LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND

Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...

Come On Feel The Noise: Coping Strategies For Dealing With A Whiny Child

In a June 2011 article, parenting.com confirmed once and for all that "whining is the worst sound ever." It's grating, and nerve rattling, and makes you want to run out of the room holding your ears, childishly screaming "La, La, La." As a new parent (tired, worn down, and well on your way to a nervous break-down), you need a strategy for how to cope with this toddler inflicted torture.

It's mind over matter really. As my mom always said, "don't let them rent space in your head." It's up to you how you react to this rite of passage. Remember, you are the adult, and, as such, you have to take the higher ground especially when you've tried every time-tested trick up your sleeve (negotiation, bribery, threats, anger) to no avail. So when the situation escalates and you see no physical escape from this all out war on your senses, take a vacation- a vacation in your mind.

(Whining at it's Worst: Humorous Ad... click here!)

Fodder 4 Fathers: Featured Father(s) of the Week - Father Bloggers - The New Dad


This week, I am happy to add my name to a list of thousands of Father Bloggers tirelessly working toward a common goal. We don't do it for the fame or the fortune (most of the time), but rather we do our part because, if we didn't, no one else would. Each of us serves the same master, whether he's one-week-old or well into his twenties; whether she's cutting her first tooth or getting ready to go off to college. And we're in it to show the world that Dads are doing it for themselves, and we're just as involved when it comes to raising our kids.

So to all the Father Bloggers out there, thank you for the time and effort you put forth each week to innovate, educate and entertain, helping to spread the word that dads are worth a whole lot more than just their genetic material.

A special shout out to The Upbeat Dad- 50,000 views in 10 months is no small feat. Keep up the amazing work my friend! And an honorable mention to Anticipating Dad. Good luck with your new venture.

My hat's off to you gentlemen! You set the bar high for the rest of us to follow.

- Fodder 4 Fathers

Click for Video

THAT'S TWISTED SISTER: WHY MOM-BASED (BIASED) PUBLICATIONS ARE MISSING THE BOAT BY EXCLUDING NEW DADS

Click for Video Anthem
If I can be accused of anything (in terms of the information I provide), its not "skirting" the important issues as they pertain to parenthood. I don't dance around the truth- if anything, I like to tell it like it is. If you're looking for some flowery forum on the joys of changing diapers, you've come to the wrong place. Treat others as you would like to be treated, I say, and as a father who takes his role seriously, I want only two things: 1) the honest, ugly at times, truth, and 2) the deserved recognition that has eluded a new breed of fathers for years. Two things I have yet to find in most of the so-called "parenting" magazines (save one which you will find me supporting regularly).

So I ask the plethora of publications pandering to a new population of parents: How can you call yourself a "parenting" magazine if you cater mostly to mothers??? You're not fooling anybody with your recipes for how to make the perfect spinach salad for mommy group or your disappointing discussions on how to find the perfect head band for your baby- we all know who your target audience is, and, well, that hurts our feelings (the stay at home dads and the first-time fathers that deserve to be recognized for their efforts).  How are we supposed to feel like we are valued when you marginalize us on every page with your ads for nipple cream and your editorials on "how to deal with his meddling mother (as if yours is a prize)?"

Why don't you just come out and say it: "Dads, you're not worth our time because there's no money in it for us!" Sure, I applaud the efforts of an emerging group of father bloggers who do a fantastic job of pontificating the plight of New Dads, but we are just one small voice versus the thousands, if not millions, of compensated mommy bloggers that drown us out on every on-line outlet. Do you really think we don't get the pervasive message you are sending us... Mom's are important; Dads are an after-thought.

Am I insane for putting this on paper- possibly, as it will insure that I will never be approached to contribute commentary to any of these exclusive mediums, but that's not a worry of mine. What I do worry about is the message being sent to all the hard-working, hands-on fathers that feel like their contribution (beyond their genetic material) is unnecessary and/or unappreciated- not by their wives but by an industry and a society that doesn't see the dollar value in dad-dedicated diatribes (like this one).

