Are we teaching our kids that Dad is not around?

I watching two DRASTICALLY different programs this weekend and maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill here, but I was so taken back by the drastic difference in how it was represented parenting, that I just though it was worthy of comment.  Yeah, maybe I’m reading in to this, but aren’t most blogs?

The first thing I watched was the movie Courageous.  What can I say?  It was moving.  It was about fatherhood at its very core and did NOT sugarcoat it.  It dealt with issues that far too many fathers have faced: angry teens, single parenting, even death (I won’t throw spoilers).  The whole film was driving home what you and I already know: Dads are critical and important.

See, dads are important as recliner fillers and having conversations with sweaty people.

The second program was the Cat in the Hat.  Yes, THAT Cat in the Hat.  PBS.  Now, you’re probably thinking, “Oh great, here we go.”, but hear me out.  Nick and Sally start off on an adventure with a 6 ½ foot tabby cat, with the only reference to the parents of “Mom, can we go to ________ with a  6 ½ foot tabby cat ________” Mom’s response, “Sure.”  Before we get to the obvious, I’ll suspend belief about the cartoonish nature of the show, but why doesn’t the mom care?  Where is the dad?  A kid watching this thinks, “Hey, Dads aren’t there on TV, so I shouldn’t be upset if mine isn’t either.”

If a Dad was present, THIS would never have been released

So, two very different representations of fatherhood.  Two very different views.  Yes, one was specifically designed to promote fatherhood and one is designed to teach kids about the world around them.  But shouldn’t their dad be a part of the world around them?  Should we not have to have a fatherhood movie being the only thing that shows kids that dads want to be involved?

A better question: does your daughter know you’re involved?  Does she get excited when she hears that you’re around?  Does she involve you with her world?

Rock on

Look, media wants to downplay dads.  Especially the important of dads of daughters.  But I know better.  Our daughters know better.  They have dads that are around.  They have dads that are involved.  That’s why no matter what the media shows, dads are getting involved and it should be celebrated.  If no one else will, I’ll do it.

Thanks for being a dad…

-Scott-

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Going against the grain of news

Sure, there are ton of blogs commenting on the pistol packing papa, gunning down a defenseless laptop in cold blood.  I could go there and lay out my views on the whole thing, sure. BetaDad did it better, anyway.

Or maybe you were expecting me to give an intimate coverage of Bobby-Brown stepping in to comfort his daughter at her late mother’s funeral.  That’s do-able; plenty of commentary on my mind about that one too.

Quite possibly you’d like me to rebut my own post from last week, discussing the Grammys and how Adele’s Dad is SHOCKED that she doesn’t want to see him.  Barring the fact that he literally pulled what Bobby Boucher’s dad did in the Waterboy, I still could have written about that.

Probably makes you want to bust out the DVD, huh?

NOPE.  I’m covering what the readers want.  And the readers here are dudes.  They’re dudes from all walks of life, but they still hold some things in common.  They love their daughters.  They’re in to popular geek stuff.  They enjoy explosions and non-scripted action.

So, I’m bringing those interest together.  George Lucas.  He has a daughter.  She’s an MMA fighter.  I did not make this up, however it does fit with my target demographic at the blog. *score*

But there’s an underlying tale here.  Can your daughter step of the shadow you cast?  Some of us are pretty prominent in our jobs and communities.  Not me, but I’m sure some of you are.  Could you imagine being George Lucas’s kid?  Especially if you went in to film.  As you read the article, you can clearly see that she doesn’t want to be tied to Star Wars. She wants her own identity.

Relevant

Are you letting your daughter have her own identity?  If so, how do you encourage that?  It’s a shameless plug, but I do Daddy-Daughter Dates.  They give me an opportunity to learn about her so I can encourage those parts that make my daughter MY DAUGHTER.

I wonder if she knows she can get Cat Facts on her phone...

I’m not saying don’t pass down your legacy to your daughter.  That Daddy-Daughter Date can be used to teach her about you and your interests.  By giving a mutual respect to each other about what you’re in to, she’s going to feel more confident about being her own person, and not just _______’s daughter.  But if you were George Lucas, I’m sure  you let your daughter hop on your back like a TaunTaun.

Thanks for reading and thanks for being a dad…

-Scott-

A Valentine’s tweet

Don’t know if you heard about Ted Williams reading tweets and Kraft donating boxes of mac ‘n cheese for Valentine’s Day, but Daddy-Daughter Date ended up getting one of those silky smooth messages from the Golden Voice himself.

Come on….that was pretty cool.

Thanks for being a dad…

-Scott-

What did you learn from the Grammys?

Well, while I was out on vacation, the whole world just went and blew up, didn’t it?  Whitney Houston dead, the whole Grammy show dedicated in her honor, and then the aftermath of all that exploding over Twitter.  So, what did you learn from this weekend?

Was it that a star tragically fell?  With her infamous marriage to Bobby Brown, quite possibly how she picked up such an addiction, did it give you pause on the type of person your daughter is going to choose?  Somehow, my thoughts went there.  I immediately thought, “I don’t want my daughters to ever choose drugs because I don’t want them to fight those demons”.

He has nice countertops though...

