The Art of "Dadding" with a Technology SpinMichael Sheehan
Being a dad is a privilege. And it is not something to be taken lightly. My generation is showing a dramatic change in how parenting is done and a shift from what used to be a primarily female-dominated household to one of more equal participation. My family will always be female dominated…I have 3 girls. The only other male currently in the family is our pet hamster, Hammy, who I have found a unique companionship with. While it is my middle daughter’s responsibility to do the feeding, I’m the guy who ends up giving him treats of broccoli or carrots, and cleaning his home. I even have some late night conversations with him before he starts his active workout on his treadmill. That is the extent of my male-to-male relationship in the family.
But I’m fine with that. Having daughters is amazing. They provide joy and insight into things that I have never experienced or thought about. My wife has built them into very strong, unique personalities, with a coaching that I could never bring to the family. But, as studies have told, having a strong father figure in a family of daughters helps them dramatically in the years to come. And that is something that I’m very committed to.
I do have another woman in my life though, as clearly pointed out by my wife, and her name is “technology.” I have a love affair of gadgets, gizmos and anything that runs on power. And this is part of the reason why I came with the concept of HighTechDad. There are lots of sites about parenting (like Babble.com, for example) as well as many that cover the latest trends in technology. But I believe that there are few that look at technology and how it maps to the family dynamic. That is the mission that I tasked myself with when I created HighTechDad.com. Not all technology is good in a family environment, and it is critical to have a careful balance of what, how and when to use it as it can be distracting and disruptive.
In the coming months, I will be offering my opinion and insights into what tech to use or not to use, how to help your children and family navigate the digital and social waters that surround them, and also offer ideas on how to tackle the concept of “Dadding” either with or without an electronic spin. I view this content to be iterative and multi-directional; that is to say, if you have questions or need a better understanding of how to be a “different” dad (I stay away from saying “better” because the process of being a “good” father is entirely subjective and governed by your family environment), please leave a comment on any of my posts or send me a tweet on Twitter (I’m @HighTechDad).
Remember, technology within the family can be either a distraction or a tool. It will not replace the relationships you have with you children, but tech can extend your relationships beyond the critical physical interactions you have with your kids.