14 Memorable Fourth of July Date Ideas

Wondering how to spend your holiday this independence day? Here are 14 perfectly patriotic and fun Fourth of July date ideas to have a memorable time.

It’s that time of the year again.

For many of us, the Fourth of July is just another holiday to party hard, sleep in or lounge around at home.

But this time around, it’s time you do some something different with your loved one.

This independence day, indulge in a few activities that are fun and yet, patriotic!

14 Fourth of July date ideas

Do you remember the happy Independence Day celebrations you loved so much when you were a child?

What’s stopping you from doing that, now that you’re all grown up?

Instead of just waiting for the fireworks to light up the sky at night, go on out there and enjoy the day.

Here are 14 great ways to make your Independence Day date memorable, fun and oh-so-perfect!

#1 Raise a flag. This is something you can do first thing in the morning!

Plan ahead the earlier night and get together with all your friends or with your lover early in the day, and raise the national flag in front of your house. Sing the national anthem under the star spangled banner. Really, it’s not going to sound corny at all. In fact, it’ll help you realize just how important the day really is!

And finish the morning off by having breakfast out together in the yard, sharing stories or making plans for the rest of the day.

#2 Create a tradition. Do you have any Fourth of July traditions that you and your lover rigorously follow? If not, then this year is your best excuse to start a new tradition with your partner, whatever it may be, and make a promise to follow it every year. It’ll be a memorable and romantic way to enjoy the Independence Day every year.

And many years later, you can look back at this Fourth of July and fondly remember how the tradition started in the first place.

#3 Have lunch at a restaurant. But not just any restaurant. Pick a restaurant with a patriotic menu with little flags all around! It’ll be a lot of fun to try a few new themed dishes, and it’s a great way to show respect to this special day too.

#4 Watch patriotic movies together. If you just want to relax at home, and yet, want to experience the spirit of Independence Day, pick up a few DVDs where the theme of the movie is about fighting for independence *The Patriot is a good one*. And if you’re not into movies, just watch the live celebration shows on the TV.

#5 Cook with your lover. Bake a cake with your lover or make cupcakes. Everyone loves them, and baking the cakes and dressing them up in blues and reds can be a fun time. Or prepare a whole meal with a patriotic theme.

#6 Dress up and take photographs. Dress up in your blues, reds and white on this day. A happy relationship is built on memories, so make sure you dress up in your fancy attire and take a lot of pictures together *even if the photos are too personal to show off!* After all, what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than by creating more memories that can last a lifetime!

#7 Visit historical museums. Plan a special outing with your partner on this day. Go to historical museums or places of historical importance if it’s a short drive away.

#8 Attend a celebration. Every city has several community activities and get-togethers to celebrate the Fourth of July. Your partner and you could go to a concert, a baseball game, or just spend the day at a picnic or by watching a parade. Go out there and have fun, after all, there’s so many things you can do in your own city.

#9 Watch a war reenactment. If you get the opportunity to watch a war reenactment around your place, don’t miss it. It’s worth watching, especially if there are a lot of people around in their celebratory best.

#10 Plan a road trip. Go on a road trip with your partner. But make sure you adorn your car by sticking a lot of little flags all around it. It’ll be a lot of fun, and even if you’re just driving around a few blocks and not down the freeway, you’re still spreading the good word.

#11 Have a barbeque. Invite all your friends over and spend the evening catching up with each other. As long as there’s an endless supply of  hot dogs and beer, everyone will have a fun time.

#12 Have a campfire. Rent a lakeside cabin or spend the evening on the beach. Light a bonfire and spend some quality time with each other, watching the stars and the fireworks brighten up the night sky.

#13 A night of fireworks. If you’ve got kids around or love lighting up the night sky, buy your own fireworks and sparklers. But if you just like watching the night sky light up, go to a fireworks show with your partner and cheer out loud!

#14 Spend time with family. There’s no better way to spend the Fourth of July than by spending quality time with the ones you love. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the Independence Day. Get together on this holiday with all your loved ones, and enjoy the day by planning the activities together or by taking off to an all day event.

Use these 14 Fourth of July date ideas and you’ll have a great time with your loved one. But remember to have fun responsibly, and most importantly, respect your flag and honor it.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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11 Marriage Truths From Divorce Attorneys

The best source for marriage advice? Divorce attorneys. Before you protest, just think about it: Every day at work they see the types of marital problems that lead otherwise happy couples to split up.

With that in mind, we recently asked 11 family law attorneys to volunteer their best love and relationship advice. See what they had to say below.

1. A sustainable marriage is not about love, it’s about tolerance.

“Can you tolerate all your partner’s quirks? Even the ones that you don’t like, are they tolerable? Don’t marry your partner thinking that any of his or her quirks are going to change, improve or wane. As we get older, your partner’s quirks will only magnify. So if you can’t tolerate it now, you for sure are not going to be able to tolerate it in the future. Tolerance may not be romantic, but it is the key to a long lasting marriage.” — Melissa B. Buchman, an attorney in Beverly Hills, California 

2. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. 

