If you havent seen the video
of North Carolina dad Tommy Jordan and his gun-toting tirade, the reaction to his daughters disrespectful words may seem a bit over the top. However, the IT company owner and proud father has become a YouTube sensation, amassing a whopping 26 million views in just over a week. If youre in need of a back-story, Mr. Jordan caught wind of his daughter making slanderous remarks about her parents on Facebook.
After reading the unflattering comments left by his daughter, Hannah, on her Facebook wall, Jordan went into his own eight-minute video rant about the things he and his wife have provided for their child, and ended off the video in explosive fashion. Jordan unloads eight shots from a .45 pistol into the laptop, which reportedly gained the man a visit from the authorities, including Child Protective Services. Unapologetic about his reaction and not facing charges, Jordan says the family is closer as a result of what happened although hes faced a bunch of tough criticism.
On the other side of the negative remarks however, Jordan has amassed a few fans of his version of tough love. While I can appreciate the sentiment behind Jordans actions, the use of the gun is where I hop off the train. I cant endorse using violence to hammer home a point. In a series of news polls done on almost every major media outlet, voters are mostly in approval of Jordans actions. Even Dr. Phil himself said he was entertained
more than appalled by the video clip.
Disciplining your child is a necessary thing for fathers to administer, although Id argue that its an often difficult thing to do correctly. As children grow older, they have the potential to challenge their parents patience in a variety of ways. I dont imagine Id ever resort to shooting my daughters electronic equipment in order to get her to follow my lead. I hope that my words, steady presence and loving devotion is enough to make sure my child honors not only her parents, but also herself.
How about you, Father Factor readers? What do you think about what Tommy Jordan did? Tell us in the comments below or tweet to us at @FatherFactor
. You can also comment on our Facebook page by following this link
Over the weekend, the music world was shaken by the death of celebrated pop and R&B diva Whitney Houston on the eve of the Grammys. I still cant believe shes gone, especially after reading she was on her way to performing and recording again. A lot of speculation about Whitneys death has swirled about, and Ive largely chosen to ignore what Ive been hearing simply because I prefer to remember her as being on a triumphant comeback trail.
Whitneys mother Cissy Houston, a renowned singer in her own right, and Whitneys famous cousin Dionne Warwick were typically the only family members fans heard about. Little was ever said about Whitneys late father, John. However, I searched the Web and found that Whitney and John had a much closer relationship than what has been reported in the past. In this undated video clip
, Whitney is shown singing to her father on her birthday during a concert sometime in the 1990s. Its clear in the clip that she loved her father, although alleged legal troubles between the two became tabloid fodder.
I wont bore you with the details over owed money and estates, but rather focus on the fact that at one point, Whitneys father acted as her mentor and business manager. John even created a company, John Houston Enterprises, to help his daughter maintain her business affairs. The same firm later negotiated a record $100 million dollar, six-album deal in 2001 for Whitney, one of the largest contracts on record.
Whitney was never candid about she and her fathers relationship, but did defend her dad by saying that a $100 million dollar lawsuit in 2002 brought by John Houston Enterprises had nothing to do with him, but rather, a greedy business associate of her father. John, who suffered from diabetes and heart troubles, passed away a year later during the proceedings, and the business partner didnt win one cent.
I came across a 2002 MTV interview featuring Whitney Houstons spokesperson Nancy Seltzer that touched on the lawsuit. When I spoke to John a week and a half ago, he said, 'It's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of. I couldn't do anything like that, and I didn't,'' Seltzer said. ''It's sad. It's two people who love each other who seem to be dragged into this public situation, which is neither of their own doing.
It doesnt comfort me knowing that all her life Whitney Houston has had to live under the glare of the public eye. She never seemed to adjust to fame and money; she was just a girl from New Jersey with a dream, undeniable beauty and a voice from heaven. What does comfort me, is that a genuine love between a father and his daughter existed, no matter the forces that tried to tear them apart.
Reports have come out that Whitney will be laid to rest this weekend in New Jersey, right next to her father as she requested a time ago. Perhaps now, her troubled soul can rest comfortably next to the man who gave her life and love, just as it should be.
Childbirth is, without doubt, the most miraculous event of a fathers life. Whether hes a new dad or experienced papa, being part of helping to create a new life is a tremendous gift and honor for any father. Unfortunately, Mark Aulger wont be able to experience any more births or spend time with his children as they grow. However, Mr. Aulger was able to see
his youngest child come into the world just as his own life was coming to an end.
