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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
The newest US Census shows that one third of stay-at-home parents are dads. Yeah, for every two stay-at-home moms, there is one stay-at-home dad. That’s a lot, actually.
I’ve pointed out before that companies are really missing out by not doing more “dad ads” in highly read publications, like Parents magazine.
So when Baby Orajel decided to feature a dad ad in the January issue, I spotlighted them, promising to do the same for any other companies who were brave (and smart) enough to acknowledge the relevance and buying power of fathers.
While there were no dad ads in the February issue of Parents magazine, I am pleased to announce that the March issue features two of them!
On page 130, Huggies is not only running a dad ad, but also doing a contest on their Facebook page where you can nominate a dad to prove that their Huggies’ Leak Lock stop leaks better.
I appreciate that Huggies acknowledges how normal it is for dads to be actively involved in changing their kids’ diapers.
Turn back to page 111 and you will see an ad for Vick’s NyQuil and DayQuil, making a reference to the concept of “Super Dad.” I like that.
It means a lot to me as a dad to see that men are being deemed in our society as more relevant than ever before.
At the same time, I’m very aware that that the “dad tax” exists. The concept is that fathers have to work harder at most parenting tasks in order to be considered an equal parent, as compared to a mother.
I recently read a spot-on article by a fellow daddy blogger, Jonathan Liu of Geek Dad, featured on Wired.com. It’s called “Who’s Minding the Kids? Not Dads.”
Liu, a stay-at-home dad, explains how he is often mistaken by strangers as a dad who is “babysitting” his own kids during the day.
He points out how it’s still not a legitimate concept, especially to older generations, that a man could be the daytime caretaker of his children without it being a substitutional, sub-par arrangement.
However, now that a third of stay-at-home parents are fathers, and now that companies are starting to feature more dad ads, it’s becoming pretty obvious that we aren’t simply babysitting, we’re being active fathers.
Sure, we can’t give birth or breastfeed, nor would we want to (!), but there’s a lot we can do beyond stereotypical examples like having tea parties with our daughter or showing up to all of our son’s ball games.
Don’t forget, we change diapers too.
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Friday, June 17th, 2011
Recently in my post entitled, “The Positive Re-branding of Fatherhood,” I noted that dads are making a comeback and becoming more involved in their kids’ lives. Call it a trend, call it a movement; I call it a necessary revolution: Men are changing the future of society now by priding themselves in not settling for mediocre fatherhood, but instead, awesome fatherhood. And maybe even one day the term “Superdad” will actually be as familiar as “Supermom.”
In fact, I was pleasantly unsurprised to read today in another blog here on Parents.com about a recent poll showing that, compared to 50 years ago, fathers are indeed more involved in the lives of their children. Granted, these days there are less households where the dad actually lives in the same household as his kids. But for the dads who do dwell with their kids, these dads are definitely more active compared to 50 years ago.
So it’s not all in my head! Dads really are making a comeback. What a cool time to be a dad. This is what The Dadabase is all about.
Today, I want to brag on President Barack Obama. Last week he introduced a new initiative called “Strong Fathers, Strong Families,” which is a program that provides ways for fathers to spend quality time with their children, via free or discounted pricing on fun activities, such as bowling, sports games, and zoos.
In his recent essay, “Being the Father I Never Had,” he openly recognized the fact that despite the heroism of single moms who have raised a large portion of recent generations, the presence of an active father is valuable to the well-being and future of today’s children:
“And even though my sister and I were lucky enough to be raised by a wonderful mother and caring grandparents, I always felt [my father’s] absence and wondered what it would have been like if he had been a greater presence in my life. I still do. It is perhaps for this reason that fatherhood is so important to me, and why I’ve tried so hard to be there for my own children.” –President Barack Obama
For a guy like me whose active campaign and passionate mission is to positively re-brand fatherhood through this blog on Parents.com, I can’t help but feel strong admiration for our President in his public support for the “Strong Fathers, Strong Families.” I tip my hat to Mr. Obama for using his voice for an idea so necessary and positive for the good of our country.
I believe that it has become easy and normal to downplay the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Because we as a society have learned to, in order to survive and move forward. But I don’t want our American society to simply survive; I want it to thrive. And even just the name of President Obama’s initiative itself spells it out pretty clearly: A strong father will lead and grow a strong family.
President Obama is not only taking action in sharing my same passion for parenting; but also just like I am doing, he is using his public platform to openly support active fatherhood. I get it, not every child has the option of being raised by a good man. Many children have selfish, abusive, and/or absent biological fathers; some who have left by choice while others were good men but have unfortunately passed away.
Still, children need a positive adult male role model to fill that void, whether it’s an uncle, family friend, step-dad, a pastor, or neighbor. It’s not okay that kids are growing up without good dads. Nor is it okay to deny the need or importance of a positive adult male role model in a child’s life.
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Deep Thoughts, Home Life, Must Read, Nostalgia, Spirituality, The Dadabase
Thursday, June 9th, 2011
As much as I fantasize about being a full time writer, the truth is, I work from 8 AM to 4:30 PM every weekday at “my real job” in a sales office. Writing for Parents.com isn’t all I do for a living, in other words; it’s my part time job. So it’s only natural for intuitive readers to wonder the question, “How do you have time to write six new posts each week for The Dadabase without neglecting your wife and son?”
It’s easy: I sleep less than most people (usually not more than six hours a night). And I only write when my wife and son are asleep. From roughly 10 PM to 11:30 PM, then again from 6:00 AM to 7:10 AM everyday, I am always writing.
That means that when I am at home with Jack and Jill, I literally am at home with Jack and Jill. My policy is that I don’t turn my laptop on while they are awake. That way, I’m not distracted by the blogosphere where I am an active citizen. As for me and my house, that’s the only way it could work.
I disconnect (from electronic social media distractions) to reconnect with my family while they are awake.
So when I received a challenge from author and media consultant Phil Cooke, asking dads everywhere to disconnect from technology – phones, Facebook, Twitter, email, TV – and spend quality time with their kids for 24 hours this Father’s Day, I knew I could handle it.
My wife and I worship the concept of quality time and giving each other our undivided attention, to the best of our abilities. We are constantly aware of our need as a married couple with a child to make the most of the little bit of time we have together each day, balancing both family time and time alone as a couple.
So when we do watch TV together, the rule is that it has to be something we both want to watch, like American Idol or The Office. Or a TV series through Netflix, like Mad Men; which is our current show. And for the times our son is asleep and we both have a lot of stuff to get caught up on in the Internet world, we do what we have to do but label that time as “personal time.” We fully recognize that time as necessary for us as individuals, but we know full well it is not quality time together; even if we’re sitting next to each other.
This challenge is inspired by Phil Cooke’s new book Jolt! Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing (April 2011, Thomas Nelson), which lays out 25 “jolts” to help us set the “reset” button on our priorities and boundaries. I am interested to see how his book fills in all the blanks and connects the dots regarding the importance of “unplugging” in the name of quality time with family.
So here’s the deal for my male readers. (Do I actually have any? As long as I’ve been a daddy blogger, I’ve just always assumed at least 97% of my readers are female.) For the first three men who agree to take the challenge with me to unplug for 24 hours on Father’s Day, I will arrange for a free copy of the book mailed to your house. Just let me know your name and mailing address by leaving a comment on this post. And as long as you are one of the first three to agree to take the challenge, you get a free book.
I will leave my phone and computer alone on Father’s Day! Will you?
*Thanks and congrats to the first 3 dads who jumped on board and will now be receiving the free book: Mike Mitchell, Marc Theriault, and Mario Sollecchio!
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