“Unfortunately, many couples I see going through a divorce ascribe bad — or sometimes terrible — motives to everything their spouses do. What is the harm in assuming or presuming the best? Even if you’re wrong, it hurts no one. And it may be the start of a better relationship.”  — Randall M. Kessler, an attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia

3. Don’t be afraid to feed your spouse’s ego now and then.

“Silly as it may sound, your spouse wants to feel strong, sexy and attractive. I have seen spouses cheat because someone else showed them attention and made them feel good.” — Christian Denmon, an attorney in Florida 

4. Put your spouse before your kids. 

“This may not be the most popular piece of advice, especially for parents, but after watching countless people get divorced because they allowed themselves to slowly drift apart over the years, I honestly believe it’s true. We are all busy these days. It’s far too easy to put your job, your house, your activities and your kids before your spouse. Don’t do it! While many people believe that their kids have to come first, if they don’t put their spouse first and their marriage eventually sours, it’s not going to be doing the kids any favors. If you value your marriage, choose to put it first.” — Karen Covy, an attorney and divorce coach based in Chicago, Illinois 

5. Don’t wait until it’s too late to work on your marriage.

“Work on your marriage while it’s still a good marriage, don’t wait until there’s a problem. ‘Work’ does not have to mean counseling, it can simply be having a set date night once a month.” — Carla Schiff Donnelly, an attorney based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

6. When you need to discuss something important, timing is everything.

“When making a request, decision, criticism or apology, it’s crucial to do it when and where your spouse is at their best: after working out, perhaps, or on Friday night, or after a glass of wine or early in the morning before the kids are up. Ask yourself: Is this really the most constructive setting for my partner to hear what I need to bring up? I marvel at stories from clients about how they tried accomplishing something regardless of their spouse’s readiness to receive it and how shocked and dismayed they were when they got rebuffed or ignored. Bringing stuff up on a Sunday night, for instance, when you know he or she gets the back-to-work blues — or right after work, when you’re both exhausted? Bad idea.”  — James Sexton, an attorney based in New York City

7. Know that you can’t change your partner.

“My piece of advice mirrors a quote from Maya Angelou: ‘When people show you who they are, believe them.’ In other words, many of us have this deep-seated desire to change our partners, especially women. This can manifest itself in actions like trying to get them to wear neutral colors instead of bold plaid shirts or attempting to change them from boring in bed to hot in the sheets. The bottom line is, we are who we are and either we accept it or go back on Match.com.” — Lisa Helfend Meyer, an attorney in Los Angeles, California

8. Love is about the little things.

“Marriage is work but worth the effort. Go on dates, speak one another’s love language and cherish the little things. Remember that love looks and feels very different as your relationship changes and evolves.” — Natalie Gregg, an attorney in Allen, Texas  

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING: Inspiration and Behind the Scenes – Part 1

The truth behind the story!

This is a 4 part mini series I wrote over the weekend as a companion to my recently published book. It will run over the next 4 weeks, every Monday morning at 8am!

Thank you!

Angel with a Broken Wing is my first work of fiction. It’s got all of my favorite elements in it. But where do these ideas come from? Well, I’m going to tell you.

I’m going to think back and try to remember some of the inspiration for this story.

I am obviously Christian Blackmore. Not anymore, but I was back in the 90’s. I was miserable in my marriage and my job, and I wished  I could just run away from the life I had created.

The Cover: I was an art major all through school. When I think about that now, it feels like a million miles away. I liked comic books growing up, and my first exposure to art was in comics. I always made art throughout my childhood, so art class was a natural progression for me in school. It was the only class that was effortless.

I loved to work in pen and ink. I liked its stark simplicity. I have several works from high school that I still retain in my collection. This one, The Angel is my favorite.

It was an incredibly cold day in February of 1980. I was in my double period, art major class. There were only two of us in the class that were any good. Me and Bill Polini.

I looked out the window as the snow came flying. I took pen in hand, and imagined a beautiful girl. In a warm place. She’s with me. We’re maybe riding horses…or camels. She turns to look at me, and the reflection of the oasis behind me reflects in her sunglasses. I long to kiss her.

“Yea. I should try to draw that.”

Uncle John: I had an uncle John on my mother’s side of the family. I share many of the same characteristics of my mom’s side of the family more than my dad. My mother had four brothers; Roland, Robert, Norman, and John. All of her brothers kept their hair and all died in their late 70’s and 80’s so maybe if my liver holds up, I’ll meet the same fate. John never left me any inheritance, but my uncle Rob left all of us kids some loot and it was substantial. He lived in Florida.

The Pinto: My grandmother, (My dad’s mom) We called her Grammy. I loved her. When everybody thought I was a piece of garbage in my early teens, she was the only one that had faith in me. So She will always have a special place in my heart. She was a cool lady, who liked a cold glass of beer and some good neighborhood gossip. Just an adorable lady. When she died, the last car she owned was a gold Ford Pinto. That car is my last memory of her. So I used it in the story. The car’s fate is based on stories I heard back in the 70’s about an engineering flaw in the vehicle.

Woodbury, New Jersey: I lived in Woodbury from 1992 to 2001. My wife and I owned a house on Barber Street. I modeled Christian Blackmore’s residence after my own house there. So when I wrote about him in his house in Woodbury, I could picture my own life there.

The Phoenix: I remember first hearing about the story of the Phoenix on an old record album. It was a collection of stories about superheroes. It was like an old radio show type collection of plays on one LP. I remember hearing about the Phoenix in one of those stories, probably back as far as 1973. When one of the characters describes the Phoenix, it is a verbatim rendition of what I heard on that record, nearly 50 years ago. I always felt like I could relate to the Phoenix in my own life. I always felt that no matter how many times I got destroyed in my life, I always came back better than what I was before. I think that’s why I have the characters make a stop over in Phoenix, Arizona on their journey to LA. There are some transforming moments for a few of them in that chapter.

Gloucester County College: When I was married back in the 90’s my then wife came from a very collegiate family. I never went to college, but had several college credits from the American Institute of Banking through courses I had taken through the bank I worked for. My wife thought I should go back to college at night and take courses to get my college degree. So I did. I took those classes at night after work, at Gloucester County Community College. I don’t feel that it was a waste of time, because it led to some interesting things. I’ll be getting to them shortly.

