH!!! While away, I was very happy to be able to quickly have my morning smoothie. It’s good to know at least one meal is going to be healthy! Smoothies are an easy, tasty means of getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. If you’re heading off on vacation, or even a day trip, you may be wondering how to continue to get all your nutrients in a convenient, portable way. Packing a blender, an extension cord, a head of greens, a container of yogurt, and several bags of frozen fruit for your morning smoothie isn’t really a feasible option for most of us! Fortunately there is another method.

Portable Smoothies for Vacations, Camping, and Day Trips

It all starts with the Ultimate Shaker Bottle. This lightweight portable smoothie shaker will fit easily in your suitcase or backpack. With a rubber seal to prevent leaks and an agitator to break up clumps, all you need to do is add your powdered supplements, fill with water or other beverage of choice, and shake it up to make an instant, healthy smoothie! You can drink right out of the bottle. Smoothies are perfect any time of the day, whether you need a simple breakfast, lunch, snack, or post-workout recovery drink.

If you’re heading out for the day, simply add a scoop or two of powdered supplements to the dry smoothie shaker bottle. Later, when you’re ready for your afternoon snack, just pour in some liquid, shake, and drink. If you’re planning a longer trip, combine all your powdered supplements (in the desired proportions) in a large container. Include a measuring cup to scoop out individual smoothie servings as needed. Although we recommend reusable containers when possible, you can even pre-measure single servings into plastic zip top bags if you need to save space. You can have healthy, nutritious smoothies for breakfast every day of your trip!

healthy-smoothie-powder

Use coupon code “SuperSmoothies” to save 10% on powdered supplements and the travel smoothie shaker bottle.

Catie’s Organic Greens and Catie’s Gluten Free Greens provide many of the nutrients you may be missing in your diet. With a variety of concentrated greens, Catie’s Greens add probiotics and enzymes, fiber, fatty acids, and antioxidants to your smoothie.Get Your Greens on the Go

Vitamineral Green smoothie powder contains grasses, sea vegetables, herbs, enzymes, chlorophyll, iodine, and adaptogens. Made entirely from real foods grown with standards that surpass organic regulations, this superfood smoothie powder is raw, vegan, GMO free, and gluten free.

fermented_kale_smoothie_powderPerfect Supplements Fermented Kale Powder may help prevent numerous diseases due to its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antitumor properties. Kale is one of the most popular health foods, with vitamins A, C, E, and K, calcium, potassium, protein, and fiber, and fermented kale in your smoothie provides all these nutrients in an easily digestible form.

Perfect Aquatic Greens Powder  is made up of two freshwater algae, spirulina and chlorella. These algae are complete proteinspirulina_and_chlorella sources with vegetarian B12 and packed with vitamins and minerals. The greens in Perfect Aquatic Greens have been used for centuries throughout the world and boost energy, detoxify, aid in digestion, lower body fat, and reduce blood sugar. You can also choose to use Perfect Spirulina or Perfect Chlorella separately in your smoothies.

Perfect 3 Grass Blend is an organic combination of nutritious barley, oat, and wheat grasses. These grasses add protein, fiber, calcium, iron, essential amino acids, B vitamins, vitamins C and K, and more to your smoothie. Perfect 3 Grass Blend detoxifies, improves digestion, reduces high blood pressure and high blood sugar, and strengthens the immune system.

Add in Superfoods for Superior Sustenance

Limitless Good BaobabLimitless_Good_Baobab_for_Smoothies has a refreshing citrusy flavor with a bit of sourness. This superfood smoothie ingredient is high in fiber, with 6 grams per serving, which helps you feel full. Baobab powder contains iron, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. Other benefits of baobab extend to digestion, cardiovascular health, the immune system, blood sugar levels, sleep, and energy levels.

Garden of Life Organic Chia Seeds will thicken your smoothie, creating an almost gelatinous texture. A little goes a long way, so start with about a tablespoon, else you may end up with a congealed mass instead of a smoothie! Make sure to let the finished smoothie sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid. Chia seeds that haven’t fully hydrated may lead to digestive discomfort or constipation for some people.

Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus is one of my favorite smoothie add-ins. It is a chemical-free, preservative-free vitamin C supplement made from real food, never anything created or grown in a lab. And it tastes like fruit punch! Vitamin C has too many health benefits to list them all here. Check out this blog, Five Startling Facts About Vitamin C, for more information on whole food vitamin C.

