Father Versus Stepfather: Like Jordan and Bird

Spending some quality one-on-one time with the kids has been long overdue, and so, last week, I took my oldest stepdaughter out for coffee where we could chat about whatever over peppermint mochas and cinnamon coffee cake. Each of my stepdaughters are non-stop chatterboxes, but if you had to determine which is the fastest, Stepdaughter #1 would be the photo-finish winner. Not only does she zoom along at a mile-a-minute, but she also changes topics with the same fluid maneuverability as an Italian sports car weaving in and out of traffic.

“I can’t believe I’m over 5 feet tall. Did you know that my dad is 6 foot, 3?”

I actually am aware of this. I see her dad weekly, that and she’s told me a million times. With Stepdaughter #1, even though the subject matter may vary, she more often than not will tie it in some way to her father. ...Continue Reading


The Ron Swanson Guide to Raising Boys

Behold. The Man, Ron Swanson.

Ron Swanson from NBC’s Parks and Recreation, might be the most brilliant character on TV in my humble, expert opinion. I want to be him. My wife is convinced that within a few years I will completed my transformation in becoming Ron Swanson incarnate, mustache and all. Besides already sharing the same first name, we both hate big government, enjoy high-protein meals, and think wood sailing ships are beautiful.

Swanson maxims on life are swift and simple. “The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness” is a work of a genius that addresses a wide array of important subjects like, for example, fashion attire (“Shorts over 6” are capri pants. Shorts under 6” are European.”). Such straightforward ideology also extends to the area of preparing sons for manhood.

Here are but a few Swanson-isms I plan on instilling in my sons.


Ending the Affair Between Santa and His Greatest Lover

The foggy cold weather made my tongue sizzle. The smell of the eggnog and cookies filled the air. As I walked in the living room I saw a mountain of presents. It was finally Christmas. Therefore, I felt as if I were Santa’s biggest lover! The End.

Adorable right? My stepdaughter wrote that after making her Christmas list last weekend. She firmly believes that Santa Claus, the elves, the reindeer—all of it actually exists. To her they are every bit as real as the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. She’s also 9.

Two nights ago I killed the affair between Santa and his biggest lover. Shattered it like a fragile tree ornament hitting the cold hard floor of reality. I had just handed the girls their dinner, when she said that the kids in her class were making fun of her for believing in Santa.

We’ve had a lot of problems with the little punk-asses in Stepdaughter 1’s class. Last year it took exactly 1.5 seconds for us to call a meeting with the administration after I caught her trying to smuggle a knife to school. She planned on using to defend herself against several boys who were touching her where no one should be touching any girl. There have been other issues too.  ...continue reading.


20 Toys Kids Won't See This Christmas

Every Christmas is seems there are more and more toys for children to ask for. When I was a kid, it was all Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys. Now everything needs batteries or requires some sort of Internet hook up. What’s more, toy makers think they need to tie children’s play things into social issues and current event. What happened to using your imagination and just being a kid? Good grief, Charlie Brown.

All that aside, there are 20 toys out there that I’m fairly certain kids won’t find under their trees this Christmas. Here are the first 10, and these are the remaining 10.


Is Newt Gingrich Wrong About Why Kids Are Lazy?

Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich thinks poor kids are lazy and child labor laws are dumb. This controversial opinion is, of course, bereft of facts, but that’s Newt Gingrich’s schtick–provocation through outlandish remarks. His claim here is based in part on the premise that these children lack adult role models to teach them what it means to work.

Statistically this could be debunked using Census Bureau data showing that 3 out of 4 working adults (18 – 34) considered to be poor have one or more jobs and another 25% work part-time. The data also indicates that 50% of children living in extremely poor homes have at least one working parent in the household. The numbers, I suppose, could be debated all day, yet Gingrich raises an interesting question about our children’s work ethic.

At age 12 I started working in one of the feed mills my father owned, and by my early teens this became a full-time summer job. It was hard physical labor, and my dad, to his credit, didn’t cut me any slack as the “boss’s kid” either. I may have resented my father being tough on me, but in hindsight, it was one of the best lessons he ever taught me. Without that, who knows where I’d be.

In response to Gingrich’s statements, Geraldo Rivera (yes, that Geraldo) echoes this same sentiment about fathers teaching ...continue reading.


If You Don't Follow the Rules, Don't Expect Your Kids to Either

This year our school district announced that it would no longer provide bus services to students who lived within a 1 mile radius of the school—budget cuts. With only one vehicle, this put us in an inconvenient position. My wife would now have to tack on an extra few hours to her day catching a series of buses to and from work, while I keep the minivan just so I could use if for couple short trips to get the kids.

By no means were we the only ones dealing with the inconvenience, which meant there would be a substantial increase in the amount of car-rider traffic. The administration anticipated this, but despite their best efforts, holy frijoles, what a mess! It looked like the parking lot at Reliant Stadium after a Texans game let out. Cars everywhere–all doing their own thing, all ignoring the teachers’ direction, and students darting ... continue reading.


14 Reasons Why My Kids Are Smarter Than Congress

In a Huffington Post article, it was reported that Congress’s approval rating was now lower than porn, polygamy, and the BP oil spill. This shouldn’t come as any surprise, given our elected official’s track record. You think that that Senators and House Representatives would be a smart, savvy bunch given what’s been entrusted to them, but sadly, that’s not the case. In fact, if Congress and my kids were to engage in an intelligence contest, my kids would have to take out their brains to make sure it was a fair fight. Here’s 14 reasons why:


Type A Parenting Doesn't Mean Being an A-Hole

Not too long ago I had an interesting experience when a Wall Street Journal columnist asked if she could interview me for a piece she was doing on Type A parents raising Type B children. Intrigued by the topic, I agreed to her request. I hadn’t really thought about how my Type A traits impacted this aspect of my life, which as a stay-at-home dad, dominates a considerable chuck of my day.

The interview, I thought, went well. The columnist, Sue Shellenbarger, was sincere, and her questions caused me to reflect on both my failures and successes as influenced by my Type A-ness. There were moments when I was too harsh and not as understanding as I should’ve been, but there were also times when I adapted to the situation rather than forcing ... continue reading


But I Don't Want to be a Mommy!

There’s been a whole lot of talk about dads of late—stay-at-home dads, out of work dads, marketing to dads, dads being more involved, and of course, dad bloggers. We’re the hot topic it would seem. Someone even made a remark to me that dads are the new moms. Yeah? Well don’t lump me in that group. I don’t want to be a mommy.

Sure, the cultural landscape has shifted for families partly as a result of the economic downturn and partly due to changing attitudes about fatherhood. In fact, this is something I understand this on a very personal level, seen as how I lost my job and ended up becoming a stay-at-home dad (SAHD). Even so, just because my wife and I flip-flopped roles, that doesn’t mean I handed in my ... continue reading


Milwaukee's Ad Campaign Obviously Judgmental of Co-Sleeping Parents

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin—This week a storm of controversy erupted over a co-sleeping campaign by the City of Milwaukee’s Health Department’s use of ads depicting infants on their stomachs sleeping next to a butcher knife. According to the Department’s website, the awareness campaign is intended to reduce the number of infant death due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and Sudden Unexplained Death in infancy (SUDI) which in Milwaukee accounts for 20% of infant deaths, most of which are caused from unsafe sleep environments.

The campaign took a negative turn, however, after ... continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ads Section

Ads Section

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP