Why America’s Culture of Shame is Killing Us

Why America’s Culture of Shame is Killing Us
  Put an end to shaming by doing one beautifully simple thing. – For Americans, shame is how we make people to behave in the ways that we approve of. We use it on our children to get them to attend to us. We use it as a heavy-handed short cut in our adult relationships. We use it in our political debates and public discourses. Whether its about the cultural, the sexual, the political, or the religious, we don’t just disagree, we shame those who don’t speak or behave in ways we approve of. We express shock, anger and outrage at their core personhood. We say, “you should be ashamed...
read more

The Brutal Message to Straight Dads About Expressing Gender Differently: You’d Better Not…

The Brutal Message to Straight Dads About Expressing Gender Differently: You’d Better Not…
Liberated views of manhood and gender are all fun and games until a baby shows up.  — Recently, a friend whose opinions I highly respect made the following comment during a discussion on gender: “Men can legally express gender in any way they like”. As if that particular battle has been won and now its simply up to men to throw off the chains of our own fears and express gender in more diverse ways. The path is clear. From a strictly legal standpoint this is probably true. Our society is saturated with enough examples of men going against gender stereotypes that we now, in terms of...
read more

Boys and Self-Loathing: The Conversations That Never Took Place

Boys and Self-Loathing: The Conversations That Never Took Place
Being deeply unhappy, even in the past, is not a story men are encouraged to share.   As a teenager, I carried such negative internal narratives that they resulted in actual physical responses of tightness and nausea a dozen times a day. These sensations of self-loathing would wash over me, creating a prickling sensation that raced across my skin, followed by a wave of heat resolving into a physical pain in my chest. It was like being shocked or hit. For me, it happened when I interacted with others or even imagined myself interacting with others. It happened when I looked at girls, spoke to my...
read more

A Children’s Book to Help With Pushing and Grabbing for 4-7 Year Olds

A Children’s Book to Help With Pushing and Grabbing for 4-7 Year Olds
The Naughty Hand, a graphic novel for iPad, is designed the help parents talk to their little ones about grabbing and pushing. Its the story of Milo, an energetic and excitable seven year old who can’t stop grabbing and pushing, until one day he pushes a bit too hard and causes a scraped knee. Milo begins to wonder if maybe he has a “naughty hand” that is doing things he has no control over. Is this true? Fortunately for Milo, he learns how to manage the Naughty Hand in this innovative and enjoyable story for kids ages 4-7. The Naughty Hand is designed to help parents talk to their...
read more

Grab your FREE copy of Flatmunder for iPad!

Grab your FREE copy of Flatmunder for iPad!
Grab your FREE copy of Flatmunder for iPad! At the heart of this fun story is the following idea: when we change how we think about things, they change too! Written a illustrated by Emmy® Award winning animator and ThinkPlay Partner, Mark Greene. The little girl across the street tells six year old Bernard there are flat witches in his bathroom and Bernard begins to worry… a lot. Then, one night, with the help of a new friend named Flatmunder, Bernard comes to better understand the chaotic and hilarious flat witches, eventually understanding that when we change the way we think about things, they...
read more

A Closer Look at Yashar Ali’s Wildly Popular “Why Women Aren’t Crazy”

My new article which serves as a gender neutral critique of Yashar Ali’s wildly popular article titled, “Why Women Aren’t Crazy” is posted at Good Men Project. Go have a...
read more

Man Up! Go on a Damn Cruise!

Man Up! Go on a Damn Cruise!
Recently, I boarded my first cruise ship. It sailed from Galveston, Texas and made the loop down to Mexico. I did it to attend an seagoing conference related to my profession and I did it in spite of my nearly 100% certainty that the experience was going to be pretty creepy. I won’t name the cruise ship company. I mean, it really doesn’t matter, right? Let’s just say it was more economy than first class. Which begs the question are there any cruise ships that don’t look like dilapidated 1980’s discos? Are there new ones? Ones that look like fairly modern shopping malls...
read more

The Last Late Show with My Father

The Last Late Show with My Father
My father left when I was six years old. The age my son is now. I don’t remember my father leaving. Did he walk out with a suitcase? Did they engineer it so he left while we were at school? I remember an argument, in the back bedroom with the door closed. I remember doing my little-child Saturday chores as the spring wind blew through the house, I remember that. But his exit, days or weeks afterward, is not something I recall, forty five years later. I don’t remember a day when he was suddenly gone. There are things I do recall about my father. And I have the luxury of knowing where and...
read more

Babies and the Rebirth of Men

Babies and the Rebirth of Men
My son is six. He has a thing he does lately where he puts his wide-open mouth about a tenth of an inch from my nose. Then he just freezes there, panting on my nose. It’s pretty annoying. After the 500th time, I’m just trying not to go ballistic on him. He’s a sweet kid. I love him more than I love my own life. He’s very smart and very thoughtful most of the time. But he does this nose thing because he knows it drives me crazy. He knows its my personal crazy-making thing. Kids find out your crazy-making thing, because, of course, you tell them. Its part of the cosmic...
read more

An Amazing Conversation at Good Men Project About Avoiding a Contentious Divorce.