Vitamineral EarthVitamineral_Earth_powder contains omega-3 fatty acids, adaptogens, the Essaic herbs, probiotics, and minerals such as chromium, selenium, and manganese. High in fiber, raw, and vegan, Vitamineral Earth supports healing, digestive health, detoxification, the immune system, and healthy blood sugar levels. Vitamineral Earth adds a savory flavor to your smoothie.

Perfect Acai Berry Powder not only has a pleasant, tart, fruity taste that pairs well with other fruit flavors or chocolate smoothies, but it is also loaded with antioxidants. Acai smoothie powder supports digestion and heart health and the acai tree has been dubbed the “tree of life” for the berry’s anti-aging benefits.

Power Up with Protein

Tony’s Pure Whey Protein Plus Double Dutch ChocolateGreat_Tasting_Whey_Protein is a highly absorbable protein powder free of added sugars and other unhealthy additives. Whey protein is an optimal source of high-quality smoothie protein that has been found to boost immune health, aid in weight loss, and lower blood pressure. This is a great tasting protein powder — it’s like chocolate milk when added to milk.

Dr. Tony’s Vegan Protein comes in both French Vanilla and Double Dutch Chocolate and provides vegan smoothie protein from pea, rice hemp, cranberries, and chia seed along with 1000mg of l-glutamine. L-glutamine helps build and repair muscle, boost the immune system, stabilize blood sugar, and promote gastrointestinal health.

PaleoPro Protein Powder  is a paleo-friendly protein powder made from grass-fed beef and egg protein. Unlike many other Paleo protein powders, PaleoPro uses the flesh from the beef, not the collagen. While collagen is a great source of protein, it does not have the desired amino acid profile of beef flesh. And, this protein powder tastes great!

Perfect_Protein_PowderAvailable in Vanilla or Simply Natural, Perfect Plant Protein is a unique blend of mushroom protein, hemp protein, brown rice protein, probiotics, and enzymes. This hypoallergenic formula is perfect for those with allergies and provides 17 grams of complete vegan protein per serving. Perfect Plant Protein smoothie powder supports digestion, reduces inflammation, promotes muscle growth and recovery, supports metabolism, and contains countless vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids.

Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen and Perfect Bovine Gelatin are both great protein powders to add to any drink. They come from super healthy pasture-raised grass-fed, Brazilian cattle. They have very similar potential health benefits, including great for digestion, hair and nail growth, and reducing joint pain. The big difference is Hydrolyzed Collagen doesn’t gel whereas gelatin does gel as it cools. And, hydrolyzed collagen may be more easily absorbed as it has been processed one step further with natural enzymes, making the collagen peptides shorter. One 11 g scoop of either provides 10 g of protein!

Goatein Pure Goat’s Milk Protein PowderGoat_Milk_Protein_Powder is an excellent complete protein source for those who can’t tolerate cow dairy products. Goat’s milk is highly digestible, as its composition is similar to human breast milk. A one scoop serving of Goatein adds 13 grams of protein to your smoothie.

Make Your Smoothie Taste Great

While many of these supplement powders already have a great taste with natural flavors, you’ll want to make sure you choose a combination of flavors that will mix together well in your smoothie. If you’re not used to the taste of greens, start with a very small amount and rely more heavily on chocolate protein powder or fruit powders. You can also add cocoa powder, ground spices such as cinnamon and ginger, or powdered stevia to your dry smoothie mix. Instead of water, use juice, nut/dairy/coconut milk, coconut water, tea, or even coffee in your smoothie shaker for a stronger flavor. Have fun experimenting, but try mixing up a sample smoothie before your trip to make sure your final concoction is delicious. Happy shaking!

Kerrie’s Favorite Smoothie-on-the-Go Combo

This is for one serving

1 scoop Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen
1/2 T Catie’s Whole Plant Food Gluten Free Greens
1/2 T Catie’s Whole Plant Food Vitamin C Plus
1 scoop Perfect Acai Powder
2 scoops Limitless Good Baobab Powder
8 – 12 oz of juice, water or any combination of the two

All together, it makes up about 1/4 cup of powder.

I mix 10 days worth at a time up and keep it in the fridge for easy dispensing.

Why these supplements?

I choose the Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen because it is tasteless in combination with everything else, and I’m still recovering from knee surgery in May and need all the collagen I can get to help rebuild and repair the joint.

