Problem Solving

Creativity: Lifehacks for Dads #5

Creativity is a central part of making things work in your family. This can be hard to do at first but it will develop over time as you get to know your family better. This involves tapping into who you are and what you envision for them.

You use your creativity for many of life’s activities. It’s time to commit to using it for strengthening your connection to your family. Creativity consists of purposeful, intelligent decisions made by you to increase your children’s enjoyment in your family.

Developing Creativity

You may already see yourself as an expert in being creative. I meet many who have to be creative in their job whether its sales, getting clients, or management. The thing we don’t realize is that we have to use some of that superpower from work with our children at home and it may be uncomfortable to do so right away.

This is a skill. Skills take time to learn if you don’t already have them. Though you might be pumped and excited to try something and this is telling you to go do it. For most though, there may be no ideas.

You have the ability to be Picasso at home but you may look to your partner to be the one creating events. I want to tell you a little secret. They’re tired of doing this all the time. They need you to step-it-up and have ideas too. It’s important you take an active role in your active family’s activities.


Your creativity is contagious and your children will learn how to be creative too. Your family will love you for it. This will bring you closer to your value system. This will improve morale in your family and will lead to their enjoyment in life and your enjoyment in life. Get cracking on creative ways to spend time with your family.

Rock-It!: Step 4 of the Launchpad Dad’s Problem-Solving Strategy


The last R is arguably the most important R to problem-solving.  “Rock-It!” Where would Launchpad Dad’s (LpD) be without a rock-it! for its launchpad?

How do you “rock” something?  By taking action in the face of adversity.  By doing something new and different to change the situation.  By using the information acquired from the first 3 steps to inform your next tactic in your strategy.  


It’s time to fire up the engines and launch your way to success.  Going back to the example of being a bad dad, how do you fix this?  

You read online that you are distant from your family because you are too focused on your job.  Even your wife commented that she feels second to your job when you asked her. During your reflection, you had wondered “Am I too focused on work?” and started to worry. This means that in order to Rock-It! you will need to quit your job….!

No! That’s a pretty darn silly solution and it won’t fix the problem. The action you will need to take is within you.

Action is many things.  It’s a movement towards your goal, it’s an insight that helps change your perspective, it is an out loud, engine roaring, declaration that you will fix your problem, and it’s a commitment to change.  

I will not lie.  Follow-through and taking action are both difficult pieces of the puzzle to complete. This is where a lot of the planning phase crumbles.

Sometimes it’s confusion. Sometimes it’s procrastination. If you’re me, it’s the point you become overwhelmed and you feel like your frozen in space because a meteor came and smashed the living crap-ola out of your Rock-It! Ship. Fear not. There are emergency maneuvers that come from within to avoid this.

Remember that it is never to late to apply change to your family life. They will welcome it if you’ve been floating in space too long.


Create a 14 day commitment to the action that you think will help. Do it daily and have it be somewhat experimental. You will know if it there is a change relatively quickly.

Call me.

Email me and I’ll help (a little self promotion doesn’t hurt, right? Oh yes, most importantly, I will produce results).

Take the emotions out of the results. Fear stops us from greatness. Think about this from a business perspective. Do emotions serve you well in business decisions. Not likely. Just do it. Be fearless.

Know that changes to your behavior are welcomed by your family though they may be caught off guard to the change. Talking about your goals out loud is going to take you far with the wife and older kids.

I call it Rock-It! for a reason. Action is overcharged, loud, and makes a lasting impression in your world. Conquer your at home goals much like you do in your career goals. Good luck and reach out for crap sakes! You’re not alone in your struggles.

Research: Step 3 of Launchpad Dad's Problem-Solving Strategy


Now that you have put work into identifying the issue at hand and have taken adequate time to reflect on it, it’s time to do the third R. “Research.”  I think we all know what the word research means but Launchpad Dads (LpD) has its own twist to it.

Keep in mind we are not looking for strictly empirical data here (although it can be helpful).  We are looking for self-report data from ourselves and the ones we care about the most.


Research is seeking out answers to your questions that are outside of yourself.  So often we get stuck on a problem even after we have reflected on it. It’s time to do what may feel a little uncomfortable but is entirely necessary.  We need to talk to those involved in our life. There is some risk to this and that is why you must carefully word your problems to them.

Let's say you are struggling with being a bad dad and you took the time to identify this and put effort into getting to the deeper meaning behind this problem.  Research wants you to bring this up to your wife but in a different way. You should word your insecurity or problem like this: “I’m feeling down and feeling like a bad father. What are some things the kids need from me?”  See how they respond.

Also, research may find you going to your local library for a book on fatherhood. Or not, because libraries don’t exist anymore so you might use a computer instead.  You can ask google if you are a bad dad but it will be more worth your time to ask “how can I improve as a dad?” The internet is full of ideas.

You get extra credit if you read an entire book on the topic.  The Kindle app is actually very intuitive now and is available on smartphones and PCs.  I used to hate the Kindle app but they did an excellent job polishing it over the years.

Outcomes of Research

The end result of researching is that you will be knowledgeable and have ideas of things you want to do or try out to relieve the identified problem at hand.   

The biggest takeaway is that there are many ways to research problems.  You should incorporate a combination of these methods into your process which involves talking and reading helpful sources.

If your identified problem as a dad is pretty severe please consult me.  I’m happy to email or take a phone call.

The next step is Rock-It!

Reflect: Step 2 of Launchpad Dads Problem-Solving Strategy


The second R of Launchpad Dads problem-solving strategy is “Reflect.”  Calling all dads. It is time to reflect on what the hell is going on now that we’ve put a name to it. There are many ways to reflect on something and if you're skillful at it, by all means, get to it! Like now.  


Reflection is the process of setting time aside to actually think about what hydra you are up against and how this became an issue in your life. When did it start?  Why did it start? How are you contributing to this problem? What are you going to do to resolve this issue?

Dads! We are natural problem solvers. I am asking that you put that solution-focused brain to work and come up with a strategy. This is you taking an active role in the outcome to an issue you are up against.  

Tips for Reflection

The first tip is to become present as you begin Reflection.  The easiest way to life hack to the present moment is by sitting still in a chair and deep breathing.  When breathing in say “IN” throughout the entire inhale. Next, hold your breath and count to 7 in your head. After, say “OUT” during the entire exhale. Repeat this for 5 breaths.  You will then be ready for Reflection.

Feeling overwhelmed by life stress where you don’t even know how you can focus on Reflection? Grab a piece of paper and write a list of all of those stressors. Tell yourself that you will get back to these after 10 minutes of reflection and give yourself permission to work on that festering, nagging problem.  

Trust yourself.  You are a capable dad.  You are where you are and it's okay.  It does not indicate your future. You are not a static human being but you are dynamic.  Change is possible. I have seen it in many of the people who have come to see me. Have faith in a better outcome.

The next R of the 4 Rs is Research.  

Recognize: Step 1 of Lauchpad Dads Problem-Solving Strategy


LpD has a very specific method of solving problems as a dad.  The 4 R’s! They are Recognize, Reflect, Research, and “Rock-it.”

Each step will be explained so that you get the full idea behind this problem-solving method. It is important to drop your definition of the 4 R’s and focus on the LpD version of them.


Basic but useful.  Recognize begins with you formulating ideas of what your problem may be.  A good question to ask is, “I feel down because?” “I am anxious due to?” and so forth.  Chances are you know what the issue you are dealing with is. Though, not always.

So often we are on autopilot: Point A, to Point B, to Point C, and then sleep. Right?  Psychological distress comes from the avoidance of the problem or buying into what this wonderful society tells .  It’s often exhausting the number of messages we get from society regarding our interpersonal and intrapersonal distress. It’s usually a load of bull too.  

You have to know what you are up against if you are going to work on it.  So what you want to do here is name your problem. “I am depressed.” “I am hopeless.” or “I am a confused mess.”  Slow down and examine the possible names of the problem you are having.

“I’m mad at my wife” may actually be “I’m mad at everybody” but you continue down the path that it’s your wife. If so, then:

  1. This is going to cause unnecessary marital issues.

  2. This problem is bigger than her and extends to multiple people in your life.  

I’m telling you.  It is important to give thought to naming your problem rather than burying your problem.  They fester in their grave. Slow down, take yourself off autopilot and think about what this key problem is.

The second step on this journey is to reflect.