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.
I joined the National Fatherhood Initiative in early December as a recently married man of five months. Coming to work for NFI as a newlywed has given me a pretty unique experience. Before getting married, my wife and I had talked about our hopes for a family and being parents. Working in an environment that affirms and builds up the role of the father, Ive had time to think ahead and prepare for my hopefully growing family.
Hearing and sharing stories in the NFI office of our experiences at home, and also of our fathers, Ive had a lot of time to reflect on my youth and childhood. I had a very happy childhood and am blessed with the parents I have. But there is one thing that I keep to myself mostlyhow much I wish I could have known my grandfather better.
I only had the privilege of seeing my grandfather a couple times before he passed away. He was, as I remember, a quiet man. Not serious, but quiet. He had experienced a lot in his life. In hindsight, what I thought was a serious grandfather was more a man, who in seeing his son happy with his children, found peace in reflecting on his own life.
Perhaps he found consolation or healing in seeing his son carry on a tradition. I think he found joy and was proud of my dad for all that he had accomplished. He was a man who knew that it was not the material things that make a man wealthy, but the richness in his love for and from his family. Im sure my grandpa was proud of my dad.
I owe a lot to my grandfather. Listening to my dad talk about him, I can see that he showed my father how to be a man, how to be a father, and how to love. My grandfather taught my dad everything that my father has passed on to me. Because of my father's example and his daily service to his children, I learned what fatherhood is. My father laid down his wants, desires, needs, and sacrificed his own life for us. I hope I can be the same kind of father to my children as my dad was to my brothers and I.
The most important thing my father taught me was how to love my wife. Yes, like all families, my parents disagree from time to time. But there has never been a doubt about just how much my father loves my mother. Ive heard it said, "The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother." I believe that to be true. My dad showed me how to love my wife by his loving and steady example. And again, I hope I can love my wife, Lacy, as well as my dad has loved my mom.
While I give great thanks to my dad and grandpa, I also am deeply grateful to my mother. Witnessing her gentleness, mercy, and care for my father, I have learned how to be loved. My mother "completed the picture" and witnessed to me how I should accept love from my wife. I saw how happy she made my dad, and she showed me that as a husband, I too one day deserved to be loved in the same fashion.
I am excited for what lies ahead. With the great examples my parents have given me and by Gods will, I feel that I will be ready and prepared to be a father for a growing and loving family.
A teaser headline on this morning's Wall Street Journal reads, "Meet The Marriage Killer." As I picked up the paper at the front door of our office building, a co-worker and I started to guess as to what the article
would reveal as this "marriage killer." Money? Kids? Sex? I then quipped that if you have two of those and lack one, your marriage is in trouble. We laughed. But we were both wrong. Turns out that the great marriage killer is... nagging!
So, I started reading the article, and the first example it gave was of a wife nagging her husband. Yes, it is true that wives nag more than husbands (read the article here
). But I had to laugh again because I probably nag my wife more than she nags me. I think we are in the minority on that one, but the article did get me thinking - what if all of my nagging is really putting a serious drain on our relationship?
I apparently have reason to be concerned. Researchers are now referring to nagging as a "toxic" way of communicating that can cause serious relationship problems. As I reflect on this, I do realize that when I nag my wife about leaving clutter on the kitchen counter, or leaving dresser drawers open, or the various other things that annoy me, she does tend to shut down and feel as if I am focusing too much on things that don't matter.
Again, we are probably in the minority. According to the article (and most of the stories I have heard from friends and family), it is often husbands who feel as though they are being talked down to and harassed about stuff that does not matter.
And while I certainly do more nagging, the one area in which my wife has me beat is with, you guessed it, our son. Something tells me this may be fairly common, as moms tend to be more focused (on average) on the day-to-day care of kids.
