The Science of Dad Cliches: Separating Fact From Fiction

  • 12,103 dads participated in our survey ‘The Data: Dads Come to Their Census in 2021
  • The survey consisted of 69 questions that aimed to prove or dispel cliches about fathers.
  • The results were analyzed by Martin Flores, a dad, and data scientist with a Ph.D.

Quick, close your eyes! I want you to picture in your mind’s eye… a dad. That’s right, any dad will do, but try to make it as generic a dad as possible. What came to mind? Were they wearing cargo shorts and a tattered pair of decades-old New Balance sneakers, hanging out by a charcoal grill with a beer in hand, yelling at those crazy kids to get off of the freshly mowed lawn? Certainly, no two people’s picture of the prototypical father will be the same, but we’ve all heard the stereotypes: full of jokes, impeccably kept front yards, utter dominance over the thermostat, you name it, we at The Dad have probably made or shared a meme about it. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually put some of those claims to the test?

Well, fortunately, we’ve got just the data to do so! We conducted a survey about dads where we asked dads and dad-friendly individuals probing questions about the intimate details of their everyday lives. Questions such as “Do you frame your kids for your farts” and “How many test clicks do you do on average per grilling session.” This survey got an amazing response, with close to 16,000 unique individuals filling out the questionnaire, with 12,103 dads, 3,126 moms, and 470 that we’re calling dads at heart (i.e. no response).

We brought in a real-life data scientist to help us separate myth from reality. Do dads actually prefer charcoal over gas? How many cargo shorts does the average dad actually own? And how many were actually brave enough to admit that they prefer their steak *gasp*… well done? We’ve got the answers to your burning questions below!

A couple of caveats before we dive in. Links to this survey were posted on the main Facebook page of The Dad (currently has over 2 million fans), so, strictly speaking, is not representative of all dads worldwide, or even of all dads in North America. The data presented below is more of a sample of convenience and offers insights into the inner workings of the minds of the dads who regularly engage with us on our platform, and we’re just trying to have a bit of fun anyway, so we hope you enjoy. Without further adieu, let’s dive into the results!

#1: Are Dad Jokes Actually a Thing?

Legend has it that a dad is not actually a dad until he responds with callous disregard to his hungry child seeking sustenance; “Dad, I’m hungry,” they say. They’re expecting empathy and an immediate desire to make everything right in the world. Instead, they get hit with a heaping helping of, “Hi hungry… I’m dad, ” followed up by a side of guffaws of joy, because at no point will the dad ever experience another high like the first amazing dad joke. That is of course until the child realizes what just happened and clarifies, “No Dad, can you make me a sandwich?” POOF. You’re a sandwich!

Probably the most well-known dad stereotype is that of the dad joke. From the worst best one-liners to terrible puns, few things in life are enjoyable as our feeble attempts to elicit laughter from our loved ones, even if we inevitably fail miserably. But what did our survey actually tell us about the frequency and hilarity of dad jokes?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a whopping 95.2% of the dads who responded to this survey reported making at least one dad joke on a daily basis. We’ve apparently got some real comedians, as more than half of our respondents indicated that they tell at least 3 dad jokes every single day. Unfortunately, our loved ones don’t seem to have as much appreciation for comedic timing as we do, as 49.6% of the dads who reported telling at least one dad joke per day said that “most of their jokes” elicit a groan from their partner and/or children, and only 3.9% said that none of their jokes elicited such a groan. Whether or not it’s because those jokes were completely ignored remains unclear.

We further broke down the data to answer the question of, “What is the relationship between the joke to groan ratio and the number of daily dad jokes?” The results of this analysis can be seen in Table 1, where the percentages are reported as column percentages. What this table shows is that for dads who only tell 1 – 2 dad jokes per day, 44.5% said that only a few of their jokes elicit groans from their loved ones, and 38.2% said that most of their jokes get such a response. In contrast, for the dads who tell more than 6 dad jokes on a daily basis, a full 69% (Nice) said that their family members groan at most of their jokes. If you do the math (which we did), this represents a statistically significant association between the number of dad jokes and the percentage of such jokes that result in wails of pain from partners and children. But at the end of the day… isn’t that kind of the point?

Table 1: Frequency of groans per dad joke as a function of the number of dad jokes

Frequency of Dad Jokes Daily

#2: Thermostat Dominance

Moving on from the gimmes, things are really starting to heat up. At least, they are if those kids won’t close the damned doors, I mean come on you’re letting all the cold air out! What do you think, we’re paying to cool the whole neighborhood over here? As we all know, thermostat settings are non-negotiable, and if it’s not icy cold, you’re doing it wrong.

We’ve all seen the memes. Dads love keeping the thermostat as low as possible, and we’ve got a sixth sense that goes off the moment someone makes even the slightest adjustment. It’s been covered in popular media such as Daddy’s Home 2, Family Guy, and even on The Dad itself. But just how cold do we actually like it, and how much authority do we actually have over our beloved Forced Air Units? We asked, and you responded!

