DaddyTeller

Be a Hero to Your Kids and Teach Them What's Important with Just One Story at a Time.

Connecting Dads to the Literacy Process

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Can you teach literacy activities with men?

He was about 25 years old and had a four-year-old daughter. Young Dad’s question, asked to me in a low whisper, was a universal “Dad” question. Most Dads end up asking me this question in one of its many forms.

I had just finished a presentation for young college students who were studying to be teachers. We talked briefly about work in helping Dads to talk with their kids, to put the storybooks down, look their kids in the eye and tell stories.

In the session, most everyone else asked some type of question except Young Dad. When we were done and the group was leaving, Young Dad pulls me aside and says, “I have bought tons of books for my daughter and we read every night. And I already do some of the no-book storytelling. She loves it and will tell me some stories sometimes. But I still have this question in my mind, ‘What If I Do It Wrong?”

WIIDIW- the question dads always want to know. Men worry that if they don’t get it right something terrible and awful will happen. Or, they worried that they will be laughed at. He’s worried about being judged by his spouse. He’s worried that his kid will not like his storytelling because it’s not as energetic as what the child sees on TV. Alternatively, his own inner critic beats him up for every word stumble or verbal typo. WIIDIW looms in his brain and keeps him from doing the best with his kid. WIIDIW is the enemy of connecting cads to literacy.

So, if you are in a position in a school, Title 1 program or some other Early Childhood Education situation, here are a three tips to help Dads connect to literacy and get past the WIIDIW block.

1. Your program must have a clear, observable, measurable objective.
Do you want Dads to mentally check out of your program? If so, then advertise something ambiguous such as “Our program will discuss the research and history of literacy education and how it might effect the modern family.” Your program and outreach will do much better if you take a hint from marketers. “Our program on Wednesday will show Fathers three easy ways to help their kids get better grades in school – starting at bedtime that night.” You could try “Tonight’s Family Meeting program gives Dads three no-fail ways to be a hero in the eyes of their children.”

2. Your program must be fun for the participants.
Do you really want to reach men? I have sat in on my share of dry, lecturing, power-pointing family presentations given by poorly trained speakers. Yawn. The average guy wants a program that is not too heavy and lets him laugh off his nervousness. Be funny, genuine, succinct and focused if you want to talk to men about their families.

2. You must provided chances for Dads to succeed.
If you want dads to embrace your ideas, then give them ways to do some hands-on experience of storytelling stories and literacy. In my programs teaching dads my DaddyTeller process, fathers get to practice one story from my book. I tell (demonstrate) a short story, teach them to instantly learn the story and then practice telling it to each other in small groups. There will be lots of laughter and at times it will appear even a bit unfocused. But, after 30 minutes of this process, Dads have a story that they can then tell to their little ones that very evening. Give Dads success and immediate application. Just one “Daddy, I love that story you tell me about the mouse” will get him coming back to you for more help and information.

3. You must allow chances for Dads to ask questions privately.
For some men, information is power. They learned this skill back in their boyhood pack days. To ask you questions in front of a large group, tacitly admitting they don’t have information, can intimidate them. So, be sure you clearly state that questions can be answered afterwards- and then take the time to answer questions. Just like my experience I mentioned to you at the start of this article, you may have your own Young Dad lurking in your audience.

Men want to be good fathers and they want their kids to be successful readers, writers and problem solvers. Don’t give up on the fathers in your school, group or organization. Learning to speak to dads and breaking through the WIIDIW blocks will create new opportunities for promoting literacy in your community.

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Sean Buvala (contact him) is the author of “DaddyTeller: How to Be a Hero to Your Kids….By One Simple Story at a Time.” He is a nationally experienced workshop presenter (25 years!) who would be glad to come teach your teachers and staff how to connect dads to the literacy process. He will even come do a workshop for your dads, too. His man-size bedtime-stories nightgown is worth the fun.

DaddyTeller: Unplug Dad. Be a better father.