The Gun: Everything you read in Angel about the Bulldog .44 revolver is true. I never owned a gun, and like Christian Blackmore, I hate guns. But all of the info about that weapon is from real events. The story Christian tells Sheryl about the girl at the shore is all true. That happened to me in the summer of 1977. Funny thing is, I recently reconnected with that girl from New York on Facebook. (At 57, she’s still hot!) Oh, one last thing, I had to make a slight change in the action sequence involving that gun. During the final edits of the book I discovered that the bulldog .44 only holds 5, not 6 bullets like most revolvers! I guess because those bullets are so big!

Sheryl Stanton: Sheryl was inspired by a girl I met in one of the banking courses I took at Gloucester County College. I pretty much describe Sheryl as how this girl was in real life. We had a good friendship for a brief period and even had some romantic dalliances. She did break it off with me when she moved to California for a period of time. The real Sheryl never worked in a mental health facility. That’s completely made up for the story.

Karl Itzky: The first kid I met when I went to Frankford High School in 1978, was a guy named Karl Itzky. He was the only person I knew other than my older sister. I just liked his name. He is nothing like the Karl Itzky in the book. He was a nice guy, who I sadly lost touch with when I moved up the social ladder in high school.

Honest Files: The name of the bar/restaurant where Christian and Sheryl hang out is taken from a song by the band, Urge Overkill. There are many references in the book about music I was listening to back in the 90’s where this story takes place. It’s from their album, Exit the Dragon. Here are some of the lyrics from the song:

Hey, hey I’m dead on arrival
Hey, hey I’m distant
Crawling right back
Yes, I’m crawling right back
‘Cause I’m honesty, don’t break my heart
Honesty won’t break it
Honesty won’t break you heart
Honest it won’t
It won’t, it won’t, it won’t, it won’t, it won’t…

I thought it was a cool song, and that bar is where I hung out with the real Sheryl back then. It’s where we would spill our guts to each other about everything in our lives. I used to say we were opening the ‘Honesty Files’ about what we were experiencing at that time.

The real place is exactly the way I describe it in the book. The animal trophies on the walls, all of the real bookcases all around the room, and the fireplace. We spent many a night there pounding martinis and smoking tons of cigarettes. (Yea, you could smoke in restaurants and bars back then!) It was a welcome repose from our chaotic lives.

Exterior - Picture of Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, Woodbury ...

Here’s the real Honesty Files… It’s a place called Charlie Brown’s at 111 Broad Street, in Woodbury, NJ

 

More next week!

 

You can buy Angel with a Broken Wing on kindle and paperback right here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Here’s How It Really Feels To File For Divorce, According To 12 Men

It’s a whirlwind of emotions.

All divorces have to start somewhere.

And not just in terms of that first painful discussion, last straw argument, or moment when you and your spouse pass the point of no return.

In most cases – almost 70 percent, to be exact — women take the first legal step in filing for divorce.

So whether a husband knows it’s coming, or is about to be blindsided, chances are he’ll be left catching up in terms of emotionally processing such a monumental life change.

The moment the paperwork starts and the process becomes official, a lot of feelings hit.

So after telling your spouse you want a divorce, what does filing for divorce actually feel like?

As these 12 ex-husbands and fathers explain, the feelings can shoot the emotional gamut and bring everything from unimaginable pain to life-altering relief.

One thing’s for certain – the process comes with a lot of emotions.

1. I had a lot of regrets

“The divorce papers may as well have been a white surrender flag. That’s what it felt like. My ex-wife and I did everything we could to try and keep things together. But, we just ended up driving ourselves further apart. I guess my regret came from feeling like we – or I – had given up. Like maybe there was just one more thing I could’ve done to save us. Some ‘magic’ thing I missed. And filing for divorce was just a reminder that everything we tried just wasn’t good enough. We had to give up.” – Ken, 42, Oregon

2. I was relieved

“It was a long time coming. So, when I actually filed the papers, it was a big breath of relief. Even though there was more – much more – paperwork and legal stuff ahead, that first step was huge. I think she felt that way, too. It was just this weight of bad, unfortunate decisions that was lifted and put into the past, and would let us move forward as better people, and better parents. That was a huge part of us getting divorced – being able to function better for our kids. It’s been a little while since my divorce, but I’ll never forget that feeling.” – Andy, 37, Illinois

3. I felt so guilty

“My wife divorced me because I had an affair, so I don’t think it’s any surprise that I felt incredibly guilty once it all came out in black-and-white. The situation was complicated. There were a lot of emotions involved. Somehow, seeing your entire marriage broken down into pages and pages of legal paperwork just wipes all of those emotions away. And, for me, what filled that emptiness was guilt and shame. I wasn’t the only one who made mistakes. But, during that stage of our divorce it felt like I was.” – Gary, 36, California

4. I was shocked

“I was in shock from the second my ex-wife said she wanted a divorce. Honestly, I don’t even remember filling out most of the paperwork through the whole thing. Except the checks. I had no idea she was as unhappy as she was. We had what seemed like a great life, with wonderful children and loads of other blessings. The rug was completely pulled out from under me. The kids, too. Not one of us had any idea it was coming. It was a lot of sad, awkward conversations with them about why mommy wanted to leave, and I remember just feeling shocked the whole time words were coming out of my mouth.” – Mike, 40, Ohio

5. I felt stupid

“I actually had to Google ‘How To File A Divorce’. I had no idea. I really didn’t. And I didn’t know any lawyers, or anyone I was close with who had actually been divorced. For the most part, my ex-wife and I were on the same page about splitting up. Our kids were suffering because of our marital problems. But I’ve never felt stupider than when I cold-called a lawyer and was like, ‘Uh, Hi. I’d like to file for a divorce…?’ You don’t learn how to do that in school. Even if you know people who are divorced, you never get to see the inner workings of what it feels like. And it felt really embarrassing.” – Doug, 38, California

