Archive:  June 20th, 2011

You might know Michael Boatman from such television shows as “China Beach,” “The Good Wife” and “Gossip Girl.”

Oh wait, fatherhood website…got it.

You might know Michael Boatman from such television shows as “Spin City,” “Arli$$” and “Law & Order: SVU.” He’s a father, and recently, motherhood-site-masquerading-as-parenthood-site ParentDish put up an editorial from him for Father’s Day. We’re covering this as part of our “Post Father’s Day Extraveganza,” which will stretch into, god knows, tomorrow or Wednesday. Basically, so much Father’s Day stuff came out while we were busy with our families that we couldn’t hope to get it to you in time. So, we didn’t.

Anywho, Michael Boatman’s little editorial is a nice reminder that celebrity fathers are real fathers too. We like to imagine that movie and television stars all have assistants and nannies, so it’s good for us to hear about real celebrity parenting like this. Michael Boatman also had a father that walked out on his family, so it’s been important for him to be there for his kids.

Boatman’s got a little something to say to fathers that walk out on their families as well. “I think of the fathers who go off to find some imaginary better life, and all the tragedy that leaving causes,” he says. “They’ll never know the joys, the laughter, the adventures that only come with time spent loving and raising your children.”

Sauce: ParentDish

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We skipped this one last week but knew that somehow, we’d have to come back to it: the quality of a father’s parenting will have an effect on a daughter’s sex life.

Bruce J. Ellis and company threw down a study that included 59 pairs of sisters in divorce-affected families and 42 pairs from “intact” families. Ellis found that while just living with a father didn’t have an effect on the daughter’s sexual activity (see last paragraph for a caveat), he found that fathers doling-out “high-quality” parenting greatly reduced the likelihood of risky sexual behavior. Poor parenting on the father’s part, however, increased the likelihood of such activity – things like sex without a condom, teenage sex and intoxicated sex.

I won’t question exactly how Dr. Ellis figured out these girls would or did have drunk, condomless sex before the age of 19. I’m assuming that’s just another thing doctors do. And I’m glad I have a son.

Also, if you’re not a numbers-kind-of-guy, you know we’ve mentioned before that nearly every chick that’s been featured on MTV’s “16 & Pregnant” has had an absent father. Though Ellis’ current study doesn’t support the “father’s here, you’re in the clear” outcome, Ellis actually did another study in 2003 that concluded that teens without fathers were twice as likely to engage in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent. SEVEN. Facts on that can be found at the National Fatherhood Initiative‘s site.

So now that we’ve got facts, can we vote to have Dr. Ellis leave these teen girls alone?!

US News

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My dad listened to the Eagles. I listen to Dr. Dre…is that on there somewhere?

They also forgot: If your dad listened to Pink Floyd, you probably listen to…Pink Floyd.

Sonos

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Are you two daddies?

As a developmental psychologist, I spend a lot of time chatting with kids. I was talking to four-year-old girl recently and the name “David” entered our conversation. Here is a short transcript of the conversation that followed:

Girl: My daddy’s name is David!

Me: Really?!? That’s great. You know what…my little boy’s name is David too!

Girl: You have a baby?

Me: Yes.

Girl: Can he walk?

Me: No.

Girl: Does he sleep in a crib?

Me: Yes.

Girl: Are you two daddies?

Up until this point, this conversation was pretty standard stuff, but this question stumped me. After a few minutes of question and answer, I figured out that the little girl had seen me working alongside my research assistant (a twenty-something young man), and she was either asking me if I was gay or if he was my partner in raising my son. Whatever her motivation for asking if I was “two daddies,” I was pleasantly surprised that such a young girl had been exposed to the wide variety of ideas about what constitutes a family.

If you want your child to be as awesome as this little girl, or if you own family is a little different in some way, I want to recommend Tom Parr’s books. Three of his books are particularly good. It’s OK to be Different is about accepting the many ways that people are different. If you’re an average family, a mixed race family, a mixed religion family, or if you’re two daddies (or two mommies), check out The Family Book. Finally, Parr’s book on adoption, We Belong Together, is an awesome way to talk to an adopted child about their place in your family.

Sauce: Todd Parr

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