If you didn’t read last month’s post, Fear and Bicycles – Part One: Fear, please go back and take a look. As a quick recap, last month I revealed that I taught my eight-year-old son to ride a bicycle in less than one day without using training wheels. We discussed that biggest obstacle to learning or trying new things is fear and we considered these three techniques for overcoming fear: Accept and Protect Dismiss and Do Address and Overcome I revealed, that I used the Address and Overcome method while facilitating my son’s attempt to learn how to ride a bike, and in doing so,Read More →

This summer, I taught my eight-year-old son to ride a bicycle. He learned in less than one day without using training wheels. What superpower did we tap into to achieve this feat? The power of overcoming fear. My son insisted that we install training wheels because he was afraid of falling and getting hurt. It’s much the same fear that can keep kids from trying new things or going to new places. This fear is a healthy and natural reaction that we, as parents can either help them overcome or, often inadvertently, make much worse. Fear, more than anything else, is what blocks us fromRead More →

Okay, I admit it, I’ve been stubbornly opposed to changing. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and was raised to say, “ma’am” and “sir.” Living in other parts of the country, I’ve been told not use those terms because, “It makes me feel old” or “I work for a living.” I would laugh, and explain that was just the way I was raised and meant it as a form of respect. Of course, I would refrain from using them again in that interaction. I justified retaining those terms with the idea that we need more civility and respect in our day toRead More →

The Associated Press, reports that Manafort resigned over his work for the pro-Russian party of the then president of the Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. It seems that he not only received more than $12 million, but he also tried to influence opinion here at home. Donald Trump’s ties to Russian don’t end with the resignation of his campaign chairperson, Paul Manafort. As outlined by The Washington Post, one of his foreign policy advisers, Carter Page, served as an executive at Merrill Lynch in Moscow and then became an advisor to Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy company. Additionally, Trump took Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to his AugustRead More →

(Editor’s Note: Because the victim is a minor, his name has been changed). It’s official, I have failed as a parent. The other day, I picked up my son, Ethan, and his friend, “Bob”, from summer camp. While we were walking home, Bob was telling us how much he enjoyed playing baseball. “What position do you like to play?” I asked. “Batter,” he said, giving the type of verbose reply preferred by eight-year-olds everywhere. “You like to be a batter?” my son asked, with an evil glint in his eye that made me wary. “Yes.” “Great,” Ethan barely suppressed a grin, “Since you like beingRead More →

While reading some comments on social media, it occurred to me that, while one’s sexual preference and ethnicity may be genetic, being bigoted is a lifestyle choice. I believe that bigotry is caused by our natural tendencies to be afraid of things that are different. It’s the same tendency that allowed our ancient ancestors to survive a time when that person who looked different from the tribe could kill them all. Thankfully, despite what the Republican Party would have you believe, life here in the US isn’t nearly as dangerous. One of the best advantages of our country is our diversity and the freedom weRead More →

My biggest inspiration for starting Spree Speech is to try to leave this world a better place for my son. To do so, I need to learn to be a better parent and, if, in the process, I can help others, all the better. With that in mind, I’m creating a section with posts that may be of interest to all parents, but with a focus on fathers. While you can find these articles on the main page of this site, I am also collecting them in the Father’s Hood page so that those of you who do not want to be bothered with politicalRead More →

My definition of “father” is very different from most dictionaries. For example, dictionary.com offers this as the first definition, “a male parent.” Okay, from a technical, genetic, standpoint, this is true. But, we are more than just a grouping of genes. We are social creatures and, as such, are as defined by our social nature as our, biological nature (I really wanted to say, “natural nature,” as it is more fun, but biological nature makes more sense). From a social nature (i.e. a family group) standpoint, a father is much more than that. To be a father, you have to be involved with your offspring’sRead More →

The Republican Party is partially correct on the issue of terrorism. It is one of biggest threats we face as a country today. However, they are completely wrong when they single out just one source. To see what I mean, let’s start with a definition. Dictionary.com defines “terrorism” as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” Okay, so far this does nothing to repudiate the GOP’s position. Let’s see what happens when we put this in practice with some examples. Extremists twist the words of a religion into an excuse to commit acts of violence against political foes.Read More →