6. I felt angry. Very angry

“My ex-wife filed our paperwork. She was the one who wanted the divorce. When I got to see everything, I was blown away by all the reasons she listed for wanting to dissolve our marriage. She wrote down that I was neglectful, hurtful, unreasonable … just all these ridiculous claims that I’m guessing her lawyer told her to say. None of it was true. And I remember sitting there, reading it all, thinking about our kids and what a great father I thought I was, and just seething with anger. It felt like someone starting a rumor about me back in high school. I just couldn’t believe it.” – Christopher, 39, Maryland

7. I was proud

“I gave my ex way too many chances, for way too many reasons. Everyone I knew pushed me toward divorce, and they were absolutely right. So, when I actually filed the first bits of paperwork, it was like taking charge of a situation I’d let get way out of hand. It was a pat on my own back that I really needed, after the borderline abusive relationship I’d been in. It was me standing up for myself, which wasn’t something I was used to doing. To be honest, I think my divorce helped shaped the confidence I have today. If you knew me before, you’d know how grateful I am for that.” – Jimmy, 38, Virginia

8. I felt a lot of different emotions

“Throughout the whole divorce, I was constantly up one minute, and down the next. First, I’d think it was the right thing to do. Then my mind would flip-flop and I’d start thinking about all the things I’d miss. The bigger things were obvious — the house, the relationship with my kids, and stuff like that. But there was also a lot of weird, little stuff, like playing fantasy football with her uncle and cousin, that I realized I’d never be able to do that again. At least not without it being super awkward. The start of a divorce is this weird ‘whole marriage flashing before your eyes’ kind of thing. And it definitely gave me a chance to reflect on the gravity of my situation.” – Drew, 41, Pennsylvania

9. I felt very conflicted

“A lot of people will congratulate you on surviving a divorce. On one hand, you’re like, ‘Yeah. Thanks. I’m glad it’s over.’ On the other hand, it feels really icky to be congratulated about something so terrible. I’d tell people we filed the paperwork, and they’d give me an ‘atta boy’, or whatever. It didn’t feel right, at all. I’ve always thought it was weird how hunters congratulate each other for killing something, and it kinda felt like that. A lot of these people were at our wedding, and now they’re congratulating me on helping kill our marriage? It was a weird, unsettling feeling, that’s for sure.” – Anthony, 34, Tennessee

10. I was heartbroken

“I loved my ex-wife very much. She fell out of love with me, and that was just a completely devastating ordeal. The start of the paperwork was just brutal. It was just a cold reminder of what happened and, more importantly, what was about to happen. I didn’t want to finish it. I kept putting it off, probably just out of hope. I dragged it out as long as I could. Not out of spite, but because I was genuinely hoping for a miracle. Divorces are a special kind of trauma, and mine was no different.” – Josh, 35, Washington, D.C.

11. I was bitter

“When we got married, my ex-wife didn’t have much. It was my house, my car, and most of my money. Financially, it definitely wasn’t an equal partnership. I started to get really hostile toward the end, but there was nothing I could do. I just had to bend over and take it. The only thing that calmed me down was knowing that our kids would benefit from the arrangement. Maybe not benefit, but at least be taken care of financially. I didn’t think of it that way when I read her list of conditions, though. I just saw pure red.” – Gabriel, 43, Ohio

12. I felt guarded

“I didn’t want people to know. Part of it was shame, I think, but part of it was also me trying to protect myself from more pain. My trust was completely shattered leading up to our divorce, and I think that spilled over into my relationships with other people. I just didn’t know who I could count on. It felt like everyone was out to get me when, really, nothing was further from the truth. I had a lot of people wanting to help and support me, but my emotions were completely clouding my judgement. I’m so lucky they stuck by me through it all, because I was hard to deal with for those months while everything got sorted out.” – Steven, 36, Florida

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now on sale at Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Dating a Latino? Here are 7 Things You Must Prepare Yourself For

If you are dating a Latino man today, you might have spent a long time knowing each other. This is especially true for couples who came from different cultures.

Dating a Latino is not a walk in the park. You also have to prepare yourself for the challenges or differences that may arise from your relationship. Aside from their sense of style which is very important, it is also vital to know more about their culture, food, their love for dance, and most particularly their passion for music.

You might find dating a Latino challenging, that’s why we laid out this list to help you. Here are things you should know in dating a Latino, according to Day Translations:

1. You will hate the things you loved

Latinos are known as family-oriented. It is not a surprise anymore if the Latino that you are dating always talks about his mother. What will drive you more crazy is if you found out that at the age of 30, sometimes it is still their mother who is buying their underwear! Sounds totally made-up, right? Not if you’re dating a Latino.

2. You will dread your mother-in-law

As mentioned above, Latinos are most of the time, dependent on their mothers. Do not get surprised also once you marry a Latino that your mother-in-law will always have a say with everything around your house from the color of your sofa to the food that you serve. It might feel like an invasion, but that’s just how tight-knit their families are.

3. You will celebrate Christmas at night

This is a very common tradition for Latinos. Once you are invited by a Latino to celebrate Christmas with them, you have to expect lots of greetings through hugs and kisses. Latinos typically celebrate Christmas at midnight on December 24, also known as Buena Noche. It might seem exhausting, but on the bright side, Christmas is one of the most festive seasons of the year in Latino culture.

4. You will eat your dinner very late

Once you are dating or living with a Latino, you have to expect that you will be eating your dinner late at night. This can happen most especially if your mother-in-law visits your house. She will be sharing lots of things with you to the point that you will have your dinner at 10 in the evening, but hey, better late than never, right?