She asks me to do this or that for our two-year-old, and if I don't jump out of my seat immediately, she thinks I don't care or am ignoring her. My defense is typically something like, "Does it really matter if I refill his juice cup right now or in 30 seconds during the commercial break in Jeopardy?" After all, I have to continue proving to myself how smart I am by answering as many Double Jeopardy clues as possible (with two witnesses in the room no less!).
The bottom line is that we both have to stop nagging each other because our marriage is too important (to our son especially) to be derailed by a stray paper towel or open sock drawer.
Tell us about the nagging that happens in your marriage. Who nags more, wife or husband? What do each of you nag about? Chores? Kids? And given the above, how do you plan on reducing the amount of nagging taking place? Let us know.
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.
Welcome to the eighth installment of our 10-week podcast series, "Dads Playbook, featuring NFL quarterback Mark Brunell."
We know from research that children do best, on average, when they grow up with two, married parents. We also know that, on average, children with married parents have closer relationships with both their mothers and fathers than children whose parents are not married. In other words, the institution of marriage is pivotal in helping both moms and dads give their children what they need.
Let's hear what Mark has to say about how his marriage has helped him be the best dad he can be for this kids.Click here to download the podcast on Marks game plan for being an All-Star Dad when it comes to making the most of your marriage.
I got coffee last week with a friend of mine – a woman who’s a few years older than me, married, and a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, including a 4-month-old. I love talking with this lady and hearing about her life. As a single working woman, I appreciate getting perspective on a different lifestyle than my own.
My friend asked me to tell her more about what I do with National Fatherhood Initiative
. As I explained our mission and work, she shared that she has recently experienced how much of a difference having an involved father makes for her as a mom.
She said her husband sometimes didn’t seem to know how to be involved with the kids when they first became parents – largely because his own father had not contributed much to housework or childcare – but now that they’re on kid #3, he’s really shown a lot of initiative. Especially during her difficult pregnancy, he had to do pretty much everything in the home and for the two children. His wife expressed how much she appreciated that he has cheerfully taken on extra responsibility.
My friend said that three great things have happened because her husband is helping more with the kids and the housework. #1 Their marriage is stronger. She is more attracted to him and has more energy to spend time with him. #2 Their home is more peaceful. She doesn’t have to constantly be giving directions – “Okay, this needs to be taken care of right now,” “Honey, can you brush the kids’ teeth?” – because he is noticing and doing things that need to be done. #3 The kids have a closer relationship with their dad. Instead of constantly going to Mom for what they want, they have started choosing Dad to help them or play with them.
I know, theoretically, that all of those things happen when dads are more involved. Everything my friend said was in synch with what NFI’s research
has shown. And, as a daughter, I know that having an involved dad made a huge impact in my life. But it was really neat to hear a first-hand perspective from a mom/wife on how much she values the support she has from her husband and how their family benefits from his involvement as a dad.Moms, how has your husband made a difference in your family by becoming more involved in helping around the house and taking care of the kids? What do you appreciate most about him?
From Renae Smith, NFI's Special Assistant to the President.
magazines recent cover article
titled "Marriage: What's It Good For?"
poses an interesting question. In an age when marriage has become much less important for both men and women to have companionship, security, professional success, respect, sex, or to conceive children, then who needs it?
The article, citing a new Time
/Pew Research Center poll, reported that 39% of people think that marriage is becoming obsolete. That seems a little contradictory to their strong opinions about the importance of marriage to parenting.
- 69% said its bad for society that more single women are having children without a male partner. (Only 4% said it was good.)
- 43% said its bad that more unmarried couples are raising children (compared to 10% who thought this trend was good.)
- 77% think its easier for married people to raise a family than single people.
People also think that the link between marriage and parenting is important for them personally.
- 90% of men think that being a good mother is an important quality for a good wife; 93% of women think that being a good father is an important part of being a good husband.
- 74% of men think that a good wife should put family before anything else; 82% of women think that a good husband should prioritize family first.
This is encouraging news, but forget, for a moment, about what the adults think is good for society or good for them personally. Lets talk about whats good for the ones who are affected most by the presence or absence of marriage children.
