Day 18 of 30 Days On Dads – Lesson From Lillpappa: Ride Em While You Can


We just had a great family visit to an amusement park and while standing in line to ride one of the coasters, I once again remembered how I used to stand in line with my dad. Since I was so much older than my brother and sister, I would have been without a roller coaster partner. So my dad always rode shotgun with me.

But then again, he was likely glad I was old enough to ride because he was without a shotgun partner as well because my mom wasn’t going to hardly ride one of those “things”!

My dad’s favorite coaster was the Tidal Wave at Great America in Santa Clara, California. Check this bad boy out:

Youngsters today will say that the Tidal Wave doesn’t compare to the Top Fuel Dragster at Cedar Point, but like cars from the ’70’s, it paved the way for what Top Fuel Dragster is today. As a matter of fact, we’d be sitting there getting ready to take off and my dad would say, “This is how it would feel to be in a rail…” (that’s what the old school drag racers called the front-engine dragsters).

Still lost? Check out the classic drag race episode from The Munsters featuring Grandpa’s!

But I digress…

I wish me and my dad could ride the coasters again and I thank God that he’s still here, but his heart and back will just not let him do such activities any longer. I was telling my son this while in line for one of the coasters. It made me wonder if I was closer to coaster-retirement than I thought, as the thrill is still there and I love it, but it seemed just like yesterday I was in line with my dad and I don’t even know exactly when that moment ceased. Had I known, surely one last Tidal Wave ride would have been in order.

Do what you can with them gentlemen while you can. Sometimes we retire on our terms, but sometimes we are taken out of the game before we had a chance to say goodbye. Since we never know which moment we will have, do “whatcha can, while you can”!

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

Day 17 of 30 Days On Dads – Lesson From Sy Perlis: 91 year old sets bench press record

How could this not inspire you?

We’re talked a lot about the importance of being an in-shape CornerstoneDad in a few posts like here and here.

After seeing Sy, there’s no excuse to not put in work! At 91, yes it’s good to still be strong, but look how functional he is with that strength. The guy isn’t being pushed in a wheelchair and I bet there aren’t too many people lifting things for him at his age. Building strength today is no different from putting money in your bank account now for retirement.

You may use some of it now, but it really benefits you in your later years when you need it most!

Don’t only focus on your 401(k), but also focus on the 45’s, 25’s, 10’s and 5’s that you add to the bar.


Day 15 of 30 Days On Dads – Lesson From Dr. Chill: The Day Before Theory

Walking With The Kids_rz

One of my closest friends developed one of the best theories that I refer to quite often: The Day Before Theory.

If you think that possessions that we have today are so important and say, “What would we ever do without…?” Well, just remember, one day you did do without ____, because what did you do the day before _____?

What did you do the day before cell phones?

What did you do the day before the internet?

What did you do the day before you had a computer?

Some of you reading this can say, “I remember what we did before the car!” or “I remember what we did before television!”

Since Father’s Day is tomorrow, I’d like to know, what type of father did you think you would be before you became a father?

How many children did you ever think you’d have?

Are you spending the amount of time that you envisioned spending with your family before you became a dad?

Let us know in the comment section below.



Day 14 of 30 Days On Dads – Lesson From Lilpappa: Get Your Sleep!


American’s and well, men in general, have a terrible habit of bragging about one of the dumbest things in the world.

They brag about how they get or “need” very little sleep.

When a man tells me that, I’m not thinking, “Wow, that guy really loves his job and is a hard worker and loves life…”.

Instead, I’m thinking, “I bet his estrogen levels resemble his wife’s but it doesn’t matter because he can’t “perform” with his wife anyway because he has little desire and falls asleep at the drop of a hat…”.

No wonder dudes are popping blue-pills like it’s going out of style and we can’t watch a sporting event with the kids without “those” commercials coming on.

My dad used to tell me that getting sleep was important when I was younger. Now likely he told me this so I’d leave him and my mom alone, but he was exactly right. I also probably knew the importance as he worked days, afternoons and swing shift during his career.

The story below on 60 Minutes actually changed my life. I always knew that sleep was important, but I never knew peaceful sleep was this important.

I highly recommend a sleep app to help monitor your sleep patterns. I have been using one for well over a year and it has helped me really dial in how much sleep I need, get and explains why I may be feeling so lethargic some mornings. If I go back and see the graph of the previous night’s sleep, it’s usually not too good as I would awaken in the middle of a sleep cycle. Sleepcycle alarm is my favorite, but I’m sure there are other good ones out there as well.