When it comes to the ideal thermostat temperature, we really do like it chilly. A full 88.6% of dads preferred that the thermostat be set at less than 70 degrees in winter. However, this does leave 21.4% who prefer a temperature above 70 degrees, which is a bit more than we’d have expected. However, even though we have a strong desire to freeze the chestnuts off of our family members, we dads exert a lot less control over the temperature than we might have been led to believe.

For example, 54.7% of dads reported having no thermostat security whatsoever. That’s right, it’s a total free-for-all in more than half of our homes. Madness! It turns out that very few dads actually cared enough to legitimately guard the thermostat; of the dads with some form of security, 85.3% indicated that the security they DO have is that “It’s programmed,” which, when it comes down to it, isn’t even really security at all since as we all know our kids are a lot more tech-savvy than we are. Somewhat hilariously, 4.2% of the dads with some form of security, that’s about 230 for those of you keeping score at home, actually have their thermostats in a lockbox.

Similar to what we did with the dad jokes, we wanted to look at whether or not having security actually makes it less likely that the family will mess with the thermostat. The results are presented in Table 2 below, again as column percentages. Of the dads who have no thermostat security, 70.4% reported that their family members mess with it at least occasionally. That number drops to about 60% for households with some form of security. Interestingly, households that actually have their thermostats in a lockbox are slightly more likely to report that their families always mess with the thermostat (12.4% versus 11.6% for password-protected thermostats, and only 6.0% for programmed thermostats). So in our humble opinion, if you don’t want your family messing with the temperature, just program it at a reasonable setting that everyone can appreciate!

Table 2: Thermostat Security

Thermostat Security Chart

#3: Dad Attire

Go back to that picture of the quintessential dad that we asked you to conjure up at the beginning of this article. What were they wearing (heh)? Chances are that you at least said New Balance and/or Cargo Shorts, but how true to life is this actually? We asked our dads three questions related to the ultimate dad attire: First off, what do you consider to be the ultimate dad shoe? Next, how many pairs of cargo shorts do you own? And finally, how old is your oldest shirt? We’re going to look at each of these in detail, and see if the responses to each of these questions allow us to predict responses to the other questions.


A quick google search of “Dad Shoes” brings up two contenders for the ultimate dad shoe: New Balance and Nike Air Monarchs. But what do our data actually show? Unsurprisingly, the clear favorite in the battle over fatherhood footwear was New Balance, with 46.5% of respondents indicating that those are the ultimate dad shoe. Nike Air Monarchs came in a distant second, with 13.0% of respondents, and flip flops came in at a close third with 12.1% of respondents. Strangely enough, 7.4% of respondents indicated that they believe Crocs to be the ultimate dad shoe. The IP addresses of these respondents have been tracked, and they have since been blocked on all of our platforms. We don’t know how they got in, and sincerely apologize for this terrible, terrible oversight. Finally, as it turns out, only 4.6% of our dads got the correct answer, which is sandals with socks.

Cargo Shorts

Moving on up from the footwear, no lower body attire is complete without legwear, and no dad is complete without a pair of cargo shorts to complement their awesome shoes (i.e. not Crocs). We asked our dads just how many cargo shorts they actually own, and an astonishing 83% own at least one pair, with 33.3% owning 1 – 2 pairs, 38.6% own 3 – 5 pairs, and 10.7% owning more than 6 pairs of cargo shorts, presumably with extra pockets to hold their other cargo shorts.


So we’ve got our New Balance and cargo shorts on, now all we need is an old shirt to complete the dad ensemble. We asked our dads just how old their oldest shirt actually was, and big picture… we dads really do wear some old ass clothes. Out of the more than 12,000 dads who responded to this survey, 87.3% have a shirt that’s at least 7 years old, and almost 40% still wear a t-shirt that’s 16+ years old. Now to be fair, looking at Table 3, we can see that this is mostly a function of age since older dads tend to have older clothes, but apparently, 10% of our 20 something-year-old dads have a shirt that’s more than 16 years old, meaning that they finally grew into the oversized clothes their thrifty patients bought them.

Table 3: How old is your oldest shirt. Results are broken down by age group

How old is your oldest shirt. Results are broken down by age group

Putting it all together

We wanted to look more in-depth at cargo shorts ownership. Specifically, one of the most burning questions we here at The Dad needed answered was: Can we predict whether or not dads will own cargo shorts based on their shoe preference and oldest shirt? To test this hypothesis, we ran two regression models that allow us to predict how much more likely one group of dads is to own cargo shorts relative to a reference group. For the first model, we looked at cargo shorts ownership as a function of shoe choice, with the reference group being dads who chose New Balance. The results of this analysis are presented in Table 4 below. The way to read these numbers is, if the number is above 1, that group of dads is more likely to own at least one pair of cargo shorts than dads who chose New Balance as the ultimate dad shoe. In contrast, if the number is below one, those dads are less likely to own at least one pair of cargo shorts. We’ve put asterisks next to the odds ratios that represent a statistically significant difference.