Texas parents Mark and Diane Aulger had been raising a family of four together while awaiting the birth of the fifth baby. Mark was diagnosed with colon cancer last April, with his health reaching critical levels in last month. After a final diagnosis gave Mark just days to live, the father asked for one last wish to hold his baby. Bravely, his wife underwent C-section surgery in order to honor her husbands wishes. Baby Savannah was born on January 18, right next to her father.
Weak from the cancer, Mark was only able to hold his child for moments at a time. Just days later, Mark slipped into a coma and eventually passed away on January 23 fighting for as long as he could to see his baby girl. Mark and Dianes devotion to each other is touching and while saddened, the family is determined to keep dads name alive. We're living day-to-day as if dad's still here," Diane said. "We know dad is here with us. They [the children] talk to dad. Mark was a very funny, funny dad.
It is amazing to witness the strength of Diane Aulger, as she has to raise five children on her own. It is equally touching to see that as a father, Mark Aulger left behind a legacy worth upholding. That his family wont dare forget the man and what he represented speaks volumes to what he meant as a father to his family. One photo (which can be seen here
) shows the entire family surrounding their dad as baby Savannah rests on his chest. The photo perfectly captures how much they loved the man.
While his family may wish Mark was still here to continue his duties as a dad, they made his untimely passing as comfortable as they could. Giving Mark his dying wish, the Aulgers can rest well knowing they will continue honor him the best way they know how.
I think most folks who know me wouldnt dare commend me on my sartorial tastes although Ive been known to look nice in a suit or two. I always admired watching my grandparents go out on their dates when I was much younger; my grandfather loved nothing more than a crisp button-down shirt and an expertly matched tie. I quietly envied his ability to always look sharp no matter the occasion.
I didnt know how to put on a tie when I was a kid. For church, my mother gave me a array of clip-on ties to choose from and for a while, thats all I knew. I didnt learn how to wear a necktie until I was 22 years of age. I can even tell you the month. It was June of 1995. It was the day of my very first official job interview to work at a mailroom for a large corporation in Washington. I thought that it was time I graduated from clip-on ties to a real one. All of my friends were just as clueless as I was about ties, so I called my father in a long shot to ask for his help.
My father and I, to this day, are not close. We were especially estranged at this point although he lived just 2 miles north from me. I took a chance calling him, after so many disappointing days and nights he would promise to see me and wouldnt show up. The pain of his absence and the longing for my father still exists today. However on a hot summer day, my father heeded my call.
He came to my mothers house, beaming. I wanted my dad to be proud of me. I tried to tie the necktie myself, making a mockery of it. My father, with his big laugh, stood in front of me and said, son, let me show you what to do. He doesnt know this but it was like being five years old again. When I was in kindergarten, my dad took me to see the classic Sci-Fi film Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
. To this day, Ill watch the movie and Ill pretend Im at the Landover Drive-In in his big sedan watching it with him.
Much like that moment, I hold on to the tie lesson because it was one of the few times my father showed he cared about me. He actually was close enough for me to hug him but I feared I would push him away with my emotions. I just held all of those feelings of wanting my dad deep inside. The lesson was a painful reminder of all the things I wish he taught me as a boy that I missed out on in the 17 years he left our home.
Its been nearly 17 years since that moment. 17 years Ive been putting on my necktie the same way my dad showed me on that day. I refuse to learn any other method for the most selfish reason in the world. Its the only thing tangible of my father I have, the only proof that at some point my father may have actually loved me.
It doesnt hurt as much these days to know all I have are brief memories and small moments with my father. Im slowly trying to heal from the absence although Im not out of the woods yet. For now, I find satisfaction in putting on my tie and knowing my dad taught me a skill that Ill value for life.
There are two reasons people watch the Super Bowl every year. Mainly, the championship game is the centerpiece for diehard football fans. For those casual watchers of the sport, the expensive and typically entertaining commercials in between happen to be the draw.
Over the years, some companies have pandered to the mostly male audience with images that gratuitously cater to the oversexed nature of our world today. However, some noble attempts were made to steer away from the typical fare offered on Super Bowl Sunday.
Ronald McDonald House Charities offered a moving commercial centered
on a family rallying around a young boy who is suffering with leukemia. With images flashing of the boys family members all showing support as he goes through therapy in images, the clip ends sweetly with the young man backed with love, as he should be.
