Author - Matt Beardmore

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When you're an introverted parent with an extroverted child

There are characteristics I hope I can pass along to my 17-month-old son—my honesty, work ethic and reliability are a few. Preferring to be in the background in social situations is not one of those characteristics. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to be following in daddy’s footsteps in that regard as no matter whether he’s with my wife and me at music or French class, the local playground, or NPN’s Fright-Free Halloween Fest, he always seems to be in the middle of the action, chatting with a...

Posted on November 08, 2017 at 12:57 PM by Matt Beardmore

4 ways I focus on my marriage after becoming a parent

Seven years of marriage has taught me a lot. How communicating with my wife (and really listening) when I would prefer to shut down really helps us solve problems. How saying “I’m sorry” should only be used if I truly mean it, because it could lead to further issues if I don’t. How marriage can be the most rewarding relationship I’ve ever experienced if I put in the work, and how it can be incredibly challenging if I don’t.

Yet no matter how much I’ve learned and how much work I’ve put...

Posted on September 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM by Matt Beardmore

When parents fight on the playground

It was Father’s Day morning, so I took our 13-month-old to the park for a little father-son bonding. It was early, so I was surprised to see a few families already camped out near our favorite pieces of equipment. What I wasn’t surprised to see was one mom with a phone pressed against her ear and paying little to no attention to her young son. If you’ve read my blog, you know one of my pet peeves is parents focusing on their phones instead of their children, so the sight of this woman on ...

Posted on August 02, 2017 at 2:18 PM by Matt Beardmore

Easy ways to stay in shape when you're a new parent

Last March I attended (not by choice) the Expectant Fathers class at Prentice Hospital. During these 2 ½ hours, 15–20 fathers-to-be sat around two long tables and listened as the presenter, a pediatrician and father of two, delivered the non-edited version of how life was about to change. It was funny at times. Scary at others. Eye-opening for sure.

During one part of the session, we were presented with this question: “What are you most afraid of about becoming a father?” I could have ...

Posted on June 19, 2017 at 2:03 PM by Matt Beardmore

Parents can't slow down time, but they can make family time count

My parents live in the suburbs and don't get to see our almost one-year-old son as often as they'd like. So my wife and I do our best to email them photos and updates so they can feel like they’re experiencing our boy’s growth each step of the way. Maybe we need to do a better job updating them because one of the first things my mom said about our son during a recent visit was: “He’s changing so much. You probably don’t even realize it.”

It took me a second to respond.

“Yeah, I gues...

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 12:35 PM by Matt Beardmore

Your kid probably won't achieve your unfulfilled sports dreams

“Parents should be supportive. We can’t dictate to him what he can be and what he cannot be. So as a consequence, what we do is we participate with him in golf, and if it was bowling, we would participate with him in bowling. Each and every one of us has our own life to live. And he has a choice to live his life the way he wants to live his life.”

In this “That’s Incredible!” episode from the early ‘80s, the late Earl Woods, father of Tiger Woods, discussed the role he and his wife, K...

Posted on April 06, 2017 at 8:55 AM by Matt Beardmore

Dads shouldn't get credit for showing up | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: sara*/Flickr

Exhausted, sweating, and questioning my travel attire (for some reason I thought jeans and a hooded sweatshirt would make the perfect Caribbean outfit), I just wanted to escape the customs line at Punta Cana International, find a bottled water and our seats on the shuttle, and then finally check in to the resort so the relaxing part of our four-day Dominican Republic vacation could begin.

With our then–8-month-old son taking in the sights from his comfy pe...

Posted on March 02, 2017 at 9:48 AM by Matt Beardmore

To the parents addicted to their phones | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: Christian Hornick/Flickr

My wife and I have been taking our 8-month-old son to swimming class for the past couple months, and each time we’ve gone, I’ve noticed something about the parents lounging in the deck chairs near the floor-to-roof glass wall that separates them from the pool. Most of them have their eyes locked on their phones instead of watching their kids in the water. It’s crossword puzzles, Gmail, CNN.com, games—you name it. I see it when we’re waiting to ent...

Posted on January 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM by Matt Beardmore

Why I didn't move after a nearby shooting | NPNparents.org

Photo credit: yooperann/Flickr

I remember it being a relatively uneventful Monday afternoon at work when this sobering message from 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman hit my inbox:

“According to the Chicago Police Department, at approximately 10:30am today, there was young man shot on the 900 block of West Buena Avenue. The victim was approached by two offenders and was shot in the chest. Police say he was taken immediately to Illinois Masonic Hospital where he is undergoing surgery...

Posted on December 15, 2016 at 11:59 AM by Matt Beardmore