The “common” response I get when asking a young couple, or married man or woman, about when they plan on having kids is remarkably consistent. Yes, some say they don’t want children and I totally support that choice. Absolutely do not have ‘em if you don’t want ‘em! But, for the rest, their answers tend to follow this scene:
One of my very first A Dad’s Point-of-View columns addressed the issue of Quality Time. It has become an “evergreen,” one of the columns that I believe has enduring value and that I send out to all new papers and web sites when they begin carrying my work. It’s an evergreen because it is so true. Forget what you read in new age parenting books about Quality Time. There is NO SUCH THING.
In that first column, I shared two examples of how quantity time resulted in quality time with my younger son. Both cases were not planned and both examples were open-ended as it related to time. Kids have their own timetable about opening up and it’s not something you can schedule like their dentist or doctor appointments.
There are many relationships we have in life, naturally. We have family, friends, business associates, and what I like to call, Virtual friends. Virtual friends are those we know via Social Media but may have never really met. I have many of these relationships, some of which have bloomed into meaningful associations and actual real-life friendships. Recently, I learned that one of my Virtual friends had committed suicide. He was a very successful man, father of six, and one of those friends I’d never met or spoken with. On a larger scale, teen suicide is horribly epidemic and we parents MUST be conscious and aware of this tragic risk to our kids.
Here’s the topic of the day: Do your kids get allowance? Do they have to earn it? Money is on everyone’s mind these days and it was a spirited topic during a recent Thursday evening Tweet Chat that I host, called #DadChat**. Tweet Chats are growing as different communities band together for an hour or so and chat with each other using a name and hashtag (the # symbol).
When I grew up, there were wonderful dads that were the staple of television. These TV dads were an ideal that we all realized was a bit too perfect, but these dads (and moms, for that matter), made us feel good. I liked Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont on “Leave It To Beaver”). I liked Steven Keaton (Michael Gross on “Family Ties”).
Carroll O’Connor broke precedent dramatically with his portrayal of Archie Bunker in “All In the Family,” but under his occasionally crass, racist, and sexist blue-collar worker there was still a loving and caring father! And, later on, everyone loved Cliff Huxtable, played by Bill Cosby on the long-running hit show that bore his name. Bill Cosby’s “Dad” was named the number one TV dad of all-time by TIME magazine!
The best family movies, kids movies, and movies about parents and family, have undergone some radical changes in my lifetime. Scene: Woman in wedding dress, sick to her gills, runs out of immaculate dress store into street. She can’t “hold it” any longer and sits down, in the middle of the street, and craps her pants. Those are her words in the dialogue she expresses moments later, though she uses another word for “craps.”
Was it funny? Yep. Was it the worst the movie had to offer in the way of graphic language, sexual situations, and bathroom humor? Nope. Was the movie successful? Yep. Would you as a dad or mom really want to sit with your 11-year-old son or daughter during this movie’s opening sequence in which the lead character was humping a guy in every conceivable position and with every conceivable vocal utterance associated with sex? I doubt it.
My son, Arnie Sallan, wrote and performed this song with his buddy, Jay. Arnie did all the vocals, too. He then made this music video in honor of my book, “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation,” which you can find/buy at “The Store” here on BruceSallan.com.