I like the Catie’s Gluten Free Greens because it comes from real food, many of the ingredients are organic, and I like to eat gluten-free whenever possible.

I add the Catie’s Vitamin C and the Perfect Acai because I used to get lots of colds, and I get far fewer when I keep my immunity high. Both these products are loaded with antioxidants and immune boosters.

The Baobab Powder is also a great source of antioxidants, but is also naturally high in fiber. Good fiber is an excellent addition to any liquid meal.

I usually get a good 100% organic red juice like pomegranate cranberry or cherry. Then I use about 5 oz each juice and water with the 1/4 cup of pre-mixed supplements.

Receive 10% OFF portable smoothie supplies — the shaker bottle and any powdered supplements above — with coupon code: SuperSmoothies

Feeling Crappy After Eating Poorly Through the Holidays? We Can Help.

feel_better_after_eating_poorly

One of my biggest weaknesses are the desserts. I love desserts of all kinds and the holidays are usually loaded with all kinds of sweet goodies to try. Well all that sugar and flour has done a number on my system and I bet there are more than a few of you out there also feeling a bit off due to eating all kinds of stuff you don’t usually eat. Here’s a list of supplements that may help you feel a little better after all that indulgence.

Food & Inflammation & Your Digestive Tract

Most of those wonderful holiday foods are made with sugar and white flour. Many studies have shown that eating processed white sugar & processed wheat can cause all kinds of inflammation. And, furthermore, the overeating and, for many of us, consumption of alcohol, wreaks further havoc on our entire digestive tract. Here is a list of some good supplements that have helped many reduce inflammation as well as being great for the whole digestive system.

Walkabout Emu Oil – This high vitamin supplement can be taken orally or used topically. Many people report relief of inflammation when they take a good Australian Emu Oil. And, the Omega 7 in emu oil helps with digestion.

Raw Cod Liver Oil – Both Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Rosita’s Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil are raw and full of naturally occurring vitamins A & D, as well as lots of good omegas. And, as well as it’s anti-inflammatory properties, cod liver oil has been shown to be great for the entire gut.

Wedderspoon Manuka Honey – Manuka honey has a whole slue of potential health benefits including being anti-inflammatory. It has shown anti-bacterial & antimicrobial properties, as well as being good for digestion. And, if holiday stress has you feeling like you’re coming down with something, then this may help stave off a full-blown cold, too.

Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen – There is a lot of the amino acid glycine in a serving of Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen. Glycine has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. A good collagen supplement may also help with food-related inflammation by helping to maintain a healthy stomach and aiding proper digestion.

Turmeric – Turmeric is a superfood growing in popularity recently due to its many health benefits. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful antioxidant. It has also been shown to help with digestion and aids in nutrient absorption from our food. Global Healing Center makes a powerful Turmeric Liquid Extract made from 100% certified organic turmeric roots.

Get Your Gut Back to Health

Feeling like it’s mainly your gut that needs help after all the indulging? Because it is the center of our bodies, gut health can dramatically affect many other parts of our bodies. Studies show gut health can effect weight, heart health, immune system & even brain health. (1) All the above are great supplements, but for powerful gut healing, you might want to try great probiotics or a gut specific supplement.

Prescript-Assist – These powerful, soil-based probiotics are combined with prebiotics to further boost their efficacy. Prescript-Assist is backed by more than five years of double-blind university clinical trials that show its effectiveness against a variety of digestive issues and other gastrointestinal diseases. It is my personal favorite probiotic and the one I take daily.

Restore – This is a liquid mineral supplement for gut health. It was developed to help repair the damage done by eating pesticides and GMO foods. Restore helps to minimize and eliminate the gaps they cause in the lining of the stomach. It has helped many with leaky gut and other digestive disorders.

Detox for Optimum Healing

January is an ideal time to embark on a good detox program. Many people take this time to help eliminate toxins from all the holiday indulgences and feel great after a few weeks of this. If you’d like to check out a variety of detox options, then check out this Spring Detox post.

Hope You Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

So, go ahead and enjoy your New Years’ celebrations, but stock up on supplements to help you feel better after.

 

  1. 5 Ways Gut Bacteria Affect Your Health

 

 

Don’t Miss Our Cyber Weekend Sale!

Black Friday Cyber Monday Sale 2015

Finished eating and want to get some shopping in early? Shop in the comfort of your own home with our Cyber Weekend Sale! You’ll be supporting a small, family-owned business while you’re at it.