Recently I posted one of my early articles about seeking to maintain my family even as I divorced over at the Good Men Project. A remarkable conversation came out of that post. Its well worth reading. Take a look...
read more

The Button Game – Teaching Young Children Emotional Maturity

The Button Game – Teaching Young Children Emotional Maturity
  About 18 months ago, Saliha, my son and I did this drawing called the Button Game. No doubt there were hundreds of conversations that let up to this drawing. As with everything in life, we arrived at this moment by taking a million tiny steps over time. But it is this kind of creative culmination that results when life lessons are purposefully marked and made accessible through artistic expression. In this case, illustrations of visual symbols. Sam was five years old at the time. Like most parents, I was wrestling with a complex range of issues including his developing social skills, the ever...
read more

Parent Bloggers – The Salvation of our Generation

Parent Bloggers – The Salvation of our Generation
I ran across a post written this summer by stay at home dad @ChrisRoutly from his site the Daddy Doctrines. Chris was writing about whether or not parenting makes people happier which Chris says is actually a misnomer. Chris says parenting is about living a fulfilling life. Chris writes some great stuff, so go have a look. This all got me thinking about what makes Chris sit down and write. And he’s not alone. Many many parents are asking questions about the nature of a fulfilling life, and going public with their thoughts on all of it. My parents would have thought all this self-examination to...
read more

In Flight – Seeing the Possible with a Four Year Old

A couple of years ago, my four year old son Sam and I were leaving a big box bookstore in upstate New York. It was winter, close to Thanksgiving. I held him in the crook of my arm, his face next to mine, his small arm confidently draped across my shoulder. It was around 6PM. The sun had set. Lights on passing cars sparkled. The traffic sounds were perfectly clear in the crisp night air. The stage was set to see and to hear. As if the world had decided to create this giant stage and light it dramatically just for our benefit. We heard the sound of geese calling, growing louder, very quickly. They were...
read more

New Father Fears- The Terror Of Feeling Trapped

Ah, the joys of parenting when you’re just a panic stricken guy in way over his head… ———————- This morning I got Gus up, found his clothes for him, fed him, talked with him about which colors match which levels of emotions (his choice of conversation not mine), made his lunch, and took him to school on the C train. Feint echos of some bad old emotions hit me sometimes when I spend the morning being a Dad. I recall the panic I felt when I first became a full time, all day parent. As kids get older and start school and other activities, they move...
read more

So…Just What Exactly is a SAHD?

I titled my site MEGA SAHD, as a tongue in cheek play on the unfortunate sound you make when you speak the abbreviation for Stay At Home Dad (SAHD). As in, “You are a stay at home dad. How SAD for you.” So I pretty much had to add MEGA, which is some kind of children’s animated fighting toy reference. Its meant  to conjure brightly colored body armor and a big glowing sword while doing the dishes. Anyway, I went with it. As we stay at home dad’s know, being a SAHD is not really sad at all. Its insane. Its alarming. Its exhausting. Its hilarious. It generates a MASSIVE amount of...
read more

The Sadness Ghost: A Six Year Old Deals With Sadness

The Sadness Ghost: A Six Year Old Deals With Sadness
Psychotherapy Networker Magazine has published the Sadness Ghost in it’s January, 2012 issue. — In the summer of 2011, here in New York City, an eight year old boy was murdered. He got lost walking the few blocks home from day camp. It is a chilling story. Even more so for parents of young children. When I read about it, my first response was, “I have to get Sam away from the city. This place is not safe. We have to go somewhere SAFE.” Close on the heels of that thought, came the question of how to get Sam to NOT TRUST STRANGERS. My son Sam is six years old. He’s a sweet kid. He talks to...
read more

MegaSAHD’s Divorced, Co-Parenting, Learning to Love Your EX, How I Got to Here, and Other Stuff

Please note: I have changed the names of my son and my former spouse in this article. My purpose is to reduce their footprint on the net. *** I’m the divorced parent. Some parents stay married. I didn’t. I get up in the morning and make my son breakfast. I pack his lunch. I walk him to school and I pick him up. I schedule play dates. I watch cartoons with him. We talk about being “unmarried” and having two houses. In the beginning, shortly after the collapse of my marriage, I made a point of speaking glowingly of my former spouse. Especially around my still-married friends. I would march into...
read more