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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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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The Good News From the Adam LaRoche Situation

The Adam LaRoche situation stirred controversy. However, it also validated involved fatherhood
The Adam LaRoche situation stirred controversy. However, it also validated involved fatherhood (Wikimedia/creative commons)

The Adam LaRoche situation, even with its controversy, validates how far we’ve come in recognizing the importance of involved fatherhood.

Baseball and fatherhood are my two favorite topics, so when the curious case of Adam LaRoche and his fatherhood-related exit from the Chicago White Sox broke last week, some asked me for my thoughts.

After all, the last time fatherhood and baseball crashed together like this was when Daniel Murphy was criticized for taking paternity leave two years ago. As that story was blowing up, I made sure to jump on it quickly, and got my first national TV interview, an article in the Wall Street Journal, and lots of other inquiries from journalists looking for some commentary.

This time around, though, I hesitated to jump in with my analysis. And I’m glad I did, as the details are murkier and the issue is not as black and white.

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The Two Things Dads Can’t Do As Well As Moms

Many people believe the stereotype that moms are naturally inclined to parenthood and that dads are less capable parents, despite all the accumulating evidence to the contrary. There are, however, two things dads can’t do as well as moms:

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3 Simple Rules for Stopping the Daddy Wars Before They Start

The “Daddy Wars” haven’t yet heated up. Let’s stop them before they start.

Stop the daddy wars before they start. Support your fellow dads!
Stop the daddy wars before they start. Support your fellow dads! (flickr: creative commons)

Women are under a lot of pressure to be “perfect parents.” There’s so much unfair societal pressure, comparison and judgment of those who do things differently. No matter what moms do, there seems to be some “queen bee” mom or some aspect of the media telling moms they are doing it wrong.

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Fatherhood and Empathy: Author Q&A with Torsten Klaus

Empathy and fatherhood. Torsten Klaus' very authentic and readable book of encouragement and advice.
Fatherhood and empathy. Torsten Klaus’ very authentic and readable book of encouragement and advice.

One of the cool things about publishing a book is that you get to become “book friends” with other authors in your field. A few weeks ago, Torsten Klaus and I exchanged books. I want to share some of the wisdom and perspective from his book, The Empathic Father, which I recommend. Here’s my Q&A with Torsten, focusing on his advice on fatherhood and empathy.

1. Your book covers a wide range of issues- birth plans, attachment parenting, sex after childbirth, child discipline, work-family balance, how couples argue, active listening, etc. The through-line is the importance of leading with empathy. Can you explain how empathy can influence how dads can handle such a wide range of parenting and marriage-related challenges?

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Three Dads, Three Work-Life Balance Stories

Believe it or not, I’m not the only one writing about fathers’ work-family concerns. Today, I’d like to share three really smart and well-written first-person accounts of work-family struggles by some of my fellow dad bloggers. Enjoy

I'm sharing some other dad's work-family stories today. I'll be back next week with news about/links to my recent media appearances.
Today, I’m sharing three work-family stories from some of my favorite writers. I’ll be back next week with news about/links to my recent media appearances.

“The Third Row” by Larry Bernstein, “Daddy Lives Work” by Aaron Yavelberg, and “Dads Don’t Want to Leave Home Either” by Alan Kerchinik. See below:

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Catch These Moments While We Can (on the end of “Nicky, the Skunk and the Dinosaur”)

…but then it occurred to me that never again would he be seven years, one month, and six days old, so we had better catch these moments while we can. -Bill Bryson

I'll miss fun times like these while Nick is little...
I’ll miss fun times like these while Nick is little…

My wife Amy was recently in a play in which her character’s family was, after many years, selling their family farm. In one scene, she’s reflecting with her teenaged son about the memories they shared in the house, and she dreamily reminisces about the bedtime stories she had made up for him when he was a young boy. She ends this scene with the line, “I don’t remember the last time I told you one of those stories.”

On this day, as Nick enters fourth grade, I found this line particularly profound. My son is growing up, and there are lots of things I “used to do” with him that he’s now grown out of. But, just like Amy’s character, I don’t remember the last time I did those particular things with him.

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16 Dads 16 Experiences: This Is What Paternity Leave Looks Like in 2014

A few weeks ago, I asked a group of fathers to share the stories of their paternity leaves (or lack thereof). A few had very supportive employers with generous policies, some had nightmare situations that led to them find employment elsewhere, and most were unsupported and left to rely on their accumulated time off.

Nick and I during my paternity leave. I wish all dads were so fortunate.
Mick and I during my paternity leave. I wish all dads were so fortunate.

As tends to be the case with paternity leave- there is no standard benefit and experiences vary greatly (my paternity leave story is here). Here’s a round-up, with my thoughts at the end.

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The Smartest Things I Heard at the White House Summit on Working Fathers

Programming note. Today, I am at the main event of the White House Summit on Working Families in DC. Obama, Biden and a host of bigwigs in government and business are here. I will report out to you soon.

Dads are the greatest untapped resources in the lives of American kids- Kyle Pruitt

We live in a “Modern Family” society, but our policies are stuck in “Leave It To Beaver” mentality- Thomas Perez

On June 9th, I was honored to participate in the first ever White House Summit on Working Fathers. It was an amazing event, with so much great information and so many inspiring speakers. Here’s a short compilation of the most memorable quotes and ideas I heard during the event.

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Reflections on the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families: Recognizing the Importance of Supporting Fathers

Last week, I was a featured panelist at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families. It was an amazing day filled with star power, inspiring speeches and a refreshing emphasis on the importance of supporting fatherhood. Here are some of my reflections on the day.

My panel at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families
My panel at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families

The concerns of fathers are sometimes under-represented in conversations about work and family. However, despite the fact that the Summit was organized by the Women’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor, I was very encouraged to see this was not the case- the concerns of fathers was front and center. Here are a few indicators:

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