To see the segment on CBS News, click here.

“This segment was originally broadcast on March 13, 2008. It was updated on June 12, 2008.

Human beings spend on average one third of our lives asleep. We know we need to sleep, but most of us have never really given a whole lot of thought to why. 

Why do we spend seven or eight hours a night immobile and unconscious? What really happens inside our brains and bodies while we’re sleeping? 

As correspondent Lesley Stahl first reported this spring, it’s one of the biggest unanswered questions in all of science, which is why researchers all over the country are doing studies, and coming up with some new, intriguing discoveries. 

“We don’t sleep just to rest our tired bodies?” Stahl asks Matthew Walker, the director of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley.

“Well, that’s been one of the long-standing theories. But I think what we’re starting to understand is that sleep serves a whole constellation of functions, plural,” Walker explains.

One thing that’s clear, says Walker, is that sleep is critical. In a series of studies done back in the 1980s, rats were kept awake indefinitely. After just five days, they started dying.

Walker says they started dying from sleep deprivation. “In fact, sleep is as essential as food because they will die just about as quick from food deprivation as sleep deprivation. So, it’s that necessary,” he says.

And it’s not just rats: every animal studied so far needs sleep, from the elephant right down to the fruit fly. But that’s as far as the similarities go. Some animals sleep 20 hours a day, others only two or three. And still others sleep with half their brains at a time, all making it hard to figure out what exactly it is about sleep that makes it so essential, and that, in terms of evolution, makes it worth the risks.

“You wonder why we developed this if survival is the whole point. Because you’re completely vulnerable when you’re lying there,” Stahl points out.

“Whatever the function of sleep, or the functions of sleep are, they seem to be so important that evolution is willing to put us in that place of potential danger by losing consciousness. It would be the biggest evolutionary mistake if sleep does not serve some critical function,” Walker says.

One of the most exciting new discoveries in the field of sleep research involves learning and memory. 

Five college students were subjects in one of Walker’s studies, and they had been awake for more than 24 hours. He has found that students like these do 40 percent worse memorizing lists of words after a night without sleep. But he has discovered something far more revolutionary about what happens when we do sleep.

“Sleep, we’ve been finding, actually can enhance your memories, so that you’ll come back the next day even better than where you were the day before,” Walker tells Stahl.

To prove it, Walker put Stahl through a test he’s given to more than 400 study subjects. Stahl had to type a series of numbers – 4, 1, 3, 2, 4 – over and over again with her left hand, making a new physical memory.”


Day 13 of 30 Days On Dads – Lesson From Rowdy Roddy Piper: Is it time to think about home schooling your child?


Rowdy Roddy Piper had one of my favorite sayings, “Just when you think you have the answer, I change the question!”

When it comes to schooling, many see public school, private school, charter school as the only options for educating their children. But what about homeschooling?

“Ah, I could never do that…”

But allow me to share this article written one year ago and is posted on

Just because society thinks they have the answer for your family, doesn’t mean you can’t change the question!


Is it time to think about home schooling your child?

Source:  Orlando Sentinel
By:   Jack A. Chambless
June 12, 2012
For the past 21 years I have taught economics to more than 14,000 college students here in Central Florida.

During that time I have made a concerted effort to glean information from my Valencia students as to their educational background preceding their arrival in college.

Drawing from a sample size this large multiplied by two decades multiplied by hundreds of thousands of test answers has put me in a good position to offer the following advice to any reader of this paper with children in Florida’s K-12 public schools.

Get them out now before you ruin their life.

While this may seem to be a bit harsh, let’s look at the facts.

First, my best students every year are in order — Chinese, Eastern European, Indian and home-schooled Americans, and it is not even close when comparing this group to American public-school kids.

Since it is highly unlikely that any of you plan to move to Beijing, Warsaw or Bangalore, you might want to look at the facts concerning public vs. home-schooled American students.

(In Florida, more than 60,000 students in about 42,000 families study in home education programs, which meet the requirement for regular school attendance and were protected under state law in 1985.)

All of us have seen or heard about the annual disaster that is called FCAT results. Thanks to government officials in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, kids in government-run schools are failing miserably in a wide range of subjects while teachers face bureaucratic nightmares that strip them of their status as professionals and relegate them to servants of standardized testing.

