When Our Kids Amaze us

Have you had one of those moments when one of your kids amazed you with how grown up they seem, how articulate they are, or how mature they’ve become, as if you missed a few years of their development somehow? And there they are now, standing before you as a wonderful young man or woman. Where did the time go?

Who is this lovely creature?

I had that experience last May when my two oldest boys, JD and Cal, now sixteen and almost fifteen, went to their spring formal dressed in sport coats and ties. I looked at these two handsome young men in wonder. And truly they looked like men, and they carried themselves that way. I shook my head, and I felt so proud of them.


I had that wonder-filled experience again a few weeks ago when a friend of mine, Dr. Lori, suggested she interview my youngest son, Kai, about an experience he and I had with one of my painting customers (I’m bi-vocational). She heard Kai tell the story earlier and thought it would be great for other dads to hear. They had so much fun planning it together, and the idea quickly grew to include several other subjects, all related to The Great Dads Project.

I shot the video, and stood there with my mouth hanging open most of the time. I could hardly believe this was my little twelve-year-old son still in braces. His thoughts, ideas, suggestions, insights, humor, and his way with words floored me. Seriously, this kid could be an actor. He was so comfortable on camera, and carried himself with such poise, grace, and presence. I’m not kidding. I know, I’m his dad, I’m bound to think he’s great. But seriously, check this out for yourself, and see if you don’t think he’s as great as I do. Enjoy.


If you like this, leave a comment below, and share
a story about a time one of your kids amazed you.


To read more from Keith, take a look at his book:

Large Book with Outline



Who Would Have Guessed Homework Might Turn Out So Great?

IMG_0969My middle son, Cal (who turns fourteen in four weeks) asked me to proof read the Encomium he had been writing throughout the day this past weekend. I didn’t even know what the word meant, but I soon found out. Apparently an Encomium is a text expressing high praise. That was his assignment for his writing class. I read it over and was surprised by what he wrote. Even though he gave me permission to post it, I still feel funny about doing so. I’m not sharing this to ask you to think well of me. My hope in sharing this is to encourage you about how easy it really is to be a hero to your kids. Reading what Cal wrote completely warmed my heart and reminded me how relatively easy it is to love our kids in a way that makes a big difference.

Here’s his Encomium.

“Any man can become a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” Let me tell you why I think my dad is so exceptional. My dad, Keith Zafren, is a proficient author and an inspiring speaker and a great father. He sometimes travels all the way across the country to speak. He is also a successful businessman; he founded the Great Dads Project, a fruitful organization that has helped many fathers become great dads for their kids. He founded the company in September of 2010 for the purpose of helping dads everywhere become better father figures in their children’s lives.

He is a loving and caring father, as evidenced by the many times he has helped me in life. Once, when I played goalie for my soccer team, the opposing team destroyed our team. After the game was over, feeling extremely frustrated and angry towards my team, I walked off the field toward my dad. He comforted me, saying that although my team was terrible, I had done a great job during the game.

My dad is a great dad. He cooks breakfast for us every morning; he helps us with our schoolwork and takes us to play tennis or soccer almost every week. Our dad takes us to soccer tournaments as far away as Pennsylvania or St Louis. He plays Ping-Pong with me in our garage. He sometimes takes us bowling or to get ice cream. Once he even took us to Kings Island, an exciting amusement park, for my brother’s birthday. We are very close, my dad and I; we have gone to soccer games, to the NFL hall of fame, even to the Great Wolf Lodge together. He travels with me wherever we need to go. He is the best dad in the world.

Cal told me I should put this in my next book. So I asked him if I could share it with you here for now. What a loving kid. The thing I love most about this is that it doesn’t point to any big experiences or grand events or magical fathering moments. He just details the most normal, simple kinds of things that make him know and feel how much I love him. What a relief for dads to hear that. These are the kinds of things that any of us dads can easily do for our children, even if we don’t live with them full time, which I no longer do. When you’re with your kids, love them like this and you will be bonding in ways that last a lifetime. 

Look at the difference it makes. You can do this. Go for it!

Great Dads Shape Great Kids. Be a Great Dad Today!

To read more from Keith, take a look at his book:

Large Book with Outlineimages