Great New Men’s Resource:

There’s a fantastic new online publication for men called

According to the publisher, Christian Collard, the publication has one simple goal: “to provide content that will inform, inspire and engage with today’s guy.”

Simple? Maybe. Easy? Absolutely not – but delivers. I think the key to the publication’s success is Christian’s ability to bring together dads and men from all walks of life. Yes you, as long as you’re a man, can submit an article to

“Our website is an outlet for men, husbands, and fathers to connect, share, and engage with an active community of similar lifestyles and personalities. We leave the door open to any writer or blogger with an idea to share, topic to cover, or even a event to promote. covers topics such as health, adventure, travel, fitness, fatherhood, relationships, food, sports, cars, money, and fun. We publish regular content appropriate for all ages (stuff that won’t get you in trouble when viewed at home or the office). hopes to provide quality and engaging content from a wide range of viewpoints with the goal of informing and inspiring men of today. We are connected, we are learning, and we are sharing.”

I’d like to thank Christian for taking some time to tell us a little bit about his site. I also hope you enjoy as much as I do.

And remember, you are not alone …

Jedi Joss Shows off His Moves

The force is strong in this one. He doesn’t even need an actual light saber. One of daddy’s combs will do just fine …

May the force be with you.

And remember, you are not alone …

Work is Not a Four-Letter Word

Well actually it is, but not in the way you think.

Until recently, when I thought of work it had a negative connotation.

I think many people perceive work as unpleasant, dreadful or boring – not to mention life-draining. But work is not a negative or an expletive. Nor is it innately bad.

It’s the ruts and the patterns we allow ourselves to fall into that are negative.

I started to become aware of my own negative perception of the word when I began working from home back in January. As I build my speaking career and freelance writing business, I block off certain times of the day to “work.” I soon noticed that I had a problem with the word. All sorts of negative connotations were attached to it – most of them including feelings of pain, suffering and misery.

I tried to re-name work, to help create a more positive perception in my mind. The best I could come up with was “Personal Achievement,” which only reminded me that I was trying to avoid the word work. In other words, re-naming work didn’t work.

Point being, if we find our work pleasant, fulfilling and it helps us move toward goal achievement (other than just making money), it’s certainly going to feel and be positive. If our work does not provide us with these things, we need to take a fresh look at our goals, and do our best to get back on track to the life we want.

In my “four letter word” series, my goal is to change the perception some of us may have about certain words. In doing so, I hope that we can create a shift in perception that leads to a shift toward a more happy, fulfilling life.

Words have power because of the meaning we imbed within them.

And remember, you are not alone …

Star Wars Episode 7: Dads are not Droids

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away …
… Daddy Brain’s children thought he was a droid.

At least that what it seems like sometimes. Like most kids, mine are constantly demanding my attention – either to play, eat, bathe, or break up an argument about something that nobody will remember 20 minutes from now.

All in all, I love my role as a Work At Home Dad. But alas, I am not a droid. I can not recharge my battery in one hour like my iPhone. And I struggle with processing all the input that streams into my brain all day long. Working on growing my speaking career, caring for my boys, my wife and myself – not to mention actually mowing the lawn every once in a while is a constant struggle. And it’s exhausting.

I was speaking with a friend the other day and he told me that my quest for “balance” was impossible – especially if I’m constantly trying to have a balance between work, family and self on a daily basis. I think he’s right. Quite frankly, everything is cyclical – whether I want it to be or not. Sometimes the focus needs to be on work. Other times on play.

Above all, I need to recognize when my wife or kids need me. Although this is paramount over the former two things, it’s sometimes difficult because it involves being flexible. And being flexible means occasionally letting go of what I have planned. Finally, I need to make sure I take good care of myself so I can do all of these things well, and have a clear head to know where to direct my attention first.

Like my good friend, R2D2 the astromech droid, all I can do is my best.

May the force be with you.

And remember, you are not alone …

Meet Lizzie Beckwith: Comedian, Writer, Mom …

There’s a milestone occurring here @ Daddy Brain. Some might say it’s simply the fact that I’m posting something new (which is another story I’ll detail soon). In reality, it’s the fact that this is the first time I’ve ever highlighted a mom (other than my wife) on this blog.

I’m keeping it in the family (she’s my cousin), but the reason I’m highlighting her is because she’s funny. And she’s written a book that makes an excellent gift for mom (Mothers’ Day is right around the corner) called, Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation.

