My son decided that he wanted to donate some toys to kids that don’t have as much as we do. I told my son that I’d match his donation with stuff of my own. Somehow, we decided to make it a challenge. That’s how simply the #Donate3Challenge started!
Right now, two women are enduring the last week of the United States Army Ranger School in the daunting Florida “jungle” phase, as part of a pilot program to help the Pentagon decide how they might open combat specialty positions to women in the future. Throughout their attendance at the course, these two Army officers have impressed their Ranger Instructors and inspired women throughout the ranks of the entire Army.
A similar experiment has been conducted by the United States Marine Corps over the last several years, admitting women to attend the USMC Infantry Officer’s Course, or IOC. One of these women, First Lieutenant Sage Santangelo attempted to pass the course and failed. She wrote an op-ed following her attempt and attributed her lack of success to a double-standard in training requirements between males and females. She simply did not feel that she had been well prepared for success by adhering to lower training standards in the years preceding her attendance at IOC, where she was held to the same standards as the men.
Taking Lt. Santangelo’s premise that she wasn’t successful because of lower expectations for women, I began to think about how fathers raise their own daughters, and more personally, how I am raising my own daughter. What I never wish to happen is for my daughter to miss out on a personal dream because I held her back from being prepared to tackle the world. So if her dream is to one day become a United States Army Ranger, I had better spend my time getting her ready. While not a graduate of Ranger School myself, I have enjoyed great success as an Army officer and have mentored and trained many for military success. So here is my best advice for fathers who want to show their daughters a world where the ceilings are made of glass…and then show them how fast they can shatter them.
Back when it was a totally dope diss to say “don’t have a cow, man”, kids had a vocabulary full of pop culture. There was something magical about old video games’ vocal snippets. Because games had limited memory, and because we were dealing with cartridges and CDs instead of giant hard drive installs, sound bytes were short, succinct and hilarious.
My friends and I would dole out disses and exclamations based on video game sound bites. I wonder how many of these were common among your group of friends too! The best thing is that I’ve found that some old school video game phrases are totally still usable now that I’m a father…
Game: NBA Jam (1993)
System: Arcade, Genesis, Game Gear, SEGA CD, SNES, Game Boy
Usage: After jamming home some trash next to your unaware child.
Of course. NBA Jam was a game full of sound bites and quotables. And while “he’s on fire” was commonly thrown around by my friends, the more forceful exclamation was a gentle “BOOMSHAKALAKA” yelled into the ear of a friend who merely had the bad luck of standing next to a trash can while you had something to throw out. You’d throw down the trash so authoritatively that let’s face it, you should have looked into a career as a garbage man. Well, now you’re a parent, so part of your job is being a garbage man, so the next time you need to throw something out, do it with style and scream “BOOMSHAKALAKA!” Your kid will repeat it in no time.
Fathers pull their inspiration from weird places. Some of them pull it out of their own father’s teachings. Some of them pull it out of necessity and learn on the fly. But what indisputably prepares you for fatherhood the most is video games.
Old NES games, specifically. Look, that console had two buttons. TWO. There was no dual-stick move-and-look. There was no rocket-jumping. You didn’t get a gun and a melee attack. You got JUMP and SHOOT. If you were incredibly lucky, and you usually weren’t, you could use a second weapon or skill by holding B while pressing A.
The games were brutally tough, unfair, and unrewarding. And all of that hardship prepared a generation of boys for fatherhood.
Some things are too good (or too bad) to keep around forever. This is especially true in the world of junk food, where brands constantly crank out products based on market trends and flimsy pop culture references.
My son will never eat some of the junk food I had when I was younger. I certainly won’t tell you that he’s missing out on some of these. This is a list of tooth-and-organ-rotting garbage. But try not to get nostalgic reading this list of stuff my kid will never be able to eat.
Making fun of dads because they are “pretty much just giant children” is soooooooo 2011. Maybe y’all ain’t heard, but dads are getting all sorts of respect lately – not because they’re doing anything different, but because – ugh – who didn’t want to loosen up the grip a little, amirite?
Buzzfeed didn’t get the memo, so they put out an hilarious article titled “24 Reasons Kids Should Never Be Left Alone With Their Dads“. And besides some of the photos being genuinely funny with no real gender-specific blame to lather onto dad, it’s just kind of, well, you know…phoned-in.
But here’s the thing: when you beat dads down over and over and make moms distrustful of them (even in jest), all it makes society say is “don’t leave your kids alone with dad – you KNOW what they do!” And then guess who has to deal with the pressure of raising kids, working, and doing their damn thing? Moms. So lay off, kk?
In light of this, I present to you 24 reasons (plus a bonus, you motherlovers) your kids should be left alone with their dads.
I am a comic book geek and so is my seven-year-old daughter. Before we start pointing fingers, let me just say that I blame myself for her condition. When you raise a child in a house filled with comic books, where the living room bookcase has Two-Face book-ends and your art supplies are kept in Hellboy lunchboxes, a certain level of interest in the medium is bound to develop. So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when the concept of the “comic convention” stumbled onto my child’s cultural radar.
She’d seen pictures of Comic Cons online. She’d even seen conventions parodied in her favorite Simpsons comics. She knew what the word “cosplay” meant and she wanted to experience it for herself. Through the eyes of a child, pictures from a comic convention look vaguely like snapshots from a trip to Disney World, except EVERYONE is in costume. It looks like non-stop fun…to a kid who’s never been there before. However, I’ve been going to comic-cons for over twenty years and I knew that, while they can be fun, they can also be poorly organized, crowded, smelly, dull, and vaguely soul-crushing.
Every con is different. So, since my daughter had set her mind to experiencing her first convention, I began my due diligence to try to make sure that her first trip to a comic-con would be a positive experience.
I’ve been calling out dad-bias in commercials for years now, and really wanted to put the nail in the coffin. So I watched, noted and rated 140 commercials in 2013 that featured fathers as main characters. And if I was looking for a fight…man, I couldn’t have done it at a worse time. There, I said it.
A popular conversation among dad bloggers is the treatment of fathers in the media, specifically, dads in commercials. Dad bloggers often sit around in their secret online societies and discuss exactly how bad dads look in commercials. Most of the time, you’ll hear a resounding “fathers are made to look like idiots!” And being a guy who’s flamed many a brand that poked fun at dads (and also congratulated a couple), I wanted to really commit time and effort into seeing exactly how many commercials I could find that treated dads poorly. I really wanted to hold up my list of commercials to the world and say “SEE?! Look at how commercials treat dads! We should riot!”
And then my results actually surprised me.