5. You will arrive late everywhere

Once you are about to meet a Latino, do not expect that you will meet him at the exact time that you scheduled. Most of the time, they don’t have a sense of punctuality, so get ready in adjusting your own schedule to fit theirs. Their 8 a.m. is sometimes 8:30 a.m. or even more than one hour late.

6. You will understand the meaning of jealousy

Latinos, just like most passionate lovers, are very affectionate to the point that they will have bouts of jealousy. Don’t look at it as a flaw, rather see it as his expression of love for you. But after he has expressed his feelings of jealousy, get ready because he will be extra sweet and romantic.

7. You will dress more conservatively

Remember number 6? Latinos don’t like it when their ladies get ogled at in public. Yes, you have to dress more conservatively because they don’t want you to get disrespected by other guys. It does not mean that you have to cover every part of your skin, they just want you to be more formal and look respectful.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Men With These 20 Personality Traits Make The Best Dads

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

Does your man have what it takes?

When I was a kid, most parents understood “good parenting” to mean raising kids however they’d been raised by their own mothers and fathers.

The genre of parenting advice began when Dr. Benjamin Spock first emerged as a child-rearing expert, but really, moms and dad pretty much just expected their kids to behave, entertain themselves, and learn how to be responsible adults based on experience and some stern discipline.

And, as noted by Time Magazine, the first edition of his classic work, Baby and Child Care, “was published in 1946, when ‘parenting,’ at least for infants, meant almost exclusively ‘mothering.’”

It’s a different world now, one that relies upon both parents working as a team to make effective choices for their family in order to foster healthy personality traits in their children and keep their kids emotionally and physically “safe.”

Modern complexities of the digital age, which include an older average age of parents, shifting parental roles, starker generational differences, and widely spread outright parental anxiety complicate matters, but at the same time, on the plus side, bonds between parents and children have never been stronger.

And no matter how many parenting books you have on your shelf — and there are likely to be many — effective parenting often comes down to certain personality types and personality characteristics.

Just as many women have (or had) a checklist indicating the combination of traits that would make man husband material, a similar list can be created outlining which kinds of men are most likely to make the best dads to your children.

Of course, a lot of parenting for everyone is trial and error, and none of us will ever be perfect at it, but when someone possesses a solid foundation of certain skills and innate tendencies, they have a higher likelihood of achieving better outcomes, which in this case, means raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted kids who are poised to lead successful lives, however they define success for themselves.

Dads play the role of moral compass, protector, provider, teacher, coach, and playmate.

For their sons, they model what it’s like to be a man, a partner, and a father.

For their daughters, they build their girls’ self-esteem and teach them which qualities to look for in a healthy, dependable life partner.

It’s true that nobody’s perfect, but if you pick the right man, and one who has the right personality traits, you’ll be further ahead. Choose less wisely, and you’ll have a much more difficult time co-parenting through an already tricky experience.

Here’s a list of personality traits and characteristics of men who make the best dads out there raising kids these days.

1. Dependability

Kids need to know they can count on their dad. If they can’t, they lose faith in all men after that. Simple things, like being on time and keeping their word, mean so much.

2. Honesty

Honesty seems like a no-brainer, but take a closer look.

Does the man in your life come clean when he makes a mistake and tell the truth even when it might make his life a little more difficult?

3. Humility

Kids need to learn that it’s an imperfect world out there, and that as much as they may admire their father, he is only human. Infallibility and humility are both important traits to show kids so they can learn self-compassion and healthy leadership.

4. Attentiveness

A father who can give his child his undivided attention teaches his children one of the most critical life skills. Actively listening to others is a way of saying, “I care. You’re important to me. What you say matters.”

5. Patience

Let’s face it; temper tantrums are an expected, if unpleasant, experience all parents face. Add in teenage hormones, and you’re into a whole different ballgame! If the prospective father of your children cannot patiently deal with frustration, he’s not going to be effective as a dad, period.

6. Playfulness

Every kid wants to have fun! Piggyback rides, tickle torture, catch, and game nights make life enjoyable. In order to teach kids balance, you don’t want to end up with someone who’s too serious all the time, and who has a lot of trouble when it comes to letting go and laughing a little.

7. Curiosity

Curiosity is the desire to learn something new. In fact, curiosity is at least an equal, if not potentially even greater, predictor of success than intelligence itself. Effective parents hold off on judgment, seeking to understand and continuously learn themselves. This is a basis of trust, and you’ll find that the more curious you are about your child and the world, the more open your child will be with you.

8. Compassion

Compassion goes beyond empathy. If your mate is able to not only sympathize with your child’s predicaments (and at times they might have daily predicaments), put himself in his or her shoes, and then be willing to act on it, you’ve got one gem of a guy! Your kids will learn kindness, how to build positive relationships, become good citizens, and ultimately be happier.

9. Adaptability

Rigid parenting doesn’t work as well today as it once did. It’s important for parents to know when to stand firm and when to give the rope some slack, or even drop it altogether. Someone with an adaptable personality type can give and take with their child in an effective way that teaches them structure and allows them to feel loved and whole.

10. Optimistic

There’s enough pessimism in the world right now. Kids need hope. They need someone in their life who can show them what is possible and give them the courage to go for their dreams.

11. Pragmatic

Besides being optimistic, effective dads should be pragmatic. There needs to be an equal dose of realism about what it takes to succeed in life. On a micro level, too, good dads need to be able to handle the everyday things that happen and make clear judgments, like when to deal with illness at home versus when to drive to the emergency room.

12. Creative

Creative doesn’t have to mean artistic, although, if the potential father is handy with a paintbrush and a box of crayons, it’s going to make junior’s playtime extra fun and save Dad’s sanity. What’s important here is the degree of creativity Dad brings to problem-solving. Solutions aren’t going to be black and white in today’s parenting dilemmas. Any man who possesses creativity is going to be miles ahead of other parents.

