What is the significance of 88 miles per hour? And what in the heck does that have to do with being a dad?

Here are a few hints…

Doc Brown. Marty McFly. Flux capacitor. DeLorean. Biff Tannen.

Still no clue?

Back to the Future

Back in 1985, Back to the Future hit movie theaters and likely resulted in far too many teenagers trying to get their car up to 88 miles per hour to see if they could time travel.

I’m sure I would have had I been 16 at the time.

Okay, so what does time travel have to do with Atypical Dad or being a dad?

Looking back at blog history

Quite a few years ago, at least in terms of technology, I was authoring a dad blog named Dad Balance that was part of the wildly popular and successful eMoms At Home network of blogs.

At the time, you could practically count the number of dad blogs on one hand.

Despite publishing some really great content focused on the issues that dads were facing, there wasn’t a very big audience consuming that type of information. Dads putting their families before their careers? There were some doing it, but not many talking about it.

Fast forward a number of years and now there are many more dads actively involved and stressing balance of their career and their family. Dads are staying home and raising their kids. Dads are helping at schools.

With my parenting book being published, I am reviving my dad blog – albeit in a new home – and looking forward to connecting with more dads.

Reversing prior mistakes

As dads, or parents in general, there are bound to be situations or decisions that you wish you could go back in time and do differently.

Some of those scenarios are trivial, but others are much more significant and may have had a long-lasting impact on you, your kids, and your family as a whole. While I’ve yet to hear of anyone actually pulling off time travel, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

Own your mistakes.

By that I mean, don’t just sweep your mistakes under the rug and ignore them. Making mistakes comes with the territory of being a parent. You don’t need to be perfect.

But when you do make a mistake, it is essential that you address that with your family. Sit down with your kids and explain to them that you tried your best and did what you thought was right at the time, but that you were wrong and you are sorry.

Read that last paragraph again.

In those couple of sentences, there are years of parenting advice.

Always put forth your best effort. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you do make a mistake, apologize to those impacted and learn from your mistake. Be resilient and keep growing as a person. Be honest and treat your loved ones with respect.

Just because your mistake may have happened days, weeks, or months ago, that doesn’t mean it is too late to own your mistakes.

By doing this, you will not only be setting a positive example for your children but depending on the situation you may even be freeing your child of a burden that they have been carrying. The burden of doubting the lessons you’re teaching them when they see you acting to the contrary; the burden of resentment they might feel for being wronged.

Pedal to the metal

As we continue racing towards our goal of being the best dad that we can be, and being the dad our kids need, remember the importance of not only talking the talk but also walking the walk.

Whether your kids are learning to crawl or learning to drive, they are watching us more closely than we often give them credit.

For that reason, one of the most important things that we can do as dads is to ensure that our actions reinforce our message. If not, we are delivering a mixed message to our children and they will have a difficult time understanding, or trusting, what we are teaching them.

By doing this, we will have less of a need to travel back in time to repair mistakes and we will be building a better future for ourselves and our kids.

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Week 9

You know how they (one of these days I’d really like to meet this damn group of people) say time flies? Well, I can attest to that as it has been a long time since I created this blog with the intentions of writing about life as an outcast among the khaki and polo shirt clad dads.

So why go through a rebirth of the blog now?

Earlier today Jaws went through a transformation of sorts as he had his braces installed (is there a better word for what they do?) and now he is learning how to live with tin teeth. Knowing he was at the orthodontist today had me reflecting on those moments as a dad where you need to make your kid smile and feel better about themselves, like they do for you so many times.

When I got home from work I was surprised to see him in a really good mood about having a mouth full of metal and there was no need to cheer him up – other than the fact that he was relieved to see I picked up the Motrin on my way home as his teeth were getting uncomfortable.

As I sat there listening to him tell me about the experience of getting braces and him showing me the bag of goodies he received for free (ahem, if you ignore the thousands we are spending for the braces) I could not help but think that the braces make him look older. Sure, he is talking a little funny right now and learning how to deal with the feeling of the braces in his mouth.

But for some reason it all makes him look older than the age of 12 that he will be as of this coming Saturday.

With the stories of the day digested and my plans for being Super Dad going unneeded, it made me think of this blog and what I once intended for it to be. Being a dad is such a significant part of my life and there is no question that my kids give me plenty to be proud about, as well as plenty to make me want to curse them out until I realize they’re doing the same things that I did as a kid.

We’ll see where this journey takes us and there is no question that it will be an interesting ride!

Right now I need to wrap things up and join G*Slick in coming up with nicknames for his brother. So far we have the following:

Metal Mouth, Tinsel Teeth, Tin Grin, Brace Face, Jaws (which you will note he actually likes and wants to be called given his love of James Bond movies) and Train Tracks.

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Thanks for stopping by this little corner of the Interweb and taking a moment to discover, share, and discuss what makes one an atypical dad as opposed to a typical dad.

There may be but a single space visually separating “a typical” from “atypical” but in all reality, the two are worlds apart.

Or are they?

What some would consider to be atypical is quite normal to others – it all really depends on your perspective and the environment that you find yourself. Some might look at me and think that the piercings and shaved head are unusual for a dad of two while there are others that find that to be the norm rather than the exception.

Here at Atypical Dad we will cover a wide range of topics that may or may not be things that the typical dad is discussing.

So stick around and find out whether you’re a typical dad or an atypical dad. Regardless of the answer to that question, one thing is sure to be typical and that is that we all want to be the best fathers that we can be. Together we will share our rants about our kids, our wives, and our jobs while also sharing tips that make life easier and more enjoyable.

Typical or atypical – how much difference is there really?

Oh yeah…if you’re interested in learning how the other half lives, you might want to check out what they have to say over at Screaming Moms.

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