Engagement, Ritual, and Work (video)

How can we as dads (and moms) engage more with our partners and our children? What kind of rituals do we participate in, or create, as families, to honor the changing of the seasons and to celebrate each other? Knowing that kids mimic our actions, if we don’t work in a field that our children can actively participate in, what kinds of things are we teaching them. Here’s my take on those three topics:

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some video blogging, and somehow I always put it off. Today I just hit record and went for it. I’d love to read your responses to the questions in the video, and if you have any other feedback, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

5 thoughts on “Engagement, Ritual, and Work (video)

  • Heather

    Sat Nam Natural PAPA

    GREAT Video!! Especially for not “being prepared”… I thought it was very engaging. As far as engaging with my children… as a working mama I also find my self saying later, later, later…. The one think that I do count on is dinner time. Dinner is the closet thing I have come to Ritual… I have intentions of doing yoga everyday with my family as a ritual but that doesn’t seem to be supported in my current lifestyle.. I am working on changing that. I love the idea’s your family came up with!!!
    As far as your children being involved with your work why don’t you include them in a video at some point, to teach us about parenting techniques, or show off some of your children’s creativity, or maybe for one of your ritual’s we can get an idea of how you do it… or maybe we can see a 5 year old perspective on life.. asking kids a question to be answered on film can always be fun… That’s all for know .. keep the Vids coming…

    • Derek Markham

      Thank you , Heather – I’ll definitely take those ideas to heart.

  • Derek, thanks for being so open with your thoughts. It’s magic.

    As a single mom for most of my kids’ lives, I had to undo the materialism their dad was teaching them. I have always been a hands-on person, lots of crafts, lots of homemade things. I made sure to make one major thing for them for each holiday and birthday to show them that not everything came from the store. And I explained that to them as well. Now they make things as gifts for family and friends – books, pictures frames, and so on.

    As my kids turned into teenagers, the most rewarding thing I saw (and they are still young at 15 & 19, so I’m sure there’s more to come) was that they were not shy around people they did not know, my friends. They were polite, shaking hands, introducing themselves, and answering questions adults asked them. I did not teach them this. They learned through my example. That was huge for me and showed me that my life and lifestyle would rub off on them more than what I could actually ‘teach’ them.

    I’m with you on doing tangible things with them to foster their self-esteem, since being online does not show them a thought process or creative process, even though it is full of that for us.

    Mainly, set an example that you would be proud of them following. If you are kind, loving and creative, they will be, too.

    • Derek Markham

      Thanks, Nan. I’ve found that it’s hard to both set a good example and to also be fully human (capable of making mistakes, changing our minds), yet I believe that when our kids see that we aren’t perfect, they still respect us (maybe even more). I appreciate the feedback!

  • When we err, it’s important to let them see you cop to it, then bounce back. I always apologized to my kids for my mistakes, too, like if I lost my temper or if they caught a discrepancy. I tried to be humble and real, not some inaccessible monster. I am far from a perfect parent, but I know my kids respect my struggle, choices and independence.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *