Aug 01

Calling All Flabby Daddies!

Let’s lose some weight together. Misery loves company! :) (photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

Greetings, fellow fathers! :)

I don’t know about you, but I could stand to lose a few pounds. About 30, in fact. Losing weight is hard, though, especially when attempted alone.

So, let’s stop trying to do it alone!

We already have several great gathering places in social media, such as Dad Bloggers on Facebook. We already poke, prod, tease, taunt, and challenge each other. Let’s put those resources to good use and do what guys do best – turn something into a contest and embarrass the losers. ;)

Seriously, though, putting your wallet or your pride on the line can really help with motivation. Skeptical? Read these articles. Or these.

Interested? Great! I’ve chosen a 3-month time frame for this fat bet. If it works out well, we can easily do another. To join, follow this ...

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Jul 29

No More Time-Outs!

Image shamelessly horked from benzinga.com

Fellow dad blogger Chris Bernholdt (of DadNCharge) recently went viral with a post suggesting that parents put an end to play dates. Heck, he even got interviewed on national morning shows. I don’t think I’ve ever written anything good enough to get that kind of attention, but thinking about challenging modern middle class parenting conventions did remind me of a post I wrote three years ago (presented below, with minor edits). Chris wants to banish the playdate, and I’d like to stop talking about putting kids in time-outs.

Every parent in the Western world is familiar with time-outs. Used properly (e.g., as prescribed by 1-2-3 Magic), they can be an effective and useful tool for disciplining children (in the punitive sense).

Why do we call them time-outs, though? Does this sound like how we use them or how we ought to use them?

“In ...

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Jul 23

Post-Vacation Blues

Bushkill Falls

Bushkill Falls

A few days ago my family got home from a week-long vacation in the Poconos. My parents have a time-share villa there that belong to my grandparents for over 30 years. I went there many times as a kid, so it’s associated with a lot of good memories. Between those memories, new ones made with my kids and their grandparents, and a few days spent with my sister and her kids, you’d think that I’d come home feeling good. And I did – sort of. Ever since we packed up to go home, though, I’ve been in a funk.

It started as I did my paranoia check, walking from room-to-room, double- and triple-checking to make sure we aren’t leaving anything behind. As I checked my parents’ room, the usual meloncholy associated with good things ending hit. Then, before I’d left the room, I was suddenly overcome with sadness from ...

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Jul 22

Civil Whorl

If clockwise means righty and counter-clockwise means lefty or ambidextrous, what does a pair of whorls mean?

Anyone know the prevalence of double parietal hair whorls?

When my first child, Alex, was an infant, I read a study about a possible relationship between the rotational direction of one’s hair whorl and one’s handedness. When I checked Alex’s, I discovered he actually has two. I have no idea what that might portend for his handedness, but he seems to be pretty strongly a righty. My second child, Joel, has a counterclockwise whorl and seems to be a left-leaning ambi. Number three, Lily, has a clockwise whorl and is almost certainly a righty.

I was discussing all this with my parents and sister recently when I made an interesting observation. I asked my father to lend his head for a simple demonstration of whorl rotation, and I was startled to see that he has a double whorl pattern like Alex! Lucky for him, though, his rotate away from ...

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Jul 03

A Model for Apologies

Round 1, fight!

Does this conversation sound familiar to you?

“Say sorry to your brother.”

“But he’s the one who–”

“Say it!” you insist, an edge of warning in your voice.

He huffs, rolls his eyes to the side and says flatly, “Sorry.”

“Say it like you mean it,” you demand.

“Sorrrrry,” he repeats, dragging out the word slowly with bulging eyes and dripping insincerity.

You sigh in defeat and turn to #2, “Now tell him you forgive him.”

It sure seems familiar to me. The author of a blog post entitled “A Better Way to Say Sorry” used that exchange to demonstrate how forcing apologies from children is counterproductive. I’ve read more than a few articles to that effect lately.  However, unlike some other articles on the topic, this one doesn’t suggest some goofy hippy solution like a peace circle. Instead, a simple script is presented as replacement for ...

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