Friday, January 2, 2009

Top 10 Badass Dad Posts, Author's choice

Hello, folks. How to be a Badass Dad has been on the net for12 months now. While I was hoping that the sheer popularity of this blog would pay my bills by now, I'm actually just happy to have posted semi-consistently for a year.

I'm celebrating (with or without you) by making a post of my 10 favorite Badass Dad posts. Tomorrow, I plan on posting the top 10 by popularity. Maybe you're like me (or are me) and are nostalgic to look back at the year. Or, maybe you're new around here and want to get a primer.

Here they are, almost in order:

10. 20 Great Books to get you Reading
At the end of every semester, I give my students a list of books that they should read. I feel like reading is a wonderful and engaging pastime that transcends it's usefulness in education to enrich people's lives. Unfortunately, the mass media drives kids away from reading with one hand while acting like they support it with their other hand. A case in point is a quote I heard in a movie preview lately, "There's noting better than a good book except a movie about a good book." Head explode. These books are exciting and accessible and right up my alley, at least.

9. Camping with Children
Camping is very close to my family's heart, the same goes for road trips and driving in general. We feel a closeness and happiness when we're on the road like we don't feel any other time. Many people are afraid to go camping with their kids, but I encorage everyone to put all their expectations aside and give it a shot.

8. Citizenship and Personal Freedom
I wrote this post the week before the most recent election. I'm enamored with our country's history and high ideals, even if they are always realized. I think that we need to remember that it's not up to the government to realize these ideals, but ourselves. I ask that we see that we are responsible for inventing our world and that if we let someone else, like major corporations, do it for us, we'll never be happy with it.

7. Breastfeeding, HH Dalai Lama, and Not Ruining your Kids
I watch and am amazed by my kids all the time. I am in constant fear that something I do is going to make them conform, make them loose imagination, make them less than who they are. Sometimes I feel like I'm just not up to the task of raising these kids because they are so beyond me. But the Dalai Lama reminded me of just how natural raising kids really is, and how love and kindness is all you need, not perfection. Also, I love any chance to flex the lactivist muscles.

The Power of Language in Childhood
Some of my very favorite posts come from watching my kids and remembering what it was like to be their age. I apply that memory to my pastime of deconstructing the world around me and then pretending like I'm an expert in a subject I know nothing about, like linguistics and psychology, for example. Whatever my ethos, this is a great post for anyone with kids who are just learning to talk.

5. The Breastfeeding Father
I just can't seem to shake this one. This is the first piece I've ever published about parenting--almost 3 years ago--and it has been published now in two magazines and included in several blog carnivals. I think that the misleading image that the title provides may be somewhat responsible for it's popularity. Whatever the case, it was a joy to get to write about the significant relationship a father has in the breastfeeding of a family.

4. 10 Ways to Claim Your Day
This one got a big boost when it was linked from Steve-Olson upon it's publication. It got another boost when Maria Shriver linked it from a guest blog that she did. Something that my dad always says is, "Stop playing defense, get on offense." That quote inspired this post. Another great quote, this one by Emerson, speaks to it: "When a dog charges you, whistle for it." Too many people I know (myself included a lot of the time) feel like they are being kicked around by their day. This post hopes to remedy that feeling.

3. Education vs. Schooling (On
This is a bit of a cheat. I wrote this as a guest spot on It was a real pleasure and honor to get this posted on what is surely my favorite blog out there about personal freedom. I was very excited to get to write my feelings about the battle between real-world and formalized education. As I near the end of my very last degree, a Doctorate of Education, I've become very enamored with this relationship. Writing this post gave me the idea to someday write a memoir of my experiences in formal education. Don't worry; you don't have to read it.

2. Patience and Understanding; Discipline and Arguments
Of all my posts, this is the one that I think about the most. When my daughters start throwing a huge fit--especially at inopportune times--I remember that I wrote these works about patients and understanding and the idea that these qualities would never be developed if we didnt have a chance to practice them. If I recall, I was on a huge Buddhism kick when I wrote this.

1. Imagination and Curiosity
If I had to say that one of my posts was somehow more important than all the others, I'd say that this is the one. As adults, it's easy for us to buy into everyone else's vision of the world and forget how fluid and wonderful our children's view is. Imagination and curiosity aren't just part of growing up, but part of forming the world for our children.

Oh well, Bonus: Are the Sexes Equal?
I forgot about this one until just right now. Being a father of two daughters, I'm not happy about how marketing treats girls. I could write a book about the subject, but it would be extrememly ranting and raving with no coherent structure aside from flaming hot anger.

My intentions with this blog, I feel, have been very noble. When I set out to make this blog, I was worried about coming off as a know-it-all braggart (like I do in real life). I wanted to make it clear that this was a place to raise questions and intropections, not make answers and generalization. I feel that the world is best understood through questions and that the anwer rarely matters as much as mindfully approaching your surroundings.

Parenting, I feel, is the most important thing I will ever do. I don't want to get to comfortable and start thinking I know much about it. This blog is a place for me to put "on paper" my questions, concerns, and observations about being a father; to keep me honest, so to speak. Thank you for joining me for the past year, and I hope you'll stick with me in the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just found your site and love it. Keep up the good work!