Another great commercial
was that of perennial tough guy Clint Eastwood and his classic gruff voice talking about Americas resolve in tough times for Chrysler Auto. One of the longer commercials at just over two minutes, the impression left behind is lasting.
A nice change of pace was Kia Optimas Dream Car For Real Life spot
in where the mythical sandman comes in to sprinkle dream dust on a sleeping couple. While the figure douses the wife just a dab of the magic powder, an accident has the sandman dumping half a bucket on her husband. The result: the husbands macho dreams are amped up to ridiculous levels while his wifes dreams are sweet and simple. A neat twist was at the end; the husband breaks past his dreams to crash his wifes serene party and whisks her off into the sunset all while driving the Kia, naturally.
According to Boston ad agency Mullen and their fourth annual Brand Bowl
, Go Daddy was the least liked brand shown during the Super Bowl. The Internet domain name provider applied its typical lowbrow antics, employing longtime spokesperson Danica Patrick scantily clad in a version of heaven most likely conjured by the dream of high school aged boys. Once again using sex to sell its product, Go Daddy saw a huge number of negative tweets with replies growing tired of the companys shtick.
Go Daddy has the dubious distinction of using a word in their company name daddy and cheapening it to the point that it nearly derails the power of the title. Real daddies dont sit around objectifying women at every turn or are consumed by lust. Some daddies are content to save that energy for the woman they love and to share only his best for his children. Instead of Go Daddy, perhaps more Stay daddy in the mainstream could help eliminate some of the negative connotation that the company applies to the word.
Lets hope next year that companies like Go Daddy realize fathers are at home watching the game with their families, and perhaps use their platform for something other than cheap visual gags and silly humor.
In my previous job, I traveled around the country quite a bit by airplane. I got a kick out of seeing military personnel returning home to loved ones at some of the international airports I visited, and I loved seeing families and friends hugging and crying with one another after reuniting. I always imagined what a deep feeling of relief it was for families, especially fathers, who were deployed abroad to come back home to loving arms.
This week, a little girl in Utah got the surprise of her life
during a show-and-tell in her elementary school class. Five-year-old Baylee was speaking in front of her kindergarten class talking about the things she loves. As her teacher helps her with the presentation, she then points to a photo of her father, which makes Baylee perk up a bit. The teacher then points to the left and her dad walks in with little Baylee leaping into her dads arms so excited, the cute kid loses a shoe!
I defy anyone, no matter how tough they are, to hold back tears of joy after hearing Baylee excitedly wrap her arms around her father Sgt. Adam Page. How did you ever make it, said Baylee repeatedly as dad was overcome with emotion. Watching Sgt. Page hold his daughter was a priceless moment that none will ever forget.
Sgt. Page had been deployed to Afghanistan, and has since returned to his native Utah. It will be the first time hes lived with his family since the birth of his little one. One must wonder, how tough was it on this dad while he was away from his family. I was away from my daughter for just 8 months once for work, and I was so sad without her. I cant imagine the weight dads who serve in the name of our country have to carry.
Thankfully, there are resources and other helpful things that can assist military fathers while theyre deployed abroad. Video chats, email, letters and even simple phone calls can help ease the pangs caused by the distance. The rewards, if dads and families can be patient and loving, are moments like we saw between Baylee and Adam. It is beyond obvious that as much as he could be, Sgt. Page was a solid fixture in his childs life.
For military dads soon to be deployed or already serving abroad, NFI offers a handy resource called Deployed Fathers & Families: Guide For Military Personnel. This guide provides fathers with great tips such as managing money, taking care of medical needs, and also covers legal matters as well. Click here to learn more about our offerings for military dads
And dont forget theres just a few days left to nominate a military dad for NFIs annual Military Fatherhood Award! Click here to nominate a military dad today!
Voting ends this Sunday, February 5 at 11:59 PM EST!
While Detroit Tigers fans are no doubt celebrating the signing of All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder, the slugger returns to the place where his father Cecil won a World Series Championship a father that hes been at odds with for quite some time over reasons only known to them. Prince Fielder will undoubtedly face dozens of questions regarding the estranged relationship between him and his dad, although the elder Fielder has said the hes been in brief contact
Well, we're having a few chats. We're doing a lot better than we were, said Cecil Fielder Tuesday (January 24) on MLB Network Radio. Time heals all wounds, man. Everybody has to come back together at some point. Number one thing, I'm just happy for him.
