Earth Day Like a Boss

Earth Day Like a Boss

You’ve got solar panels on the roof, you drive an electric car, your family composts, and even if none of those three statements are true, they are things you would like to aspire to, right? Kind of? Aw, come on – let’s try not to leave behind a charred hellscape for our children’s children, can we? Regardless of where you fall on the “green” spectrum, we rounded up some relevant content for you to consume on this Earth Day. For starters, browse this list of links to 11 apps, products, and websites from Netted while you’re procrastinating at the office throughout the day. When you get home, help the family prepare one of these ten meat-free meal ideas from POPSUGAR. Then after the kids are in bed, check out the most recent episode of HBO’s VICE, “The Future of Energy” and go to bed with a sense of optimism that maybe we’ll collectively get our act together. One thing’s for sure – you’re not going to save the world today, but maybe through a little bit of exploration you’ll find something new to live a little healthier and do some good for our planet in the process.

11 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To Besides Serial

11 Podcasts You Should Be Listening To Besides Serial

Everyone keeps talking about the golden age of TV but have you heard any podcasts lately? Sure, at one time any moron with a microphone and a Skype connection could say they made a podcast, but recently the production quality bar has been raised dramatically and, simply put, if you’re not listening to podcasts now, what exactly are you doing with your life? Sure, Serial is the one that blew up last year and, yes, it’s absolutely worth your time to go back and start from the beginning if you haven’t heard it yet, but there are so many other amazing podcasts that the Relevant Dad team can’t miss an episode of. Where our commutes were once filled with Spotify mixes or the occasional audiobook, they are now replaced by the release cycle of new episodes from our favorite podcasts. Have a look/listen:  read more…

8 Entrepreneurial Skills to Teach Your Child

8 Entrepreneurial Skills to Teach Your Child

Whether you’ve resolved to start your own company this year or if you already run your own business, you’ll find there are a lot of parallels in building a company and raising a family. Any entrepreneur can tell you countless life lessons they’ve learned along the way. Check out this great infographic for eight entrepreneurial skills that will help your children foster “creativity, self-confidence, positive thinking, and motivation, so that they could form the next generation of geniuses and leaders.” 

The Best of The Best of 2015 Lists

The Best of The Best of 2015 Lists

We did this last year and since FiveThirtyEight is back with another aggregated Best Of “Best Of” List, we thought we’d do it again. Basically they rounded up all the year end lists by the top print and online publications for movies, TV shows, books, and music and generated a master list ranking the top movies, TV shows, books, & albums that appeared on the most year-end “Best Of” lists. You can check out the whole list here or let us provide the Cliff Notes (as if the image above wasn’t enough of a spoiler alert): Carol was the best movie, Master Of None & Fargo tied for the best TV shows, Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me” was the best book, and Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” was the best album of the year. If you haven’t heard of any of these, you’re either a new parent or pretty out of touch. If you fall into the latter category, we can help. Just follow our weekly Culture Checklists to help you stay culturally relevant in 2016.

Dad Hack: How to Survive Your Family’s Thanksgiving Arguments

Dad Hack: How to Survive Your Family’s Thanksgiving Arguments

We posted this in the lead up to Thanksgiving last year and, honestly, we’ll keep posting it as long as Vox keeps publishing it. It helps to know what you’re talking about when getting into arguments over politics and society with loved ones. This year’s round-up includes primers for six topics including vaccines, Donald Trump, Syria & ISIS, Benghazi, Black Lives Matter, and Bernie Sanders so you’re a little more prepared to debate with facts since opinions are like assholes – everybody has one and most of them stink. Check it out here.

