27 Dads, 27 Mustaches – A Movember Story

DADS OF SUMMIT HEIGHTS PS

Last year, a bunch of the teachers at my daughter’s school formed a team and participated in Movember. For those of you not familiar, during Movember men around the world grow mustaches in the month of November, to raise money and awareness to fight prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.  All the kids rallied around the teachers and got involved. You could tell the kids were proud of those teachers and they should have been.

So this year, my friend Alan had an idea. He thought it would be fun if a bunch of dads from the school formed a Movember Team. He sent out an email to the school dads he knew, and asked everyone to pass it on to anyone else they knew in the neighborhood.

I thought it was a great idea and a bunch of the other dads did too. I figured it was a great opportunity to teach my daughters about charity, and let’s face it, when you get a chance to do something your kids can be proud of  you have to take it. The fact that we would have to get together as a group, and that there may be beer present at such a gathering didn’t hurt either.

When November started, about 15 dads were on the Dads of Summit Heights PS Movember Team. That number quickly grew to 27. What none of us expected, is what we would accomplish.

The Principal, Thelma Sambrook, and the staff and children at Summit Heights have been very supportive.  Word spread through the neighborhood and school district, and people started donating not just to us individually, but to the team. With a few days left in November, our small group of dads has raised more money than all but 35 teams in all of Canada.

Think about that. Movember is pretty big up here in Canada. I know everywhere you look here in Toronto, there is a guy growing a mustache. All of the big and high profile companies get teams together. Local newscasters, large corporations, banks, all take part. And our group of dads has raised more money than all but 35 teams. We’ve raised over $22,000.

One of the dads has done some calculations and he’s figured that our average contribution per teammate is well above that of the top 3 fundraising teams. It’s also been pointed out that we have raised more money than the Parliament of Canada. Just 27 dads.

The school had an assembly and invited us. The Principal talked about Movember and called us up in front of the kids. It was that chance to make our kids proud. The kids were out there in the audience, all of them with mustaches painted on. When I spotted my daughters and made eye contact, the look on their faces- it was pretty awesome.  The whole thing was pretty special. All because a dad had an idea and acted on it.

To support the Dads of Summit Heights PS Movember effort, you can donate to me or the team here.

The reason I wanted to tell this story though, is that it’s pretty amazing what this small group of dads has done. I’m proud to be a small part of it. Sometimes it feels like one person can’t make a difference. I’m here to tell you they can. One dad had an idea, and 26 others joined him and raised over $22,000 to fight prostate cancer. Imagine what you and 26 of your friends can do. Then do it.

Ian Gordon is the father of two daughters (8 and 3).  He is a digital marketing professional, and host of the Startup Daddy podcast.

Parents Are Lucky When It Comes To Thankful

As parents we are in a special club when it comes to being thankful.  We are in a club that knows, firsthand, from within every cell, every molecule, every essence of our being, what it means to have something to be thankful for.  To have children to be thankful for.   This is because there is no greater bond than the bond one feels for a child.  There is no greater love, no love more pure, than the love a parent feels for their child.  Yes, we love our own parents.  Yes, we love our spouses and our partners and our girlfriends and boyfriends, and our pets, but it is not the same.  No other being is an extension of you, now and forever, in the way your child is.  No other being looks up to you in that way… relies on you in that way… draws upon you in that way… is influenced by you in that way… or influences you in that way.

Yes, they put tremendous pressure on us (and our bank accounts).  Yes, they make us want to scream and cry, but they also make us laugh and sing.  They keep us young.  They keep us warm with pride with every step, every accomplishment, every hug, every smile, every scrape, every tear.  They make us whole.  They make every challenge we face, every hurdle we jump, every mountain we climb, totally worth it.  Life is worth it because of them.  Every parent can look up “joy” in the dictionary and see a picture of their child, their children.

So today, and every day, I am thankful for my children.  For the wonder and wonderful they bring to my life each and every day.  I am thankful for being a dad, and especially for being their dad.  I am thankful, and full of thanks.

I know you are thankful for your kids too.  Let them know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Photo Credit: © Arcady – Fotolia.com

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Just Fishin’

Here’s a beautiful song called “Just Fishin’” by Trace Adkins who’s become the unofficial music artist of Dads because we’ve featured several of his songs on here already. What can I say? Trace truly understands and appreciates the power of being a dad and a parent. His songs on this subject matter truly captures the essence of raising children. (Then They Do, You’re Gonna Miss This, All I Ask for Anymore)

In this song, he sings about the value of doing things with your kids like fishing…not just for the activity itself but for the bonding you do. It’s such a wonderful sentiment and so important to remember….no matter how big or small the activity, the important thing is to spend time together enjoying the experience together. They are the memories that will be remembered for many years to come.