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Great article and a great find over this blog. In an article at Greenough.com, they discuss the need to “unplug” sometimes. I wrote this in their comments section:

It’s been time for parents (especially dads) to unplug for some time. It’s amazing what a difference 15 minutes a day of focused attention can make in the lives of our children.

Unplugging is not only from electronics. We’ve become dependent on things to make us better parents. Toys, storybooks, parenting videos, baby training stuff and more have been adopted by parents, replacing the chance to develop our innate parenting skills.

For some time, I have been encouraging Dads especially to disconnect a bit, learn a new to tell from their hearts and mind and truly engage their children. If you want you kid to talk to you at 13, you need to start telling them stories at 3.

As well, we need to teach our children to disconnect. There is great value in our technology but more and more, as I work with teens, they can’t disconnect from their electronic pacifiers. For a while it was .mp3 players, now it’s telephones.

Three cheers for unplugging adults! Put down the phone, the blackberry and the story book. Look your kids in the eye, reach out and touch them and tell them your stories.

They’ll answer back.

Free Parenthood Video #10: Making Memories You Will Forget

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Bedtime Kids’ Stories: are they just for sedation? No! DaddyTeller™ author Sean Buvala tells you why you need to create the memories you will soon forget, but you children will remember for a life time. In this “reverse rant,” Sean tells you how the things you do today stick with your child for years. Are you making memories for your child or are you letting video games be the what your child most remembers when they are older. Another free training video. Enjoy!








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You can buy the DaddyTeller Ebook at this link now.

If Amazon is sold out, order a paperback copy of this book direct from the printer. Please click on this link now.


All the free videos are listed on this page here.

Parenthood Video #8: Dad! Your Storytelling Is An Event!

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Hey Dads! Parenthood can get tiresome, we know. But, to your kids, the time you spend with them is priceless and exciting. While you are working on bedtime stories for kids, why not put the book down and tell stories to your kids. Storytelling is an interactive event for your children. You’ll bond with your kids and pass on important lessons all with the simple use of bedtime stories- or anytime you use storytelling with your child. Its’ fun and good for you and them. In this free video, Sean talks a bit about making storytelling an “event” for your child.


Get the DaddyTeller Paperback at Amazon.com via this link here.

You can buy the DaddyTeller Ebook at this link now.

Add to Cart

If Amazon is sold out, order a paperback copy of this book direct from the printer. Please click on this link now.


All the free videos are listed on this page here.

Free Parenthood Video #7: Time Will Fly, Dad.

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Want to be a better Dad? Then pay attention now to your kids. The price of parenthood is paid in attention. Don’t focus on your needs but rather on your child’s needs. Bedtime Kids Stories are more than a sedative, they are a way for you to hold-on to the joy (yeah, joy) that having children can be all the while helping your kid grow up. And they grow up faster than you can imagine. Come take a few moments in this video with Sean Buvala to think about what fathering is all about.


Get the DaddyTeller Paperback at Amazon.com via this link here.

You can buy the DaddyTeller Ebook at this link now.

Add to Cart

If Amazon is sold out, order a paperback copy of this book direct from the printer. Please click on this link now.


All the free vids are listed on this page here.

Free Video #5: Get Close to Your Kids With Bedtime Stories

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Dads: Should you get close to your kids? Yes! The father role in bedtime kids’ stories is get close and snuggly. You can’t do that with a book in your hands! Here’s more information in this free “how to tell a story” video. See all our videos of storytelling techniques at http://www.daddyteller.com/vids .


Get the DaddyTeller Paperback at Amazon.com via this link here.

You can buy the DaddyTeller Ebook at this link now.

Add to Cart

If Amazon is sold out, order a paperback copy of this book direct from the printer. Please click on this link now.


All the free vids are listed on this page here.

Telling Bedtime Stories: DaddyTeller Training Video

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When you buy the DaddyTeller book or Ebook, you get access to some free audio and video training. Here is a sample of one of these short videos. We talk about the father role in telling funny bedtime stories or any type of bedtime stories. Here’s the sample.

You can buy the DaddyTeller book at this link now.

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