Over Cyber Weekend,  buy anything from Peaceful Planet and receive:

15% off your order, (no minimum order) with coupon code: ShopSmall

25% off Perfect Supplements brand products with coupon code: PerfectHoliday

Our Cyber Weekend sale starts Thanksgiving Day and lasts through Cyber Monday at midnight (11/24/16 – 11/28/16). This is a great time to buy some gifts or get a new supply of your favorite supplements!

Restore Your Gut – Restore Your Life

Restore_lignites_for_leaky_gut

What is Restore?

Restore is a revolutionary new approach to healing, which utilizes years of scientific research by medical doctors. They recognize that the underlying issue with so many modern illnesses is a lack of cell membrane integrity in the gut. In order to heal illness, the gut needs to be repaired. Restore prevents and heals the disintegration of the cell membranes and tightens cell junctions in the gut. It is a mineral and amino acid supplement made from carbon rich soil. An alkaline liquid, Restore delivers organic and essential trace amino acids and minerals extracted from lignite. Restore is not a probiotic or a prebiotic, however it provides a balanced dose of bacterial metabolites that restore the healthy tight junctions in the gut and the blood brain barrier. It enables the body to heal and create a strengthened immune system and gut biome. Simply put, Restore is formulated to repair the damage from eating toxins like pesticides and GMO’s.

Feeling Sick?

Are you doing everything right to be healthy but still feeling sick?  Do you have symptoms such as:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Autistic spectrum
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Brain fog
  • Profound Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Poor Digestion
  • Food sensitivities and allergies
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Gluten Intolerance

Why is everyone so sick?

Our foods are now grown in depleted soil without the nutrients needed to infuse them with vital energy, leaving the plants weakened. This necessitates the use of pesticides, antibiotics, and genetically modified types of plants (GMO’s) capable of withstanding all the toxins needed to grow them. All of this ends up in the food we eat. This denatured food causes cell membranes in the gut to break down, allowing the toxins to enter the blood stream. Our immune systems are overloaded leading to inflammation and disease. Disease can take many forms, but the common denominator is inflammation from a compromised gut lining. Restore rebuilds the gut barrier when it’s been degraded by toxins and restores an optimal environment for the entire digestive tract. Just as an unhealthy gut can lead to inflammation and disease, a healthy gut may lead to improved immunity and healing of many health issues.

The Facts: Restore is:

  • Based in medical science
  • Tested with “gold standard” protocols for non-toxicity
  • Produced in the USA
  • Packaged in recyclable bottles
  • Made from organic soil

The Simple Way to Heal

The good news is that healing from chronic illness and inflammation can be as straight forward as restoring our gut integrity. When the membranes in our guts fall apart, the gut no longer recognizes foreign substances. It doesn’t know self from non-self. This confusion may affect the whole being, causing stress to body and mind. Fortunately Restore has been developed. Restore offers the key to healing and feeling good again. Support your immune system, enhance your mental clarity and mood, and enable your digestive system to function the way Mother Nature intended. Restore harmony to your gut and to your life with Restore.

 

 

Make Your Own Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drinks with these 3 Healthy Recipes

Homemade Gatorade Recipes

If you’re the working parent of school age kids, then there’s a good chance you have them in some kind of Summer camp. My son is in Summer camp. It’s good for him to be outdoors most of the day instead of here in the house on his iPad. But being outdoors all day means he’s sweating up a storm and needs to replenish his energy and electrolytes by early afternoon. He wants Gatorade or Powerade, of course. And of course, I just can’t stand the thought of buying either as they’re loaded with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and even vegetable oil. A GMO nightmare! I went to the local health food store to see if I could find a natural powdered form that he could just put in his water. I found a couple but wasn’t impressed with the ingredients. They contained ascorbic acid (synthetic vitamin C), and still had sugar, although it was cane sugar so non-GMO. Unfortunately, they all tasted terrible. There was no way my son was going to take them. I So, I went back to the drawing board in search of the perfect homemade Gatorade recipe. After scouring the internet for some healthy sports drink recipes, I came up with three recipes that are kid-tested and mom approved.

Choosing Homemade Sports Drink Ingredients

Coconut water, AKA nature’s sports drink, can be substituted for all or part of the water in the following sport drink recipes. Doing so adds five essential electrolytes: calcium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium and potassium. Make sure to use an unsweetened, all natural one or you could be adding chemicals and GMO’s.