The Relevant Dad Guide to Collecting Vinyl

The Relevant Dad Guide to Collecting Vinyl

We live in an on-demand world. As soon as my daughter learned how to talk, she started requesting music she wanted to listen to or TV shows/movies she wanted to watch that instant. What was scary about this was that I could actually deliver – her wish was my command! Thanks to Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and countless others it’s nearly impossible to not be able to find something the instant you want it. On the one hand, this is great and fulfills our generation’s insatiable need for instant gratification. But as a self-proclaimed music snob, this also scares the pants off me. Never will my child understand the heartache of a scratched record, the woe of a cassette tape eaten by a boom box, or even the tragedy of a scuffed CD. Will our kids really grow up in a world without liner art and lyric inserts? This realization led me down a path of soft rebellion against the modern age as I set out to slow things down a little. From now on if my daughters wanted to hear something they’d have to pick it off the shelf and (with dad’s help) drop the needle.  read more…

6 Common Mistakes Parents Should Avoid Making When Searching for a Preschool

6 Common Mistakes Parents Should Avoid Making When Searching for a Preschool

Presented by Noodle. Noodle is an education website helping parents and students make better decisions about learning.

Looking to find the right preschool for your child? Starting the preschool search can be a challenging task for parents. How do you choose which one will be the best fit for your whole family? And where will your child be happiest? To help parents answer these questions when choosing a preschool, we’ve put together a list of common mistakes parents make and how to avoid them.

1. Don’t trust the word on the street.

Talking to your friends, family, and neighbors is a good place to start on your preschool search, but take their opinions with a grain of salt. Your sister may love her daughter’s preschool — and maybe your niece is having a great experience — but that doesn’t make it the perfect fit for your unique needs.

In the end, trust your gut and go with the school that works best for your child and your family.

2. Don’t fall for a strict academic curriculum.

It’s important to research the academic standards of your preschool of choice. You want to make sure the teachers are experienced and well-qualified. Find out the state requirements for teachers and the facility you’re looking into. Every state has its own preschool regulations. To learn how preschool works in your state, check out this guide.

Look for programs that engage and balance the development of social skills, imaginative play, math concepts, storytelling, physical activity, and more. Overall, you’re looking for a well-rounded preschool program to offer a solid foundation for your child to learn to read, write, and do math.

3. Understand the school’s disciplinary philosophies.

How do teachers respond to a child’s difficult behavior? How do teachers say “no”? Knowing what disciplinary techniques are being used will help parents identify the ways in which teachers interact with your child. It’s important that parents spend time observing the classroom before school starts. Here are a few things to look for:

●     Do teachers use time-out?

●     How do the teachers respond to a crying child?

●     How do the teachers respond if a child hits or bites?

4. Don’t allow your child to make the final decision alone.

“Daddy, I want this!” Yes, we’ve all been here. While it may be tempting to give in to your soon-to-be preschooler, parents know best — and they need to make an educated decision. Give your child the opportunity to spend the day at a preschool and take the time to listen to how she spent her time. After the visit, examine both the school and your child’s feedback to decide whether this preschool is right for you.

5. Know what your family needs.

Where is the school located? If an emergency happens, who will be closest to get your child? Can you afford the preschool? Answering these questions as a family will help guide your preschool search. If it doesn’t meet your family’s needs, you may regret your decision down the line.

6. Know what’s expected of you as a parent.

Many preschools expect parents to participate in fundraising and volunteering to help support the preschool. Parents should find out what is expected of them, both financially and in terms of time. Preschools often host co-ops on scheduled days that require parents to volunteer in the classroom. Many preschools also have an open-door policy — offer parents the chance to visit whenever it’s convenient for them.

The Relevant Dad Guide To Fantasy Football & Dirty Diapers

The Relevant Dad Guide To Fantasy Football & Dirty Diapers

As we publish this it’s just a few short weeks until the start of the NFL season. The only things you can count on as locks this season are that Eddie Lacy’s amount of touches will equal your dirty diaper touches. Being a Relevant Dad and being in a fantasy football league are both full-time jobs that both require a lot of intricate attention and a lot of love. So how does one really find the time to handle both of these things during the season? We have some tips for you:

1. Draft Pro Quo – Unless your significant other is a fellow fantasy football player, chances are they will not love the idea of you being MIA for a few hours during your draft while they navigate the bedtime routine solo. Mitigate the draft time loss with your family by simultaneously planning a date night for you and your spouse and some extra play time with your kiddos.

2. Family League – Chances are you are in a few leagues already so what is one more, right? If your children are old enough, creating a family league is a great way to share one of your passions with them. David Gonos has some great suggestions for involving your kids broken down to different age ranges here.