According to Lizzie, “this book is not one of those traditional, all-too-earnest parenting guides that, for generations, have sucked all the fun out of child rearing. The foundation of my Guilt and Manipulation family philosophy is simple: we do things a certain way, and everyone else is an a**hole.”

“Is that something you should put on a bumper sticker and slap on your minivan? Of course not — that would be trashy. But in the privacy of your own home, you can employ essential components of Guilt and Manipulation to mold the little runts ruthlessly yet effectively into children you won’t be embarrassed to admit are yours.”

Who is Elizabeth Beckwith, you ask?
Other than funny, Lizzie is a mom of two and the wife of a fabulous guy who shall remain nameless to protect his identity. Lizzie is at the forefront of a new movement: moms being funny about parenthood. Once an exclusive club for dads attempting to cope through comedy, Lizzie offers up laughs in her non-parenting, parenting book. What’s interesting, at least to me, is how the book’s honesty (often laced with sarcasm) really made me think about how I parent without beating me over the head about it.

Lizzie is also a stand-up comedian who has appeared on various talk shows, including The Late Show with Craig Kilborn and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. She’s also appeared in TV shows, film and and has graced the stage of many a comedy club.

And now, a few words from Lizzie about comedy, her book and Grandma Frances …

Daddy Brain: Other than your comedic nature, what provoked you to write this book?

Lizzie Beckwith: When I was getting ready to have my first child, I was reading a few “real” parenting books and started to find them terrifying. They all stated the importance of having a definitive parenting philosophy, and I didn’t really have a clue what that would be for me. I have always maintained that I was raised by the best parents in the world, so I decided I just wanted to do what they did. They were neither dictators nor pushovers, but we (their offspring) always wanted to please them and feared disappointing them.

As I tried to deconstruct how in the world they managed to be  easy-going, loving parents and yet still pull off being the kind of parents you would be horrified to disappoint, I thought of all of these funny anecdotes and stories about growing up. I realized that my parents kept us in line by giving us non-stop encouragement while at the same time using the horrible example of others to teach us right from wrong. We lived in fear of being like “those jerks!” that my parents were so disgusted by. So, when we did do something bad, we were filled with so much guilt, there was no need for any formal punishment! I joked that if my mother wrote a book it would be called, Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation, and then I thought, “Hey, I should write that book!”

DB: Why have you chosen comedy as your form of communication? Why not another genre?

LB: I’ve been obsessed with comedy since I was a little kid.  I don’t know how to communicate any other way.  That’s just the way my brain is wired.

DB: Why is stand-up comedy so intriguing to you? Have you ever used a chair?

LB: When I was a kid I used to rent all of those “Evening at the Improv” videos, and I just devoured them. I loved stand-up comedy, but it didn’t occur to me right away that it was something I would ever do. One night when I was about 16, I went to a coffee house with my friend and an open-mic was going on. That was the first time it hit me, “Oh, if I wanted to do this, I could actually do it.  Here.  At this place.”  I went back the next week and performed comedy on stage for the first time. It was thrilling.  It is one of the only artistic mediums where you know instantly if something is working or not. Musicians can hide behind the blare of their guitars, with stand-up, either people are laughing or they’re not. I loved the instant gratification.  Of course, some nights, I wish I was holding a guitar.

DB: Who is the funniest comedian on earth? Why?

LB: I have so many favorites, that’s tough for me to answer, but I think I’ll go with a childhood favorite,  Bill Cosby.  I have so many memories of watching “Bill Cosby: Himself” with my brother, Patrick, and just weeping.  Cosby can weave a story like no one else.  Story-telling comedy is the most difficult type of stand-up because if you lose people early on, there’s not easy exit.  Cosby is a master story-teller. What he’s telling you is hilarious in and of itself, but the way he delivers it — that just brings it to another level.

DB: If you inherited $500 million dollars tomorrow, what would you do with your life?

EB: I would still be pursuing the same dreams, I would just have a nicer bathroom floor to cry on.

DB: Finally, what is your favorite memory of our Grandma Frances? What do you remember the most about her? What are the similarities you see between our Grandma and your mom as a Grandma?

EB: There are so many vivid memories of Gram.  She really was such a strong presence, when she entered a room everyone hopped to attention, it was like General Patton walked in. You knew she was gonna inspect you and make a biting comment based on her observations, but it all came from a place of love. Gram wanted you to be the best possible version of yourself and she would be openly frustrated with you if you fell short of what she believed you could be. It didn’t matter if it was your career or your hairstyle, Gram expected the best out of you.