Or did you compare the attention given to Whitney to the attention given to Chris Brown?  Half the Twitterverse did, with somewhat misguided tweets such as this:

Or some cutting tweets like this:

Getting responded to with this:

How’s that make you feel, Dads?  Angry or inspired?  As Dads, we do have the power to change this.  You know how to; just be involved.

Or quite possibly, did you see the positive?  I saw amazing female talent that didn’t require drug induced writing or sexually suggestive dancing.  Yes, you might be tired of hearing about Taylor Swift or Adele, but you have to admit that you’d prefer your daughter ending up like that than ending up like Nikki Minaj.  After a show topically shedding light on different types of abuse, it was refreshing to just see actual talent on display.

So what did you take away from all that drama?  If you avoided all of it, just realize that all of those things are out there, and that we can help our daughters avoid some of those choices by modeling the right behavior and be rock solid for her.  As always, it’s the most important job you’ll ever do.

And since this is blog post is a little heavy, I’ll bring it back with this last photo:

Thanks for being a dad…..

Stormtrooper Dad photos

I think these pictures are so cool.  They totally warm the heart, especially for the geek in me.  But I think it’s a misconception that the little storm trooper is a boy.  I mean, really, couldn’t that be a girl?  I’m probably stepping in to heresy for the hardcore Star Wars fans.

Awwww......

Here’s the thing, I looked at the pictures and immediately felt a connection to it.  I could see my daughter running up to me, playing with her, and walking with her.  I never even considered that the little one would be a boy.  Of course, I didn’t look at it as myself in a storm trooper costume.  But whatever it is about those pictures, it invokes something in us as dads.

One more B-Wing ride, then off to bed

What do you see?  Other than the obvious figures that you have sitting on top of your monitors, do you see your daughter?

Probably one of the reasons we look at these pictures with such admiration is just the fact that we know they’re little for a small amount of time.  You can’t rewind, you can’t go back.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  On the flip side, maybe we’re just so excited to see fatherhood meets Star Wars other than hacking off your son’s hand, then saving him later from your boss, only to die anyway.  Admit it, George Lucas has some daddy issues.

Look at the anguish on his face

Thanks for looking on the bright side of fatherhood and thanks for being a dad…

-Scott-

Daddy-Daughter Date #42: Ice Skating

Time: 2-3 hours
Cost: $$
Recurrence: Once or twice
Age: 2-12, 20-35
Impact: 😀

If there was ever a date where your daughter was going to be learning as much as you, it’s probably going to be here. Now, I don’t know your comfort level when skating, for sure, but I’d wager that unless you seriously skate a lot, you’re going to be stumbling around out there on the ice.  Your daughter probably will too.

You’ll notice I left a gap in the ages on this Daddy-Daughter Date.  That’s for a couple of reasons.  The first being that I you won’t get her near an ice rink with you during the teen years.  This activity is REAL DATE material at this point, so don’t try it then.  You can pick it back up again in a few years.  But the cut off date is around 35 as I figure you’ll be at least 55 at that time and fearful of breaking a hip.

Then again...maybe not

Ice skating can be done in a number of different places.  If you have a rink near you, they most likely have an open skate each week or possibly lessons if you’re both starting new.  I wouldn’t go out an buy skates, FYI, unless you’re both REALLY serious.  And I mean REALLY serious.  You think it’s expensive buying new shoes all the time.  Now think about those shoes with metal blades on the bottom.  Yeah, expensive.  So rental is going to be the way to go. Just make sure you get good, sharp skates that are straight.  The injuries that can happen to your out of shape groin are not fun.  And no, that doesn’t not count as exercise for your groin.

If it’s free skate and it’s both your first time, take it easy.  Grab some buckets or whatever “walkers” they have available to stabilize yourself.  I wouldn’t suggest holding hands the first few go arounds.  Let her get her footing and get comfortable on the ice.  Stand around her so she doesn’t face plant, but other than that, just hover.  I know, I know, bad term especially when talking about parenting, right?  I’ll assume you’re able footed from here on out, however.

Pick a “lane” where there isn’t much traffic.  You’re not going to be flying around the ice the first time, so don’t try and go all speed skater here.  Secondly, you’re going to see a number of show-boating teens that whip in and between people, so stay within a good distance of your daughter just so you don’t get in their way and she doesn’t become one of their casualties.

If your daughter is a little older, maybe you will race her a bit.  If it’s still okay for you two to hold hands (she’ll let you know), take a lap or two doing that.  It’s sweet, come on.  It’s not going to be long before it never happens again, so take it while you can.

Okay, she's a little ahead of the curve

She’s probably going to want to learn how to do fancy ice skating moves.  If so, take a stop in the middle of the rink as there are probably going to be a few ice dancers in there practicing.  Watch and learn.  If you do it with her, all the more smiles.

Thaaaaaaaat's a little over the top

She might not turn out to be the next Michele Kwan, but she’s more important and beautiful to you anyway.  By lacing up the skates, wobbling alongside her, and feeling sliding along, you’ll be adding another memory to her treasury about her dad.

Super Dad Tip: Rent the rink out.  Just you and her.  Take a private lesson.  Find a hidden pond or a farmers pond where you’ve worked out a deal.

Thanks for being a dad….

-Scott-

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