Author Archives: Darrell - Modern Father Online

Why Does Our Son Want Mummy and Daddy To Get Divorced?

Divorced Dads

Our first born son told me last night that he wants Mummy and Daddy to split up and live in separate houses. I was taken aback by this. His reason for this shocked me. Later in the night once both our sons were asleep I told my wife the story.

Last night we had our very first parent and teacher interview. They are so much different from “back in my day” when my mum and dad went on their own to meet with my teacher to discuss my progress. Off memory, they were once a year. Now I believe many schools have them twice a year. The most important change that I see however is that they are now three-way conferences; teacher, parent/s and child.

Our son’s teacher displays progress charts on the walls of the classroom. These have the smiling faces of each child showing their progress and levels achieved over disciplines such as mathematics (recognition of numbers, ability to count to 50, or 100, or higher, simple addition, etc.) as well as English (knowledge of sight words, level of ability in reading, etc).

A few times throughout the year parents have been invited into the classroom to check out these progress charts and our son has ranked in the top group in four of the five disciplines in mathematics, and in the second group for one, whilst he has been in the top groups for most of the word related disciplines as well. When the teacher relayed this to us last night, it did not come as a surprise to me.

When she told us that his writing was the thing we most needed to work on, well, having seen his hand writing and spelling, that also did not surprise me. What did surprise me however were the events that happened next.

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An Open Letter To My First Born Son About World War 1

Today I am writing my second open letter. This time to our first born son (he’s the only one who can read or fully comprehend this when I read it to him tonight).

Dear Cadel,

Today is 28th July 2014. Exactly 100 years ago today the Great War began; at least that’s what they called it back then. Just as the first Rocky movie wasn’t called Rocky I, and the first Rambo wasn’t called Rambo I, and even Star Wars wasn’t called Star Wars I (although the following sequels were never referred to as Star Wars II or Star Wars III until the prequels were made, and then they became Episodes IV, V and VI respectively), The Great War didn’t know it would have a sequel.

Actually, I think so you might better understand it if I use one of your movie titles because I know we’ve had this discussion a million times. The reason it doesn’t say Ice Age 1 on the first Ice Age DVD cover is because when they made the first movie they didn’t know they it would be well received and therefore they didn’t know that they would make Ice Age 2, Ice Age 3, or Ice Age 4. I know it took me many arguments with you after I suggested you “watch Ice Age 1″ to get this through to you, but I know you understand this now.

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Should Men Be Banned From Working In Childcare?

child carer abused child

While I was having my lunch today I did what I do most days and I read the news online to see those stories they aren’t talking about on the radio (I mostly listen to talk-back radio when I’m driving around for work). I was on the new website for National Nine News when I noticed a rather shocking headline in the top news section.

South Australia Abuse Shock: Men could be banned as child carers after sexual assault case

And here’s the link I saw;

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Why Does Greenpeace Think We Are Raising Our Children To Be Sheep?

Greenpeace Shell Lego

I’m going to start this with a disclaimer. My wife gets Greenpeace information emailed to her and together we both donate to the organisation each year. We support many of their campaigns and believe they are a great organisation who is doing a worthy job. And we thank them for their drive to end the slaughter of whales. But their latest campaign leaves a bad taste in my mouth…

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Why This Morning Was A Leap Forward For Stay At Home Dads In This Country

house husbands

This morning was a pretty big deal for stay at home dads. If you were watching either or both of the top rating breakfast shows in Australia, Today (a.k.a The Today Show) on Channel 9 or Sunrise on Channel 7 you would have seen interviews with stay at home dads.

The first interview was with an American dad, Mike Cavender from Daddy Fishkins whose Apology to Stay-At-Home-Mums went viral last week on all of those regular professional reblogging and news aggregator websites around the world including here in Australia, hence his interview on Australian television.

The second interview was with Australia’s own Clint Greagen from Reservoir Dad who according to an article by the UK’s Daily Mail earlier this year is “Australia’s most successful ‘daddy blogger’.” Although Clint is from the “rival” city of Melbourne, he has been welcomed by us friendly Sydneysiders today as he launches his new book Reservior Dad (yes, his book title and blog title match), in a few book-stores in Sydney and appears on two national television shows, both which are filmed in studios in this fair city.

What’s the big deal you ask? Oh, stay with me…

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Do You Want To Write A Dad Blog?

Do you want to write a dad blog

Do you want to write a dad blog?
Write a blog about your kids?
And maybe write about the things you do
Like cleaning up the poop and finding a clean bib?

I know it’s kind of crazy
That a dad might care
Enough to write these things down
Do you want to write a dad blog?
It doesn’t have to be a dad blog…

When it comes to parenting blogs, those written by mothers outweigh fathers by a ratio of lots more to not as many (source: trust me, I know these things). When I joined my writer’s group on Facebook called Dad Bloggers there were a little over 300 in the group. Almost 12 months after joining we are a few short of 800 and the group is still growing.