Research clearly shows that children who live with married parents fare better, on average, than children in other family structures on measures of child well-being academically, financially, emotionally, physically, and socially. Why? The data on the impact of father involvement on the well-being of children
holds part of the answer. The number one way to guarantee that a father will be consistently present in his childrens lives is for him to be married to their mother.
Jennifer Bracerass response in the Boston Herald
to Times question What is marriage good for? tells us that we have forgotten that marriage is not just about adult happiness, but also about the responsibilities of parenthood and preparing future generations to thrive and succeed.
Roland C. Warren, president of National Fatherhood Initiative, answers a similar question, "Are fathers necessary?"
, by saying ask the kids.
Before dismissing marriage as obsolete, we need to ask who needs it most. The answer: children. Childrens profound need for the daily, long-term presence of their own mothers and fathers in their lives will never become obsolete.
My father turned 50 at the beginning of this summer. He’s in great health, but I got a little worried when I noticed that he kept having doctor’s appointments recently. I asked him last week what was going on. He assured me that he was just getting his 50-year check-ups… physical, colonoscopy, prostate exam, cardio test, etc. And everything is fine!
I asked Dad why he thought it was important that he get these check-ups now that he’s 50. I expected him to say something about keeping up with his kids (there’s seven of us – the younger ones are still in high school or elementary school!) and being active for the many grandkids that we’ll be giving him in the future. (My dad figures that since he had seven kids, he should expect to have 49 grandkids. In his dreams, I say!)
I was a bit surprised by his answer to why he’s getting these check-ups. “So I can make sure I have many years to enjoy with your mom after you kids leave.” But when I thought about it, that makes sense. He is in good health now, so no cause for worry, and he is an active and involved father – going to my siblings’ sports games, helping them with homework, guiding them through the teen and young adult years. Parenting consumes an incredible amount of my mom and dad’s time and energy right now.
But eventually those responsibilities will be over. My youngest sisters will move out in about 10 years, and then it’ll be just Mom and Dad. Sure, they’ll always be there for us as adults. But they will only have to worry about taking care of themselves. Dad is taking steps today to make sure that those empty-nest years will be healthy and full of life, just like the parenting years. It will be a different kind of vibrant life, though – hopefully much calmer and less busy without a van-full of kids to cart around!
I’m glad that my dad is taking care of himself physically. But I also appreciate his motive for doing that – his commitment to Mom for life. Dad has every intention of staying healthy so he can enjoy a much-earned retirement and spend it with my mother. As their daughter, that gives me a great sense of security and a good example to follow.
This is a guest post from author Angu
s Nelson about a topic many fathers struggle with, but few talk about.
Can you imagine sitting across from your children telling them youd failed them and mommy because of the fantasies youd concocted while getting carpal tunnel in front of the blue glow of a computer monitor?
These are the things no man would ever wish to endure... yet, that doesnt stop us from contributing to a $13 billion dollar enterprise called porn.
Its everywhere isnt it? No matter where you go, youre susceptible to viewing images that stimulate a very real and human nature. Worse yet, were designed to respond to it. How are we supposed to resist something so very... normal? Well, thats the problem. There are people in the world that thrive on manipulating you to fill their wallet.
If youre addicted to porn, heres what I know about you: You dont like yourself. You struggle with relationships. You have issues with stress, shame, and/or false expectations placed upon yourself or by others.
Im here to tell you, YOURE NOT THE ONLY ONE.
Porn cost me everything. I lost my marriage, my business, my passion, and drive due to this corrosive habit. I know what its like to struggle and fail... time and time again. Porn is a crappy habit to kick.
But here's the deal - the real question is not, "How do I stop?" The gut level question is, "What am I willing to do to stop?"
How you answer that question will determine how successful you'll be at quitting.
