"Dad was a lot of fun!"

I remember reading an interview with a famous politician and found myself pleasantly surprised when he said that he wanted to be remembered most as a man who had fun with his children.

"Dad was a lot of fun" -what an epitaph that would be!

That could have been Theodore Roosevelt's epitaph.

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The men they will become*

Our sons will become men. The question is what kind and when. Masculinity, what we expect from men, is a cultural concept. Joe Ehrmann, “head coach” of Coach for America believes that our society does a terrible job of teaching boys how to become men. Joe’s assessment is that the standard criteria of athletic ability, sexual conquest and economic success create a false masculinity that sets men up for failure. It produces a compare and compete mentality that leaves most men feeling isolated and alone.

More and more men are recognizing the emptiness of such pursuits but often it takes the unselfish love of another who is willing to peel away the façade and tenaciously pursue a man’s heart to open them up to the possibility of change. As an introduction to the theme of his book, Wrestling with Love: How men struggle with intimacy with women, children, parents, and each other, Samuel Osherson insightfully recalls a scene from The Wizard of Oz.

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Dads, kids & baseball . . . from the mundane to the memorable

As I write this the World Series is rounding third base and heading for home. And while other sporting events may challenge the supremacy of baseball, in the words of a character in W.P. Kinsella's 1982 novel, Shoeless Joe, "The one constant throughout all the years has been baseball. America has been erased like a blackboard, only to be rebuilt and then erased again. . . ." Yet baseball "is the same game that Moonlight Graham played in 1905. It is a living part of our history."

Kinsella’s novel was the basis for the Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams. I don’t have a means of proving this, but I would submit that more American men have cried during the final scene of Field of Dreams than any other movie scene. What is it about Kevin Costner’s character meekly asking “Hey, Dad, you wanna have a catch?” that releases the floodgates? Interestingly this final scene isn’t in the book. The screenwriters and producers added the scene because they thought it would resonate with fathers. Sociologist Ralph LaRossa thinks it has everything to do with a unique connection that has developed between dads, their children and the game of playing catch.

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Dads, Daughters & the Super Bowl

Okay this post is a little late for most people - the Super Bowl begins in an hour and 30 minutes or so - but this advice from Joe Kelly (father, speaker and primary media source on fathering healthy daughters) is worth consideration for other major sporting events as well.

Recognizing that most of us will see the Super Bowl from our family rooms in a broadcast stuffed with commercials—-some that will likely will be awkward if not completely embarrassing for fathers to watch alongside their daughters and stepdaughters—Joe offers some simple tips for fathers and stepfathers watching today’s Super Bowl with their daughters. Check out his tips that include tossing a football around or taking a walk together before the game, and trying to watch the game through her eyes at his Dads and Daughters blog.

Blog Contest Winner

Since the launch of the Colorado Dads Web site, our Watercooler Blog has served as a place where fathers and fatherhood practitioners could post their views of fatherhood and family. To make this section more interactive, we launched a blog entry contest. Dads were asked to submit their answer to the question: “What does being a dad mean to you?”

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My dad taught me

Children learn from their fathers. Maybe not in the moment or what dad intends but every eye and every ear of every child actively records lessons for life. My dad would never characterize himself as a teacher – he dropped out of school in eighth grade – yet he taught me the importance of education. He wasn’t much of a churchgoer but by regularly taking me with him to do handy work for the widows of our congregation he taught me the importance of quiet, faithful service. Not one to express emotions of endearment when I was growing up, together we have learned the importance of communicating love.

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The Evolution of Dad

Follow this You Tube link for the teaser trailer of the upcoming feature documentary  "The Evolution of Dad." Visit www.evolutionofdad.com for more info on the project. Great Stuff!

Slamdunk Wisdom on Parenting

Boston Celtics’ past and current legends, Bill Russell and Kevin Garnett talk basketball . . . follow this link for the an NBA TV clip of their interview. Listen for Bill’s slamdunk wisdom about family and parenting at the end of the interview.

“The first thing that I knew as a human being was that my mother and father loved me. And That’s what you got to give your kids. And in doing that it will enhance your life so much.”

Batter up to bat!

I never was much of a baseball player but some of my best memories with dad are playing catch in the backyard. You don’t have to be a baseball player or even a fan to appreciate the movie Field of Dreams or learn something from the game of baseball. One of my favorite books on fathering is a simple 100 or so page paperback by Jack Petrash called Covering Home: Lessons on the art of fathering from the game of baseball.

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Youth sports report card

If you have a child older than four years of age you have most likely been exposed to some form of organized youth sports.

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