Small Ways for Dads to Signal the Importance of Work-Life Balance

There are many small ways to signal the importance of work-life balance while at work. By doing so, we advocate for ourselves and support our fellow working dads.

When I am interviewed about the challenges faced by working dads, one of my go-to lines is that, “in many workplaces, it’s not safe for men to ‘out themselves’ as highly involved dads.”

While this statement is sadly still true, I am encouraged by the increasing number of men speaking up about their family priorities while at work. When dads signal the importance of work-life balance, we take the conversation out of the shadows. Sending visible signals reinforces the fact that involved fatherhood important, normal and widespread. We need to ensure that it is recognized as such at our workplaces and communities.

I’ve spent the last few years working with dads and employers on work-family concerns. Many dads have shared with me how they to assert their work-family priorities while at work. Here are a few things they’ve told me. While I recognize not every dad has the security to do all of these, most of us could probably find small ways to support our cause by signaling the importance of work-life balance.

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My Christmas List for Working Dads

As 2016 winds down, here’s my Christmas List for Working Dads: All I want for Christmas is… That you all have a restful and fun day with those you love on Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, or any other holiday event you celebrate That those in your family recognize how hard you work at work to … Read more

Effective Advocacy from Al Horford and His Sister

Al Horford and his sister demonstrated effective advocacy for working dads in their response to Mike Fleger’s criticism over Horford’s paternity leave

A perfect stocking stuffer for a dad in your life!
A perfect stocking stuffer for a dad in your life!

I love professional sports.

I hate how so many fans take sports too seriously and how sports radio hosts seem stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to valuing fatherhood.

Two years ago, MLB star Daniel Murphy took two games’ paternity leave, using MLB’s forward-looking policy, and was excoriated by some of the most prominent sports radio personalities for doing so. Thankfully, there was a swift backlash against these radio hosts, with one ESPN poll indicating 95% supported Murphy’s decision.

Two years later, the same dynamic has played out yet again. Boston Celtics’ center Al Horford recently missed one game to be at the birth of his daughter. Boston sports radio host Michael Felger somehow found this offensive.

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Work-Dad Success? Here’s some advice

How can we achieve work-dad success? My latest article, “12 Work-Life Balance Tips from a Working Dad” was just published in Success magazine. In it, I describe some research from Boston College’s New Dad studies and provide some advice for dads trying to juggle career success with being a great dad. Click here or on … Read more

Why I’m Excited About Amazon’s 30-Hour Work Week Experiment

Working a reduced schedule- something like a 30-hour work week- is often touted as a good alternate for working parents. Employees get reduced pay for reduced work, but keep their benefits. The employer keeps the employee, reducing turnover. What’s not to like? In practice, a 30-hour work week hardly ever works out well. The employee has “outed” … Read more

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

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