So to all the "parenting" publications that choose to ignore the coming trend, what I call the "Fatherhood N' Force" movement, you are missing a great opportunity to reach an emerging market that has strength in numbers. Call yourselves whatever you want but "Parenting" is a word us fathers take very seriously and we don't appreciate your definition of the term, and we plan on reclaiming it very soon.

You've ignored us for too long, and we're not going to take it anymore!

Links:
http://www.parents.com/parenting/dads/issues-trends/new-face-of-fatherhood/
http://soc.sagepub.com/content/40/2/335.shorthttp://fatherhood.hhs.gov/CFSForum/front.htm
http://dadtrends.com/category/new-dads/
http://getdaddysomegin.com/?tag=2011-trends

Facebook Pages for Dads:

Fodder 4 Fathers
Single Dad Laughing
Diary of an Accidental Dad
How to be a Dad
Fatherhood isn't for Wimps
A Blogger and a Father
Dada Rocks
DadLabs
The Daddy Yo Dude
Daddy Mojo
Daddy Knows Less
Randomness of a stay-at-home dad
The Dude of the House
The Poop Deck Captain's Log Fan Page
One Funny Daddy
Daddy's in Charge
Daddy's Home. Inc.
WonderDads
Noah's Dad.com
Life of Dad
The Dad: Informed
All for my Boy
The Misanthropic Father
Clark Kent's Lunchbox
Empowered Papa
DadSquared
Life Before the Bucket
Dad Does it Different
Dad v Autism
Adventures in Fatherhood by Jeff Allanach
Single Daddy to Autism X3


Up and Coming On-Line Communities for Dads:

http://www.daddy-blogs.com/
http://www.daddybluez.com/
http://www.dad.info/
http://www.fathers.com/
http://dadcentral.ning.com/
http://www.dadlabs.com/
http://www.dads-space.com/
For more, check out the Fodder for Fathers Facebook Page, or visit us on Twitter to see who we follow. And if you "like us", don't be shy.

Fodder 4 Fathers Fights 4 Your Right to Par-take!

Join the revolution, and tell us your worst on-line parenting magazine experience in the comments section below:

Fodder Up! Part IV: Proper Car Seat Installation

At Fodder 4 Fathers, we make light of a lot of things; your child’s safety isn’t one of them. And the proper installation of your child’s car seat is just one of those things we won’t toy around with. We’re not putting together an Ikea bookshelf  here people, we’re ensuring that in the event of the unimaginable your child walks (rolls, crawls) away from a car accident. This isn’t about your pride, or bragging rights, so save your Do-It-Yourself projects for your basement bathroom- leave this one to the pros. This is Fodder Up!...Today’s installment (no pun intended): Car Safety Seats. 

"Let’s get it done right the first time, as there may not be a next time."

-Fodder 4 Fathers

Here's everything you need to know about installing a car seat, from choosing, purchasing, placing and securing this life saving piece of equipment, that when installed properly will also provide you with peace of mind...

Parenting Personified: The Six 'P's of Fatherhood


I'll be the first to admit it, I never thought I'd make a very good father. It's not because I didn't see myself as a dad, it's just that I didn't see myself as having all the key elements that make for a great one. I can be selfish, and stubborn, and lazy and unlikeable at times, and those aren't the qualities of a good father? Or are maybe they are?

We all bring something to the table, after all, a father shouldn't be judged solely on his worst qualities. Instead, he should be judged on the quality of his work- the role he fills in the family unit, and the example he sets for all men to learn from his example. By those standards, I may not be such a bad father after all. But it's nothing I learned from a manual, or a book, or a seminar, or a video- it was in me the whole time. It just took the right "person" to bring it out. Being a father is as easy or as hard as you make it out to be. It's simply a choice to either sink or swim; persevere or perish. It's merely a matter of taking the time to get to know someone - yourself.


The 6 P's of Fatherhood 

Great parenting is nothing more than choosing a set of beliefs and sticking to them (until they no longer work).  Maybe you're in to prayer and you incorporate that into the every day education of your children? Maybe you're a proponent of positive reinforcement, or punishment, or Paganism? I don't judge. We all have our own unique ways of raising our children. Let the experts fight it out for who is wrong and who is right. I just want to raise healthy, happy kids that move out of the house before the age of thirty. 

Here are the six things I believe all fathers must bring to the table in order to raise well-adjusted, confident, and competent children. I call them the 6 "P"s:  

F4F Suggests: 5 Cool Clothing Websites for Newborns and Toddlers

I'm always on the look-out for something new and unusual to deck out my daughter in. And the more retro the look, the better. Here's what I found on my latest on-line shopping trip... Enjoy!

Super Hero:
http://www.superherostuff.com/superhero-onesies.html 
Pop Culture:
http://www.custom-kingdom.com/childrens-clothing.html
More Pop Culture:  
http://www.shirts4squirts.com/vintagetees.aspx  
And More Pop Culture:  
http://www.theretrobaby.com/babyboy.html
Sports:  
http://shop.nhl.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=3169601

Be Kind, Rewind: 10 Fantasy Flicks Dads Can't Wait to Share with their Sons


There's a little boy in all of us (unless, it's a little girl, and since we don't discriminate you're welcome to stick around). He's an adventurer, out to save the world (or in most cases, his little part of it) and his imagination runs wild with delusions of grandeur, day dreams of defiance against authority, and dalliances in to dangerous territory. After all, what are little boys if not fearless, fun seeking, fist in the air rebels with a cause?

These are the films that made every eight-year-old mamas boy in the eighties want to go out and buy a whip, or a sword, or a light saber (and in some cases a microwave) to act out their greatest fantasy-being the hero. And, finally, you get to be one yourself by sharing your favorite films with the next generation of boy wonders.

Dads get ready for a trip down memory lane as we share our favorite flicks from the late 1970's and 80's- the classics you can't wait to watch with your favorite pint-sized adventurer.

This is Fodder 4 Father's Top Ten Fantasy Flicks from (in and around) the 1980's:

Fodder Up!: Learning Life Saving First Aid Techniques

It’s every parents worst fear- not knowing what to do in an emergency, especially when that emergency involves your child. But knowledge is power, and a few simple, easy to follow steps can mean the difference between life and death for your child. Every year thousands of children die needlessly simply because they didn’t get the help they so desperately needed in time. Don’t let your child, or somebody else’s, become a statistic. Fodder Up!- it’s time to learn CPR and other life saving first aid techniques…
It’s okay to prepare for the worst, as long as when the time comes to act you’re at your very best. - Fodder 4 Fathers

The ABCs of Potty Training: Getting Down to the Business of Doing Your Business

To me, being a parent is like being a salesperson- you spend a lot of time trying to convince your child to do things they may or may not be ready to commit to. This starts early on. First, you have to sell your infant on the value of sleep- both hers and yours- and its a hard sell because every kid is different and each requires a different strategy to make the sale.


Who Loves You Baby?: The Importance of "Free" Babysitting

 
When you decide to have a child for the first time, there are many factors to consider. For most, these considerations are usually the monetary, time and emotional investments a couple should weigh before endeavoring to conceive their first born. But there is one thing couples often overlook, and its something that can make the experience of having a child significantly less stressful: it's the number of available babysitters- preferably the ones who work for "free."

I'm talking about a network of friends and family that you can count on either to help you out in a pinch, or give you that all important night off to breathe and refocus. I'm talking Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, Zaidy and Bubbie, Abba and Ema (of a former generation), and a collection of Aunts and Uncles, both real or in name only.

These are your saviors; your serenity; the unsung heroes that selflessly say: "Take the night off. I've got this." These are the family members that really care, for both you and your child, and would do anything they can to lend a hand. Need a night off to reconnect with your spouse?: Call Grandma. Need a few hours to go to the doctor?: Call "Auntie" Michelle. Sure, she's got a newborn of her own, but she's got you covered. Need an afternoon to regain your sanity?: Call "Uncle Jordy"- sure, he may use your child to pick up chicks at the mall, but who cares. The point is, it really does take a village to raise a child, and you need as much support as you can get.