In general, shoe choice does not seem to predict cargo shorts ownership, with two major exceptions. Dads who chose New Balance have 35% higher odds of owning at least one pair of cargo shorts in comparison to dads who chose flip flops or none of the above. It should be noted that at least 75% of dads in every shoe choice category own at least one pair of cargo shorts though, so take that for what it’s worth.

Table 4: How much higher (or lower) are the odds of owning at least one pair of cargo shorts based on the choice of the ultimate dad shoe?

most popular dad shoe chart survey

Looking at relationships between cargo shorts ownership and shirt age (with 4 years or less as the reference group), the results of which are shown in Table 5, the results are much clearer. As the age of the oldest shirt increases, the odds clearly trend up, indicating that whatever the underlying factors are that lead to our dads to hold onto shirts that are well past their prime seems to be influencing them to also opt for utility over comfort when choosing shorts.

Table 5: How much higher (or lower) are the odds of owning at least one pair of cargo shorts based on the oldest shirt age?

oldest shirt dads own survey results chart

#4: Lawn Care

Let’s face it, dads, sometimes the days can be hard. With all of our loved ones constantly messing with the thermostat and refusing to even pretend to be entertained by our jokes, sometimes the only recourse is to get out onto the front yard with some war-torn shoes and an old shirt and escape into the one hobby that we can truly call our own, which is the wonderful world of lawn care maintenance. Seriously though, lawns are apparently super important to Americans, with almost 80 friggin percent saying that a lawn is an important feature when renting or buying a home. That being said though… just how important is it that we actually handle the lawn care ourselves?

We asked our dads how they felt about lawn care, and only 15.7% said that they don’t care about their lawns. Most (56.3%) said that it’s a hassle, but that they take pride in a well-kept lawn, while the remaining 27.8% said that it’s a way of life. As we are wont to do, we broke the numbers down a bit further. In addition to asking how they felt about lawn care, we also asked our dads whether or not they had the best lawn in the neighborhood, and dads for whom lawn care is a way of life are clearly very confident in their abilities, with 83.3% saying that they’re at least contenders for best lawn in the neighborhood (Table 6).

Table 6: Lawn care feels versus lawn care quality

how do you feel about lawn care? survey results chart

Some miscellaneous facts related to lawn care, of the dads we surveyed, 78.4% have a specific lawn care shoe. Of the dads that have lawn care-specific shoes, 68.1% use old sneakers, while almost 10% use crocs. Additionally, regardless of shoe preference, roughly 40-50% of dads use shoes that are at least 5-6 years old. Additionally, about 23% of dads use lawn care to take a break, and that includes 4% of the dads who don’t even care about their lawns.

#5: Turning the car around

The last deep-dive analysis touches on a topic that we’ve all heard of. Picture this: you’re in the car on your way to take your child or children to do some fun activity, and for whatever reason, they decide that while you’re all on the way to do something that they specifically asked to do, this would be a good time to lose their shit. You try your best to plead with them, but then you just can’t take anymore and without even thinking about what you’re saying, the threat bomb gets dropped: “If you don’t stop RIGHT NOW I swear to god I’ll turn this car around.” Immediately upon uttering these words, you look into your review mirror to get a glimpse of their reaction and accidentally notice that you’re aging like Matt Damon at the end of Saving Private Ryan.

Of the dads we surveyed, 46% said they never threaten to turn the car around, 25.2% said that they make the threat at least once per month, 19.2% said that they make the threat at least once per week. I hope that the remaining 10% have power steering because they said that they threaten to turn the car around every day. In addition to asking how often they make the threat, we also asked whether or not they’ve actually ever turned the car around. You can see the breakdowns in Table 7. According to these results, the dads who make the threat more frequently have actually followed through more frequently, but still, the rate of follow-through is less than 50%. Just goes to show that all of our children have the potential to be world-class poker players because they know that you want to go to Wally World just as much as they do, and so have no problem calling your bluff.

Table 7: How often do we turn the car around?

threat frequency vs follow through chart survey statistic

We wanted to look at whether or not the frequency of threatening to turn the car around was related to the number of children the dads have, and those data are shown in Table 8. These results show that the more kids they had, the more likely they were to drop the turn-around threat. For example, of the dads with just one kid, 13.7% threaten to turn the car around at least once a week, and 9.3% threaten to turn the car around every day. These numbers increase to 22.8% and 15.7% for dads with more than 5 kids respectively. The trends are similar when we consider how often they actually follow through with the threat.

