Posts Tagged ‘ Father’s Day 2011 ’

President Obama’s “Strong Fathers, Strong Families” Initiative

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Seven months.

The Dadabase

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.

President Obama Strong Fathers Strong Families

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.

The Dadabase

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.

Dads matter.

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I Am Worth Following, According to My Son

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Seven months.

In the age of Facebook and Twitter, I never have to tell my son to “like” me or “follow me.”

Since learning to crawl, Jack uses every opportunity to make use of his newly acquired skill.  He’s like an SUV in human baby form. If my wife or I are sitting down on the floor with him as he is playing, he will make an effort to go out of his way to purposely crawl over our legs- if nothing else, to prove to himself he can handle it.

He obviously is always up for a new challenge.  Tossing the TV remote controller a few feet away from him is no longer an inspiring incentive.  Crossing the room is no longer that big of a deal to him anymore.  Instead, Jack’s newest self-induced challenge is to crawl from one side of the house to the other.  But not for an electronic device or the newest, coolest toy he could imagine.

Instead, I am his motivation.

When I come home from work every day, after greeting him and my wife, I typically go two rooms away to brush my teeth (I’m sort of obsessed with personal hygiene) and change into some more comfortable clothes and a hat.  By the time I’m done, I look up, and there he is:

So proud of himself that he journeyed the baby equivalent of the length of a basketball court to get to me.  And of course, I’m always so proud of him.  The best part is the big toothless smile on his face every time.  It’s always a highlight each time he does it.

Sometimes when he follows me across the house, he doesn’t stop crawling until he runs into my ankles.  And then he just stays there with his forehead leaning against my leg and his cold, clammy hands on my toes.  Other times, he will squeeze through between my ankles, offering up an obligatory grunt as if it’s a tight fit for him.

Honestly, when he follows me around the house, Jack reminds me of a little puppy or a kitten; who can’t talk, but who can show his affection and admiration by his gravitation towards me.  And yeah, that makes me feel pretty dang cool.

So while it’s always cool to realize I’ve gained a few more Twitter followers or a handful of “likes” for that day’s Dadabase post, nothing can compare to a little blond haired baby boy who thinks I’m the Shazbot.

He “likes” me the most and is one persistent “follower.”  And I just never want to let the little fella down.

As you may have noticed at the very top of the post, it no longer says “Six months.”  That’s because today, Jack is officially 7 months old!

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