It is also a fact of public education that incidents of bullying, teacher-student sexual misconduct, abusive behavior by teachers and incessant protection of poor teachers by education unions have put students in public schools in the unenviable position of dealing with issues that no learning environment should impose on them.

Moreover, the public education system in Florida and other states is one of the worst forms of monopoly power.

Everywhere in our lives as citizens we have free consumer choice as to where we shop for food, clothes, cellphones and more. However, if you are economically disadvantaged you rarely have this choice in education.

Poorer families in Florida are instead given the school district that their children are forced to attend. Rather than give poor parents choices so that competitive pressure is imposed on public education, we have lower-income families — mostly minorities — who are condemned to 13 years of inferior education just because they live in the wrong zip code.

Everywhere in America where vouchers or other forms of school choice exists, we see competition forcing the unionized public schools to adapt, or lose students.

This used to be the case in Florida, but those options are now lower than in past years and the victims show up in my classes woefully unprepared for challenging college course work.

It is routine that students from Florida’s worst high schools make failing grades in college. These kids have been lied to by a system that tells them that a diploma from an “F” school will not impact them in college.

Meanwhile, the more than 2 million home-schooled kids around America (my two sons included) routinely appear in America’s colleges with an education that prepares them for virtually anything.

The home-education movement has unleashed the forces of capitalism in such a way that anyone can find dozens of types of curricula for any grade level to help educate their kids in areas where one might not be an expert.

Home-school conventions like the one coming at the end of this month in Orlando offer thousands of options and professional speakers who can help guide willing parents through their child’s formative years.

The home-schooled kids who show up in my classes usually arrive at the age of 16 or 17, score in the high 90’s on their exams and then go off to places like Harvard, Penn and other world-class universities.

Day 12 of 30 Days On Dads – Tales Of The Tape



Number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2012 – 24.4 million

Number of single fathers in 2012; 16 percent of single parents were men – 1.96 million

  • Nine percent were raising three or more children younger than 18.
  • About 44 percent were divorced, 31 percent were never married, 20 percent were separated, and 5 percent were widowed.
  • 42 percent had an annual family income of $50,000 or more.

Stay at Home Dads


Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2012. These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for at least one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wife works outside the home. These fathers cared for upward of 369,000 children.
Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements <> Tables FG8 and C3


In spring 2011, the percentage of preschoolers regularly cared for by their father during their mother’s working hours.
Source: Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011

Child-Support Payments

$1.9 billion

Amount of child support received by custodial fathers in 2009; they were due $3.5 billion. In contrast, custodial mothers received $19.5 billion of the $31.7 billion in support that was due.
Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2009


Percentage of custodial fathers who received all child support that was due in 2009, not significantly different from the corresponding percentage for custodial mothers, 42 percent.
Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2009


Percentage of custodial fathers receiving noncash support, such as gifts or coverage of expenses, on behalf of their children. The corresponding proportion for mothers was 58 percent.
Source: Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2009

Day 11 of 30 Days On Dads – 7-year-old steals car to skip church (video), Sound Like Your Kid?

This story was actually reported back in 2009:

Who, when they were 7-years-old, had not thought of stealing a car to skip church?

OK, probably not a lot of people, but this young Utah boy took the song lyrics “Bad boy bad boy, what you gonna do, what you gonna do when they come for you,” to heart just a bit too seriously.

The 7-year-old stole his dad’s car to skip church this weekend and drove it 45 mph right back home with the police right behind him.

“His speed was slow, but erratically; and so he would kind of scoot down lower to push on the gas and kinda sit up on the seat more to see right where he was going,“ said Weber County sheriff’s Lt. Matthew Bell.

“People in the neighborhood are talking about this,“ he added.

Does this sound like something your child would do?

In 2011, Barna Research reported that nearly 60% of kids disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15. At least lil’ man kept it real and decided to not play the church-game for 8 more years I guess.

But why are kids leaving church? Here are the reasons discovered by Barna Research:

Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective.

Reason #2 – Teens’ and twentysomethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow.

Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science.

Taken at: Creation Museum

Taken at: Creation Museum

Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental.

Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity.

Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt.

For an explanation of each reason and more, please see the article here.

I’ve taught a small kid’s group at church with a congregation of less than 20, but we had 8-10 in the class. I’ve taught a youth group that had a congregation of hundreds, but a youth group of about 20. Kids simply disappeared and never came to class, wandered the hallways, or left the building all together. Parents had no clue where their kids were at while they were in service.