Table 8: Frequency of threatening to turn the car around versus the number of kids

Number of kids vs threat frequent chart

#6: Cooking Preferences

Few things in life are more satisfying than putting all of your time, love, and energy into preparing a meal for the family that you just know they’ll love… even if it turns out that your significant other is the only one who’s actually going to eat it because you made the mistake of introducing your children to chicken nuggets that one time, and now that’s all they’ll eat. When it comes to cooking, 47.0% of our dads said that they can create basic meals from scratch, and 43.3% said that they were Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen (gourmet dishes, yelling at the kids, all that good stuff). Additionally, 62.3% prefer their steaks done rare to medium-rare. That number increases to more than 90% when we just look at our self-described Gordon Ramsays. However, when it comes to grilling, we’ve got some news for you. Everyman Hank Hill is definitely on to something because 55% of our dads prefer gas to charcoal for grilling. However, whatever your preference, one thing we can almost all agree on is the importance of test clicks, with 90.1% responding that they do at least two test clicks per grilling session.

#7: Miscellaneous Facts and Fictions

We’re going to close out this report on the followers of The Dad with a rundown of some information that, while not fitting into tidy narratives like the rest of this list, are interesting enough in their own right that we felt they deserved a shoutout nonetheless.


  • We really do love our sports. Only 14% of our respondents said that they don’t watch any sports. Football is by far the most-watched sport among our respondents, with 43.2% to be exact saying that NFL or NCAA football was their favorite. Surprisingly, NHL was the next most favorite sport to watch at 10.9%, while baseball was slightly lower at 10.3%.
  • When asked about their adult beverage of choice, Beer (41.9%) was the most popular, followed by whiskey (25.1%).
  • Apparently, our kids just don’t understand the value of money, as 81.2% of our respondents said that their kids think that money grows on trees. Of course, that’s why the dad tax is a thing. No, really, 52.6% of our dads said that they garnish their kids’ fast food orders on every order. An additional 34.5% said they do it only when their kids aren’t looking, which adds up to more than 87% of our dads making ample use of the dad tax.


  • When it comes to bringing in the groceries… we’re apparently more bark than bite, as 70% of our dads admitted to taking at least two trips to bring in all the groceries.
  • We might not be as eager to spend all day in an airport as the memes might suggest, as 82.6% of our dads arrive at the airport two hours or less before their flight.

So as it turns out, we are a fairly predictable group of people, with many of the cliches actually being borne out in the data. We hope you enjoyed our first deep dive into this rich dataset. We’ve got a lot more planned, so we hope you’re looking forward to it, because at the end of the day, what we’re really trying to do here is help you come to your census!


What Is Roblox’s Spotify Island, and How Will Kids Try To Spend Money There?

Gaming and music go hand-in-hand, and Spotify hosts over two million gaming-related playlists. This makes their jump into the so-called metaverse a no-brainer, since it’s apparently real, and we will, in fact, have to deal with it.  But when Spotify invited The Dad to take a first-hand look at their partnership with Roblox, I was excited to ask the hard-hitting questions dads need to know. Questions like “What is Roblox?” and “No, really, is it like…like what is it?”

Okay, most of us have at least heard of Roblox and perhaps even used it as a motivating tool for chores or good grades or being left alone for an hour. Despite the surging popularity of feel-good, low lift video games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley,  however, I’ve never actually played the game.  But Spotify recognizes the fantastic potential of video games to connect people and has created a space within the game world for users to connect through a love of music. I was given a chance to explore “Spotify Island,” a unique little sanctuary within Roblox, and play around with the features. While it’s not exactly Elden Ring in terms of gameplay nuance, it’s an early look at the merging of all our digital spheres, and certainly a first step toward how entertainment will start to feel in the coming years.

Sidenote: I have to say, the Spotify office is pretty rad. When I arrived, there was a full coffee bar in the lobby, complete with a barista who was very unimpressed by my order of regular black coffee. Look, Spotify, you know me, you know how many times a week I listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town; what kind of coffee did you expect me to order?

Anyway, the Roblox thing. The game allows players to engage with user-generated content, mainly in the form of mini-games players can create and share. The basic gameplay of Spotify Island is to parkour your way around a digital island paradise, collecting heart-shaped tokens, finding hidden easter eggs, and interacting with other players at beat-making stations. The tokens you collect can be exchanged for in-game content, such as emotes and cosmetic changes to your avatar. That’s all pretty familiar territory to online gamers, but the hook is how Spotify will use this space to host unique moments between artists and fans.

In-game, Spotify will host mini-quests, virtual meet-and-greets, and other interactive experiences with artists, including, obviously, selling MERCH! Yes, what kid hasn’t begged for some extra virtual dollars to spend on a virtual t-shirt for their virtual person. As someone who spent money on multiple skins for the various Avengers in a game I don’t even like, I have no commentary on this.  But while it’s Dad Law to roll your eyes and act like your wallet is welded shut in these scenarios, Spotify made clear that in-game merch proceeds go directly to the artist. The artists are also as involved with the creative process as they’d like to be. Collectables and achievements are nothing new in video games – or, as we’ve seen with NFTs in the last year, real life for that matter. Considering the game’s been around since 2006, many artists will have grown up on Roblox themselves. I’m sure some young popstars will be thrilled to design in-game swag to share with fans. And I’m doubly sure preteens will lose their mind for it.

