Congratulations Armin Brott on approaching twenty years of helping dads become lifetime fathers for their children and the dads their children need them to be.
Like many great causes their beginnings are fueled by a personal wanting for something more. In Armin’s case, it was a justifiable anger because of the lack of information and his desire to be the best dad he could be. Which he has ultimately provided for others, including the resources and wisdom he gained through his research?
The CyberHood Watch partners can only imagine the impact we will have after twenty years. Almost twenty years later and Armin is still empowering dads who want to more than the stereotype father figurehead.
In 1994 Armin authored his first of many books called, “The Expectant Father”, which has sold over a million copies. Armin’s most recent book, in the last couple of months, is the “Military Father” – A Guide for Deployed Dads.
The whole idea is to get people to understand how important fathers are, starting with the fathers themselves, said Armin Brott.
Armin touched on something that will personally affect me in the next year or so and that is “separation anxiety”. Not so much the separation when your child develops his or her own friends and it is no longer cool to associate with moms or dads, but more so the empty-nester separation anxiety.
More than thirty years I have officed from my home and have been a constant in all five of my children’s lives. Ironically, sometimes I felt I had too much time with them, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Did I make mistakes – oh yeah.
However, it is getting closer to the day when they will all be out of the house, and it is very likely then, I will understand the meaning of separation anxiety.
How do today’s dads differ from our dad’s generation ago?
Dads then and dads now are very similar on the inside; the difference is on the outside. Our dad’s generation before us was based on a different definition: a good father. A generation ago, the definition of a good father was you went to work, you made money, and you put shoes on everybody’s feet, and food in the refrigerator. That is what was expected and in some ways that was allowed.
Today’s dads are still expected to be the providers and protector. However, in addition to the latter responsibilities, dads are now expected to drive the carpool, coach the soccer team, and be the stable emotional presence in the home. There is a lot more responsibility for the contemporary father.
If you ever doubt for a moment that our children are not part of the new Net-Generation and the digital world – think again. Bill and I got a chuckle when Armin explained that his daughter literally completes six-thousand text messages in one month. In comparison, Bill pointed out that he has only accumulated approximately a thousand tweets on Twitter – oh yeah – that covers more than a year.
I think my older kids are beginning to unplug – they do not want to be at everyone’s beckon call – they want time to themselves.
Each generation of parents face new issues and new technologies and it is important for the current generation of parents to be responsible and be aware of what their children are doing. Today’s parent faces new technologies and they can no longer remain the digital immigrant while their children become the new digital citizens.
The digital gap between parents and children can be the difference between a productive and happy childhood and a child who has lost their innocence only to live a life of torment. Today’s contemporary parent cannot be complacent with the role of technology in the child’s life. The flow of information available to our children is massive and today’s parent needs to be aware so their child does not drown.
As Armin points out, a generation ago, you had to stop and use the pay phone to reach home, or you had to be home to receive the call. You could control the amount of information that flowed into your child’s life. If you had to be the disciplinarian, you could remove the privilege of using the phone. Today it is hard to find privacy and avoid contact from the many sources of media.
The bottom line is many of today’s contemporary fathers want more of a relationship in the nurturing, care taking, and development of their child. Unfortunately, media has so often portrayed the mother as the sole caretaker of the children that dads have not been allowed to share in that role.
Fortunately, Armin Brott’s, desire to be an active participant in his children’s lives as the nurturing caretaker has opened the doors to many dads who have yearned to take on such a role in their child’s life.
Armin’s journey over the past twenty years has provided other dads the resources to take an active role in the lives of their children.
Be sure to download and listen to the CyberHood Watch Partners interview with Armin Brott. In this post, I only covered half our conversation.
david c ballard