I guess the thing I remember most about  her was her commitment to prayer. If you were in trouble, Gram would stay up all night saying the rosary for you — and I mean, all night. Not just one prayer at the end of the day kind of deal, she would be lighting candles, saying novenas, praying the rosary — she did it all, and she did it with love and she never complained about it.

I miss her so much sometimes.

Often I’ll hear some kind of political story on the news and wonder what Grandma would have said about it. Gram read the newspaper cover to cover every day until the day she died. She always knew what was happening in the world, and she always had an opinion on it.

As far as the similarities between my mom and Gram as Grandmothers, I would say the common thread is their need to feed their grandchildren. That’s a big one, food. My kids love my mother’s food so much. My son is much more inclined to eat something if I tell him I’m making it “the Grandma” way.

– – – –

I hope you enjoyed my interview with Lizzie Beckwith. For more about her book, visit

And remember, you are not alone…

A Fresh Look at Goals: for Parents, Kids & the Family (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, I wrote about methods that help us define and develop goals.

Once you’ve clarified what they are, the next step is breaking each goal into down into manageable steps, so we can set out with a plan on how to accomplish them. This plan may need frequent adjusting. This is not only OK, but a healthy part of the process.

As we move along and things clarify, we sometimes find that part of a plan simply does not work. This is NOT to be considered failure, it is a mini-success because with the adjustment in our plan we align ourselves more closely with the end goal.

Ultimately, if we take steps on a daily basis (no matter how small) we can attain our goals. It’s important to remember that we may not reach our goals on the intended date. Some things are out of our control. And if you’re a parent, lack of time and energy are real obstacles that may hinder rapid accomplishment. Fear not, it’s still possible, as long as you become crystal clear about what you want and how you’re going to get it.

The good news is that if we do this ourselves, we wind up teaching our kids how to do it, too. It’s a winning situation for everybody.

Here’s snapshot of what my mentor, Zig Ziglar, says about the goals process. His fantastic book, See You At The Top, goes into great detail about this subject (see a full list of recommendations at the end of this article).

1)     Identify EXACTLY what I desire
2)     Spell out exactly why I’d like to reach these goals
3)     List the obstacles I need to overcome in order to get there
4)     Identify the people, groups and organizations I need to work with to get there
5)     Identify what I need to know (learn) in order to reach these goals
6)     Develop a plan of action
7)     Set a date on it. When do I expect to get there?

One additional thought. If this all seems overwhelming, that’s normal. You can’t possibly answer all of these questions all at once. If you’re just starting the process, you may not be able to answer any. But if you allow yourself to believe that you can do this, you will. If you believe that you can’t, you won’t. In other words, your perception will create your reality.

It’s never too soon to help our kids learn to set their own goals. By this I do not mean us setting goals for them, that’s different (and also necessary).

For instance, my son Max is in kindergarten. I shouldn’t expect him to be able to answer the following: “So, what are your plans to get to college?”

But I can help him set some goals for the coming school year. Any extra-curricular activities he might want to partake in (ie: swimming or track and field…) I also like to discuss future goals with both him – from career to family plans. I do this with my 3-year old, too. It helps my boys develop their frontal lobe, which is so important in decision making and problem solving.

There are too many young adults that have not idea how to set a goal, or what to do with their lives.

I’d like to take a deeper look at the kindergarten to college analogy. ANYBODY who tried to look at this scenario as a point A to point B endeavor would be completely overwhelmed. Here’s a way it can be broken down:

Kindergarten (where I’m at) to College (the goal)
the step-by-step approach to accomplishing my goal:

– Section it off by grammar school, middle school, high school and college.
– Now break it down by grade (year): kindergarten, grade 1, etc.
– By semester
– By month
– By week
– By day
– By class

You get the idea. Each step leads us to the ultimate goal, but it’s much easier to build upon if you start from the “by class” goal. Now it’s manageable – a small enough bite that you can actually chew on it, instead of choke on it.

Family goals could be anything from spending more time together, taking a family vacation, helping each other get in shape, fixing up the house, etc…

Sometimes an individual’s goal becomes a family goal. For instance, my son Max wants to be a NASCAR driver.

This is his goal. But since he’s only 5, it’s my job (and my wife’s job) to help him attain it – making it a family goal.

