My Wrong Reaction to Paternity Leave (now put right)

How could I have such a wrong reaction to paternity leave?
How could I have such a wrong reaction to paternity leave?
I’ve long been an advocate for working fathers. Then why did I have such a wrong reaction to paternity leave?

My son just started middle school. He’s taking it in stride but I’m finding it hard to believe that my baby boy is now in 6th grade.

Our school district is great. One of the things I like about our schools is their attention to detail. For example, the 6th grade guidance counselor will move with the students and be their counselor in their 7th and 8th grade years. In this way, the counselor really gets to know the students and there’s more consistency from year to year. Really smart.

We were excited to make an appointment to see the counselor. Nick doesn’t have any major issues, but we wanted to get some tips to help him get and stay organized as he juggles multiple teachers/classes/assignments for the first time.

But the guidance counselor is not there.

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A Lesson for Future Working Parents

Looking forward to a new semester at FDU, where I'll meet a new crop of future working parents
Looking forward to a new semester at FDU, where I’ll meet a new crop of future working parents (apologies for the dorkiness of this picture)

Here’s a lesson for future working parents, and for those of us already in the thick of juggling work and life.

As a business school professor and an advocate for work-family balance, I feel a certain obligation to not only teach my students what they need to be great business leaders, but also help them gain a perspective that will help them lead a balanced life.

My semester begins today, and I’d like to share an appropriate excerpt from my book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide, in which I share some advice for my students, most of whom are future working parents:

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Pokemon Go is Fun for Dads and Kids

Having fun with my son and Pokemon Go
Having fun with my son and Pokemon Go

Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

I admit I can sometimes be a contrarian. I’m normally that guy who complains against the latest fad. But I’ve come to embrace Pokemon Go and enjoy playing it with my son. I think it is a great game for dads and kids to play together.

Nick had heard about the game and wanted to play. He’s too young for a cellphone, so I downloaded the app to mine. Now, we spend time walking and catching Pokemon together. We spend time online learning about the different Pokemon strengths and weaknesses. We plan out how much candy and stardust (just go with it) it takes to evolve that Poliwag into a Poliwhirl.

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Solo Parenting Time is a Gift, Not a Burden

Occasional solo parenting, right from the start, helped strengthen our bond
Occasional solo parenting, right from the start, helped strengthen our bond

As you might have deduced from my lack of blogging, this has been a crazy summer in the Behson household.

I traveled to a conference in DC and then almost immediately flew off to London for a family vacation. Then, Amy and Nick flew back home, while I continued on for a faculty retreat at FDU’s study abroad campus in Wroxton, England.

Then, Amy directed and performed at the Depot Theatre in Westport, NY, right along Lake Champlain in the Adirondack Mountains. While she was performing about 4 1/2 hours away, I was the solo parent for Nick during the week, and then we drove up to spend long weekends with Amy. Whew!

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We Should All Have a Boss Like Joe Biden

Yesterday, a friend sent this to me on twitter:

I think this is tremendous, and sets a great example. The message for managers and bosses everywhere is simple: If Vice President Joe Biden can support the family lives of his employees, so can you. I mean, is his job any less important than yours?

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Three Types of Working Dads: Which Are You?

New research shows there are three types of working dads. Which are you?
New research shows there are three types of working dads. Which are you?

According to new research from Boston College’s Center for Work and Family, there are three types of working dads.

In this post, I’ll describe these three categories, how BCCWF developed them, and share some quick thoughts. I’ll even have a poll to see which category you fall into, and a request to share your story.

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Things I Want For Father’s Day

I don’t want a mug or a tie or any more BBQ equipment. Here are the tangible and intangible things I want for Father’s Day: Being woken up with cake and presents Then being able to turn over and sleep in for a while Nice weather for a family bike ride or picnic lunch A … Read more

Ladies, Here’s a Great Father’s Day Gift for your Husband or the Other Dads in Your Life

Use this card with your Father's Day gift
Use this card with your Father’s Day gift

This book blew my mind and I handed it to my husband. It then blew his mind.

Hi Ladies! Apologies for being so direct. I think that The Working Dad’s Survival Guide would make an excellent Father’s Day gift for the dads in your life.

Most dads are working hard and doing a good job in providing for their families and being involved, loving dads. But we all could use some help, advice and encouragement. that’s why I wrote The Working Dad’s Survival Guide– it is full of relatable stories and advice that dads can use right now to make the work-family juggle a little easier.

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Dad’s Home: Back to Blogging After Other Adventures

Dad's home! After lots of other work (including at the U.N.), I'm back to blogging
Dad’s home! After lots of other work (including at the U.N.), I’m back to blogging

Hi everyone, dad’s home!

Apologies for slowing down on providing blog content. I’ve been busy advocating for working dads, just not here at Fathers, Work and Family.

Here’s a quick roundup of what I’ve been up to, including presenting at the United Nations, writing for Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, and working with partners to advocate for working dads. Here are the highlights.

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Involved Fatherhood is Good for Fathers

Involved fatherhood is good for fathers. It sure has been good for me.
Involved fatherhood is good for fathers. It sure has been good for me.

We dads know this headline is true. However, if you read most news coverage on why paternity leave and other supports for working dads are important, you’ll usually see the following arguments:

  • Involved fatherhood is good for kids– especially in terms of positive developmental and behavioral outcomes
  • Involved fatherhood is good for women– especially in terms of gender equity and labor force participation

Both of these arguments are completely true and backed up by a library full of research. But they don’t tell the whole story. Have you noticed who is missing? Ok, I’ll just say it:

Involved fatherhood is good for fathers!

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WooHoo! New York Implements Paid Family Leave!

Me, rallying for Family Leave Insurance in New York State
Me, rallying for Family Leave Insurance in New York State

New York is about to become the fourth state to provide paid family and medical leave. And like the plans enacted in California, New Jersey and Rhode Island, this benefit is funded through a small payroll deduction into a state-wide insurance fund. As an advocate for working parents and a business school professor who works closely with employers, I am excited by this news.

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Dads, Tell Your Work-Family Story as Part of the It’s Working Project!

itsworking
Please join me, click on this picture, and share your work-family story at the It’s Working Project.

Join me in sharing your work-family story at the It’s Working Project. It will help spread the word about involved fatherhood (and you can even win a copy of my book!)

The awesome folks at the It’s Working Project (led by the incomparable Julia Beck) do amazing work in promoting the needs of working parents. One of the most important things they do is curate the “Portrait Project” a website where working parents share their work-family stories. Their powerful collection of first-person narratives are important for so many reasons:

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