Taking an un-American vacation 

There are family vacations that, it seems, we as American dads are just supposed to take our families on. My family has been fortunate to do some of them. Disney World and Disneyland. Yellowstone National Park. And a trip to our nation’s capital, which we’re saving our pennies for to visit next spring.

But this fall, we’ve decided to take what might be considered an un-American vacation – a trip less focused on us, and more focused on what we can do for others.

Life Happens – A Public Service Announcement

We have all heard the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” We state this question as if good people are somehow immune to bad things or we “earn” good things in life if we are good.  As if you have ever heard, “Why do good things happen to bad people.”  I don’t think life works that way.  I don’t think we can earn “time off” for good behavior.    Some recent events in my life, which were quite humbling, have raised this question for me. 

I Claim This Land For …

Every day, it seems, I read a story about some father giving his kids something ludicrously fantastic. There’s this guy, called by Time magazine as the “best dad ever,” who built his 5-year-old son an indoor treehouse/Spider-Man lair in the kid’s bedroom. Then I read the story of Jeremiah Heaton, who tracked down an 800-square-mile patch of unclaimed desert which he promptly declared his own—so his 7-year-old daughter, Emily, could be fairly called a princess.

The Surprisingly Difficult Responsibility of Loving Children

How many times have you admired the sight of your peaceful, sleeping children?

Their bright, warm smiles? Their cheery laughs? Their infectious, irrepressible joy?

Pretty easy to fall in love with, right? There is really nothing that we are blessed with on this earthly plane that are quite as special as children

Why is that? What is it about children that makes them so special?

It’s not just we parents who recognize how unique they are, and we aren’t the ones who give them value.

The 5 Places Where Fatherhood Starts

Today we’re excited to feature a special guest on the Dad Matters blog, Matt Brown.

You may recognize him from Twitter or from one of his many books or from Think Eternity or from a previous post he wrote for us on the topic of knowing nothing about being a dad. (Which was great.)

However, if by any chance you don’t recognize him, we’ll get out of the way and let him introduce himself.


- DM


Where Fatherhood Starts

By Matt Brown

My wife and I are expecting our first baby, a boy, later this year.

I hate being wrong…

I hate being wrong. And the other weekend I was so wrong.

After a very long, emotional and difficult couple of weeks, I needed a slow, quiet weekend with nothing to do but rest. Saturday, I fought not to do the chores that have piled up around the house like the dirty laundry has done. Instead, I tried to read, watch TV and nap, all in an effort to recharge my emotional and physical batteries. Unfortunately, I was only partially successful.

A Father’s Goal

If my son, Colin, and I were prone to tweak quotes from Star Wars (and, in truth, we sometimes are), you might hear the following dialogue—originally spoken between Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi—at my house this weekend:

Colin: We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.
Me: Only a master of soccer, Colin.

Then instead of flicking on our light sabers, we’ll sit down and flip on the World Cup.

Lord Business’ Evil Lair… My Man Cave?

I didn’t believe it at first. In fact, it didn’t even dawn on me until the second time we watched it.

I am Lord Business.

A part of me wishes that meant that I’ve discovered that I morph into comedic superstar actor Will Ferrell under every full moon. But, unfortunately for both myself and my kids, the reality is much worse.

No, the truth is that I embody the selfish, creativity-crushing spirit of President Lord Business.

How to Respond When Your Teenager Has Been Sexually Active: Part II

Last week we finished up our month long series on reclaiming the “Talk” from the secular culture. My last blog on that subject talked about how my oldest made some mistakes and decided to ignore our advice as parents. It may have seemed like I was venting in a way, but what I was trying to portray was that even though you can try and train them in the way they should go, sometimes they go out on their own, like the prodigal son in the Bible.

7 Life Lessons to Teach When Getting Your Kids a Cell Phone

Whenever you decide to do it, getting your son or daughter a cell phone is a big milestone for them – and another step down Independence Blvd.  Given all that you can do with a phone, especially a smartphone, it’s also a big responsibility. We took the plunge and got our oldest his own mobile phone this past week.

First though, we had a conversation about our expectations. I think a phone is a great place to further practice behaviors I want my kids to demonstrate wherever they go.