Would this be tolerated in school Monday-Friday? I think not, but it would be on Sunday, and we wonder why our kids leave church as soon as they are old enough to have “something else going on”?

Did I mention sports? You know, how church-folk, will pull the kids out of church to go play ball on Sunday? Now I’m not trying to be legalistic, but can we just have at least one day for worship AND family time?

Many youngsters leave church (they may not be desperate enough to do what young-fella did above) because they are not actually Christians, we as parents set bad examples as we “wear” Christianity on Sunday but not Monday through Saturday, or because we barely go ourselves.

The lesson I’d like to share is one from my dad. You are a family. You worship as a family. And just because you’re in this family, doesn’t mean you’re in God’s family. As my mom used to say, “You cannot grab on to my heels when I’m going up to heaven!”

Church helps give our kids a moral compass (the Word of God). Show them that going to church doesn’t make them a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes them a car. Just like that ball field that’s also calling them, it brings us together with like-minded people. A people with shared values, a similar worldview, and hopefully a love for one another. Of course learning doctrine, instruction and even discipline is a part of church as well, and there’s much more.

On that note, maybe the kid was trying to get away from a church teaching heresy? In that case, “run Forest, run!” and the youngster may be more discerning that the adults around him!


Day 10 of 30 Days On Dads – Like Father Like Son? How Does Patrick Schwarzenegger’s Physique Compare To His Dad Arnold?

I’ve told my boy and girls that the physical habits and results you develop now with be with you the rest of your life. Working out and keeping a healthy body fat level is not about looking good, but about taking care of the body God has given them in this 24/7 sittin’-on-your-butt society.

We were made to move.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14

Starting your kids on a strength training program is a great way to maximize the genetic potential that God gave you, and you handed down to them. We all have body parts that are naturally larger, leaner and have different muscle origin/insertion points, and this is determined largely by our genetics.

Unfortunately, nurture often trumps nature. Our kids learn to eat fast-food because no one cooks healthy or at least unprocessed meals at home any more. Our kids want to sit with a controller in their hand all day because they have watched us sit in front of a computer/cell phone screen all day.

When boys especially, hit around 14 or 15 years of age, they really desire to start adding strength and coordination to their new-found lean body mass. As parents, we can show them how to train properly and with the right moderation. Like other things they learn from the kids in school, locker room lifting conversations are insanely misinformed. I’d venture to say that if we wanted to put a dent in teenage steroid use, we could start by having parents and young men training together.

Trust me. You’ll notice real fast if you and your boy are doing the same workout and he just added 30 lbs. in 6 months and you only 5lbs. Yes, kids grow fast, but that’s likely not all creatine putting that mass on!

Arnold Schwarzenegger may not exactly be a CornerstoneDad, but it looks like he stoked a fire in his son the same way he did millions of others across the world. The desire to get in shape.

Take a look at this shot of his boy compared to Arnold at a similar age:


Patrick Schwarzenegger – 19 years old


Arnold Schwarzenegger – 18 years old


Now, think that everyone has the ability to compete in bodybuilding with “hard work and the right supplements”?

I don’t think so. You better have the right parents!

But you can teach your kids how to take care of what God (and you) have blessed them with, and those results will truly last for a lifetime.

If you need any tips on developing a routine for your kids, just let me know!




Day 9 of 30 Days On Dads – A Lesson From The Ultimate Father: God

MissionMen Logo_new_Watermark

Matthew 6:9

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

1 Corinthians 3:11

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Matthew 23:9

And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.

Galatians 4:6

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:14

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Matthew 7:9-11

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Day 8 of 30 Days On Dads – Lesson From MadPappa: Yo Man, It’s The Formula (Child Support That Is)


This isn’t quite a guest post, but I’d like to introduce you to someone else who pops over every now-and-then.

His name: MadPappa

MadPappa is a guy who spent his years as a young man in the system. Not the criminal system, but the family court system.

He says you get treated about the same way a criminal does in the former, which is why he’s such a mad man.

So I now introduce to you, MadPappa.

The lesson I want to teach young men or men who don’t want to pay attention to the advice of Johnnie Taylor when he said, “It’s cheaper to keep her”, is that they need to understand The Formula. What formula is that you ask? Your states child support formula.

The average length of a male orgasm is 10-15 seconds. As my mentor and professor Dr. Lyn Lewis once asked the class, “Are you willing to let those few seconds determine your life?” Men must ask themselves, “Is THIS really worth it?”