13. Assertive

Creating a safe and predictable world is essential in parenting, and structure is one means of doing that. Flip-flopping and loose rules are the enemy and assertiveness can save the day! Here, assertiveness means being self-assured and firm, without being aggressive or unpleasant.

14. Conscientious

Your man’s conscientiousness will lead him to be a thoughtful and stable contributor to your family, and he will model conscientiousness to his children. This means they, too, will be more likely to be careful, thoughtful, goal-setting, and rule-abiding contributors to society. They’ll be more likely to experience higher job satisfaction, and health and happiness, as well.

15. Genuine

A parent who is the same on the outside as he is on the inside demonstrates congruence. His child sees the world as secure. Also, his child sees that it’s important, even essential, to be who you are and to love that person, and in this way, a genuine father helps build up his child’s self-esteem.

16. Perseverance

It takes true grit to get what you want in life. You want a man who will passionately go after his goals, works hard for what he wants, and who will do what it takes to succeed. Your kids will admire his commitment, endurance, and resilience.

17. Helpful

As kids are learning and growing, they need a helping hand. They need someone who’s self-sacrificing and generous with their time and energy, or else they’ll be left with one defeated child. A good parent provides just the right amount of help — enough to be instructional, but not enough that they become over-responsible and fail to build self-efficacy in their kids.

18. Level-headed

Is your mate calm in the face of a crisis? Flying off the handle or otherwise reacting emotionally will keep your kid’s emotional brain offline longer, too. Kids need emotional stability, and they need a calm environment in which to solve problems.

19. Affectionate

“Love is all you need,” is such a popular saying for plenty of good reason. Well, it’s not everything you need, but it does count for a lot. Fathers who are more easily able to access their emotions and share them are more likely to have emotionally connected kids, too. Bonus points if your man can tap into your child’s love language and give them what they need to feel loved and secure.

20. Self-awareness

Finally, bringing up great kids means being self-aware as a parent. It means embracing your strengths, accepting your growing edges, and knowing when to get help. Parenting does take a village, and sometimes you must call in backup!

Of course, being self-aware himself, he’ll be able to teach his kids self-awareness, too. They’ll be in a better position to identify their own likes and dislikes, strengths and passions, and these will guide them all their lives. Without this trait, your partner — and your kids — may flounder, and will likely miss out on the greatest skill of all: loving one’s self.

If your man possesses a lot of these qualities, hold onto him tight!

He’ll not only be an exemplary father, but he’ll be a fantastic life partner and co-collaborator on your journey through parenting.

There’s me and my little one!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

The Four Simple Rules for Dads Getting Divorced

A single dad life coach gives his most common and useful advice for men heading into divorce involving kids. Hope all you guys had a good Fathers Day.

As the man in the divorce, you have an opportunity to lead the process with grace and empathy. You cannot control how your ex behaves, the only thing you can control is your own response to the challenges ahead.

I’m going to make this as simple as possible. It’s the conversation I have every week as I speak to dads about ready to enter in the process (voluntarily or otherwise) of divorce. Most of them are scared out of their wits. They were unprepared for the “filing.” And now they are scared and lacking an adequate support system to carry them through the coming storm.

It’s going to be hard, but you are going to make it. And here are the three top mantras for you to remember.

  1. You have to take care of yourself first. Your health and clear direction is necessary for you to lead your kids through the emotional trouble ahead for all of you
  2. Keep the fight of the divorce between the adults only. Deal with your soon-to-be-ex as civilly as you can, but never debate or degrade each other in front of the kids. Never speak poorly of your co-parent
  3. Let go of your ex completely. She no longer deserves your attention and energy
  4. Don’t go it alone, talk to others, build community, and please don’t isolate

Take Care of Yourself First

Do you know how they instruct you before takeoff on an airplane? “In the case of emergency, oxygen masks will come out of the ceiling. Put your mask on first. Then work on your kid’s masks.” Here’s why that matters. If you lose consciousness (or in the case of divorce, lose your mind) everyone will suffer. As the man in the divorce, you are going to be hit with a lot of unfair rulings and family law precedents. You may want to lawyer up and fight, or you may decide to make peace with the divorce and simply act in the best interest of yourself and your kids.

Also, as the man in the divorce, you have an opportunity to lead the process with grace and empathy. You cannot control how your ex behaves, the only thing you can control is your own response to the challenges ahead. If you can keep your kids in mind any time you are responding to some new request or modification in the divorce agreement, you can relax and make the right decision. Not being reactionary, not buying into potential drama, and simply stating what you need, and what your kids need. That’s the best past forward. Don’t buy into the drama. Don’t try to be detached and emotionless, but keep your kids at the heart of your response. Always think of the kids.

Your Health (Mentally, Physically, and Spiritually) Is Your Highest Priority

What can you do today to start taking better care of yourself? Are you sleeping okay? Are you drinking a bit too much? How is your diet and exercise? Are you getting together with others? Are you praying? What things about your life can you be grateful for today, even as things feel like chaos around you?

Here are the parts of your life you can control easily:

  1. Watch what you eat and drink
  2. Get enough sleep, make it a priority
  3. Get some exercise, anything is better than nothing, start small
  4. Talk to someone about what’s going on

Keep the Fight Contained Between the Adults

You are going to have disagreements with your ex. The idea of co-parenting sounds nice, but in practice, it takes a lot more than good intentions. There are going to be negotiations about holidays and birthdays, negotiations about school and who should stay home when one of your kids is sick. You are going to need the goodwill of your ex-spouse, and often their cooperation and coordination around home life and school life. Complaining about your ex in front of the kids is a lose-lose situation. Just don’t do it.

