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Father Knows Best

Dan Orzechowski and Stephen

I grew up around kids – I baby sat, had lots of younger cousins, and my brother is nine years younger than me. So I’ve always been comfortable with babies and kids and I knew I wanted my own when the time was right. But it only took a few seconds after our first son was born before I realized that I was not really ready for fatherhood.  

This little, wrinkly 6-pound ‘thing’ invades your home and everything changes, every perspective you once had is different. Instantly. You are now responsible for another human life and there is something very sobering about that.

But just when you’re thinking, “What did I get myself into?” you experience something else. A kind of love and adoration that you never thought was possible. A feeling that was completely unknown to you before.

I’ve got two kids now, both boys, which means double the love and double the insanity. They certainly keep things interesting.

One of my favorite things about being a dad is watching my kids play and discover the world around them; their imagination is entertaining and inspiring and my wife and I do not want to stifle it. So, when it comes to our parenting style, we try to create an environment where our kids can have as much fun as possible, explore, take chances and still be safe.

It’s not always that easy, of course. So on this Father’s Day, I thought I’d give you three of my top tips for keeping my kids safe while they’re having fun.

  • Secure your TV. This is an important issue I never thought about before, even with two boys. My kids love to run around the house, play hide and seek or chase the poor dog. You never know what they may try to climb on – including TV stands. So I took the time to secure our TV to the wall to prevent any injuries from TV tip-overs. It gave me total peace of mind and if you’re like me, you need as much of that as possible. One more thing: if you’re searching for a great gift for Father’s Day, here’s a chance to win dad a new TV – complete with wall mount. Just enter before June 12.
  • Keep an eye out while swimming. My family loves the water. We spend lots of time at the beach and the pool every summer. Like most kids, our kids are always yelling, “watch me” or “look at me.” It’s actually great advice for all of us. This is one area where I don’t mess around. We give our kids our undivided attention, without distraction whenever we are near water. To make it easier, try downloading our Water Watcher card to help ensure someone is always watching. The easiest way for me is to get in the water with them. Cannonball.
  • Walk the Walk. Kids are like sponges, trust me. I learned that lesson the hard way, like when our oldest correctly used the word “dammit” when his little brother knocked over his Lego tower. So I set a good example by wearing a seat belt every time in the car, wearing a helmet while biking, and putting phones or other devices down when driving or crossing the street. I figure if I instill these habits when my kids are young, they’ll be more likely to do the right thing when I’m not around. We actually have a great video that shows that kids really do listen.

To all the fathers out there, have a great, fun and safe Father’s Day.