Thankfully, there are websites that can help us put a price tag on the “fun”.

Check out:

Look up your state, use the calculator, and see if you can absorb that child support amount into your current monthly budget?

So I used Ohio as a sample state for you nice guys. Of course your stats may vary, but below you can see my input variables:

Child Support Calculator

Under this scenario your monthly support order will be approximately $521

Oh, you say, “I can’t pay that with the money I make!”

That’s cool. The court will keep a balance. Just make sure you don’t get pulled over, renew your license or have your name “run” in any other manner, because in a state like Michigan, the penalty for doing so is:

Michigan Support Enforcement Measures

If a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, he or she is subject to enforcement measures in accordance with Federal and Michigan child support law to collect regular and past-due payments.

  • Income withholding orders – new employers are identified through new hire reporting and notified to withhold income
  • Medical support to notice provide for a specific dollar amount to be deducted for medical purposes
  • State and federal tax offset
  • Lein/levy process against real or personal property, and/or financial assets
  • Professional licenses, driver’s licenses and hunting and fishing licenses can be revoked
  • Reporting to a consumer credit reporting agency
  • Bench warrant may be issued, which requires a dollar amount be paid prior to release


Now, I’m not going to go into all the other variables like how this balance affects the relationship with the mother of your child, which will affect the relationship with your child, your visitation (right or wrong, money effects physical presence), the relationship with your employers as they will know your business when those tax forms get sent in or if they are told to garnish your wages (yea, that gets real embarrassing when you didn’t know it was coming, you start trippin’ out to HR about how your check was short, and they tell you why and you’re like, “Oh, okay…thanks.” sniff-sniff). My fingers are getting tired typing in all the dynamics that come into play.

So what are those seconds worth to you? I’m sure the CSDCFF (check that out here) ratio doesn’t exactly come out in your favor on this one.

Sorry to have to break it down to dollars and cents, but it was advice nobody ever gave or told me. This blog is all about being a great father, but there are still very real consequences to behavior. You need to calculate the literal costs sometimes before you do what it takes to become a father.

Things aren’t all “love-love” like a woman’s romance novel and ladies, you go from being a dime-piece before/during those 10-seconds of euphoria to a Zimbabwe dollar (A roll of toilet paper in Zimbabwe costs $145,750, which is about 69 American cents) when you both are fighting over child support, visitation and why that other girlfriend/boyfriend is doing ___ in front of “my child”.

10,000,000 Zimbabwe dollar banknoteAlso, that $521/month may go up or down depending on whether you have other arrears (like from the baby’s birth which can easily be 10k), you make more money (I feel for you cats with seasonal gigs or who are in sales where your income fluctuates yearly because getting your support amount lowered during those periods will be like getting a raise on your job).

If any of you other fellas have learned this lesson, please comment below. MadPappa will feel good knowing that his advice may save one guy with The Formula.


Day 7 of 30 Days On Dads – Lesson From LillPappa, Respect The Lawn Mower


One lesson I learned as a young man was to respect the power of the lawn mower. Early on my dad said,

“Always wear long pants, no matter how hot it is outside. Those little rocks hurt when they hit your legs and you never know what else might come flying from under the mower”

I’ve cut much grass in over 30 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever cut with shorts on. I’ve passed that lesson on to my kids as well. My 14 year old son has been cutting grass for the last few years and since we try not to be gender specific with chores in our house, my 12 year old daughter is learning to respect the lawn mower as well.

When going over safety reminders again recently, I came across plenty of statistics showing that this time of year, kids are consistently getting injured in lawn mower accidents. Most of these are from riding lawn mowers (sorry, we’re not ballin’ like that as I just can’t afford anything like that…we don’t even have a self-propelled mower on nearly an acre of land), as parents let children ride on their laps or the kids tragically flip the mower over on themselves.

So dad’s, if you are giving the kids the joy of learning how to maintain where they live and teaching them how to mow the lawn, please take the time to teach them to respect the mower.

  • Lawn mower injuries to children can be mutilating or fatal, but can often be prevented.
  • Cuts, fractures, and burns account for 60% of all mower injuries; half of these types of injuries require amputation of the toes, feet, or legs.
  • In children under 7, injuries are often the result of falling or jumping from ride-on mowers. Others are caused by sliding under the mower or being backed over, even when parents or relatives are driving.
  • “Off and inside” is a good reminder that kids should not operate or be passengers on riding mowers, and are only out of harm’s way if indoors.