Work on getting your support team together. Who can you call when you really want to call and bitch at your ex-partner? Do you have a counselor or a friend who is willing to keep your struggles confidential? In all that is going on, your isolation will only make things harder. Make sure you get out of your house and get involved in some activities with others. Al-anon is a great program for emotional healing. Meetup groups can provide activities and new hobbies for your alone time. But most of all, keep the fighting between you and your ex. And when possible, let them win. If there’s no loss for you, just let them get their way. Just to reduce the conflict. If it’s not that important to you, let it go.

The Big Release of Your Ex

One of my last lessons in my divorce journey was to let all expectations about my ex-wife go. She is never going to be a cooperative co-parent with me. She may never get over being mad a me, even when the divorce was her idea. She’s not going to say “thank you” when I do something over and above the call of duty or outside of the divorce decree. She’s not going to celebrate your victories with you. She may be able to celebrate the victories of your kids with you, but more than likely, she’s going to keep most of those to herself. You’ve got to let go of all expectations. The “relationship” with her is over. There is no closure. There is nothing to get from your ex-wife.

As I began to understand my ex-wife’s inability to be cordial, I began to communicate with her only around the logistics of getting the kids where they needed to be. It’s as if they are a convenience store clerk, you go into the store to get milk, you don’t need to know about the clerk’s life troubles. In the same way, you don’t need to know everything that’s going on with your ex. As you can let go of their approval and permissive involvement in your life, you can begin to let go of them emotionally too.

It’s taken me nine years to get clear of my optimistic expectations of my co-parenting ex-wife. I still think about calling her from time to time about something regarding our kids. But I don’t. And I’m not going to call her. She gave me my kids, initially. She can’t give me anything else. As you detach from them, the hope is that your resentment and anger at them will also dissipate. That’s the hope. I’m not sure I’m ever going to be okay with the time I lost with my kids as a result of the divorce my wife initiated.

I’m still releasing, daily. You can begin releasing your ex right now, too.

Return to the basics.

Your health.

The energy and health of your kids.

Moving on to what’s next in your life.

Don’t Go It Alone

Men don’t do all that well at supporting one another when things get hard or emotional. But you can find other men, and even women, who are willing to support you just as you are. In my experience, Al-anon meetings are the best self-help programs in the world. They are in your town, and there are probably 3 or 4 meetings you could attend over the next week or so. Find a place you can go and talk about what’s going on.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Why A Strong Father-Daughter Relationship Is So Important For Girls’ Self Esteem

HAPPY FATHERS DAY!

Dads and father figures have an important role in their daughters’ lives.

A father-daughter relationship is precious. When a girl’s self-esteem plummets, her Dad has the power to lift it up.

“Dad” can refer to fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other male loved ones — maybe an ex-spouse, former brother-in-law, or even a cousin.

Dads are men who mentor, love, and support a daughter.

Dads or step-dads can still be present, even if they live apart from their daughters, staying connected through emails, phone calls, visual platforms, texts, and whatever other methods of communication and connection are available — even old fashioned letter-writing.

Dad, You are one of the most important allies for your daughter.

You uniquely influence your daughter’s self-confidence.

You are the first male in your daughter’s life. You set a standard.

Your words, your behavior, your time — they all matter. Your relationship with her is unlike any other in her or your life.

There is a tendency to minimize fathers’ roles in daughters’ lives.

Yet, every part of a father-daughter relationship contains precious opportunities for daughters to learn about themselves, the world, and potential life partners.

It’s a scary time to raise a daughter.

Body image concerns start young, especially for girls.

A girl’s relationship with her body is intertwined with her self-esteem and affects every other aspect of her life.

Body dissatisfaction is the most powerful risk factor for developing an eating disorder. The strongest environmental contribution to an eating disorder is the societal idealized view of thinness.

No one can single-handedly prevent eating disorders. But you, Dad, can be a buffer against two — of many — key risk factors: body image and cultural messages.

Dads provide powerful protection from eating disorders. 

Whether you know it or not, your relationship with your daughter is either a protective factor or risk factor for a bunch of things, including an eating disorder.

According to The National Eating Disorders Association, girls younger than 10 are treated for anorexia. More than 40 percent of girls in first, second, and third grade wish they were thinner.

Reported cases of anorexia and bulimia are rising and affect girls of every race, ethnicity, socioeconomic group, and religion.

You have plenty of leverage to counter messages from culture, especially the message that how she looks is more important than who she is.

She is more than her body.

Her value is not based on her weight or how pretty she is deemed. She doesn’t have to diet or look like the Kardashians to be loveable.

You know that social media is an important way she connects with her friends. You also know that as little as 30 minutes a day of social media use can worsen her body image.

Teach your daughter to think critically, with social media especially.

Ask her what she thinks about what she’s viewing.

How does it make her feel? What does she think are the company’s motives? What is it trying to sell?

How are images altered on the apps she uses? How real are they?

These questions fall under the category of “media literacy.”

You’re in a unique position to help her to identify and recognize her value, aside from her looks.

Skin color, height, eye color, weight, and shoe size are all parts of appearance. Her features are an integration of her heritage, the family tree.

And there’s so much more to her, including what’s not visible to the eye

Be aware of your comments.

Don’t talk about weight, especially women’s or your own. Don’t categorize food as good and bad. Avoid being the food police.

Be present. Take an interest in her life. Help her value her mind. Teach her how to have a voice, how to speak up and self-advocate, and how to listen.

Engage her in conversation.

Ask her opinion on topics ranging from Disney themes to politics — whatever is age-appropriate.

What you ask may help her be better acquainted with herself.