F4F Featured Reviews: Baby D's Product Pick of The Week


We all know how hard it can be to get our toddlers to eat their fruits and veggies. It's often a struggle just to get them to open their mouths long enough to slip by just a single spoonful of anything that could be good for them. So when the real thing is out of the question, we visit the store shelves looking for the next best thing.

So we took our expert, sixteen-month-old Dylan, to the grocery store and let her pick out two comparable products and asked her to do a taste test to see, once and for all, which was the more appealing of the two brands.This "blind" taste test (no blindfold necessary, since she can't yet read) compared the two brands on the criteria of texture, taste, nutrition, ease of use, and presentation. These are the results:

The Better Fruit Snack Taste Test: Mott's Fruitsations vs. Dole Squish'ems.

DADDY DON'T PLAY THAT: TEA TIME FOR TWO, JUST YOUR "PRINCESS" AND YOU

Alice in Wonderland Print www.bandagedear.com

The youngest of four boys, you can imagine my initial reaction when I first found out I was having a little girl. Oddly enough, my wife and I both had the same reaction, and she is a girl (one of five actually). And, its not that we have anything against girls, its more like we just never saw ourselves raising one. But, the big day comes and you hold your child in your arms and any preference you had, any preclusions, or prognostications, go right out the window, and you resolve yourself to the fact that you're the proud parent of a baby daughter- as scary as that is. And for the first two years, everything goes fine; you take the good with the bad: Pink suddenly becomes your favorite color, hair clips become the norm, and the guy who can't dress himself suddenly becomes a fashion genius when it comes to designing baby couture. But then the second birthday hits, and it's a whole new ball game. And as you sit there helping your daughter to open her presents - the kind of gifts all little girls would just love to have- it finally hits you: I have a DAUGHTER. Gulp!

FODDER UP!: BURPING A BABY

"Here! I smell a weapon of mass destruction coming on..."

Burping is an art form. Any eleven-year-old boy that can't burp the alphabet (forwards and backwards) is either not practicing hard enough, or asthmatic. But babies, well that's another story. Newborns especially need the help of a caring parent: you - the responsible, capable, exceptional father that you are (yes, I mean YOU, the guy who is trying not to make eye contact...with a computer screen). So stop trying to hand your kid off to your wife, or your mom, or some great, great aunt with rheumatism and a severe, Bette Davis style, case of the "shakes"- if it's your kid, it's your job. So grab yourself a burp cloth and a baby (preferably yours) and let's learn all about our topic of the day: burping.

THE ULTIMATE CAGE MATCH!: "SPIDER BABY" VERSUS "DIM-WITTED DAD"

The battle was inevitable (re: baby proofing). You can't cage the human spirit. When the mind desires to be free the body soon follows; no matter how large the obstacle; no matter what it takes. And it's not the size of your adversary one should worry about - its the strength of their resolve. It's a hard lesson, especially for new parents.

Sooner or later, the child that barely moved during the first few months of life slowly starts to strengthen once weak muscles and quickly becomes a force to be reckoned with. The child that could barely lift her head, or roll onto her back, soon masters the motor skills to rise to her knees and begin to crawl- the beginning of the end, as this soon leads to every parents worst nightmare: the walking child. It sneaks up on you- this new found streak of  independence- and fight it as you might, you can't win. All you can do is prepare for battle. And battle you will...

LETS GET READY TO RUMMMMMBLE....

TRUE DAT: THE STRAIGHT FACTS ON FIRST-TIME FATHERHOOD

PART SIX: THE TRADE-OFFS


And so continues our running tutorial on the ins and outs of first-time fatherhood: The Trade-Offs. It's been an interesting year to be sure - you went from being someone who had no idea what it meant to be a good husband to someone who had no idea what it meant to be a good dad to someone who got his act together in a very short period of time- kinda. By no means are you perfect, like me (ya, right), but you've resigned yourself to the fact that life as you used to know it is over, and this new life, what we call fatherhood- mixed with some husbandry (not the animal kind of course)- is what you're all about. You're the protector, the hunter/gatherer, the breadwinner... the guy who wanted to take paternity leave so he wouldn't miss his child's formative years or Victor Newman's last few years on the Yand R. You're a dad! Now suck it up...

