Every Friday the 13th sees a flurry of black cats and Jason Voorhees cosplay, because (as the runaway success of “Get Out” and “A Quiet Place” will tell you), a lot of us really love pretend horror. The real skill of parenthood, though, is when your kids ask about the real-life horrors that are super-blasted by omnipresent media sources. We can’t shelter them as much as we’d like, so communicating some level of reassurance is as crucial as ever.
And we’ve found that a lot of our effort focuses on the longer view, and an appreciation that life in 2018 is actually a lot better than we’re conditioned to think. We get this from cognitive psychologist and best-selling author Steven Pinker, who in this video addresses what happens when our innate “negativity bias” collides with a news feed that “focuses on what happens, not on what doesn’t happen.”
When you look at long-term trends across the world, fewer people die of disease, hunger, poverty, and war, but it’s boring incremental change. There’s rarely a dramatic moment when there’s a story to tell, so the narrative-driven (and in some cases, clickbait-crazy) news media doesn’t spend much time talking about it.
The way our negativity bias influences how we see the news has a lot in common with our decidedly irrational sense of superstition. So take a breath and think it through. It’s Friday the 13th, but many beautiful things are going to happen today. A guy who spent three months in a halo healing a crushed C2 vertebra will run in Monday’s Boston Marathon. Dads like our friend (and Dad 2.018 Spotlight reader) Doug Zeigler will post this tale of his son’s strength, which is full of honesty, love, and bravery.
And black cats can improve your love life.
IN THE NEWS
From childbirth to The Masters, Russell Henley had quite a week: “It’s just the weirdest feeling. I’ve never had this feeling before. I can’t wait to hold him.”
Do you have a family pet? A new study suggests what we’ve all been thinking: Dogs are good for kids.
Some men see the impact that care-giving can have on their careers and their earning potential. But even if they ask for parental leave, men are twice as likely to have their requests for extended leave denied.
Concerned about kids and sport injuries? Brett Favre says he wouldn’t let his son play football, and is sharing his fears for parents to take note.
About 80,000 Australian families have a stay-at-home dad at the helm, up 4.2% since 2011. Over the same period, the portion of families with stay-at-home moms fell by four percentage points.
Is a child’s allowance dependent upon chores in your home? Some experts say the two shouldn’t be connected.
“Intentional laziness parenting requires forethought, planning and self-control. Coincidentally, these are the skills it is intended to develop in children.”
“In our public health messaging, health policies, and our prenatal programs, we really need to make sure we engage the whole family, rather than just the mother. It’s more inclusive and represents what family looks like today.”
In Kenya: “For those who underestimate the capacity of fathers to nurture their babies: In the case of a sick baby, dads are pushed to the limit, and you’d be amazed at the mountains they can move to ensure their babies get well.”
- In “National Siblings Day,” Kevin Zelenka remembers the past and looks toward the future.
- Nicholas Casey believes the children are the future in “The Kids are Alright.”
- Weathered parenting? Vincent O’Keefe asks, “Have You Become Your Mother (or Father)? A Spring Break Tornado Story.”
- Thinking about visiting Jeff Bogle? He writes, “This Is What’s Happening Before You Show Up At My House.”
- It’s springtime for Andrew Knott, so he offers us “Landscaping With Children: A Cautionary Tale.”
We’re all excited about the upcoming Avengers Infinity War, but our friends at FanDads have really taken it up a few whiskers. We’re digging the creativity and dad participation:
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