What are five things she feels grateful for today? What’s something funny that happened today?

Share your favorite music with her.

Let her play any song she likes and dance with you. Tell her stories of when you were her age. Go outside in nature together.

Perhaps the child part of you will emerge as the two of you play on the jungle gym and shoot hoops.

Believe in her. Help her find her passions.

Support her interests, even if they are different from yours. Listen. Refrain from jumping in and solving her dilemmas.

Ask if she wants to problem-solve together and give her the skills to eventually solve problems more independently. Be a role model.

Fathers, in actions more than words, can show daughters that the most important thing about a girl is who she is. Her mind, strength, and courage. Her essence.

Let’s also be realistic.

Appearance does matter. Female bodies are objectified, valued for how closely they meet standards of beauty, especially in this culture.

So, when she asks you, “Do you think I’m pretty (or thin or beautiful), Daddy?,” what do you say?

Rather than dismissing her question or responding with a cliche (i.e., “You’re beautiful as you are”), consider giving feedback that reflects who she is as an entire person — her smile, her voice, her mind, and her strong legs.

The determined way she hikes mountains and her ability to see the beauty at the summit. The arm muscles that throw the frisbee back and forth.

Help her appreciate her body for what it provides her — an opportunity to run, skip, hop, climb, jump, and dance. The capacity to watch the sunrise, feel the warm breeze on her skin, hear the birds chirp.

What you’re doing is helping her to recognize that her body is not an ornament to be objectified by herself or others. Her body is hers, in all its capacity, to provide contact with the world.

It’s never too early or late to leverage your power and potential for your daughter’s well-being.

Engage your daughter in life and support her for who she is and not simply for what she looks like.

Imagine a world where she is more interested in splashing in the water, riding the waves, and enjoying the ocean than about how she looks in a bathing suit.

That she is more focused on the joy of playing and being silly than taking endless selfies to later filter and post for as many likes as possible.

Your role as her dad helps to create that world.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is Now On Sale on Amazon! (kindle and paperback)

PUBLISHED!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

The day is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! This has been a long time coming and a labor of love. I’ve been working day and night to get this baby written, and I think it’s my finest work yet! I hope you enjoy it!

Please buy my book!

 

I wanted to create something new. Not a non-fiction, compilation of stories from my blog. Something new. A story. A fable. A love story that included all of the elements of all the films I liked. A thriller, road movie, romance, mystery, an action yarn, that would be full of twists and turns.

The world had gone a bit mad, and I wanted to create a world I could control. I wanted it to take place in a time before there were smart phones or social media. A story about a boy and a girl trying to fall in love, during extraordinary circumstances. Let’s put a fancy car in there. Have them drive across the country on a road trip. Let’s throw a bad guy in there. That’ll keep them on edge. Let’s make it a mystery too. Let’s ‘David Lynch’ it up a bit with some interesting, unique characters. Let’s make them all flawed in some way. They all have the potential to be good, but they’re all struggling with themselves. They all want something, but they don’t know the right way to get it. A collection of misfits all trying to find themselves. All broken in some way. They want to fly, but their wings are broken, so they choose to run.

What if you could just run away from your current life?

Christian Blackmore works as a manager at a local finance company in New Jersey. He’s burned out from all the bad loans, and making collection calls every night. He spends his days laboring at a job he hates, and his evenings drinking at a local bar with his best friend. 

When his favorite uncle dies, and leaves him a unique inheritance, he begins to question the path he’s taken in life.

He decides to take a road trip across the country with a woman he just met. She’s a mysterious beauty, who may hold a dark secret. 

What begins as a romantic journey, becomes a nightmare, when he realizes he’s being followed by an elusive stranger. What does he want? Is it Christian, the girl, or something far more sinister?

Angel with a Broken Wing, takes you on a terrifying, coast to coast thrill ride across America. Can one man fall in love, and stay one step ahead in a cat and mouse game with a killer?

You can check it out here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

I want to first thank my daughter. Thank you for coming into my life. You are my inspiration. I love you! I can always come to you with an idea and you make it perfect.

Scott Macintosh. You’re my best friend. You’ve been with me since the beginning. Thank you for staying on the ship, even when it was sinking. 

Will Ball. Thank you for your friendship, the films, the laughs, and of course, the cocktails. I’m honored to have you in my life as a friend. 

A.M. Homes. Thank you for answering my letter with a personal note so many years ago. I was so inspired by your words, it gave me the courage to write my story the way I wanted to tell it, without fear.

Thanks to the amazing team at Amazon Kindle. Without you, I’d be lost in a sea of technology. I can write the words, but you guys help me turn them into books.

Thanks to everyone at Amazon. I became a member over 20 years ago when you were just a giant bookstore. After crawling on my hands and knees to agents and publishing houses for years, Amazon finally gave me the biggest platform on Earth to bring my literary work to the world!

A special thanks to everyone at WordPress. Without you, I couldn’t publish Phicklephilly everyday for the last four years! Now we’re a dot com and I’ve monetized the site with ads! You gave me a home to bring my work to everyone! Thank you!

Thanks to all the folks over at GoDaddy. You made the transition from just another blogger, to a dotcom look easy. Thanks for always being there when I needed you. You’re the best!

Thank you, dear readers, and subscribers for all of your support over the years I’ve been writing this little blog. I appreciate you all, and try to respond to all of your comments. I love your comments!

Please buy my new book. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. It’s quite a ride!

This is a great book to read at the beach this summer!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, EVERYONE…EVERYWHERE!!!

 

Zoolon Forever!

ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is now On Sale at Amazon! (kindle & paperback)

PUBLISHED!!!!

The official announcement will come out at 6am today!

But in the meantime…

Sneak Peek!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is available now!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly