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A Father’s Perspective: Connecting With Our Kids. Michael Petrucelli Father, Husband CFO of Uncle Wallys Coach Kids Sports Founder www.DadsForKids.org Co-founded Fathers Club of Ridgefield Active in Community Service. Inspiring Quotes:.

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a father s perspective connecting with our kids

A Father’s Perspective: Connecting With Our Kids

Michael Petrucelli

Father, Husband

CFO of Uncle Wallys

Coach Kids Sports

Founder www.DadsForKids.org

Co-founded Fathers Club of Ridgefield

Active in Community Service

inspiring quotes
Inspiring Quotes:
  • “If we do a poor job of parenting our children, anything else we may accomplish in our lives will mean very little. ”Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  • “Hands On” Parents raise children who are much less likely to use drugs.” Joseph Califano, Chairman of CASA
one dad s evolution the journey
One Dad’s Evolution…the Journey
  • Workaholic $ first priority: Wall Street, Ernst & Young, GE
  • Avoided Wake up calls…till severe Lyme Disease 1995
  • Co-founded Fathers Club of Ridgefield in…1997
  • Town Meeting on Risky Teen Behaviors Nov 2002
  • May 2003 25 Fathers in group. Launched DadsForKids.org
  • Quarterbacked Town Meeting- May 2003 Event “Premature Sexuality,Health Risks & Our Children” …..200 Dads, Moms and Teens attended !
  • Over 150,000 people visited site since May 2003. …..Our Goal: Bring the BestParenting Tools to You !
  • Involved Father, Effective CFO, Coach, Community Service
  • Balancing life’s demands is not easy. Learning Everyday.
www dadsforkids org mission statements
www.DadsForKids.orgMission Statements:
  • Becoming the best fathers we can be through education, sharing & caring for the well being of our children.
  • Nurture, guide and empower our children to make better choices.
  • Give our children “Roots & Wings” to make enabling decisions to reach their potential in life.
  • Share best practices & solutions that will foster better relationships with our children & family.
  • Become better men along the way.
how the times have changed public school teachers rated the top issues

Talking out of turn

Chewing gum

Making Noise

Running in the halls

Cutting in line

Dress-code violations



Drug abuse

Alcohol abuse






How the times have changed !Public school teachers rated the top issues
why children are in this situation

Why children are in this situation…


Balancing Life’s Demands is stressful:

Both Parents Working…less time together


Single Parent Households…on the rise

Media “3rd Parent”…huge influence on kids

Parents Doing a Lousy Job…Dr. Bradley

Parent vs Friend…NotSetting Limits

Our Children are too busy…Like Corporate Execs

We are slowly brainwashed…to accept the Ad’s, the Media, the influenceas “no big deal”

New Challenges

Less Family Time

Broken Families

Media… “3rd Parent”


Binge Drinking

Drugs More Available

Sexually Active



Xtreme Carpe Diem…

Rapes Increasing


STD Vaccine…

Existing Challenges

Poor Choices

Unhealthy Relationships

Peer Pressure

Missing Family Values

Teen Pregnancies



We need to get involved,

and help them through these

tough times…and learn

when to seek help.

What’s Your Plan ?

Risk Factors Facing Kids TodayIt’s our job to explain the potential problems…they are life changing and life threatening

Teen Risks

Qualities Needed:


Sex, Drugs & Alcohol


Advanced Behaviors

Peer Pressure



T V Movies


Strong Roots & Wings

Good Character

Video Games

Self Worth





Family Values & Traditions

Do Good Things

Essential Ingredients in Building a Teenager’s

Character…It Starts with Love

teen sex drugs more of a link than you think
Teen Sex & Drugs : More of a Link than you Think !
  • You've heard it before... someone goes out, gets high on marijuana, lowers their boundaries and does something they really, really regret afterwards. Unfortunately, this happens more than you think.
  • Teens who use drugs are 5 times more likely to have sex than are those teens who do not use drugs. (CASA).
  • Teens who have used marijuana are four times more likely to get pregnant or to have gotten someone pregnant than teens who have never smoked pot. (CASA)
  • More than 1/3 of sexually active teens and young adults report that alcohol or drug use has influenced a decision to do something sexual. (CASA, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)).
keeping teens connected
Keeping Teens Connected
  • Become & stay active in their life…Start Early
  • Have Dinner together. Get to know your kids !
  • Find CommonInterests, spend Quality & Quantity time together
  • Teens are so busy – cut back & do one more thing with family.
  • Let them know you CARE & LOVE them.
  • Create Trust. Encourage Teens to share their problems.
  • Listen to what their going through. They will one day share their feeling & challenges. Don’t give up !
  • Share information about Teen’s good & bad experiences.
  • Compliment them as often as possible.
  • Clearly explain the consequences & risk factors of bad decisions.
  • Kids wants their Parents to set limits…Need to know boundaries
  • Coach them to stay on the right path & make good choices !
things i have learned
Dr. Mike Bradley:

“YES, Your Teen is Crazy”

Teens want & need limits

Teach Teens to Control Themselves.

Worry when Angst stops…drugs ?

Teen Brain develops till 21 years !

Don’t forbid, tell them you can’t support them

Father-Daughter Discussions important


Mary Ronan:

“Raising Children in an UnGodly World”

Love, Lead, Limit

Reduce “Ungodly” Influences

Spiritual Path Critical

Steve & Pat Saso:

“10 Best Gifts for Your Teen”

Let your Teen “Individuate”

Write a letter to your Teen

Let them know your not perfect

Am I using what I know ?

