Saturday, April 14, 2012

What do you love about being a father in America.

This was posted at the NYC Dad's group.  My entry is the first one.

Although there are lots  things we desire as parents in the good ol' US of A (universal health care and paid parental leave are two of them...) there are lots of wonderful things about being a parent in the United States.  Here are just a few from the NYC dad.

What do you love about being a parent in the United States.

FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2012What do #DADSLOVE Most About Being Fathers in America?Last month, we attended the Dad 2.0 Summit and met some of the wonderful dad bloggers from across America that we admire, value, and respect.  This community of dads is a powerful bunch and we have something to prove.   We know dads can be competent, nurturing, and as involved as mothers when it comes to parenting.  Unfortunately, quite often, the media does not typically allow us the opportunity to demonstrate our positive skill set and portrays us as "boobs."  Our aim is to lead by example and collectively try to shatter some of those stereotypes.

Out of the Dad 2.0 Summit, an idea was hatched by our friend David Wescott: "Using this growing community of online dads to see how many of them would want to engage in a good ol' fashioned blog meme I'm calling #DadsLove."  The Goal: to try to get at least one father in each of the 50 US states (plus DC and Puerto Rico) to write a simple blog post that describes three things they love about being a father.
We love the concept and decided to join the conversation.  We asked a few active members of our NYC Dads Group Community to contribute & Here's a #DadsLove list from New YorK 
1. Exposure to Diversity: The best thing about being a father in America might just be actual Americans.  In our little park or our neighborhood library we have white families and black families, recent immigrants and descendants of the original Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, wealthy families and families on government assistance.  Our village of Astoria, Queens is the most diverse in the world.  More languages are spoken here than anywhere else on the planet.  My child will interact daily with the neighbor from Chile, the corner dry cleaner from China, our Indonesian laundress, and the Jewish and Chinese couple who own our favorite coffee shop.  My son will play with children whose parents come from California, Iran, Israel, Russia, France, Mexico, Pennsylvania, Kenya and Sweden.  The great diversity of Americans affords my child exposure to so many of the world's cultures and people from completely different socio-economic backgrounds that raising a socially conscious human being means getting out of the way and letting him simply take it all in. Christopher T. VanDijk of

2. Be a Positive Role Model: The thing I really love about being a Dad is the opportunity to provide my daughter with examples of love, kindness, patience, generosity and caring for others.  Growing up I had some examples of Fathers doing the wrong thing, I was aware of anger, rage, fighting, animosity and divorce. I remember these along with the positive examples and use them daily as sign posts to guide me to do the right thing. Jack (Jake) Howard-Potter of

3. Being Around: I love being around my son everyday.  I get to observe and share in all of the small wondrous moments that our little preschooler experiences - being scared as we are stuck in the dark subway train tunnel with traffic ahead, getting excited about pushing the red button on the public bus and hearing the ding and "stop requested" flash up, being proud as he climbs the last rung to the top of the ladder on the playground, genuinely giggling as I tickle him, his eyes lighting up as notices the full moon, etc.  Then, I get to recap them with my son at the end of each day-awesome!  When I was growing up, my father was the breadwinner and worked long hours which translated into not having much access to him other than a few hours on the weekends.  My dad is a great guy, but unfortunately, he not only missed the major milestones, but he also missed the smaller, more personal ones that leave those lasting footprints on your heart.  I am hooked on parenting & I am going to be around as often as I can for our children! - Lance Somerfeld of NYC Dads Group

4. Camaraderie: No matter what walk of life you're from, chances are, you can find a bunch of other dads just like you that have already started a social or support group for you to join and learn from!  - Edward Yau of &

What is the one thing you love most about parenting?

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Too Few Kids Getting Outdoors With Mom or Dad

Get your kids outside!

Too Few Kids Getting Outdoors With Mom or Dad: Nearly half of all U.S. preschool-age children don’t get outdoors at least once a day for parent-supervised playtime, researchers reported Monday, causing concern among experts who say early exercise habits could protect children from obesity later in life. Many children might not be getting enough...

Exercise, Washington said,  ”is just as important as learning how to read.”
The preschool years represent a time in youngsters’  development when they learn skills like throwing a ball, picking things up, running, and jumping.   “If you deprive them of that,” Washington said. “They’re less likely to be active when they get older.”

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