All of the dads on Dad-O-Matic want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are counting your blessings and feel thankful for all that you have in life.

I’m lost in her there holdin’ that pink rod and reel
She’s doin’ almost everything but sittin’ still
Talkin’ ‘bout her ballet shoes and training wheels
And her kittens
And she thinks we’re just fishin’

I say, “Daddy loves you, baby” one more time
She says, “I know. I think I got a bite.”
And all this laughin’, cryin, smilin’ dyin’ here inside’s
What I call, livin’

And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside
Throwin’ back what we could fry
Drownin’ worms and killin’ time
Nothin’ too ambitious
She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
And she thinks we’re just fishin’

She’s already pretty, like her mama is
Gonna drive the boys all crazy
Give her daddy fits
And I better do this every chance I get
‘Cause time is tickin’
(Yeah it is)

And she thinks we’re just fishin’ on the riverside
Throwin’ back what we could fry
Drownin’ worms and killin’ time
Nothin’ too ambitious
She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
And she thinks we’re just fishin’

She ain’t even thinkin’ ‘bout
What’s really goin’ on right now
But I guarantee this memory’s a big’in
And she thinks we’re just fishin’
Yeah, aww, she thinks we’re just fishin’
We ain’t only fishin’
(This ain’t about fishin’)

How Many Kids Can You Have Before Adultitis Takes Over?

Does having more kids increase your chances of Adultitis?

If so, how many kids can you have before it takes over your life completely?

This sums up a question I recently received through our website. Here it is in its entirety:

“Hi guys, if it’s not too personal of a topic, I was wondering if you had plans to try for more kids at some point. My husband and I go back and forth on whether our daughter (now one) should be an only child. On the one hand, the families I see with lots of kids seem to be extremely caught up in Adultitis, stress, and the daily grind. It seems like having more kids often creates an intense division of Us vs. Them between the parents and kids. I sometimes think we’d have more fun with just our daughter since right now we play all day and travel and do all kinds of things we all want to do.

On the other hand, we adore our daughter and think she’s a blast so maybe more would be a blast too. Do you have any thoughts on the number of kids in regards to Adultitis and having a fun life? Thanks!”

I’m sure a ton of people can relate to this. I know I can.

The answer, fortunately, is very simple.

1.75

That’s exactly how many kids you can have and still expect a relatively Adultitis-free life.

I’m kidding, of course. The reality is that you can find Adultitis-ridden people who have 12 kids, 3 kids, 1 kid, or no kids at all. It reminds me of the people who warned us before welcoming our first child into the world that kids are actually the cause of Adultitis. That worried me until other people started to assure me that kids are in fact the cure to Adultitis. That’s when I realized it had nothing to do with kids (or even the number of kids) at all.

Yes, more kids equals more mouths to feed, more bodies to clothe, more schedules to juggle and more cell phones to buy. But it also offers more variety, more liveliness, more laughter, and more hands to help with the household chores. When it comes to Adultitis, there is no panacea — it’s coming hard after every one of us, whether we are young, old, married or single, childless, or that old lady who lived in a shoe.

The grass always looks greener on the other side, but it still needs to be cut.

Kim and I kept a journal during our first year of parenthood, and we learned something very valuable through the process. Our Adultitis levels had more to do with our attitudes and the choices we made than with the fact that we had a new little being under our care. Being parents has presented us with trials that were harder than we’d ever faced before. But we’ve also experienced joys we could have only dreamed of before we had kids. Adultitis tends to dissipate when you spend the bulk of your time focusing on (and appreciating) the joys more than the trials.

All that being said, there are some keys that I think are worth remembering:

  • You don’t have to say yes to everything. Your schedule doesn’t have to match the Jones’. They’re nuts, after all.
  • Set aside one day a week reserved for family — no exceptions. It’s so much easier to navigate the craziness of a busy week when you know there is a light at the end of the tunnel in which you can all just “be.”
  • Your kids don’t have to be involved in every extra curricular activity under the sun. Try sticking to one at a time. (Don’t worry, they’ll still get into college.)
  • You can do a lot of things with kids that most people claim you can’t. Travel is just one of them.
  • Make it a priority to have dinner together every night. It has been proven to help kids get better grades and minimizes their risk of getting involved in drugs and premarital sex.
  • Model playfulness and an attitude of not taking yourself too seriously, at least as much as you try to foster honesty, discipline, and a good work ethic.
  • No one ever said on their deathbed that they wish they’d spent more time at the office.
  • Kids don’t need a lot of STUFF. What they need most is TIME.
  • Parenting is a hard gig. No one passes with flying colors. Let this reality sink in, let the pressure to be perfect disappear, and have fun!

