The Herald Bulletin

June 15, 2013

Dad on deck

Anderson father devotes time and attention

By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Keeping up with the laundry, fixing meals, rousting kids out of bed in the morning, settling them down for it at night, and managing a full-time job in between it all – it’s the everyday stuff of typical family life.

It’s an on-the-job learning experience for every parent, including Anderson dad Scott Gull.

Gull is dad to Zachary, 13, Makenna, 11, and Jacob, 9. Four years ago, Gull and his wife divorced, but have equal joint custody of the kids. With no other family in the area, Gull is the full-time parent on deck more than 180 days a year.

“You definitely see a different perspective,” said Gull. “If there’s something that comes up – a problem with other kids or issues – I’m the one who has to deal with it.”

Gull said that assuming the full spectrum of parenting makes him work to be more understanding. While basketball and Legos are topics that come easily for Gull, he’s also had to learn to accommodate things like curling irons as Makenna, the only girl in his family, becomes a young lady. In the end, Gull said he’s learned it’s all about time and attention.

“They want your time. They want your energy. It’s you doing something with them,” said Gull. “They’re my kids, that’s my job.”

The trio of Gull children are a tumble of shy smiles and giggles. They are at once responsible and polite while they’re full of life with a dose of healthy silliness.

Everyone loves the new dog, Bentley, an 11-month old Golden Doodle. “He keeps everyone entertained,” said Gull.

Jacob relates a tale of some math homework he had to do during school. After leaving his math paper on the counter, the next thing Jacob knew, “It was on the floor, and Bentley was eating it!”

Jacob was an honor roll student in Dana Jerrils’ third grade class at Liberty Christian School, just like his sister before him.

“I attribute that a lot to Scott’s work with him,” said Jerrils. She said that Gull is a very engaged parent, whose participation with his kids makes a difference.

“He’s very hands-on in activities at school – he’s always there,” said Jerrils. “He attends any kind of extracurricular activity.” Jerrils said that kind of involvement is key for kids.

Household responsibilities

Jim Lyon, senior pastor at Madison Park Church of God where Gull attends, agreed, “Scott is a guy who is very devoted to his children. He is very active and engaged in their lives. He’s constantly investing in them with time and energy.”

Gull makes his household work by not only giving the kids his attention, but also by giving them responsibility.