Here are some steps to consider for recovery:1. TALK about it with someone you trust
The more you can talk about it, the more you can heal. Just like a mold, if its left in the dark it will grow. Get this poison out into the light and address your need for accountability, confession, and forgiveness of self. Whether it's a friend, mentor, Pastor, or addiction group, find what you're comfortable with.2. Cut it off/Stop the bleeding
You can get as extreme as trashing your TV or computer. You can install software that filters web surfing or blocks images completely. You can dump your cable. Only you know whats going to work for you... but you HAVE TO BE REALLY HONEST WITH YOURSELF. Stop procrastinating and turn it off.3. Pound your brain with good stuff
So many times, our self-worth is turned to mush in the abuses of porn. We feel bad, do bad, then feel worse only to do worse... a never-ending cycle. This is an opportunity for you to dive in headlong into reading self-help type books. Exclude the entertainment that only serves to aggravate you: news, talk radio, or horror flicks - KEEP POSITIVE STUFF ON THE BRAIN.4. Search out your spiritual center
For me, my Christian faith helped me understand what God says about me, and I let that marinate in my brain. Since God loves me, I should love myself. Find the spiritual discipline that will help you understand your worth.
Keep it easy and achievable until youre ready for the next level. Once youre ready for that, there are resources you can explore - the internet is filled with help you can access.
You can start here with my story: http://angusnelson.com/2010/08/18/porn-recovery-my-part/The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of National Fatherhood Initiative.
A few days ago, I asked my father-in-law how he met his wife. He told me that he was in the Air Force stationed in San Antonio and a buddy invited him to go to dance. His wife, who was in nursing school, attended the dance as well along with some of her friends. He saw her. They danced. They talked. And, he was smitten instantly and they started dating.
He also offered that soon thereafter she finished nursing school and moved back home to live with her parents in a little south Texas town called Mission. Since he was still stationed in San Antonio, he would make the long ride to see her every weekend that he could. Well, after a few trips to her home, he received a long letter from her father, who he called, the Old Spaniard. Interestingly, the letter was written in Castilian, which is formal Spanish and, although my father-in-law was fluent in Spanish, he needed help to translate it. In any case, he told me that the letterdespite its lengthasked him a simple question: What are your intentions with my daughter?
He told me that he was not surprised by the question and, actually, he expected to be asked it at some point. Therefore, he knew that he needed to answer this important question well and quickly if he was to continue to see his beloved. So, on his next trip to Mission, he was on a mission, and he sat down with the Old Spaniard and told him that he planned to marry his daughter. And, he did.
Since this conversation with my father-in-law, I have thought often about the power and the purpose of the Old Spaniards question and how it forced my father-in-law to be publicly accountable for his intentions. The Old Spaniard wanted to make sure early that my father-in-law didnt think that his daughter was an amusement park and he had a free ticket to ride. Nope, there were not going to be any unintended consequences because admission to his daughters heart came with a specific price the needed to be paid in advance.
Sadly, today too many fathers arent Old Spaniards and I believe that their daughters and their sons are worse off for it. Consequently, if you ask dating couples about their relationships and intentions, they tend to use terms like were hanging out, chillin, or just kickin it. Or, they will say that we are just friends with benefits. One of the problems is that these benefits too often turn into children who need good parents with firm intentions about raising them. Just imagine how few unintended pregnancies and unloved children there would be if more fathers asked the simple question that the Old Spaniard did.
Case and point, a few years ago, I counseled a couple who had gotten pregnant as college seniors. They were having big problems because the father was essentially abandoning his responsibilities and moving on with his life, while the mother was at risk to not graduate. Not surprisingly, the mother was furious.
As I began having conversations with them separately, it quickly became apparent that there was not, and never been, an Old Spaniard involved. You see, they were having premarital sex. However, she always believed that the father was the kind of guy who would marry her and build a family if they got pregnant, but this was never his intention. And, he thought that she was the kind of girl who would quickly get an abortion if she got pregnant, but this was never her intention. Now, they were both in a difficult long-term parenting relationship that neither wanted--whether they intended to have it or not.