My first step is bringing him to a kart race to gauge his interest level. Once he sees exactly what kids’ kart racing entails (this actually exists for kids his age), what does he think?

My responsibility is to help both boys set goals that are realistic and attainable (but not necessarily easy). I can’t expect Max to drive a full-sized car right now, but there are karts he can drive, or he can play a driving game on the Playstation, etc…

If we make goal setting a way of life for ourselves and our kids, we can all expect more fulfilling and less frustrating lives.

Is it easy? NO.

Have I accomplished everything? Hardly.

Is it worth it? Absolutely.

It’s a long road, but the sooner we get on the better off we’ll be.

And remember, you are not alone…

For further reading & listening:

Zig Ziglar
– See You at The Top (Highly reccomended book)
– Goals (audio CD’s)

Jack Canfield
The Success Principles
(also available on audio CD)

Brian Tracy

Get Motivated by Successful Failures (Part 1)

Picture 1Some of America’s greatest success stories almost didn’t happen.

Did you know that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team? Following this rejection he went home, locked himself in his room and cried.

Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for having no imagination and no original ideas.

Even The Beatles failed. Before they became “popular,” they were turned down by Decca Records who claimed, “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

One of Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything, and that he should go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality.”

What would have happened if these people would have listened to the criticism?

Whether the criticism spurred them to greatness or not, one thing is for sure: the deciding factor in their success was not their talent. It was their ability to get back on their feet – sometimes countless times and try again.

You can do the same.
How? By learning each lesson you need to learn from your “failures,” and trying again – as many times as it takes. Do the work that needs to be done, as best you can each day. No matter how daunting. Step-by-step, day-by-day, you will get closer to your goal until it is attained.

These successful failures are perfect examples that anything is possible.

Do you listen to the critics? Are you your OWN worst critic? If so, you may be denying the world your greatness. Not to mention your family, yourself and your bank account.

You do not have to settle for less than who you are. No matter what ANYBODY says.

If Jordan had settled for less, the Knicks might have actually won a title. Scotty Pippen would have had to score a LOT more points to create the Bulls legacy. And Dennis Rodman would have fallen into obscurity instead of becoming the greatest (and weirdest) rebounder in the league.

What if Edison would have listened? We might all still be sitting in the dark.

Whether you succeed or fail is up to you. It’s your responsibility. What do you choose?

Don’t forget, your kids are watching.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related Links:
Get Motivated by Successful Failures, Part 2

Family Blogs

Do You Suffer from “Convenience Integrity?”

One Saturday morning, I was running errands with my son, Joss, when a strange thing happened.

I found integrity at Home Depot.

No, it wasn’t in one of the employees (who are surprisingly helpful at my local store), nor was it in the store itself.

On our quest for flowers for mommy and some water-softener, I found integrity in myself.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with water-softener salt, it’s something that helps keep your water softener cleaned out and working well so your water isn’t “hard.” Hard water is akin to taking a shower in liquid sandpaper – which is perfect if you’re trying to exfoliate.

When you buy the 40 lb. bag (geez!) of salt, you need to tell the cashier to ring it up, then load it into your cart on your way out (large piles of it sit conveniently by the exit). I asked for two bags, swiped my debit card, and got the salt.

When I got home I looked at the receipt. The cashier had not rung up the salt, which cost about $16.

I was faced with a decision. Nobody knew but me. I could have the salt free of charge. But just because nobody knew, didn’t make it right. Even though it was not intentional, and the huge corporation that is Home Depot would never miss my $16, it still felt wrong in my gut.

Then I realized, this situation had the potential to build up my integrity, or chip away at it.

Here’s the thing: (1) the nagging feeling in my gut wasn’t going to go away; (2) and not paying could cost me far more than $16, because it would have undermined how I felt about myself. Not a good recipe for success.

What kind of man was I?

I had to choose whether I was the guy who did the right thing, or the guy who ignored my integrity to save a few bucks. So I went back and paid for the salt (it did take me a few days to get back to the store).

This experience also gave me an opportunity to set a good example for my son, Max, who was with me this time. I explained to him what had happened and why I made the decision I made. This made the cost of those two 40 lb. bags worth their weight in gold.

But wait.
Before you start thinking I’m acting all high and mighty about this, I’ll admit there have been times where my integrity has wavered. And although it’s always over small stuff, I find myself wondering –
 how much integrity is enough?