We used three different kinds of sugar-free sweeteners – honey, erythritol, and maple syrup. See which sweetener your family likes best and go with that. You will probably need to adjust the sweetness per your family’s desires. My kids thought all three recipes needed more sweetening. I thought the maple syrup added too much flavor to add more than the 2 Tbs, so I added a few drops of liquid stevia to each bottle for them. Our favorite sweetener was the erythritol because it didn’t add any flavor. you could also use Stevia, but as they are all different degrees of sweetness, use your package’s directions to figure out how much to use.

For the Berry Red sports drink, you can use any red herbal tea. We also tried it with Hibiscus Tea and Pomegranate White Tea (has a small amount of caffeine), as well as the raspberry tea.

We use sea salt instead of table salt for a few reasons. Table salt is heat manufactured, through which many of the nutrients in the original salt are destroyed and chemicals are added. Sea salt, or real salt, has many trace minerals that haven’t been stripped out due to processing. These are the necessary electrolytes to make this a sports drink. Many people believe Himalayan sea salt is the purest salt on the planet, and the most nutritious with all 84 elements found in the human body. Make sure to always use a real sea salt in this and all healthy recipes.

Now having gone through all the work of hand squeezing the lemons, limes and oranges to be SuperMom, I realized there was an easier and faster way to make any 100% juice into a healthy sports drink. The key components are natural carbohydrates and trace minerals. We get these from the fruit juice and the sea salt. So, I can take 1 cup of my son’s favorite 100% cherry juice (which is very sweet naturally), add one cup of filtered  water, and then add 1/8 tsp sea salt. Voila! Now we have a quick, healthy electrolyte drink he is sure to like.

3 Homemade Electrolyte Sports Drink Recipes

Citrus Sports Drink

Ingredients:
4 cups filtered water
3/4 C fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 C fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs maple syrup

Sour Lime Electrolyte Drink

Ingredients:
4 C filtered water
1/2 C fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs raw honey (use Manuka honey for added health benefits and more electrolytes)
Berry Red Super Hydrator

Ingredients:
4 C unsweetened red raspberry herbal iced tea
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs erythritol (a sweetener with 0 on glycemic index)

Directions

For each of the three homemade electrolyte sports drink recipes, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Adjust sweetener and refrigerate. Large batches will last in the fridge for at least a week.

Why We Stopped Using Green Pasture Butter Oil for Vitamin K

Highest_Vitamin_K2_in_Emu_oil

High Vitamin Butter Oil has been a staple in the supplement market since the Wetzel family launched Green Pasture in 2000. Moreover, the Vitamin K-rich superfood has been hailed by Dr. Weston A. Price and his followers as a complement to cod liver oil since 1930. It is no wonder that Green Pasture Butter Oil, along with Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil has been one of our most popular products for many years. And when Rosita Real Foods Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil and Organic3 Extra Virgin Butter Oil hit the market, we quickly added them to our product line as an alternative to the Green Pasture line.

In 2016, Is High Vitamin Butter Oil Still the Best Source of Vitamin K2?

In November of 2015, Sally Morrell of the Weston A. Price Foundation sent samples of several known sources of Vitamin K2 to be tested by VitaK, an independent laboratory. The results surprised the entire industry–High Vitamin Butter Oil was not the best source of Vitamin K2…not by a long shot.

Sample

Menaquinone-4

Menaquinone-5

Phylloquinone

Menaquinone-6

Menaquinone-7

Menaquinone-8

Menaquinone-9

Menaquinone-10

1. Emu Oil

3918,04

0,00

1,34

0,00

1,88

0,00

0,00

0,00

2. Oysters

1,21

0,00

11,14

1,57

1,68

0,00

0,00

0,00

3. Salmon Roe

4,31

0,00

3,58

0,22

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

4. Whitefish Roe

0,96

0,00

2,94

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

5. Shrimp wild

0,15

0,00

0,43

0,00

12,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

6. Chicken liver (Farm)

98,49

0,00

1,57

0,00

0,77

5,83

3,06

0,00

7. Chicken liver 

35,64

0,00

0,94

2,27

11,20

11,17

7,45

0,00

8. Green Pastures Butter oil

771,77

0,00

239,81

17,37

0,00

0,00

0,00

0,00

And the Winner is…Emu Oil!

