(insert number) Lessons About Fatherhood I Learned from (insert tv show/movie)

As you can imagine, I read a lot of parenting blogs and websites. If you visit enough of these sites, you will quickly come across posts like “X Things I Learned About Parenthood from Y,” with Y usually being a popular tv show or movie.

You can learn a lot from fictional dads!

There’s no surprise why these are popular: they are fun to read, fun to write, are universal and accessible for a wide audience, and VERY clickable. When a movie becomes a phenomenon, that rising tide lifts all posts- witness the thousands of Frozen-related blog posts last summer- I bet the readership numbers were also really high. Also, because people will be making Google searches for Frozen or Star Trek or the Goonies or even Leprechaun 3 probably forever (especially when the sequels and remakes come out), these posts tend to have a long tail. (Heck, the awesome Jeffrey Brown has made a career of this)

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Building Father-Child Memories That Last

If we want to be remembered as good dads, we have to both put in the hard work of being a good father and also carve out time for fun, memorable shared experiences with our kids. Here are some ideas on how to maximize the latter.

Star Wars is one of our family traditions
Star Wars is one of our family traditions

Flying in an airplane is much safer than covering the same distance riding in a car. Yet, most people are more afraid of flying than driving. One of the main reasons why is “Availability Bias,” in which things that are easier to call to mind (like the rare plane crash that is all over the news) are given greater weight than things that are less memorable (like the thousands of car crashes a day).

Most of the time, the availability bias is a problem that leads us to make faulty decisions regarding risk (at the beach, we may be more concerned with shark attacks than skin cancer; after watching Law & Order SVU, we vastly overestimate the incidence of child abduction, etc.). But we can also use this quirk of human memory to our advantage.

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From Father to Son- Passing Along Life Lessons

I learned many life lessons from my father, and I sure hope I’m passing these along to my son.

Last week, the fun lifestyle website DailyPlatofCrazy.com ran a feature for articles about men looking back at their childhoods with their fathers. Please click on the screencap below for my contribution to the series. It’s about baseball, Star Wars, and the values I learned from my dad and am trying to model for Nick.

My contribution to the Fathers & Sons series at DailyPlateofCrazy.com
My contribution to the Fathers & Sons series at DailyPlateofCrazy.com

What memories do you have as a kid that you are now sharing with your kids? What lessons are you trying to impart? Let’s discuss in the comments section.

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Introducing Nick to Star Wars

19 Dad Bloggers were asked the question “When/How To Introduce Your Kids to Star Wars?” You can read the entire piece here. Here’s my entry:

Star Wars has been a great bonding experience for me and Nick!
Star Wars has been a great bonding experience for me and Nick!

I’m a planner by nature, and I think the world is in a rush to have our kids grow up too fast. So, I delayed Star Wars until Nick was 6 (he’s now 7 ½). I LOVE Star Wars and wanted him to love it too- I figured premature exposure may ruin it.

What pushed me over the edge, despite my hesitations, was when I was called to do a customer focus group for some unknown product. It turns out the focus group was to get reactions to new Lego Star Wars products (awesome!), and the room was full of Dads about my age with kids about my son’s age. Almost all of them had shared Star Wars with their kids by then, and especially extolled the virtues of the Lego Star Wars video game.

The next day, I showed Nick some you tube clips- as a way to gauge his interest (through the roof), expose him to characters (he instantly was head over heels for Darth Maul!), and talk about basic plot points. I figured this would make the movies easier for him to understand and enjoy.

It worked!

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The Onion and Death Star Day-Care: Friday Fathers, Work and Family Humor

(photo from Kalexanderson’s incredible set of Stormtrooper Father and Son photos, used in accordance with user agreement)

What’s a stormtrooper and father to do?  It must be very hard to balance work and family when working in the Death Star.  In response to this, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader have, according to The Onion (the greatest humor and satire site in the internet), opened on-site day care.

Read all about it here:

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Darth Vader & Son: Fathers, Work and Family Friday Humor

From the incredibly funny book, Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown, that my Star Wars-obsessed son bought me for Father’s Day. Some hazards of taking your son to work with you (especially if you work for the Dark Side)…   May the force be with all of you this weekend.  Thank you for your … Read more