Posts Tagged ‘ role models ’

Why I’m The Most Vanilla Dad My Son Knows

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

You love dads.

Sure, you love me, but I’m your dad. You’re used to me by now.

No matter how adventurous I am with you, you are still always fascinated by every other dad you meet.

A prime example is our friend Dave.

We went to visit him, his wife Karen, and their brand-new daughter Avery.

As the picture clearly demonstrates, you felt quite comfortable with Dave. Mommy held Avery and Dave held you.

(Just to be clear to anyone else reading this letter, I’m the guy in the green vest and Dave is the guy with the red shirt.)

Before we left their house, Dave gave you one of his business cards; he’s a Realtor in the Nashville area. You played with his business card all the way home.

Then once you got home, you placed his card in your little boy wallet with Mommy’s zeroed out gift cards. As I put you to bed that night, I asked you what your favorite part of the day was. Your response:

“When Leaf hold you.”

I should translate. Your refer to Dave as Leaf, and “you” means “me.” Your favorite part of the day was when Dave held you.

Even now, as I write this, you are upstairs asleep, with Dave’s business card underneath your pillow.

That’s right: You sleep with his card under your pillow. You really like Dave.

I think it’s cool to see how you gravitate towards other dads. It’s clear that to me that you find so much value in masculine role models.

As for the most part, you’re stuck with me. I’m familiar, predictable, safe, and normal. I’m vanilla.

 

Love,

Daddy

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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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