Is burning an occasional CD from the library really “small stuff,” in the cosmic scheme of things? When compared to murder, stealing and infidelity, I’d have to say yes. Does that make it right, acceptable, or just plain rationalized? I think we all have a sliding scale of what seems like a breech of integrity and what does not. But where do we draw the line?

And remember you are not alone…

Two Sides to Every Story (or My Apology to Billy Crystal)

A driver who cuts you off on the highway. A cashier who crushes your eggs with an 8 lb. watermelon. The arrogant jerk who acts like he thinks he’s better than everybody else – or is just plain smarter. 

When I experience people like this my first instinct is often to think, say, or shout (if I’m in the car) something like, “moron!” OK, I admit, I’m keeping it clean. Sometimes I say far worse – quite emphatically!

But then I remember a very important message I was given:

“There’s always another side to understand. You may not necessarily agree with it. But know that side is there. Try to understand it, instead of judging.”

With such busy lives, not to mention coping with constant exhaustion, it’s sometimes easier to look at something (or someone) on a one-dimensional level.

A couple of years ago I noticed a guy I kind of knew walking around work looking extremely depressed. At first I didn’t look past his depression. But then one day I asked him if he was OK. It turned out he was in the middle of a divorce, and he was being granted very little time with his kids. He wasn’t just “some depressed guy,” he was tormented by the loss of his children.

Maybe the driver who cuts us off is rushing to the hospital. Or maybe they’re “venting” with aggressive driving because of stress over money, work, health issues or a failing relationship. It doesn’t make their driving acceptable, but it makes it comprehensible.

The arrogant jerk who acts like he thinks he’s better than everybody else may really feel totally insecure, inadequate or downright horrible about himself. So he/she compensates with arrogance.

These people might just be idiots – there’s that possibility. But I think it’s unlikely that anybody’s story begins or ends so simply.

This reminds me of a Billy Crystal story.

In 1996, I had just completed my first full-length screenplay. Honestly, it was awful, but at the time I didn’t know this. I was working in Manhattan at the corporate office of a major jeans company (in the customer service department), when I received an interesting phone call from a coworker.

Billy Crystal had just walked into our retail store (which was just downstairs). My heart raced. I opened my desk drawer which contained a pristine, polished copy of my awful script. I had a decision to make…

I took the elevator to the store and ran down the staircase toward street level. About halfway down I saw Billy. The poor guy was shopping with his wife and daughter. Still on the stairs I barked excitedly at him, “Hi Billy. I have this screenplay I’ve written, and I’d really appreciate if you could read it and tell me what you think!”

He looked mortified, but remained polite. He told me that he wasn’t allowed to accept any material unless it first passed through his agent (which is true). I think he even apologized before he walked away.

This guy had class. And at the time, I had none.

So what does this have to do with “two sides to every story?” Before I forced myself on the guy, I didn’t think about Billy’s point of view. He was trying to have a nice afternoon out with his family. He’s probably constantly bombarded (especially in 1996) by people asking for stuff and wanting stuff.

Yes, I had the guts to speak to a super star. But I was also disrespectful, not to mention the fact that I probably put a bad taste in his mouth about ever stepping foot in the store again.

Billy, you probably don’t remember me. You’ve probably let go of the incident long ago. But I would honestly like to apologize. I didn’t take your side into consideration, and I wound up being the rude person. And every time I watch Monsters, Inc. with my boys, I think about the lesson I learned that day.

And remember, you are not alone…

If you like this post, Stumble It!

Family Blogs

The The 40-Year-Old Version: Book Review & Author Interview

Picture 2Here I sit, having freshly completed, The 40-Year-Old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad. I’ve committed to writing a review, which is fine by me. The book is refreshingly good, and I enjoyed it immensely. But where do I start? How do I do it justice without sounding like dozens of other positive reviews of Joel’s work?

I think I’ll start from the same place Joel did. Honesty. I don’t mean honesty like, “hey, I stole your pen.” I mean honesty that comes from the soul. Honesty about feelings that men are not supposed to have, let alone share. But Joel is brave enough to do just that. 

Although many of the mini-chapters (which are really self-contained articles, perfect lengths for busy dads) are just plain funny, there’s a healthy dose of real issues that concern dads — both married and divorced. From the sad, defeated moment of moving back in with his parents (after the divorce), to using donuts & driving as a form of escapism, to rebuilding one’s life — Joel shows us (dads) that we are not as alone as we may have thought.

