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First off, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that discouragement can be a routine part of life—no matter how “Cool,” “Successful,” or “World’s No. 1 Dad” you happen to be.

Fact is—in a “big Picture” sense—we live in a world that’s populated by people we can’t influence and stacked with circumstances we’ll never control. Plus, on the “macro” level, we live in homes populated by people with minds of their own and circumstances that often surprise us.

The good news—and there’s always good news—is this: Discouragement is something we should never bow to, and it’s also something that doesn’t has to be inevitable. So let’s look at ten common discouragements and what we can do to fight back:

1. There’s never enough family time because I’m always running behind. Fair enough. However, there are 24 hours in every day and this applies to everyone. Make some reasonable decisions about family time and then stick to them. Be the master of time, not the victim.

2. I can’t seem to keep my head above the debt. This is hard, granted. Get some credit counseling and work out a plan that’s customized for you. But the basic theory is simple.

  • Figure out exactly what you owe.
  • Immediately stop spending money you don’t have.
  • Negotiate a payment schedule you can live with.
  • Do not increase your debt, period.
  • Pay consistently.

For more expert advice on this item, see what our friend, Dave Ramsey, has to offer in our Financial Tools section of our website.

3. I never have enough time with my wife. Make the decision, schedule specific dates each and every week, and then follow through. Again, this is about who makes the decisions concerning your life.

4. The kids’ activities are overwhelming. Remember your family first! Schedule activities that enrich your children and contribute to their betterment. Activities that compromise family commitments do not fit those criteria. Keep your family first, and all other things in balance.

5. My wife and I have lost touch with the romance. Let your wife know that you love her, and show her how just how much by treating her with kindness, generosity, grace and respect. Don’t do this to get what you want, but do this because you love her unconditionally. Believe us, the romance will follow.

6. The kids are out of control. Get some pets instead! No, seriously, take a look at your family dynamic and restructure your lives so that the family is the focus and the heart of your life together. Don’t be afraid (along with your wife) to impose some structure. Children are happier when they know what to expect and what is expected of them.

7. Homework is out of control. Plug family study time into the schedule. Read together, designate “homework hour,” and be consistent; follow through.

8. I’m not getting enough respect. How much respect do you give? Not to just your spouse, but to your children, and family as a whole, too. Do you respect your family? Respect can never be mandated, but it can be earned more easily than we imagine.

9. I can’t get my body back. It seems this 10-Ways list is all about decisions! Part of the decision to re-imagine family as the priority in our lives is to adopt a healthy family lifestyle. Getting your body back can only happen in the context of a healthy life across the board. Diet and exercise, seven days a week without fail. Just like the debt crisis, take this a small piece at a time with intention and discipline, and be patient.

10. My life is boring; everything seems to be one giant treadmill. Often when people feel this way, it’s because life is about “me,” and that’s never satisfying. Try adding one weekly activity that’s all about serving others. Volunteering, tutoring, coaching, or helping an elderly neighbor. Once the focus shifts away from “my boring life,” it’s amazing how interesting everything can become.

All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and as a byproduct the hearts of the children with their dads. At, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include: daily emails, blogs, Top 10 Lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

© 2012 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

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