Dads from the Man Cave

A show just for dads

(and other primary caregivers)

KWM Studios presents a Podcast just for those of us that find ourselves in the unexpected role of Primary Caregivers to the Kids we love. Parenting was originally designed as a two person job (if only for the benefits of a Zone defense…).

Some of the KWM Dads’ podcasts will feature experts in dealing with Grief and Loss, and not just the Kids’, but yours as well. Others tap the wisdom of experts in raising Kids in today’s fast changing world (we can’t just mimic what our parents did with us). Too much is changing, too quickly.

Show topics include Bullying (Cyber and Real Time), Drugs and Managing Technology. Gender differences in learning. Sometimes, we don’t bring in a expert, but rather just talk among ourselves recounting real world situations we’ve encountered and how we dealt with them.

And, just to keep it light, we may include the occasional game show with the kids. For example, are you smarter than a 3rd grader? (We though we’d start with the Third grade to give the Dads a fighting chance).

Sometimes, these podcasts are just for adults to help with the lifelong challenge of dealing with the grief of a parent and how that may effect your day to day life.

The loss of a spouse or parent is a calamitous event. Let’s see if we can help work our way through the challenges together…

 

Recent Episodes/Posts from the Cave

What to do when a friend looses his wife and the mother of his children

I had a friend call me recently and asked me to talk with a friend of her’s who just lost his wife and the mother of his two children. My friend was wondering what she could do for the obviously distraught Dad.

I am not a therapist. Nevertheless, I tried to give him come concrete next steps in the spirit of “putting one foot in front of the other” to keep moving forward. Here’s a recap of what I suggested.

Remember that his initial instinct will be to protect the kids. That’s okay, as long as he remembers he will need to start the grieving process himself as soon as possible if he is to get to a place where he can provide the most support for his children.

  • To get started with the kids, look for local grief counselors. Many cities offer these services free of charge. Check with the local Children’s hospital if there is one or a local palliative care facility or hospice for referrals. As soon as possible, find a way into a regular program of meetings, usually a group, so the kids can witness others  going through the grief process and it is normal.
  • Consider putting together a “memory book” with photos of important events each kid experienced with Mom. They can keep this book under their pillows and refer to it every time they think of Mom or are sad.
  • Get Dad through his process separately from, but in addition to, what the kids are doing. The Dad lost his partner, co-parent and probably his best friend. His journey with grief will be different.
  • Remember that this is a life long process. The kids and he will revisit the loss often as they move through life. The kids because of increased maturity and awareness and Dad because he will see how it effects the kids.
  • If there are female members of the immediate family that the kids like, try to organize as much time with these women as they can spare with the kids. They won’t be able to replace Mom, but they too will be experiencing the loss of someone close and can help the kids by relating to their pain. They also may help kids that are stuck longer than normal in the denial phase of dealing with a loss.
  • If there are no immediately available female family members, consider resources like KWM to help the kids confront their loss and help them to work through it.

This is not something a family should deal with by themselves. There is a whole grief network of professionals who can help.

Mark

Relay for Life

If you know anyone involved in a fight with cancer, please tell them about this site (especially if they like to run…)

Relay for Life

Checkout Camp Widow

A friend of mine, whom I greatly respect, turned me on to this place.

Looks like a great place for Dads to deal with their own grief so they can be more available for their kids. Please let us know if anyone goes. We’d love to hear all about it.

Camp Widow

 

 

Dad’s Man Cave Eps. #1 – Ken Barringer, MA, LHMC

Play

Ken and Mark Marquis

The Dad’s Man Cave is on the Map!

Welcome to the first episode of the Dad’s Man Cave. Dedicated to the single parent Dads trying do the best they can for their kids.

I am so happy to start the Man Cave run by setting the bar very high with our special guest, Ken Barringer. Ken is truly an expert on loss ( a title I felt I held until today based on my stock market portfolio’s performance…).

Ken has dedicated his life to helping kids deal with all kinds of loss, be it a parent, a boyfriend, a setback at school, a family relocation etc., some of which he calls disenfranchised losses. He found his calling early in life (middle school) and has been making a real impact in the world ever since.

Ken’s credentials are as impressive as he is articulate. He’s the Director of the Academy of Physical and Social Development in Newton, in addition to teaching Group Counseling at Boston College and managing a thriving private practice.

Ken conducted a real clinic for me covering how we, as Dads, can be on the lookout for the five ways our kids can signal us they are suffering at the moment (I was only looking out for one of these). The importance of accepting pain, but avoiding suffering. It was an amazing hour that I felt could have gone on much longer.

We took a couple of emails from listeners and played a quick round of “What would Jim Andersen do?”. Jim was the star of the 50’s and 60’s show — Father Knows Best.

I hope you find this to be an hour well spent. It is exactly the kind of information and support we had in mind when we founded Kids Without Moms.

Enjoy.

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