Don’t take actions personally


Pam Stenzel:

“Sex Has a Price Tag”

If only I would have known ?

Am I Pregnant ? NO but HPV

Explain what God Intended for them…they are a gift

Play Now, Pay Later

Things I have Learned…
seek learning opportunities
Seek Learning Opportunities
  • Talk with your kids about respect, their rights and their responsibility for their lives.
  • Help them to visualize the outcome of their life choices, i.e. healthy relationships, balance short & long term thinking.
  • Share Life’s lessons, when the opportunity presents itself, (TV, movie, in the car).
  • Let them make their own mistakes.
  • Help them to understand the consequences of their actions…Do NOT Bail them out !
  • Kids need structure to grow and to be healthy
  • For children, LOVE is spelled T-I-M-E.
survival tips
Survival Tips
  • Children connected to their family are more likely to avoid risky behaviors.
  • Give your Children the “Essential & Enabling Life Tools”
    • Teach Kids to THINK on their feet
    • Teach Kids: Rights, Responsibility, Respect….Kindness
    • Explain what “True Friendship” is and what Love really means
    • Role Play through tough situations
    • Help them to Resist Peer Pressure…to have Courage
    • Encourage them to be Independent thinkers
    • A Healthy Dose of Joyful Fear Works !
  • Children will reflect on what we said when they are in a challenging situation. Let them know what you expect of them.
  • Take on the real battles involving our children’ssafety. Ask is this battle worth fighting for ?
  • Develop a sense of humor ! Someday they will thank you !
dads for kids quarterly check up
Dads for Kids - Quarterly Check Up
  • Have I set a goal to be a GREAT Dad ?
  • Do I feel successful at home? What would my family say ?
  • What kind of father and husband am I ?
  • Will I accept that I may not be popular for doing the RIGHTthing for my kids ?
  • Can I say NO to my children’s requests ?
  • Do I accept that our kids are watching us ?
  • Am I a good role model ?
  • What actions do I need to make to move closer to my teen ?
  • Am I spending Quality & QuantityTime with my children ?
  • How well do I know my children’s friends ?
  • Am I on the same page with my wife, in providing values & guidelines for our children ?
  • Have I Made a Difference in my child’s life ?
keep it simple
Keep it Simple
  • Children need our love, leadership and our limits
  • It’s “our job” to parent, coach and nurture our kids
  • Keep your antenna up for Behavioral Changes. Find out what’s going on. Check out TheAntiDrug.com – 21 things to know
  • Give Clear Messages about Expectations
  • Work as a Team(School, Friends, Church, Doctors, Coaches)
  • Understand the opportunity we have to help shape our children’s future…they need us
  • Let them know we care about them & their safety
  • Guide & Empower them to control themselves
  • Someday they will appreciate your love and parenting
  • We Need to Raise our Parenting Game to a new Level !
get started today
Get Started Today…

1. Nurture & help build their Spirit…Compliment them often

2. Do something every week with them…attend their events

3. Write your child a letter, share your feelings & love for them

4. Appreciate that our children need to "Individuate”

5. Read the book “The 10 Best Gifts For My Teen”

6. Make www.DadsForKids.org your homepage

7. Bring Best Practices into your home - Learn from others

8. Communicate with them. When we lecture we lose them

9. Understand the balancing of YES and NO to their requests

10.No one has all the answers…Listen to your spouse

11.Celebrate your life together. Trust & Love…a winning combo !

12.Be the Best Parent & Life Coach you can be !

what our community can do for teens
Get Involved !

Ask Questions

Contact the PTA

Attend Informative Meetings

Care For Our Teens

Support Our Town’s Youth Leaders

Don’t serve Alcohol in Your Home to minors. Sign The Partnership Pledge !

Join Forces !

Share Successes & Challenges with others

Create Activities…More Fun for Teens

Do Good Things !

Make a Difference !

What our Community Can Do For Teens ?
the bottom line
The Bottom Line...
  • We all need to keep doing our job, even when our child gets mad and calls us, “The meanest parent in Town”
  • Today’s Risks are REAL & YOU can Make a Difference !
  • We can create a legacy of family values& traditions for our children & their children.
  • Coach them through the tough times and help them make better choices….create Strong Roots & Wings
  • Hug & Love them ! Do special things with them.
  • Nurture & Guide our children to be their best !
  • Know thatParent Power is unquestionably the most underestimated tool ! They are listening to us. So Keep Talking !
  • Ask what values have I given my child ? Did I do my job ?
  • We have only ONE OPPORTUNITY to be our best for our children.

"More than Muffins"

"More than Muffins"

Uncle Wally’s supports our Associates efforts in

“Serving Our Community!”

  • Company Sponsored:
  • MaryHaven Center
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • American Cancer Society
  • United Way
  • American Diabetes Association
  • Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Service, Inc
  • Long Island Cares
  • Food Bank Of New York
  • Virginia Regional Minority Suppliers Development Council
  • Associates Contributions:
  • Walk for Causes:

- March of Dimes

- American Cancer Society

- Juvenile Diabetes

- Avon Breast Cancer Walk

  • Religious Education for Kids
  • Coach Kids Sports
  • Family Liturgy Volunteers
  • Support P.T.A Efforts
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • www.DadsForKids.org
  • Pro-Literacy Worldwide
  • Communities in Schools
  • National Center of Family Literacy
  • We support our partners concerns:
  • Adult and Children with Learning Disabilities
  • Leukemia Society

. . . Making the World just a little bit better!