When Walkabout Health Products debuted their flagship product in 2013, we knew there was something special about their unprocessed, untreated, unpasteurized Emu Oil. Once our customers started using it as a capsule supplement and a topical cream, the rave reviews poured in. That’s why we were thrilled to see our trusted Walkabout Emu Oil listed as the richest source of Vitamin K2 M-4–with more than 5 times the Vitamin K2 as Green Pastures Butter Oil!

 

Does That Mean that Green Pasture Butter Oil is Unnecessary?

Of course not! The results of the VitaK study revealed that Walkabout Emu Oil was a better source of Vitamin K2 than High Vitamin Butter Oil. However, Green Pasture’s Butter Oil has an array of health-boosting benefits that make it a great fit for certain situations.

  • Delivers a natural, organic source of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, & Vitamin K.
  • Includes natural CoQ enzymes
  • Promotes regularity and can help relieve constipation.
  • Provides an Antioxidant boost for maintaining overall good health.
  • Strengthens Teeth and Bones, preventing decay and breaks.
  • Moisturizes skin and balances natural oils to prevent breakouts.
  • Contains the Dr. Oz-recommended weight loss booster, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, (CLA).
  • Enhances absorption of digestive nutrients.

8 Good Ways to be a Great Dad

Father's_Day_Specials

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in 7 years!”

~ Mark Twain

I like lists. I like simple, concrete, action items which can really make a difference in my life. I’ve noticed that men especially want advice to be direct, effective, and free of psychobabble. So with Father’s Day just around the corner, here’s some inspiration for all you dads out there. Several expert dads1 have written extensively about what it takes to be a great dad, and I am going to boil it down and give it to you straight. Condensed, quick, and to the point. OK Dads, get ready to become your kid’s hero!

Be There

This just might be the hardest thing. If you achieve this, you’re well on your way to model parenthood. Your kid needs you to be present and available when you’re with him. Don’t try to multi-task when doing something together! Let your kid know they are your priority by listening with an open mind, looking at him in the eyeballs, and trying not to criticize or offer unsolicited advice. Kids will pick the darnedest times to want to play with you or ask you the big questions. Stop what you are doing. Turn to face them. And go with the moment. Even if you’re tired. Even if you’re late. Even if it’s the last thing you feel like right now. Just be present when they need you and you will become the indispensable playmate, counselor, and authority figure you always wanted to be.

Answer Questions with Questions

Kids are curious beings. Curiosity is a good thing because it leads to exploration and eventually knowledge. Of course your instinct is to supply the answer. Well, nice one dad, but that is like squashing their enthusiasm like a bug on the pavement!  Answering with another question leads them in a direction of thought where they just might discover something even cooler than if you supplied them with the answer. Besides, it gives you a chance to get inside their heads and enjoy their thought process. You might get the best chuckle or insight of your day!  A question in response to their question conveys your belief in your child’s intellect, which communicates much more than the answer to their question ever could. So ask a few questions in return, be their pathfinder rather than their instructor, and see the world light up in their eyes.

Be a Snoop

Your kid needs you to be an undercover agent always looking for clues about what makes them tick. How else will you know what is going on in their lives especially as they get older? You are not entitled to invade their privacy completely, but you can keep your eyes and ears open. Make it a point to drive carpool. Be quiet and just listen to their conversations. Be sure your house is a welcoming place for your kid and their friends. You will glean more data on your kid and his social world in a short amount of time than you ever will by asking questions. Be tech savvy and don’t be afraid to check your kid’s browsing history. Learn about their music, their books, and their media. Take in what they are absorbing and your view of them will expand exponentially. Talk to the parents of your kid’s friends. Networking means you’ve got eyes and ears all over town! Knowing your kid’s world helps you to understand them as a developing individual, allows you to coach them in areas of need, offers opportunities to help them grow, and helps you to keep them out of harms way.

Back Them Up

Every kid needs a cheerleader. A great dad lets his kid know that he believes in them. Empty praise or “good job” at every turn does little to instill confidence. But sincere encouragement, along with a hug, a smile, or a handshake confirms your support regardless of whether they have won or lost the game. Showing up for as many big events in your kid’s life as possible such as school plays, music recitals, sports games, and graduations is a great way to back them up. Make it your job to become a sincere encourager, knowing that they will not always accomplish what they set out to. Your kid needs to know that they can count on you to be there with nonjudgmental acceptance and some good old-fashioned physical contact when things go south. But don’t assume that you know their take on the situation until you’ve asked an open-ended question such as “How do you feel you did?” Your job is to allow them to self-critique and to stand behind them. Perhaps then they will be ready for your voice of wisdom and experience. If you want them to come to you when they’re older and have a problem, be the dad now who reassures, encourages, and snuggles.

