My wife recently surprised me with tickets to the Washington Auto Show in DC. Car shows have been a part of my life for many years. My dad has taken me to several classic car shows and I've watched him operate in the garage to restore several cars through the years. My dad will tell you he and I "worked together" to restore a 1970 Chevelle. Truth be told—he restored a Chevelle—I watched a Chevelle get restored! Nevertheless, I've always connected with my dad over cars; and my connection with cars is through my dad. If my dad didn't love cars—neither would I.
Given my appreciation of cars, below are a few of my favorites from the Washington Auto Show. Scroll through the pictures and tell us in the comments: what was the first car you ever owned?
The Toyota Sequoia, which offers seating for up to eight in a full-size, full-capability sport-utility vehicle (SUV), adds new family-friendly entertainment features for 2013. The Sequoia debuts a Toyota-first Blu-Ray rear seat entertainment system, and 2013 also marks the first full year of Toyota Entune™ availability.
Built on an exclusive platform that uses body-on-frame construction, the Toyota Sequoia features four-wheel independent suspension to help provide great ride quality, handling and straight-line control. The 2013 Sequoia is available in SR5, Limited and Platinum grades (shown in images), and all models for 2013 make the 381-hp 5.7-liter V8 standard. The Sequoia model line offers the choice of 2WD and 4WD. In select areas, Sequoia 4x4 models feature E85 Flex Fuel capability.
Premium HDD Navigation with Entune® and JBL— includes 7-in. high-resolution touch-screen with split-screen capability and integrated backup camera display, AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability, 14JBL® GreenEdge™speakers including subwoofer, SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio™ with iTunes® Tagging, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity and control, hands-free phone capability, phone book access, advanced voice recognition, and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology. Aslo, there's two cup-holders in each of the back doors!
The 2013 Ford Explorer is nice. To help you handle every road condition, there’s the available Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System.™ For your peace of mind, Curve Control, an enhancement to AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control,™ delivers enhanced control in turns. The Explorer offers up to seven-passenger seating capacity and seats that fold down for cargo space on demand – up to 80.7 cubic feet of space. While some manufactors are difficult to fold the seats for storage, the Explorer was simple and easy.
The 2013 Explorer features some new and innovative features. For example, there are lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist to help keep you in control. Explorer features the world’s first automotive production inflatable rear safety belts that spread crash forces over more areas of the body compared the safety belts you have in your car!
Okay, let's talk technology. Take, for example, available SYNC® with MyFord Touch® – the easy-to-use in-car connectivity system. With simple voice commands, you can make phone calls, choose music, control your climate and more without taking your eyes off the road. Another feature, the available voice-activated Navigation System with integrated SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link, provides weather forecasts, traffic updates, fuel prices – even movie times.
Chevrolet Tahoe is a full-size SUV that offers plenty of space and an estimated at 21 mpg on the highway. Three rows of seating are standard on all models. The second row is available as a three-passenger bench with a 60/40 split or two bucket seats. A good option to have for families. Another nice option, the third row features a 50/50-split design and is removable. A power-assisted second row seat release feature is available on LT.
Technology? How about USB ports, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, OnStar® Directions & Connections®, Rear Vision Camera and Bluetooth® wireless technology for select phones.
GMC Acadia Denali
The 2013 Acadia Denali comes complete with the latest technology. Innovations like the standard Color Touch radio with IntelliLink, and touch controls make your drive easy.
There's interior space for 7 or 8 passengers to truly ride in comfort, Acadia Denali is ready to fit you and your family. Standard Denali features include:
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel with mahogany wood grain trim
- Tri-zone climate control
- Power, heated and cooled front driver and passenger seats
- Premium Bose® Audio System
- 8-way power driver and front passenger seat
So, you can't fit your family in it, but what would a car show be (or a review) without a muscle car?! The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is an "everyday supercar." Motivated by the supercharged LSA small-block V-8 producing 580 horsepower, it is the "fastest, most capable Camaro ever," with performance that includes:
- 0-60 mph in four seconds
- Top speed of 184 mph
- 11-second quarter-mile ETs (11.93 with the automatic / 11.96 with the manual transmission)
What was the first car you ever owned?
This is a guest post from Eric Cohen. Eric is the Co-Founder of Macaroni Kid. He lives in Southampton, New York with his wife and two kids. Follow the Chief Dad at Macaroni Kid on Twitter @MacaroniDad. If you are interested in writing for us, send an email.
As a kid, Hanukkah was my favorite holiday. Of course the presents played a big part of it, but what made it really special to me was how for eight nights in a row, my dad was home to share dinner and the festivities. Most of us who are now fathers grew up in a time when dad was the breadwinner and worked long hours, and mom was home with the kids. Family dinners were reserved for Sunday nights.
But Hanukkah was a special time. Work for my dad eased off and he made it a priority to spend time with us. Sometimes we’d take a family vacation. I celebrated Hanukkah under palm trees in the tropics and at a ski lodge in Vermont. My parents would pack the presents, menorah and candles and we’d have Hanukkah “to go”.
With my own kids, I want to ensure that what they remember most is the time we spend together around the holiday, not the new iPod, Barbie or video game. So we have a few traditions of our own that put the emphasis on family.