If you thought the hard part was over- the pregnancy, the infancy, the corn-filled diapers that smelled like a nuclear fart-plosion- you are sadly mistaken. Taking care of a baby is the easy part - keeping up with the costs of having a baby is the hard part. In life, there are trade-offs, and there are TRADE-OFFS. When you

BAD MEDICINE: WHO REALLY 'CARES' FOR YOUR KID IN AN EMERGENCY?

I've never been a fan of the concept behind "barrier to entry." When you need (and I mean absolutely need) a service, you shouldn't be turned away at the door- especially not just because somebody else is having a bad day, or you're coming in at the eleventh hour. That doesn't sit well with me, nor should it. I've encountered this a few times- getting the Heisman- from the most unexpected places. Places where you'd expect people to care - but they don't.

The first time was at the vet. My dog ingested clumping cat litter (I knew this because the smell of cat shit on his breath and the gravely stool sample he left on my floor were a dead giveaway). I rushed him to my own veterinary clinic, a half-hour before closing, only to find an unfamiliar face staring blankly at me from behind the counter. "Do you have an appointment?" she said. "No." I said, "but I have a bit of an emergency..." "Don't care..." she said. "We're closed. Call back in the morning." I knew the attitude- strictly by the clock. The moment her shift was close to being up, her mind checked out and so did her humanity.

FODDER UP: PROPER DIAPERING TECHNIQUE 4 BEGINNERS

diaper tool belt
I'm always looking for new segments to help new parents (but more specifically dads) to step up and embrace their new responsibilities. And seeing as most first-timers feel like they've bitten off more than they can chew, I find its not enough to merely explain the ins and outs of dad-dom... Its so much easier to just show you how easy it can be.

This is Fodder Up: a new weekly series of videos, diagrams and product features to give you a broader view of how you can improve as a parent; one chunk at a time. Look for it right here every Wednesday. We hope you will find it both useful and informative. And we look forward to your feedback.

- Fodder 4 Fathers

BUT IT'S MY TURN TO PLAY WITH THE SCANNING GUN!: BABY REGISTRIES - A MAN'S GUIDE

To every first-time dad to be that uttered the words, "Baby Registry... my wife can do that," all I have to say is: Are you insane! Who lets a pregnant woman - with the hormones and the unpredictable mood swings and the hormones - shop alone for baby products? Lazy men who don't see the big picture, that's who! You think it's a waste of your time? Okay-  give your wife and two of her best friends carte blanche to go and pick out items from a showroom full of colorful clothing, cozy furniture and outrageously crazy prices, and we'll see what's worse- wasting your time, or wasting your (well, somebody else's) money.

In marketing, a need and a want are not the same. A need is something that you cannot do without. A want is something you merely convince yourself you cannot do without, until you actually don't need it, and either never use it or use it once, or let it sit in a box in the basement to grow mould and fungus. And you trust your pregnant wife (shhh...don't mention the hormones) to make that distinction? Hell no! So get your a$$ off the couch, and let's go... we're going to learn the ins and outs of registering for baby crap - man style. )

YOU GET MORE WITH "HONEY": HOW TO MAINTAIN HARMONY AFTER THE BIRTH OF A BABY

According to relationship author John Gray, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus," but if you ask me, trying to come to some agreement on how to overcome differing parenting styles when it comes to a newborn is like talking out of Uranus. What happens when you have two parents with different views on a subject they both know nothing about?: Nothing good. So the question is what to do about it? Sure, you can ask your parents for advice, but that's like asking your Mom to explain to you how to work a flat screen television when she still has a Sony Trinitron from 1988. Your parents are so far removed from parenting "children" that you'll be better off to do the exact opposite of everything they say knowing that the world has evolved quite dramatically since the days of laying an infant on their stomach to sleep, or better yet, the days when they used cod liver oil. So knowing that your parents are about as useful to you when it comes to rearing an infant as they were to you with your math homework, where else can you turn? Hint: to each other.