In the end, when it comes to Adultitis, the number of kids you have is irrelevant.

What really matters are the choices you make and the attitude you adopt.

Jason Kotecki is a dad who also moonlights as an artist, author, and professional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a former kindergarten teacher) make it their mission in life to fight Adultitis and help people use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Escape Adulthood — stop by www.KimandJason.com and check out their new book, Just You Wait: Adventures in Fighting Adultitis as First-Time Parents.

EveryNone

Here’s a moving anti-bullying spot that contains very harsh language but that’s exactly the point…these are the words that become weapons against our beloved children. Sticks and stones can break bones but words can do far more longer lasting damage. We cannot let others get away with such horrible treatment of innocent souls. Kids, teens and adults can all help by not turning away and ignoring these vicious personal attacks. Stand up for someone and you stand up for the world.

For more, checkout the website: http://everynone.com/

A Hair Raising Month: Cast of Dads #46

November is Movember and thus there is an abundance of facial hair around the Cast of Dads.  Please consider supporting the cause and donating to Max, Brad, Michael or C.C.‘s efforts to raise money and awareness to fight cancer in men.

As the holidays are already approaching it is exciting to see that we are fast approaching our 50th episode of the Cast of Dads podcast.  What should we do special for show 50?  Let us know your thoughts…

Meanwhile, in episode 46 we touch on some current events and then some…

You can CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CAST OF DADS EPISODE 46.

Topics discussed in this episode include:

If you have been enjoying the Cast of Dads, please tell your friends about the show and have them subscribe to either our direct feed or via iTunes.  Also, please leave us a review in iTunes!

Cast of Dads is a group of podcasting and blogging dads who gather to gab about fatherhood. The cast of dads includes C.C. Chapman, Jeffrey Sass, Max Kalehoff, Michael Sheehan, and Brad Powell, who collectively represent 13 kids from the youngest of babies to full grown adults. Each of them brings a unique perspective to being a father.

Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 23, Ethan, 21 and Olivia, 20).  He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast.  You can see more of Jeff’s writing at Sassholes! and Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on the Cast of Dads  and Wunderkind! podcasts.

 

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The Real Hages of Washington

More fun for free: Make a comic strip of your very own family life.

Yes, this really happened.

:: Joe Hage is chief storyteller for Medical Marcom, a medical devices marketing consultancy helping medical companies become more approachable and engaging. ::

Pistol Grips, Reduced Gravity, and Problem Solving

A pistol grip on a AK-74U reduces the recoil and improves accuracy.

By taking advantage of reduced gravity you can buy yourself a few seconds of advantage as you jump over your opponent.

If you wait a few seconds before firing and allow more of them to come into the picture you can take out more zombies at once and save your ammunition.

These are some of the finer points that my 11-year old shared with me about the latest game he is playing on xbox 360. I could see the wheels turning in his head as he explained to me what steps he figured out to take that allowed him to accomplish this or that level of the game.

I have complained on more than one occasion about some of the sad state of affairs regarding some of today’s latest video games. Some of the video games we played as kids were gruesome to be sure, but nothing like the realistic violence that you see in these games today.  And don’t get me started on the language that you hear in these games. I imagine that the language in World War II on the battlefield was quite colorful, it’s just not something that you expect to hear coming from your kid’s room. And I feel my own share of guilt when I find myself wanting to play the games too, but I digress.

The bottom line is that I have come to see some value in the finer points of zombie killing. Here is what I mean…

To be successful in today’s modern video games requires sufficient problem solving skills. And in many of these games you have to work together as a team.  A true team.  I have played some games with my kids where we had to work together in the game to advance.  I was a serious anchor around the necks of my kids as I just wasn’t up to the task. I didn’t get the big picture and my kids were quick to instruct me about which task I needed to be concentrating on while they did their job.

I have my own complaints about the language and over-the-top violence in today’s game, but I am starting to see some value in how my kids are learning some problem-solving and team-building skills.  I am still quick to remind my kids that we don’t use that kind of language around here, but I have a strange sense of pride that my 11-year old knows the magazine capacity of an AK-47.