We do this by “theming” several of the nights of Hanukkah. One night is always “book night” where we exchange books as gifts. Each child gets a book or two, and my wife and I exchange books as presents. This is a nice way to share the gift of reading and remind our kids how important reading is.
Another night of Hanukkah we declare as “sock night” where everyone in the family gets socks. Gym socks, dress socks, ski socks and more have made appearances on sock night. As much as this is something we need, it reminds our kids that not every present has to be about fun and games, and the important thing is being together. We probably laugh more on sock night than any other night.
The next themed night we have is “trip night.” Prior to Hanukkah, my wife and I plan a family trip sometime in the new year, and on trip night we share where we are going with the kids. It’s a way of extending Hanukkah and promising more family memories.
The last themed night and maybe the most important one is “charity night”. On charity night we give the children each a budget and package of information about non-profits that we feel will interest them. Then they pick which one they’d like to donate to. One year, they gave a goat and two chickens to a family in Africa. Last year my son selected Doctors without Borders and my daughter the World Wildlife Fund.
The other four nights are devoted to typical presents and Hanukkah fun. But we have seen that the true joy of Hanukkah is spending time together and celebrating our family.
Question: What's the one thing that makes the holiday season special for you?
Join in and share your most memorable holiday by recording a video, sharing a picture, or posting a comment on this blog, Facebook or Twitter @TheFatherFactor.
photo credit: oskay
Odds are good you didn’t wake up this morning and say to yourself, “You know, I should communicate with my kids better…or more…” No, that has never happened - EVER. Something must change in how we view communication. We understand the importance of communication, but we need something to help us remember that how we do it daily is of utmost importance.
I say we stop calling “communication” by its name. Let’s call it “racing.” Yes, as a NASCAR fan, I’m saying let’s reframe our ideas about what communication is and change the very term “communication” to “racing.” There are three rules the best racecar drivers follow, and they apply very well to communicating with your children. And if you don’t know much about racing – that’s okay. You will now!
Here are the rules:
1) Know your racetrack.
How you race depends greatly on the track. Professional racecar drivers know there are four types of racetracks, and they treat each track differently - mainly because each track requires exact and strategic expertise. Likewise dads, the age or “track” your child is on will change the words you use to communicate. Consider applying the four different racetracks to the age/stage of your child as follows:
Short tracks = Infants and young kids
Intermediate tracks = School-aged children
Superspeedways = Teenagers
Road Courses = College-aged children and beyond
Dads, we must become track experts in relating to the stage of our children, so learning to speak effectively and correctly to your child is important on a daily basis. For instance, the younger the child, the shorter and simpler the sentence should be. Instead of asking your three year old, "Why did you do that?" which wouldn’t even be easy if you were 35 years old; try saying, "Let's talk about what you did." Consider saying to your child, “Pick up your shoes, please.” Instead of, “will you please pick up your shoes?” The difference from question to directive is the difference from clear to unclear communication... er, uh, racing.
Also, as children get older, try asking them to repeat whatever your wanting them to do back to you. For instance, you may be angry your teen isn’t doing what you want, but it may simply be that your message or ask is unclear. In general, if your child can’t repeat your directive back to you, change the way you present the directive to meet them on their “track.”
2) Practice, practice, practice. And then practice more.
When a NASCAR driver isn’t on the track, he is practicing. A driver’s life is about way more than that short moment on the racetrack. And all of his time leading up to the moment on the track is spent in preparation. When is the right time to practice? Early and often. Just like most professional drivers raced cars when they were young, you too must be intentional about talking and spending time with your child early and often.
It’s never too early to start talking and listening to your children. Spend time with them and be purposeful in what you do during your moments together. We have ideas of things to do in a recent post called 7 Ways To Connect With Your Kids from eating a meal together, reading books together, dad-kid Dates, and game nights. The point is to look for opportunities to practice. Seize every moment to practice. For young kids, read to your child. Even if your child is too young to talk, trust us, what you do as a father early on builds the relationship.
3) You must make adjustments.
If Nascar drivers know anything beyond the track and practicing; they understand the importance of making adjustments. Adjustments are crucial in racing. Likewise, you as a dad will learn by trial and error. It’s good to understand you can learn both when you’re away from your child and during the moments you are with them. Great drivers know the importance of making adjustments, from “Research and Development” to “The Pit Box.”
Research and development for Nascar is the science behind the actual racing. If you toured a NASCAR research facility, you wouldn’t see the driver and the car together. Likewise dad, you will need to study your child, even when you aren’t in the same room as your child. When you aren’t with your child, whether at work or on travel, or simply talking to other parents, consider this time to learn more about connecting with your child.
During a race, drivers know the importance of making adjustments in the pit box. All the practice and time has lead to the moment with the car on the track. Now, there is still time to make last-minute adjustments. Consider this, in that moment when you don’t think you’re connecting; get down on their level. Make eye contact and be intentional about showing your child that he or she has your full attention.
Basically, dads are racecar drivers. How you race depends on your knowledge and skill of the track, the amount of time you practice, and the amount of effort you use to make adjustments. Remember, “communication” is old language. Let’s go racin’, boys!
This blog topic was picked by voters from our "We The Dads: Your Choice" poll on Facebook. Connect with The Father Factor by RSS, Facebook and on Twitter @TheFatherFactor.