Indulge Any Interest

How do you think a kid learns what they are interested in or capable of? Chances are they will need to try many things, many of which will be left by the side of the road to eventual self-knowledge. If you’re stingy about springing for the next round of sporting equipment or lessons they may struggle to find their passion. Within your means, try to be their source of inspiration fulfilled. If you had a penny for all the cast offs you might be deterred. But only you can open doors for them. They will decide whether it’s a door to be walked through or passed by. They should never be afraid to try. Don’t protect them from failing or shame them for moving on. Only they can find their aspiration, but you can be their committed benefactor promoting a sense of wonder and making all things possible.

Respect Women

You are your kid’s role model for all things including how to treat women. If your kid is a son he will learn from you how to have a successful relationship with a woman. If your kid is a daughter she will learn from you how much to value herself. Make common courtesy and respect the rule in your house. Learn to listen and communicate effectively with your wife, even openly heading her advice. Little people take all of this in. Nothing teaches a kid how to love and be loved like seeing love. So kiss your wife in the kitchen. Make it clear that their mother is to be obeyed. Never, ever badmouth your partner to their face or behind their backs. Regardless of whether you are “right” you are teaching your child disrespect. Disrespect leads to broken relationships and failure in the workplace. It’s up to you, Dad, to remind your son to show his girlfriend every courtesy. Teach him to open doors, to pull out her chair, and that “no” means no. It’s up to you to be your daughter’s first boyfriend. That means going to the father/daughter dance at school, treating her like a princess, and showing her that her beauty is more than skin deep. You want her to expect every boy who takes her out after you to treat her at least as well. Even if you and their mother are no longer partners the same rules apply. Kids need you to supply a strong family foundation through your example of loving respect. Creating people doesn’t end at conception. Now is your chance to mold your kid into a respectful human being. Someday it may be you who needs to be cared for by them. Make sure they are the caregivers you want to have!

Don’t Rage

When you loose control and yell you undermine the respect your kids have for you. You may frighten them into submission, but they won’t learn how to deal with frustrations. Blowing up is a sure fire way to alienate your kids from wanting to talk to you, obey you, or even love you. If you bully your kids, expect them to bully others. You are your kid’s hero. So wouldn’t it be better if you acted like someone worth imitating? Everyone gets stressed, but a controlled freak out is an admirable thing. Demonstrate restraint and self-control even under great frustration, and you are teaching your kid to channel their anger toward a constructive resolution. When you make and model wise decisions and are patient in difficult circumstances, you truly are the wise elder your kids will want to emulate. When you go the extra distance to be respectful, appreciative of others, thoughtful, and kind you will achieve superstar status in their eyes.

Have Clear Expectations

Kids need to know what you expect of them. They need to have standards and be held accountable. Providing the structure of rules and family traditions helps your kid to be grounded for life. Some expectations are for common courtesy, some are for hygiene, and some are economic. Some expectations are for family participation while others are for academic achievement. While it’s not possible to set an absolute standard for academic or athletic performance, it is possible to set goals for their engagement and improvement. Try not to give ultimatums or you may find that they can back fire leaving you with few options to adapt to changing needs. Instead, make your expectations known, but be flexible and demonstrate your ability to wisely judge extenuating circumstances. Father’s expectations are powerful even without a lot of words. Live by your own rules and you will be the mentor who will guide them gently but firmly along the path to success. Go ahead and set the bar high enough for them to have to stretch and watch them jump to please you!

What are you doing this Father’s Day?

This Father’s Day could be about more than your kid celebrating you. It could be a chance to reflect on and recalibrate your parenting of them. Perhaps you will use the reminder of the day to recommit to being the wise father figure your kid needs. No one’s perfect, Dad, but you get a lot of points for trying! It about being present, giving it your best shot, communicating your love, and accepting who they become. Every kid needs a Dad they can depend on. Put in the time now, and they will still want you around later when all you want is to be with them!

  1. Payleitner, Jay, 52 Things Kids Need From A Dad, what father’s can do to make a life long difference, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 2010.
  2. Harrison, Harry H., Father To Son, Workman Publishing Corp., NY, NY, 2000.