I especially want to write this today for all the Fathers out there.  Now if anyone out there knows me at all , they know I love my boys.  I try very hard to be a good Dad to them. Like most Dads I fear that I fall short of that goal much more than I achieve it. But I try. One of the things that I do is try to be encouraging by giving  them the tools that they need to help themselves become good men.  I am never at a loss for a good long lecture or lesson if it is needed, and I am willing to dish out a punishment when it is warranted.  But one thing I did realize is that I often fall short of one important ingredient they need to grow to their potential.  Praise.  And I bet I'm not alone.

I think the problem is, that as a guy I feel like if I praise them , or tell them that I'm proud of them, they will stop trying. When their report cards come , I do try to talk about the good grades and tell them I'm proud of their work, but in truth it almost always ends in a " but I know you can do even better".  And I know they can, but I think they also know that. Maybe they don't always need to hear "I think you can be better" from me.

The truth of the matter is , I am extremely proud of my boys.  I joke about wanting them grown up and out of the house but in reality, I can't imagine how I'm going to have to deal with the heartbreak of losing them to the world I have tried so hard to prepare them for.

I have noticed many times over the past couple of weeks times where I could have said something and for some reason didn't. Which brings me to my idea for the day.  If you would like to play along here is what you do. Go to their Facebook page and write this: " Today is embarrass your Kid Day, so I wanted to take a minute to tell you..."  And tell them in front of the whole world how special they are.  It doesn't have to be long, or especially corny, just honest. Sure they may take some ribbing from their friends, but I'm betting deep down they may kinda like it. Maybe.  Either way, its fun. Let me know what you write, and how it goes over in your house.

Here is what I wrote: "Ryan, I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how proud I am of you. I look at you lately and I see this mature, funny, intelligent man. Your so easy going and fun to be around and your self sacrificing nature is so admirable. You have exceeded already anything I could have hoped for in a son and are an amazing example to your Brothers. I am proud to be your Dad."

And: "Andrew, I just wanted to tell you what a great kid I think you are. Especially lately, you are growing up into the kind of young man I have always knew you would be. I have noticed that you have made an effort lately to be the kind of person that people love to be around. You are so very good hearted, smart, handsome and strong willed. These traits will one day serve you well. I'm very proud to be your Dad."

God Bless.