Those words were a far cry from the violent talk from Fielders dad from last summer. Cecil told the Yuma Sun that he wanted to drop a right on him instead of talking to his son. In what should have been the feel-good story of the upcoming Major League Baseball season, the feud between the Fielders is still a prominent and tense issue.
Cecil Fielder and Princes mother Stacy underwent a tough divorce, which some writers say led to the split between father and son. Others have alleged that Cecil spent part of his sons signing bonus without permission, and was embroiled in battling gambling and property debt issues as well.
Prince Fielder has never publicly addressed the split at length but the married father of two could possibly benefit in rebuilding the connection with the man he joined on the baseball field during spring training in 1994. News alternative Detroit Free Press even reprinted
an old 1992 article featuring a story on Cecil Fielder and his baseball prodigy son, where young Prince even said his dad was the best homerun hitter in the game. Cleary at one point, they were inseparable and loving towards one another.
If Cecils words are true, perhaps they can reform their bond and give sons like myself and countless others hope. Hope that even those of us who dont have our fathers in our lives that one day, we can try to rebuild the bonds. As Duk of the Big League Stew said eloquently of the Fielders situation in his column: fathers shouldnt be apart from their sons.
I came across an article
some days ago in the Los Angeles Times
that reported on a rise in Hollywood films that featured parents in situations that led the moms and dads in the film to be stressed or anxious. Featured in the piece was Golden Globe Award-nominated film The Descendants starring Globe Best Actor winner George Clooney. In the film, Clooney plays a dad going through a tough time with a dying wife, betrayal, and attempting to get closer to his two daughters.
The film (which is excellent) takes the viewers through a lot of emotional ups and downs as Clooney exhibits the fear of having to raise his daughters without his spouse by his side. In the family film We Bought A Zoo, Matt Damon plays a widower with two young children struggling to stay close while Damons character navigates opening a zoo.
Another movie that was up for a few Golden Globe Awards, Carnage, also featured parents who argued with other parents over how to best deal with their fighting childrens issues. Although the film is billed as a black comedy, the core of the movie centers on how parents all have their own way of dealing with their children. The all-star cast of Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz delight in their roles, but the ugly war of words become the centerpiece instead of these adults finding a way to cope with one another.
Parents going through times in film, especially dads, is not a brand new concept although the recent slate of films would suggest this is the case. There is something about watching angst unfold onscreen that captivates and infuriates all at once; theres always an end to the movie but never to the realities that exist outside of the theater.
As said by Dr. Alexandra Barvi of New York University, In the past, people parented based on instincts and how they were raised, but now with technology and the ease of transmittable information, we know so much more about parenting. We do so much more thinking about parenting. You can't turn on a morning show without an expert talking about college anxiety, how to keep your kids busier.
Is Hollywood and television making it so that fathers new and old are overloaded with what can be seen as poor parenting tactics? Is the portrayal of parents in harrowing situations inspiring to dads who want to combat the anxiety that goes along with raising their children? Are fathers and mothers looking for ways to stave off the sometimes bleak imagery of parenthood and offer a reversal of sorts?
A good number of films with these sorts of plot tie-ins end with a happy moment of closure or triumph. There are even several films over the years that tell great stories about devoted dads who go through a lot of turmoil (and eventually joy) such as Big Fish and Finding Nemo. What we should focus on while viewing movies that feature dads and moms under duress is to make sure were talking about ways to avoid that struggle in our real lives.
Perhaps then, Hollywood can begin to tell a different story showing the endless possibilities of a blissful union between fathers, mothers, and their children.
It seems par for the course that fathers seek to bond with their kids especially boys playing the age-old game of catch, whether with a football or baseball. Theres something innate about that activity between fathers and sons; perhaps its an instinctive reminder for Dad that he once did this with his own dad or at least wished he had. Its something I definitely wished I shared with my own dad.
When I read the tale
of MLB All-Star pitcher Chris Perez, and how he and his dad Tim bonded over Chris inclusion in the big name lineup last year, I confess I felt a tinge of envy. However, Im glad to see that there are sons who look up to and value their dads even as they trudge along into adulthood and families of their own.
with sports website The Bleacher Report
on how he gifted his father with his 2011 All-Star ring, making it five sizes larger so that his dad could wear it.