3. Setting The Table > Setting Your Lineup – Family time should always come first on Sundays. So when it’s time to make a pile of pancakes for the family you need to trust that your RB3 will still be a game-time decision after the syrup runs out. Even Adam Schefter takes break once and awhile. We suggest making a routine of times you check and set your lineup. Saturdays are your best friend and Sundays around 12:45 are even better. Get things set once the kids are in bed Saturday night and do your last minute tweaks before the 1pm games kickoff.

4. Red Zone is Your BFF –  There is zero chance you can lay on the couch eating a steak and cheese and drinking 5 beers with your buddies this year. That fantasy left the stadium when you saw that second line on the pregnancy test. However, there are plenty of ways to catch as much of the action as possible and still play hide and seek with your kids. Red Zone was probably the brainchild of a mom or dad. It’s probably the perfect parenting hack for football lovers. You can have the best of both worlds without having to neglect one of the other. Pro Tip: Hide and seek match + iPad + closet + Red Zone = #winning.

5. Listen To The Pros – Find a fantasy advice site and trust it. We love 4for4 as a good go-to site for rankings, breaking news on players, and advice. We asked John Paulsen for some ranking advice and for some advice on being a dad and playing fantasy football. We are keeping the ranking advice to ourselves (no mercy) but here are his thoughts going into the season.

“Being a father to a young child is a time-consuming and rewarding job and one could say the same thing about managing a fantasy team. In order to balance fatherhood and fantasyhood, I recommend new dads scale back their fantasy obligations once the baby arrives. Keep your most important league and get rid of the rest. The other option is to only play daily fantasy. There is less in-season management, and you won’t have to worry about injuries or waivers. Being a parent gets easier as time goes on. At some point, your child can be left in a room and you can be fairly confident that they won’t find a way to kill themselves. Once you pass this important milestone, your free time will increase steadily. A second league can be added, or maybe you can play both season-long and daily. Finally, around age 6 or 7, your child may express interest in fantasy football. This is a great way to learn about math and reasoning, and to spend quality time with dad. Maybe you co-own a team. Or maybe you start a league with the neighborhood kids, so everyone can own their own team. Before you know it, they’ll go off to college and you can play in as many leagues as your better half will allow. Don’t spend their childhood scouring the waiver wire, it’s just not worth it. Play in one league to keep yourself sane, but stop there.” You can find John on twitter at @4for4_John and you can hear him on The Most Accurate Podcast on Stitcher.

6. Have Fun – If you watch FX’s The League you know that you want to be more Taco and less Ruxin. Just have fun, dad. These are the best years of your life. Enjoy your family and enjoy your football.

The Relevant Dad Guide to Breastfeeding

The Relevant Dad Guide to Breastfeeding

Vert Hu, Vert Hu, Vert Hu, Vert Hu. For the past 5 months, my white noise machine has been a breast pump. I drift to sleep at the “new parent” hour of 9-9:30 to the sound of my wife sitting in bed next to me, making food for our daughter. I hope my daughter appreciates it because my wife loathes pumping and me? Yeah, I hate it too. I want my wife back. I also want my wife’s boobs back. Hell, she wants her boobs back. Breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts a mother can give her child.  But let’s be honest, it also really sucks.

We didn’t go into this thinking that breastfeeding was a serious option. The general sentiment was, “No way, it creeps me out a little…” and “They are my boobs, I don’t want to give them up like that, maybe it’s selfish but…”. Then the research happened. “Well, ok. Ok… *sigh*, ok. Well, I mean. Shit. I guess it’s probably better, who am I to deny our kid that? Right?” Right.  read more…

Take It Outside: Backyard Must-Haves for Dad (and the Kids)

Take It Outside: Backyard Must-Haves for Dad (and the Kids)

We are pretty flattered to join The Toy Insider‘s Parent Advisory Board, the blog arm of the definitive source for all things toy & game. The Toy Insider is “dedicated to providing consumers with the most up-to-date insight on toys and children’s entertainment” and we’re thrilled to be a part of the team. Check out our first contribution to the site, “Take It Outside: Backyard Must-Haves for Dad (and the Kids)” where we recommend stuff for the most epic summer experiences, right in the comfort of your own backyard.

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