Spotfiy Island is a video game, but it’s more like a virtual lounge. I’m told there will be multiple islands added to the game world, with different themes and genres for each.This allows players to find their own little place in the metaverse based on their taste and creativity. Notably, the island features a large stage central to the action. While it’s not mentioned as part of an official release, it’s easy to see virtual events down the line, like how Fortnite has been used as a digital venue for concerts, movie trailers, and other #trending #things.

They announced they were starting partnerships with  K-Pop icons Sunmi and Stray Kids, and I politely pretended to know who they were. I’m sure the kids will be excited.

Washington DC, History, and Sightseeing with Kids

Dads love history, monuments, and museums. In one of nature’s cruelest twists, kids are, historically, not huge fans.

When I was a kid, my dad LOOOVED taking us to the Wright Patterson Air Force Museum. He was unphased by our groans and complaints, in fact he may have been fueled by them, as dads often are. It’s not that he didn’t care that we didn’t like it. Now that I’m a dad I realize he took ambivalence as a challenge, that he would be able to convince us of how fascinating it all really was. 

– – – – – – 

My family just got back from a trip to Washington DC for the White House Easter Egg Roll. The last time I was in DC was 30 years ago. I was 10. Coincidentally my son is now 10 (and my daughter is 12). So while we were sightseeing, I constantly compared it with what it must have been like when my dad took me there in 1993. 

– – – – – – 

Our flight left Cincinnati at 6:30am. We left our house at 3am, because dads love arriving super early for flights. Dads love to beat the rush and dads love early flights because the airport is less crowded. Etc etc etc. Some cliches are true. 

One of the first things we did was walk by the White House. DC was eerily empty Saturday morning but walking along the north side of the White House a Secret Service SUV suddenly stopped and rolled down its window. “HEY!” Uh oh… “THE DAD!” Uh ohhhhhh.

Let me pause and say that my kids do not think I’m cool. Partly because nobody’s kids think their parents are cool but mostly because I am 100% absolutely positively NOT COOL. Their assessment is spot on. But this was as if I scripted a scene that attempted to convince them I am cool.

An impressive Secret Service Officer got out of the car and shook my hand. He said “We see celebrities a lot but I don’t normally stop. But THE DAD? I love your guys’ stuff.” (As contractually required I assured him our content is made by a team of talented creators and I’m basically a boring business guy at this point.)

He got his police dog out of the car and let the kids pet him, even though he’s a highly trained combat doggo. 


My son told him his goal was to play Joe Biden in basketball. The guy said, “Wellll I don’t know how athletic he is.” (Leaned closer and lowered voice.) “Well, actually I do but I’m not allowed to say.” 

As he went back to patrolling, I gave my kids a knowing glance that asked, “Now do you think I’m cool?”

They responded with a glance back that unequivocally said, “Still nope. But the dog was cool.” Nonetheless, I am so grateful to that guy for stopping and raising my cool score from -1 to, perhaps, 0. 

Did anything similar happen on my previous trip to DC in 1993? No because my dad’s meme game was trash due to memes not existing yet.

– – – – – – 

The rest of the day was quintessential DC tourist stuff. So go ahead and play some montage background music in your head while you glance at pics. (Star Spangled Banner is a timeless choice but I’ll also accept My Country ‘Tis of Thee.)


Cliche right? We even did the “Pretend to lean on the Washington Monument” pic.


– – – – – – 

Did I appreciate DC more as a dad than as a 10-year-old kid? In ways words can’t describe. I stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial realizing this is the spot where Martin Luther King Jr gave the I Have a Dream Speech. I imagined throngs of people gathered. So much happened RIGHT HERE. 

We went to Ford’s Theater, where Abraham Lincoln was shot. I imagined the what ifs. What if John Wilkes Booth DIDN’T do that? What if the gun jammed? 

Life is tenuous. All of the moments that happened, both good and bad, celebratory and tragic, have led to the present and made our reality what it is. Historic spots, monuments, museums… they are documentation of the most important moments that got us here. They’re the inspiration for living a better life and making our children’s realities more rich and full. 

I looked at my kids. Did they realize the enormity? Did they appreciate the history? My daughter said something so profound. (This is an exact quote. I wrote it down in my phone so I could get it just right.) She said, “You should be grateful to have kids like us. We’ve been up since 3am doing your crap.”

I think she gets it.


– – – – – – 

In 2.5 days we walked over 60,000 steps. When we’d stop I’d say “I need to rest the ole gams.” (Gams being a funny word for legs.) This became our running joke. Because what is a family trip if not a series of inside jokes you can look back on later in life. So the theme of this trip was not historical reflection as intended, but rather “resting the gams.” When we walked through White House security for the Easter Egg Roll on our last day in DC, my son asked the Secret Service Officer, “Is this the gam resting station?” 