The thing that I like about this group of writers is that whilst we are all chest beating alpha males (not true but) men all the same, with opinions of our own, and arguments about whether Star Wars is better than, well, life itself, we can basically agree on one thing and one thing alone; we all want to be great dads and we want to encourage each other to be great dads and we want to have a dragnet effect over all fathers, bloggers and non-bloggers alike and promote being a great dad as an important part of a man’s life ***and breath***.

Well, one who is a dad that is. But it’s more than that.

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Do 4 Year Old Kids Really Ask 437 Questions A Day, Or Is That A Myth?

toddler asks 437 questions per day 7

I’ve written many times about the memes that get shared on Facebook by parenting pages1, mothers who blog2, and mothers who have their own business and sell online from home3. I have pulled many of these apart and criticised their rampant sexism towards or exclusion of fathers, or the need for every mother to share their love of wine, coffee and bacon.

Around Oscar time, this was shared by almost every parent I know

Around Oscar time, this was shared by almost every parent I know

I have even made reference recently to the fact that the same memes get shared by every single page, over and over again so that the same meme keeps popping up in my news feed on a regular basis. I’m a little like Rain Man in the sense that I have a pseudo savant syndrome with the ability to remember the most inane things. The reason I mention this is because I have this crazy ability to remember that certain pages I follow share the same meme semi-regularly and I often wonder if the person or people who administer that page know this themselves.

Just this week however, a meme that I have seen shared many times over the years that I’ve been on Facebook has been shared by what seems like a dozen pages in the last few days. When a new meme is created and it goes viral, no doubt, like me, you see it get shared by everyone (like the one about Frozen I have shown here). But the one that has been repeatedly shared this week isn’t new and isn’t related to a recent news story or viral blog post.

And today I saw a new variant of this which inspired me to write about it because I believe that the fact suggested is a myth, or at the very least, it’s exaggerated.

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The Mummy Blogger Wars Have Just Jumped Genders

Have you read the newspaper today? Well not the paper newspaper, the online version. Who reads the paper version still except for those who have it delivered to their hotel room, or those who have visited a tourist attraction sponsored by a newspaper where they’re giving them out for free. Anyway, I digress…

At about 4am Sydney time this morning after watching Australia in the FIFA World Cup I had trouble getting back to sleep so I jumped on Facebook where I saw a story shared by one of my fellow Dad Bloggers. It was the story about that Mommy Blogger in the US who has been charged with poisoning her son using salt to overload his sodium levels so she could blog about it and achieve clicks via sympathetic measures.

Last night before the State of Origin (yes it was a big nine hours for Australian sport last night), I was tipped off about a, let’s call it “shit fight” happening between two of Australia’s biggest Mummy Bloggers by one of my loyal followers and readers; This evening as I checked out the online news I saw that the fight moved from off of social media and has hit the traditional media outlets. Yes those Mommy (US)/Mummy (AUS) Bloggers are making international news headlines, and some for all the wrong reasons.

Katrina Springer who blogs under The Organised Housewife was surprised to find out that another parenting site had bought some domain names similar to hers and had them redirected to their own website so that they could pick up readers who had entered the wrong URL or simply typed “Organised Housewife” into Google without prefixing it with the word “The.”

Of course the owner of the (I hesitate to call it this but) rival website produced an apology video and the offending similar domain names are now redirected not to the rival site, but to random Wikipedia pages. I’m not going to mention the other site because as of today they are ranked as the 132,486th most popular website in the world and are run as a big business enterprise whereas The Organised Housewife which is currently ranked as the 198,441st most popular site is still run by an individual mum who blogs.

It’s funny, but the most popular Dad Blogger in Australia currently is Clint Gregan who writes under the title of Reservoir Dad is currently ranked as the 620,587th most popular website in the world and yet I don’t believe that he’s gunning to knock those Mum Bloggers of their perch by joining in on this. In fact, it would seem that he, like many other great bloggers who are also fathers (yes Oren Miller, I’m talking about you), Clint is part of a conglomerate website called Aussie Dad Bloggers which is made up of 20 bloggers who write about being fathers, each having their own website but sharing through this site.

To cut to the chase; Dad Bloggers do not compete, they join forces, much like Voltron and tackle this world of parenting blogging together. Well, that WAS until now. Let me explain…

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How Teaching Children About Sports Is The Same As Teaching Them About Religion.

different types of football balls

The World Cup is currently underway. Oh sure, there’s many of them (world cups that is), but in many parts of the world those two words are interchangeable with FIFA World Cup.

I’m sure that just like my one, your Facebook’s news feed is filled with friends, family, acquaintances, companies, and pages you follow sharing quips, memes and links about this quadrennial sporting event. There’s plenty of memes being shared by passionate followers of the game, many paying out on their opposing teams, many singling out a player whether he’s on an opposing team in their pool, or just a player of note worth “bringing down.”

And then there’s those other memes. The ones shared by those who are not fans of the World Game (yes, that’s seriously a title given to this sport). And there are distractors of this event who will inevitably start or join in on what might be one of the greatest debates in the modern history of this planet…

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