Perez on the trying to surprise his father with the ring:Before entering the brunch, they handed out All-Star rings. When I picked mine up, they asked me to try it on. (I already had planned to give the ring to my Dad, so I had told them to make the ring 5 sizes too big for me.) My Dad was right next to me and noticed how big it was on me. I tried to play it off, but he kept making a deal about it. Flash forward to after the game, my family and I are relaxing back in the hotel, and I pulled out the ring and gave it to him. He was shocked/surprised/happy/speechless. I couldn't think of anyone else that deserved the ring more than him; he's the reason I love the game, and the reason I became an All-Star.
Chris Perez didnt enter the game last year at the Midsummer Classic, but its a neat story showing that no matter how old you are as a son, you always want to please and gain the respect of your dad. Sometimes its tough to show our dads how much we love and adore them as adults, but I know as I speak for myself and other fathers that it never gets redundant to know that your children love you.
Tim Perez summed up his feelings about getting the ring from his son in a quick interview last summer. I wasn't expecting it. We were in the room, and Chris just said 'I want to give you something,'" Tim Perez said to the Bradenton Herald. "My first reaction was, 'Son this is your ring. And he says 'No, dad, I wouldn't here without you.' I wasn't expecting anything. I was just a dad supporting his son.
Tim Perez and his amazing humility is the very reason why fatherhood has to return to the forefront of the conversation when talking about combating societal ills. When a father does the right thing for his children, they become adults who respect the value and importance of what it means to be a dad when their time comes to be handed the torch.
Sure, I may pine for a time for my dad and I to have a similar bonding experience and I still have my baseball glove and ball from when I was 12 years old at the ready. Hopefully one day soon, my dad and I will have a moment to share and call our own just like Tim and Chris Perez.
Until then, I can only admire them from afar.
Greetings, Father Factor readers!
To quote a song I Know You Got Soul from legendary 80s rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, Its been a long time, I shouldnt have left you but were back to regularly updating our blog after the holidays shifted everyones schedules around a bit.
Speaking of rap music, have you seen NFIs nifty new Daily Dad News section
? Its the latest feature on our homepage full of daily news bits about dads, families and related stories. One of the news items posted last week
focused on popular Atlanta rapper T.I. and how he balances his career with his family time. During an interview with MTV News, the rapper born Clifford Harris spoke proudly of being a dad but carefully stating that he has to still maintain an edge to his character due to the industrys hes in.
When I go home, that's who I am, what you see on the show. Now, what you're gonna hear through them records is when I hit the streets, when I'm out movin' and groovin' this is the person that must maintain this personality because it's a cold world out here, T.I. offered in the interview.
Now Ill admit that Ive listened to a bit of his T.I.s music in my spare time, and a lot of it isnt family friendly stuff. However, on his cable reality show with his wife, T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle,
T.I. reveals his softer side as a doting and devoted dad. T.I. and his wife have also given to charity, provided scholarships to the Boys and Girls Club and he even famously talked down a suicidal man from committing the fatal act.
The flip to T.I.'s good and giving side is that he raps in songs about his violent past as a former drug dealer nestled deeply "in the trap" what some in Atlanta refer to as the open air drug market. Since having found fame, T.I. has been long removed from the trappings of the streets but his music at times serves as the soundtrack for those still in that lifestyle.
T.I.'s jail record and federal gun charges also haunt him, being sent to prison just after performing a star turn in the Hollywood action flick Takers
alongside another beleaguered male entertainer Chris Brown. He was well on his way to mainstream stardom and chose to "hug the block" (as the kids say) instead of focusing on his budding acting career and music. T.I. has injected positive messages in some of his work, no less energetic and infectious as his normal fare.
The question is, which is really tougher? Is it tougher to still rap about guns and what you'll do to someone if they cross you in the streets? Or, is it tougher to rap about being a devoted husband and father, writing a few lines about how you went to see your sons play Pee Wee football? Is it tougher to rap about how you sold drugs or would it be tougher to drop a few verses about how you love coming home to your wife?
I don't happen to think T.I.'s a bad person, but I do think he's caught up in the hype of being tough when in actuality, he'd be seen as a greater figure if he promoted his family life more. Perhaps his television show is his pathway to doing so, but a man of T.I.'s responsibility and fame would appear tougher to me if he paused to "hit the streets" less often and revealed that there's nothing soft about being a father who loves the family life.