In 1993, we toured the inside of the White House. We couldn’t do that on this trip. Best I could offer was the South Lawn. What an amazing experience to walk the grounds. We saw the President, First Lady, the Easter Bunny, and Jimmy Fallon. 


My son shouted for the dancing duck to “hit the griddy!” What would the 1993 equivalent of this be? “Do the Macarena!”? Kids, hitting the griddy is just a modern version of the Macarena. Ruined the griddy. You’re welcome.


An attempt was made @thejoelwillis #hitthegriddy

♬ original sound – The Dad


A guy in the VIP section saw a friend near us and came over to shake his hand. My son said, “Hey dude can I get one of those too?” (a handshake). The guy shook my son’s hand and said, “Nice to meet you. I’m Hunter.”


True parenting media brand aficionados will appreciate this: I got to hang with Micaela Birmingham and Alison Bucalo from Scary Mommy! 


My kids’ favorite part? A pop up concert from Sofia Carson. In true dad fashion, I didn’t know who she was (despite her 16.3M IG followers) until my daughter told me she was Evie in The Descendents. Ah yes! Chillin Like a Villain! Historic. 


We were at the White House yesterday for the Easter Egg Roll. @Joel Willis’s son got a selfie with @SofiaCarson and his reaction (and the pic) are killing me 🤣

♬ original sound – The Dad


– – – – – – 

I’ve exaggerated for comedic effect. My kids appreciated the history more than most would. Certainly more than I did in 1993.

As parents, we need to remind ourselves: the point of historic sightseeing with your kids is not to induce some epiphany about their unique place in history and the world; the point is to create memories with your kids that they’ll look back on and appreciate when they’re older.

– – – – – – 

After I became a dad, when my kids were little, we invited my dad to go with us to the Wright Patterson Air Force Museum. I hadn’t been since I was a kid. Ya know what? Through adult eyes it really was fascinating. My dad won the challenge after all. 

My kids humored us and were as interested as kids can get. But they got to spend time with their grandpa. That’s what it was about all along. 

He passed away a few weeks later and that was one of the last times we saw him. I’ll be forever grateful that we took that last trip to the museum.

History isn’t only boring museums, statues, and lengthy esoteric plaques. History is personal: our family, memories, shared experiences, and inside jokes. Some fascinating, some boring. Some heroic, some tragic. That’s the stuff life is made of.


4 Things That Will Help You Remain Calm When Your Kids Use The Internet

In partnership with

The idea of unleashing your child into the digital world gives parents the same trepidation traditionally reserved for teaching a hormone-crazed teenager how to merge into rush hour traffic. Sure, the World Wide Web can be a scary place, but in a lot of ways, the experience is better than when we were kids. What we’ve lost in dial-up noises, we’ve gained in parental controls and strategies to make the online world a healthier environment for our kids.

You Control the World They Play In

There aren’t many phrases scarier for a parent than “in-app purchases available.” Thankfully, you can add layers of purchasing restrictions to make sure your kid doesn’t convert your life savings into video game currency.

Once you have your pocketbook protected, most apps and services also have filters you can apply to serve up only age-appropriate content. Video platforms get better every day at creating a digital world with training wheels for pre-teens. Most games restrict chat functions for younger kids so you don’t have to worry about strangers trying to make small talk with your second grader who simply wants to feed a pretend horse in an open-world environment.

Most importantly, keeping kids aware of your screen time rules — and enforcing them — will go a long way to keeping their digital habit a healthy one.

Today’s Parental Supervision Tools Are Next Level

Just as you want to know who your kid’s in-person friends are, you can monitor their early digital interactions to make sure they’re using the internet for good. Apps like Messenger Kids create a safer environment where kids can interact and play with their buddies while parents keep an eye on their whole experience.

Messaging apps are not only a great way for kids to stay connected with buddies outside of a classroom or play date, but they’re a solid introduction for kids to the digital world. They foster creativity by giving kids freedom in how they play and connect, while also aiding social and emotional development by helping kids stay in touch with friends and family members.

With Messenger Kids, you have your own separate Parent Dashboard that allows you to manage your kid’s contact list, set “off times” to enforce screen time limits, and check in on your child’s conversations, which is especially helpful with younger kids.

You’re Already Teaching Them What They Need To Know

Isolation and bullying are among the biggest dangers for teenagers growing up digitally. Actually, they’re some of the biggest problems of being a kid, period. But just as the digital world can intensify some of those issues, smart digital tools can also be part of the solution.

Many apps and platforms are joining the mission to educate and encourage positive behaviors in the digital realm. The Messenger Kids Pledge echoes the attitudes we want our kids to exhibit in real life: Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Safe, and Have Fun. To help kids learn these behaviors and put them into practice, Messenger Kids’ new interactive Pledge Planets activity puts kids in charge of helping characters navigate social situations by using their digital citizenship skills. Messenger Kids’ interactive games also have report functions to help dramatically limit in-game bullying, while parental supervision tools let you monitor your kid’s online play.

