A lot of parenting relies on establishing a routine to help stave off the chaos. Routines range from the fluidly flexible to the set in stone, and they give parenting its pace, the beat we all march to. Much of our parenting character, then, is measured by how well we adapt when the chaos rises up and throws our family’s world out of whack. Our kids might even remember these experiences as the defining moments of their childhood. (No pressure, tho’.)
Many movies have centered on this theme, even those set within the most tragic realities. Remember when Roberto Benigni won a Best Actor Oscar (which, appropriately, put his body “in tumult”) for his performance as a father who, while his family was imprisoned by Nazis, went to great lengths to protect his son from the horrid truth? Routine was gone, and in its place a terrified man somehow found the strength to craft a new narrative for the sake of his child.
One does not need to look far to see similar stories unfolding today. There is no shortage of hardship, due to political climate or climate change, and families everywhere are finding their normals pulled from under.
And what do you do, for example, when you’re driving through a terrifying wildfire (like the current California blazes shown above) with your life in the back seat? You can be this dad, who summoned his best performance and assumed the role of reassuring buffer between the relatively mundane car interior and the world that was burning down around it:
Parenting through change may not always be as devastating a natural disaster, but like routine, difficulty is also relative. After all, the height of a hurdle is easily adjusted, and all we can do is try to jump.
IN THE NEWS
There are differences between roots and branches, but they are both pretty amazing. Grow your kids accordingly.
When we “pass down the defining soundtrack to masculine identity, we limit children’s understanding not just of what it means to be a father, but of what it means to be a man—and a boy, as well.”
The memories of our childhood aren’t always what we remember. The same will happen for our kids, too.
“Growing up gay in a homophobic town, and in tough financial times, it was hard to see how I’d have my own kids.”
“We should all be proud of our past, no matter how hard it is. Our past really is what helps define us, even for our future.”
“While love handles may be a humorous symbol of middle-age fatherhood, the implications for children’s health are far from funny.”
Move over boy bands, now there’s something daddier.
More Irish dads are signing on to the new paid leave plan, which gives them two weeks’ paid leave at any time within the first 26 weeks of their child’s life, or following an adoption.
Swedish dads get an amazing 480 days of child leave, and this year the proportion of men who took it rose slightly, to 29.3%.
- “I’m a straightedge teetotaler, but I’m no narc. I only wanted to make sure those three young ladies got home safely. That was my role in their night and I did the job to a T.” – Jeff Bogle, The Week I Made $522 As A Lyft Driver
- “I went into fatherhood with a lot of insecurities. A lifetime of internalized homophobia and the unknowns of open adoption were at the forefront.” – Brent Almond, Stan Lee Made a True Believer of Me
- “I didn’t intend to be a parent-athlete, but what are you going to do when greatness comes calling?” – Shannon Carpenter, Parent-Athlete Philosophy by Sandlot Socrates
- “Curiosity is an especially valuable trait in a culture increasingly dominated by technology.” – Vincent O’Keefe, Curiosity: Parents Need to Nurture It in Today’s Wired Children
- “Sometimes I get a little bit emotional talking about it. He’s just been a wonderful brother and he’s been the best uncle to our girls.” – Tyson Gardner, Why Is Dad Crying About Oakland?
‘GRAM OF THE WEEK
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Photo: Whit Honea