About

OK who is writing this blog and what’s it supposed to be about?

If you read the first post you will see that I am attempting to get dads from all over and all walks of life to help create a Manual for Dads. I will lead the conversation with personal insights and knowledge that I have gained as a son, father and grandfather. I will also draw on my more than thirty years experience as a producer of educational media which focused on parenting skill development and a host of other related topics. All this along with a dialog with readers will result in new insights and offer guidance and inspiration to other dads.

The content of my blog will be directed at men and be about men. That does not mean that we don’t want women readers to add to the dialog. Women as mothers and women as daughters have a lot to tell us, so we look forward to their contributions.

Young Dad on swing with son and daughterI will deal with the affective side of dadding, meaning the emotional side of things. My goal is not to teach how to diaper or secure a car seat. Yes, these are important to know, but there is plenty written about such things. We will deal with raising responsible kids who grow into responsible adults. We will talk about how to raise kids who are self-reliant and have self-control.

I will also stress your importance in your kids’ life. The way you live, how you interact with others is what children watch and learn from. I like to say, that no matter what they call you, you are the most important man in your kids’ life.  You are their model of a man.

Here’s a little more depth on my professional background that led me to create The Manual for Dads:
I went to Bellarmine College and majored in Philosophy. Following that I attended UNC, Chapel Hill and got an MA in Communications with a minor in Philosophy. After grad school, I was employed by a CBS TV station in a major market. There I produced and directed programs and documentaries on social issues.  Although I loved broadcasting, I felt drawn to starting a  production company specializing in social issues programming.

That was in 1975.  Since then I have produced hundreds of films, video and print materials that I hope have helped people lead richer, fuller lives. These programs are in schools around this country and in other parts of the world. I also produced programs on career management, stress management, alcohol and substance recovery, and much more.
In producing programs like this, I was able to draw from the expertise of many of the best minds available. Dr. Linda Albert a noted psychologist developed Cooperative Discipline and I worked with her on the video series Responsible Kids.  I also worked with Dr. Sara Sparrow at Yale Child Studies Center on issues of early childhood development as well as other such topics. I learned so much from these and so many other leaders in the understanding of human development and behavior.

I want to keep contributing to help make this old world into a new one. My son Peter came up with the idea of a blog for dads.  He led me through the process of getting things up and going, in spite of his demanding personal and professional duties.  He has been generous with his time while showing me boundless love.
Please enter into this effort. I will not be able to reply to everyone, but your comments will be read and put to work for others.

And always remember: Better dads, better kids, a better world for all.
Michael photoMichael

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Brian Reynolds

    Mike,

    Thanks once again for all the ways you have enriched so many lives through your good work. May this new venture become a blessing to all of us Dads!

    Reply
  2. Morgan Atkinson

    A long-needed resource and what a perfect person to do it. In 1950’s when June & Ward set the parenting standards my father wrote a tongue-incheek parenting guide called “What Dr. Spock Didn’t Tell Us”. It was a bestseller and was translated into several languages. I wish you even greater success because I know you will measure it by the number of people helped.

    Reply
  3. Dan Conway

    Last night, my granddaughter and her mother (my daughter) stopped by unexpectedly. What a joy! Being Grandpa (and Dad) is a precious gift, but it’s also a responsibility. Thanks, Michael, for giving us a “manual” to help celebrate the joys and better understand the responsibilities.

    Reply
  4. James Manion

    WOW, this blog has been long needed and a longtime coming! I noticed that my favorite TV show, Duck Dynasty, has been peppered with commercials for some new “dads/reality” show – looks awful, but I must admit I never watched it. I’m 70 and for the past 50 years TV has portrayed the role of dad as a buffoon, idiot, dolt, etc. Over that same period the “women’s movement” has promulgated the idea that men are sperm donors only, and not real good at that. Meanwhile many roundly ignored studies continue to document the huge predictive value of a stable, two parent (and yes I damn well do mean a father and a mother) family to a child’s success in every possible meaning of the word success. I guess blogs are supposed to be brief so I’ll shut up, but I wish to thank my old buddy Mike (who had a heck of a great dad) for launching this.

    Reply
  5. Vito Mussomeli

    A Dad’s First Duty:

    It sounds strange at first. But let it settle. Our first duty is before we marry our children’s mother because our first duty is our choice of her. Nothing is worse preparation for being a Dad than marrying a woman who really doesn’t want to be a Mom. And nothing is better for our children than having a Mom who loves being a Mom. Because no matter how wonderful we can be as a Dad, our wife, our children’s Mom, will be the heart of the family. Because part of being that heart is her nurturing us in becoming a good Dad, and part of being a good Dad is nurturing her in her dream of being a good Mom.

    Reply
  6. Dan Conway

    Many years ago, on the TV Show “Life is Worth Living,” I remember the inimitable Bishop Fulton J. Sheen saying, “The best gift a man can give to his children is to love their mother.” I was just a kid, but I knew he was right. Fortunately, my father loved my mother–even when she wasn’t easy to love. Bishop Sheen was right. That was the greatest gift Dad ever gave me.

    Reply
    1. Vito Mussomeli

      Thank you for your reply, Dan. I remember Bishop Sheen very well. I still miss his weekly talks. (They might be available on DVD.) I had a Dad who did the same as your Dad – although I do not know how he did it. He once told me that he didn’t understand how I could live my life since the mother of my children left to “find herself” and I became a single parent. I answered him that I didn’t know how he lived his life with a woman who was diligent about caring for her children but absolutely, sarcastically shrewish whenever the moment hit her. Years later we recognized that my mother was probably bipolar and the terrible effects of that condition, unmedicated, tore through their marriage and our family’s life. In their own private ways each of them loved the other for benefit of the children and did their best to keep peace whenever possible.

      To love someone is to also love something greater than that someone because love is tempered by a vision, a belief greater than ourselves. There’s the source of constancy children need. Behavior is greater and more important than feelings. Dennis Praeger is correct saying that. This Age of Feelings we’ve experienced in the last 50 years denigrates the moral stature of being Human and has only produced an Inhumane Wilderness for ourselves and our children.

      Reply
  7. Dan Conway

    Thank you, Vito. We obviously had similar experiences growing up. Our mothers had different diseases, but they were equally destructive of their personal lives, marriages and families. Our family was blessed because the last 25 years of my mother’s life (and marriage) were spent in recovery. In those years she became what she truly was–a gifted woman, a loving wife and a wonderful mother. Fidelity is my Dad’s gift to us. (He’s almost 92 but still remains faithful–to himself, to my mother’s memory and to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.) Recovery–and with it a profound spirituality–was my mother’s legacy.

    Reply
    1. Vito Mussomeli

      Good morning, Dan. Fidelity! The word shook me when I first read your reply. It’s the quintessential word of Love. And we hear it never to rarely in today’s world.

      I am happy your Dad is still with us. My parents are long to our LaterLife, my Mom 19 years ago and my Dad 13 years ago. We were a military family and so when I return East, I go to Arlington to visit their graves. I cried easily at my Dad’s passing. It took me years to cry for my Mom’s passing. But when those tears came, a lot was healed.

      I like so much what you’ve written that if you are ever in the Phoenix area, please email and maybe we can have lunch somewhere. Michael is a very close and long friend of mine. Since prep school days. He can let you know how to get in touch with me. Be at peace

      Reply

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