By Daddy Troy Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
My wife comes from a family of PhD’s who are voracious readers. She too is close to finishing her PhD, and like her family, she reads more than average. But she absolutely does not read at the table. Nor does she like for me to read at the table. And if our kids are at the table and I read, I am accused of being an antisocial, bad parent.
She would never use those words, for she is truly one of the kindest people I know. And her judgement is far less harsh. At the same time I can hear her tone from behind my newspaper. She is serious about this one. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: family breakfast, newspaper, reading Posted in Fatherhood |
By Daddy Clay Friday, June 19th, 2009
My first thought when I saw the print copy of the story: In the last eleven years, I have taken thousands of pictures of the kids; my wife, only one. And that one photograph ends up on the cover of USA Today. My second: Will mom be able to brag to her friends about her son in the paper wearing a tiara?
There is no other way to describe the experience of being featured in the widest circulation paper in the country: thrilling. I think for us at DadLabs, the best part was appearing in the same article with some of the leading academics and thinkers on the subject of fatherhood, like Aaron Rochlen from the University of Texas and Jeremy Adam Smith, author of “The Daddy Shift.” These are guys that we’ve followed for a long time, pored over their research and read their books. To be mentioned alongside is meaningful validation for us here.
It’s the presence of the all-star team of dad researchers, the clear reporting and the thoughtful analysis that make the article a good snapshot of where fatherhood is today in this country. All the credit for this goes to the writer, Sharon Jayson. From the moment of our first contact until today, she has been a consummate pro. One of the most satisfying moments of the week came when I learned the Rebel Dad himself, Brian Reid gave a nod of approval to the article. This gave me goosebumps because Brian is a tireless critic of the way mainstream media presents dads.
And this just in, the equally crotchety Daddy Types offers a backhanded endorsement of the article, congratulating USAToday for producing an excellent “token” story on involved dads. We’ll take it!
Again, all kudos go to Sharon.
So now to the question that has PR professionals all over the nation scratching their heads; How on earth did the doofuses at DadLabs score that kind of coverage?
It goes back to about 2003 when Troy and I started work on our book “Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts.” Now headed for a second edition, this sturdy little performer has defended it’s niche for over five years. So much so that when movie reporter for USAToday, Anthony Brenzican was looking for an “expert” on teen filmmakers to quote in his article on director Kevin Smith, he called me.
We talked a bit about DadLabs, but we were clearly outside his beat. He generously gave me the names and emails of a couple of reporters that might be interested and suggested that I pitch them a story. Which I did instantly. I heard back from Sharon; she wasn’t really interested in the book (I had a copy sent anyway), but said she was working on something that might be right for us.
She published a piece on moms and dads sharing the domestic load without mention of DadLabs, and a fewf weeks went by, so I figured that was that.
One afternoon I get a phone call, and it’s Sharon. She’s seen the book and she’d like to include us in a story she’s writing. And, by the way, did we remember her two kids. They want to the school where Brad, Troy and I worked for ten years. Troy had taught her daughter Physics.
Has the article changed our lives or the business drastically? We certainly saw an uptick an traffic and in Amazon rank, the phone rang a lot, and it was generally really cool. It certainly didn’t hurt. But it will take several weeks before we know what the real impact was.
One thing is certain, if you ever want to know which of your friends are staying in hotels on any given day, get your mug on the cover of USAToday.
Tags: aaron rochlen, jeremy adam smith, newspaper, usa today Posted in DadLabs |
By Daddy Troy Thursday, June 11th, 2009
DadLabs is in the Austin Chronicle Today!
Tags: austin chronicle, newspaper Posted in DadLabs |
By Daddy Clay Friday, July 11th, 2008
My oldest recently celebrated his tenth birthday (Happy Birthday, Bubba), which means that I’ve been in this parenting business for an even decade now. So perhaps it’s time to reflect on that experience for a moment. Because, after all, it’s all about me.
So, as a result of being a parent for the last ten years, am I happier? The question, raised most recently in an editorial in the Charlotte Observer, is one that pops up from time to time in the media, and also in the minds of veteran parents. A number of studies, including those cited in the article, have answered the question “Are parents happier than their childless peers?” with a resounding “no.”
My wife and I spent many years together reading newspapers on Sundays, going to movies without animated characters, and generally trying to figure out what to do with all the disposable income, so I get it. Since then, I’ve had my share of kids power vomiting on airline flights, producing blowout diapers in carseats, injuring themselves, and generally worrying the hell out of me, but would I really be happier if I were childless?
No, but I’m not sure that’s inconsistent with the studies.
The problem with these studies is that they depend on self-reporting, and it’s tough for any one person to both be a parent and childless in a given moment to decide which makes them happier. And how can we be sure that the impulse to remain childless is not linked with the tendency to self-report happiness?
Are there any twin studies out there comparing the childless twin to a parent twin?
And, as an imagination exercise, what would your childless twin look like? Maybe a little skinnier and better rested, but happier?
For me, I don’t think that there is an alternative. I am who I am. Not being a parent means not being me. Happier or not happier seems irrelevant. If I were not a parent, I would be less myself.
Besides that, I’m happy (bonus), thanks in large part to my kids. Starting with my oldest. Almost exactly a decade ago.
What do you think of these studies?
Tags: article, childless, happiness, newspaper, studies Posted in Fatherhood |
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