Coca-Cola Ad Celebrates Early Parenthood

This new ad from Coca-Cola celebrates the early years of parenthood. Agony. Ecstasy. Repeat.
Can you relate the parents in this commercial?

Dad Bloggers – The Proud Papas Infographic

Dad bloggers are on the rise and, as we all know, fatherhood has dramatically changed in the last few decades. Check out this infographic from our friends at onlineschools.com.

Proud papas infographic about fatherhood

Happy Father’s Day 2013

From all of us -dads, moms, grandpas, and kids- at ProActiveDads, we wish a very Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers who make fatherhood their top priority. None of us are perfect, but we love our children and want to do what is best for them.

Have a great day!

Happy Father's Day 2013

Guys Have Labor Pains for Mother’s Day

Guys simulate labor pains

Even the guys at ProActiveDads were laughing pretty hard at this! Check out these two guys who find out how they would do if they had to endure labor pains. Looks like their wives really enjoyed their Mother’s Day presents. And so did we.

You can enjoy the video below but we’re not sure how real this simulation is. Contractions occur from the front of the abdomen all the way into the lower back. It can spread up into your shoulders and a woman’s whole body will experience the joys of giving birth. These guys were just electrocuted for an hour.

Didn’t need doctors. Could have just gone to the CIA for that torture.

(Disclaimer: This same stunt was done in January 2013 by Dutch TV hosts Storm and Zeno.)

It’s Better To Be a Dad Than a Friend

Robinsons Drinks Pals

A new commercial from British drink maker Robinsons has been whipping its way around the world. The spot is a heartwarming tale of two “pals” who make memories together and refresh themselves with a cool glass of Robinsons. Take a look and then read why we have a problem with it.

The twist at the end clarifies the strange actions one “pal” has with the other throughout the commercial. Okay, good. But the final message is where the warm and fuzzy drops off a cliff.

“It’s good to be a dad. It’s better to be a friend.”

Actually, it’s not. Being a father is a tremendous joy and responsibility. We appreciate the care and attention Robinsons obviously put into this ad and their great portrayal of an involved dad. But that message is destroyed when they tell us that dads are secondary to good friends. They are missing quite a few facts about fatherhood.

  1. Being a dad isn’t mutually exclusive to being a friend.
  2. Fatherhood makes more of an impact on a child than a friendship.
  3. Raising a child can’t be all fun and games.

Too many parents today prioritize their child’s happiness over their preparation for being an adult. They believe that being a friend is more important than being a parent. Discipline is lacking, education suffers, and the roles of adult leadership are absent. This hinders a child’s growth and inhibits their understanding of what separates grown-ups from kids. Why should they respect a parent who acts like a friend?

George Carlin had a point when he said “obedience and respect should not be automatic, they should be earned.” That said, let’s be blunt about this: if you care more about being your child’s friend than being their parent, you’re a bad parent. (If you disagree, feel free to comment below, send us an email, or flame us on Facebook. We’ll care.)

Robinsons had a great idea. Their commercial really was a touching showcase of a cool dad who seemed to love his role…as a dad. That is the message they should have ended with. “It’s good to be a friend. It’s better to be a dad.”

Defeating the “No”

defiant childThe Battle

I’m in day two in my fight against the ‘NO’.

My three year old daughter has taken it upon herself to yell and scream about everything any anything possible, with either ‘No’ or ‘I don’t want to’ at the top of her lungs.  Her latest endeavor is refusing to eat the same type of pizza she enjoyed last week.

That was last night.  This afternoon at lunch that same piece of pizza lay, fresh from the microwave, and she is as defiant as ever.

Television off, all form of entertainment removed.  She sits in front of her pizza, whining at every chance.

Hopefully she will learn soon that this is a battle she will not win.

The Goal

What is the purpose behind this seemingly draconian, clearly ‘old school’ method?

There is no way in hell I am going to let her grow up thinking she can just whine, cry or complain her way out of a situation.  There are a great many things in this life that we have to do that we don’t like.  I see too many people today who just sit by, waiting for someone to fix their problem, giving them what they want because what they have is not good enough.

That sh** won’t fly.

“Enter Sandman” From a New Direction

(originally written on April 15, 2011)

I’ve been a Metallica fan since 1996.

Wow. I think that’s the first time I’ve actually put a year on my discovery of Metallica.

Anyway. So I’ve been a fan for 15 years. Through all of the changes and battles they’ve had in those years, I still feel a connection to their music without rival. But as I aged and matured, I began to think about the future. How would my high school passion for their energy, angst, anger, and rebellion carry over to a mature adult?

One of those songs that gave me such ponderings is “Enter Sandman”. This song was transformational for Metallica’s career, but piqued my curiosity for its exploration of childhood nightmares. I wondered if I would view the song differently if I became a father. What would change in how I heard the sounds and understood the lyrics?

Metallica – Enter Sandman lyrics

Now here I am. Sitting in my cluttered office at the stroke of midnight watching a YouTube video of the MTV ICON Metallica show, listening to them talk about the band and their songs, including Enter Sandman. But more importantly, my two-and-a-half year old son is sleeping in the room next to me. He’s had his own issues with the Sandman almost since birth and like most kids, battled night terrors.

His imagination is such an incredible gateway for his future. He can create incredible beauty and darkened fear. Inspiration, anxiety, opportunity, creativity, panic, dreams, nightmares and a million other constructs will come from his imagination over his lifetime. But for now, he’s trapped in the innocence and exploration of childhood in which his realistic images will bless or burn his dreams.

Those dreams are the subject of “Enter Sandman”. The song is especially important for me recently as we’ve had to eliminate my wife from my son’s bedtime routine. As long as I’m the only one who puts him to sleep, he seems to sleep through the night. That’s a horrible choice we had to make, but it is for his benefit and certainly temporary.

“Exit light. Enter night. Take my hand. We’re off to never never land.”

These are those moments I wondered about. I now know how this song would change for me. I have a son. I put him to bed. He has had those horrible dreams. He has those “beasts under your bed, in your closet, in your head.” I would do anything to help him defeat the monsters plaguing his mind. But all I can do now is hold his hand and try to give him comfort before the night enters.

Things change as we get older. Becoming a parent changes them more than anything else. One of my favorite songs from my favorite band has changed for me. And I have my son to thank for that. He has helped me answer a question.

Thank you, my son.

Debate: Should We Care About Kids Fashion

Hello again everyone. I’ve got some exciting news to share. A few weeks ago, I was asked by an editor at The Huffington Post if I would like to participate in a debate on children’s style. She came across a column I wrote for IEFamily.com and thought I would be ideal to take the “disagree” position on the question of “We should care about children’s style.”

Kids fashion does not matterI didn’t know who I would be debating on the issue or how they would structure their argument. HuffPo presents these debates in a very fun manner: you (the visitor) are asked to state your “agree” or “disagree” before you can read the two opinions. After voting and then reading both debaters’ arguments, you are asked to vote again and see if your opinion has changed.

For the record, so far I have changed more minds than my distinguished opponent. Sure, the debate has only been live for a few hours, but I’m okay with small victories.

So here’s your chance to weigh in. Go to:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/kids-fashion-childrens-style_n_1381996.html?ref=parents 

Please share with your friends and family so we can get thousands of votes and see just how parents think about children’s fashion.

Thanks for your support!

Campbell’s Not Concerned with Making Dads Happy

Campbell’s Soup doesn’t seem to be terribly concerned with what makes dads happy. I just saw the following commercial on a news/opinion site:

Here’s my version of the commercial:
“There are only so many soup companies that make kids happy. And even fewer that care about the spending power of fathers. With fewer Campbell’s purchases and a shrinking marketshare, its amazing what a little respect can do.”Campbell's Soup Commercial

That Embarrassing Photo

We’ve all had these moments of discovery. You’re looking for a particular photograph or group of photos and unintentionally come across the one that makes you smile, laugh, or wince in pain. In any case, you probably replied with “oh yeah, I forgot about that”.

I just had one of those moments. While trying to find a photo from my wedding, I also discovered some photos from the day my son was born. Among those precious images was something that started me laughing and I finally said, “oh yeah, I forgot about that”.

I took a picture of my son’s first poop.
(No, I will not be including it in this blog.)

You see, I take a lot of pride in all of the wonderful firsts I’ve experienced with my son. I was there for his first breath, cut the cord, gave him his first bath, cleaned his first poop, drove him on his first car ride, and many others. For reasons of whimsy, pride, and goofiness, I made sure to capture his first poop for posterity.

Will this eventually end up in front of his future fiancé? Perhaps. Will it be something I treasure despite its contents? Absolutely. Homeruns, science fairs, or poops, I relish the wonderful and unique moments I will share with my son.

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