Monday, June 12 2017 09:26

Balancing Fatherhood… Balancing Food: The 2017 Cheerios Challenge

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This special feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™, Cheerios and Life of Dad.

Parenting is a balancing act. It doesn’t matter whether your’re a dad or a mom, being responsible for the lives of little human beings can be a daunting task. It’s a gig that goes in waves and cycles, with each passing year, a flip of the calendar that simply shuffles the deck to bring in new challenges - just as the kids take on new activities. Here at Rock Father HQ, our balance includes a corporate gig for my wife (a 40-mile commute twice a day, five days a week), a weird schedule for me that now involves travel roughly once a month, and then balancing those responsibilities with our girls. Two school schedules - one in full-day, one in half-day - plus all the other things like ballet, gymnastics, swimming lessons, girl scouts, theatre camp… and whatever else might happen to plug itself into the mix. It sounds like a lot because it is - but we love it, and we make it work, but that deck is always stacked, and the right balance is key. When something gets out of whack (and it has… many times), the whole thing can come tumbling down for a reset. Just like a stack of wooden blocks… or a well-balanced stack of delicious Cheerios.

Cheerios Challenge

It was pretty funny last year when my friends at Life of Dad accidentally created a Global phenomenon with their #CheeriosChallenge. It’s one thing to have pop stars and professional athletes jumping onto something - but when the President of the United States of America gets into the mix? You’re onto something special. Why did this happen? I think it’s quite simple, actually. Stacking Cheerios is fun.

Approaching Father’s Day (the official anniversary of this site), it’s always easy to get analytical in the search for deeper meaning in things, and yes, equating the balancing act of parenting with stacking pieces of breakfast cereal can certainly be a part of that. Is the #CheeriosChallenge a metaphor for something greater?

Cheerios Challenge

It certainly can be, but really it’s all about having fun - and sharing in the experience with the kids. It’s up to us, as parents, to share our knowledge with our offspring… enabling them to be well-prepared to deal with the challenges that will lie before them in life. If I have mastered the art of stacking cereal, then my daughters must be able to do it as well… but even better than their father before them!

Cheerios Challenge

Look at that concentration. Look at that form and focus. Soon, she will be a Master!

How many can you stack? Get some Cheerios and let us know!

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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