As my wife and I send off our last child to college, I’ve reflected on the time we’ve had as a family since this column first ran in 2001. Initially, Marc McCann and I wrote it weekly. Then and now we call ourselves “good dad wannabes,” never claiming to be “dadologists.” We eventually grew to a core group of five writers, meeting regularly with the hope of producing something that stirs conversation between parents about raising children — and sometimes conversations directly between parents and children.
Our “shirt-tugger” action items are designed to remind us to keep focused on what we all already know to be important — our role as a dad and parent. We believe the privilege of parenting is difficult at times and intensely rewarding at others. Our thoughts of encouragement for parents to discuss issues have made it into several publications along the way. We also produced a piece that encourages new parents to discuss their visions of how they want to raise their children and to write down those goals together. With this goal of prompting conversations and thought within families, we believe we’ve succeeded at some level, based on the fair amount of written and verbal feedback we’ve received.
As writers, we’ve benefited and grown enormously from our regular meetings and other interaction with each other. We’ve also enjoyed learning from comments and conversations from many in the community.
We are hoping to keep this column going, and we invite others who have a passion to become part of this 13-year tradition. Our desire to be relevant to the reader, we believe, has made us more focused on our own role as parents. We invite you to do the same for yourself, while continuing to encourage conversation on this important subject. Please contact any of us, below, to learn about getting involved.