I also like the way Joel reminded me of the sacredness of even the most mundane-appearing moments with my kids. I could go on, but why? I’d rather let the author speak, or should I say type, for himself. I hope you enjoy the interview… 

Daddy Brain: Are you still seeing your kids just once a week? If so, how do you feel about this?

Joel Schwartzberg: I see the kids (my son, 9; and twin daughters, 6) every Friday night, and all day Saturday. I also take one of them out every Wednesday night for dinner or dessert so we can do some one-on-one bonding. Given my full-time work schedule, it’s as much exposure as I can logistically get, and I’m thankful for every moment. But I don’t measure my fatherhood by how much time I spend with them; I consider myself a full-time father. Fathers are fathers, period.

DB: How were you treated during the divorce process? Did you get any respect as a dad or a man?

JS: My ex and I chose to use a mediator, because there was mutual trust at first. I also didn’t want the kids to have to move out of their house, even if it meant giving more than what was required.

Since then, my ex has moved into another house with her boyfriend, but doesn’t seem to realize that changes the game a bit. So, unfortunately, we’re talking to lawyers now about, to put it diplomatically, equalizing the situation.

It helps that I now feel equally qualified as a parent. Early in the divorce, I felt like the lesser parent. I think many dads – divorced or not – probably fall into that trap, but in truth our dadhood is ours to define. It’s up to us to take responsibility and discover what I call our “inner dads”.

DB: I have divorced dad friends that struggle with balancing their new (intimate) relationship with their relationship with the kids. They’re haunted by fear of commitment; fear of another failed relationship; difficulty integrating their kids into the mix; the need for friendship & intimacy vs. the fact that their girlfriend might not be the right match for a man with kids. How was this transition for you?

JS: Well, fortunately, I wasn’t burdened by any of those anxieties and fears. My kids love people who love them back, so I had no real concerns about their new stepmom, who has the double benefit of being a 5th grade teacher and a terrific cook.

As far as me, my last marriage showed me the dynamic that doesn’t work for me, making it easier for me to recognize the one that does. Yes, there’s a balancing act between my life as a husband and my life as a father to these kids, but my wife is patient and understanding (and I reward her as often as I can). Finding someone who would accept me and my three little carry-ons was not hard, but I consider myself very lucky in that regard.

DB: In your book you have an article called, “Parenting by Numbers.” Something you wrote hit me hard. “This is the year it will sink in… This is the year they’ll start to think of me as a terrible, angry father.” Raising my voice. Losing my patience. Being snippy, short and gruff. There are all things I battle with on a daily basis. And quite frankly, even if it only makes up 2% of my time with my boys, I feel like an awful father. What do you do to avoid these negative moments? How has your progress been?

JS: Those moments seemed to subside with the emerging definition of my own role in my kids’ life. When I was defining my fatherhood based on my ex-wife’s expectations, it frustrated me to no end, and I’m sure I transferred that resentment to the kids. But now I remind myself that I’m their dad – their only father — and I have control over this situation. It also helps to put myself in their shoes; I can appreciate a lot of their hurt and vulnerability that way.

I think we need to cut ourselves some slack too. All parents are handicapped in one way or another. We all screw up. But kids at this age are incredibly resilient, so the point is how we move past it. 

I talk to my kids about my anger, and sometimes apologize for it if I feel I’ve crossed a line. This seems to make everyone feel better. Some have called that weak parenting, but I want my kids to be comfortable expressing their deep emotions, and as their parent I need to model that behavior.

DB: What advice do you have for divorced dads, or dads that are in the process of getting divorced?

JS: To remember they are not divorcing their kids; just their ex. To see the divorce as an opportunity to reconnect to their children on their own terms and, in doing so, become a more genuine – and happy — dad. And to understand that they are their children’s permanent, irreplaceable, full-time Dad, no matter what. Nothing can change that.

DB: Finally, will there be a sequel to your book? Or are you going to be like Billy Joel and just ride on the success of your previous work, never to grace us with anything new again? What’s his deal anyway?

JS: That’s probably what his last wife is saying.

As for me, I’m going to see how far this book goes. It was optioned by an L.A. producer. Let me say that again: IT WAS OPTIONED BY AN L.A. PRODUCER. So when that dream gets inevitably crushed, I’ll decide what to do next. I do have a day job, you know.

– – – – 

I’d like to thank Joel for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’d like to learn more about his book, or contact him, please visit: his Web site.

And remember, you are not alone…