Fortunately, there has never been more education and awareness in schools to combat issues like bullying. Those are the same values and lessons you’re instilling in your kids at home, both in-person and online.

Spending Time Online With Your Kid Can Be an Incredible Bonding Experience

Having an online kid doesn’t have to be scary — it can actually enhance your relationship. It’s something fun to do together. You don’t have to wait to throw a ball around the yard, you can destroy your fourth-grader in your favorite racing game. Meeting your kid on their level and gaming together, whether it’s a world-building game or a team-up-to-defend-the-world-from-zombies game, are memories they’ll carry forever. And it gives you a chance to model the behavior you expect from them online.

Also, an ongoing messaging relationship with your kid can bring you closer. Nothing cheers up the final quarter of your workday like your kid sending a GIF on Messenger Kids after they get home from school. Ask a child how school was, and they listlessly respond, “Fine.” Ask via text, and they might give you a whole breakdown of what’s going on — though it might be communicated with memes and emojis. Still, it adds a whole new dimension to your relationship. And you can’t ask for much more than that.

Messenger Kids is the video, voice, and messaging app designed for kids to connect with family and friends. Learn more by exploring

POSTED Homeless Man Heroically Pulls Police Officer From Burning Cruiser

Johnny Walker was working near a store where a police cruiser was involved in an accident while chasing a suspect. He heard the crash, saw squad car had gone up in flames, and leapt to action.

“I’m homeless, I was doing some work for someone. I was taking some tools back when I heard ‘boom, boom, boom, boom,’” he said to a local TV station. “I ran out here to see what it is and I saw a lot of cars, but I paid attention to the fire. My instincts were to go to that car and help him out, because he was crushed in on both sides.”

The deputy was chasing a suspect of an armed robbery when he collided with another car in an intersection. Several vehicles were involved, and one woman was tragically killed.  How you respond in a situation like that says a lot about a person. He didn’t see the armed robbery, he didn’t see the cop crash into cars in the intersection. He just  saw a car on fire, and threw himself into harm’s way to help.

And Walker got a big reward for his efforts. Not in an official capacity, but his family, who thought the homeless man had passed away, saw him being interviewed on TV. They’ve since reconnected with him, and raised more than $10,000 to help him find a home and counseling. The selfless heroic act hopefully has him back on a path to more stability.

The Rock Refuses Vin Diesel’s Fast and Furious Invitation

Sometimes, even family, fall out. Even the Fast and the Furious family.

That’s what happened with Vin Diesel and The Rock, who very publicly dislike each other and stopped teaming up on Fast movies. The Rock showed up for Fast 5, 6, 7, and 8, then had enough, did his Diesel-free Hobbs and Shaw spinoff movie, and said sayonara. But Diesel, perhaps after Fast 8 and Fast 9 weren’t quite as furious as he’d hoped, finally saw the light and asked The Rock to return for Fast 10 to wrap up the series. To which The Rock said: Nah.

A few months ago, Diesel posted to Instagram:

“The world awaits the finale of ‘Fast 10,’” Diesel wrote. “As you know, my children refer to you as Uncle Dwayne in my house. There is not a holiday that goes by that they and you don’t send well wishes… but the time has come. Legacy awaits. I told you years ago that I was going to fulfill my promise to Pablo. I swore that we would reach and manifest the best Fast in the finale that is 10!”

Diesel took to Instagram to essentially beg The Rock to return. The Rock has finally responded. Not in the way Vin Diesel wanted.

In an interview with CNN, the DC’s Black Adam laid it all out:

“I told [Diesel] directly that I would not be returning to the franchise. I was firm yet cordial with my words and said that I would always be supportive of the cast and always root for the franchise to be successful, but that there was no chance I would return.”

He directly addressed Diesel’s social media post asking him back: “Vin’s recent public post was an example of his manipulation. I didn’t like that he brought up his children in the post, as well as Paul Walker’s death. Leave them out of it. We had spoken months ago about this and came to a clear understanding.”

There are no hard feelings, of course.

“My goal all along was to end my amazing journey with this incredible franchise with gratitude and grace. It’s unfortunate that this public dialogue has muddied the waters. Regardless, I’m confident in the ‘Fast’ universe and its ability to consistently deliver for the audience… I truly wish my former co-stars and crew members the best of luck and success in the next chapter.”

And that’s that.

Belfast Star Wishes Dad Was Around To See His New Movie

Not every star makes it big early. Some spend long careers grinding, never quite getting that big break, or fully realizing their potential, until later in their lives. It’s not easy waiting for recognition, or for finally delivering the project they’ve always wanted to make, especially when the people who would be most proud of your accomplishments aren’t around to see them.

For actor Jaime Dornan, that person is his father.

Dornan was a model who hit it big when he was cast in the film adaptation of the hugely popular book series, Shades of Grey. He’d become a star, and was very successful, but it’s his latest project that is getting the most attention. He stars in Belfast, an autobiographical tale from writer/director Kenneth Branagh, about a young boy growing up in Northern Ireland. The movie is an Oscar favorite, and Dornan is proud to be a part of it. He just wishes his father were still around to see it.

Dornan’s father, Jim, was a renowned obstetrician and gynecologist and was considered a pioneer in the field of women’s reproductive rights. He passed away from Covid-19 last March while Dornan was on quarantine while filming in Australia.

“For my dad not to see Belfast really hurts,” he told the Sunday Times. “I take comfort from the fact that he knows I did it. Some people go their whole lives without being told they’ve made their parents proud. My dad told me every day.”

Dornan says his father was the one who encouraged him to explore his creative side – rather than end up a working stiff.

“I didn’t want to become an estate agent in Belfast and play a bit of club rugby at weekends — with the greatest respect to estate agents in Belfast,” he added. “I just felt I had a wee bit more to offer than that… even though it is lunacy to try to be an actor. Only 4 per cent of actors are employed — who in their right mind would pursue that?”

His dad encouraged him, and Dornan has made his way quite well, and his dad knew it.

Peter Dinklage Says Fans Need to ‘Move On’ From Game of Thrones Ending

Game of Thrones was an incredible show. Groundbreaking for HBO and it absolutely deserved all the good accolades that came its way. But that last season…Season 8 of the show will always be the asterisk that drags the show down from being one of the best ever. But, star Peter Dinklage has a message for fans; “Move on.”

Dinklage, who was truly fantastic as Tyrion Lannister, gave a wide-ranging interview to the New York Times recently about new projects he’s working on. Late in the interview, he was asked about the ending.

He said he thought people were upset with it because “they wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together.”

“By the way, it’s fiction. There’s dragons in it. Move on,” he laughed. “No, but the show subverts what you think, and that’s what I love about it.”

Dinklage thought it was the perfect time to end the show, and thought the ending was brilliant in how it wasn’t about who ruled after all.

“Everybody had their own stories going on while watching that show, but nobody’s was as good as what the show delivered, I think,” he said.

He does make a strong case for how the show frequently went out of its way to set up a fantasy trope and then cut it down. It’s what kept the show interesting and kept viewers on their feet. HOWEVER, The fans have some legit gripes with how sped up the creators made that last season. Author George R.R. Martin thought the show should’ve been two seasons longer (of course he did, he can’t finish anything) and he’s probably right. At least another season would’ve allowed them to set up the finish better.

Still, the destination was the destination, no matter how bungled the pacing was. And people…were not going to like that destination. It’s unseen if that’s how Martin plans to end things (although he clued the creators into other major moments that aren’t in the books yet, so I can’t imagine he veers off course with the ending), but Dinklage is right in that everyone had a different story. And no matter what, many of them were going to be mad with how it ended  (and just the fact that it actually was over).

But if the ending actually was as good as he thinks it was, the show would still be spoken about reverently in culture. Instead, most people have moved on. And that’s the biggest sign that things didn’t work as well as possible.

Laura: So Lucky

“We have 2 under 2, about 14 months apart. Covid has become increasingly difficult with being in lock down and stay home orders (we’re in Ontario).

My husband has worked around the clock to be able to provide for us, as we’ve felt the financial ramifications just like so many. He works two jobs to cover our expenses and comes home always so present and involved with the kids. Always there to give me a break when I’m on my mental tipping point.

He’s always the first to say, “go for a drive, or go have a nap”… he does so much for us and never asks for anything in return. We’re so lucky.”

– Laura Fleming

Teen McDonald’s Employee Jumps Through Drive-thru Window To Save Choking Woman

A Minnesota teen served up more than just burgers and fries during her Saturday shift at McDonald’s. Throughout the seven months 15-year-old Sydney Raley spent working at the McDonald’s in Eden Prairie, her biggest challenges consisted of handling the daily lunch rush. That is, until a seemingly-typical day at the drive-thru turned almost catastrophic.

The hard-working teen was in the midst of her weekend shift, taking orders and handing customers their food through the drive-thru window. Working in food service can be incredibly hectic, but Sydney’s attentiveness and quick thinking meant the difference between life and death for one customer. After handing a woman and her daughter their first bag of food, Sydney turned to check on the remainder of their order. When the 15-year-old went to update her customers, she noticed something was seriously wrong.

“She was coughing like crazy, and I noticed she was gagging.” Sydney told CNN. “Her daughter was in the passenger seat and she looked so freaked out. I immediately knew ‘Oh, no, she’s choking.'”

Sydney learned the Heimlich maneuver from a Red Cross class for babysitters years before, and almost automatically, her training kicked in. After instructing both her manager and the customer’s daughter to call 911, Sydney leaped through the drive-thru window to do whatever she could to save the woman’s life.

With the help of a bystander, Sydney dislodged the chicken nugget from the choking woman’s throat. Though the customer was still in a state of shock, her immense gratitude was evident. The heroic teen received a reward from the Edina Police Department for her heroism, and well-earned praise from her community as a whole.