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Monday, November 05 2018 13:04

Being an Incredible Dad: Parenting Tips, Rock Father-Style (plus an 'Incredibles 2' Giveaway)

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This Incredibles 2 Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Disney•Pixar. Incredibles 2 is now available Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD,™ Blu-ray™, DVD and On-Demand  - a Holiday Wish Guide Pick as a perfect gift!

A year before Disney•Pixar's Incredibles 2 hit theaters, I noticed a familiar family dynamic at play. I'd been invited to attend the D23 Expo in Anaheim, and it was inside the famed "Hall D23" that members of the audience got their first-look at some footage from the long-awaited sequel.  By the time the film hit theaters this summer, it had been 14 years since the original - with enough time having passed that the world had become a very different place. One big change: I'd become an at-home dad, and so did Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible). To put it lightly, there were adjustments to be made, and the experience has been a rollercoaster. For our family, I became the at-home parent for financial reasons - my wife, my own "Mrs. Incredible," makes more money than I do and has the stability of a great job (21 years and counting!) with essential benefits like health insurance that are often unaffordable for hired gun contract guys like myself. For the Incredibles, the reasons were a bit more complicated, yet entirely similar. Helen Parr (Elastigirl) was offered a gig outside of the home that would support her family, yet even she was conflicted in a way very similar to my wife, stating "in order to help my family, I have to leave it." Bob thought that staying home with the kids would be "easy." If you've ever been responsible for a small human being, I think we can agree that it's never easy. Still, in the years that I've had the good fortune to do what I do, part of which includes running this very website, some (a very select few) have deemed me a "parenting expert," and that is a falsehood. Being "The Rock Father™," I do have some tips, but they're more like reminders... for myself. How to be an Incredible dad...

"I haven't been sleeping. I broke my daughter. They keep changing math. We needed AA batteries, but I got AAA's and now we still need AA batteries. I put one red thing in the load of whites, and now everything's... pink. And I think we need eggs." - Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson)

Baby!

Be a Great Listener:

Kids talk, a lot. But sometimes in the midst of all the ramble, we forget that to them what they're saying can be very important. I catch myself nodding and agreeing with things without really listening, and sometimes that means not even looking. It's important that our kids know that what they're trying to tell us matters. Sometimes listening means absorbing without saying anything in return.

Don't fall asleep...

Don't Fall Asleep on the Couch While the Kids are Awake:

I do miss the days of snuggling with a warm baby or tuckered-out toddler, but falling asleep on the couch can be dangerous. Whether your kids are 6 months, six years or even 16... who knows what mischief they might be up to?! I've always expected that one day I will dose off, only to wake up tied up... Gulliver's Travels-style. 

Be Prepared to Question and Fight the (Educational) System... and Accept Defeat:

"It's not my fault they changed math," said Bob Parr walking downstairs in darkness to dissect the new-era rules that his kids brought home from school. I'm no educator, so I have little understanding to how or why we've taken simple things and made them difficult with nonsense like "Common Core" and the like. When an educated, middle-aged man has to carefully read an elementary school textbook in order to make sense out of a third grader's homework, that's irritating. We can complain, but in the end we should probably just accept that it's better to just help our kids figure it out rather than fight the system (there will be more time to bring it down later).

Keep Your Cool:

If you ask my wife, she may well say that this is the one that I need to be reminded of most. Little one just completely destroy something just like little Jack-Jack? Step back and pipe down. I know the look from my wife - and that's before she starts to mouth "be quiet." Everything will be fine, and fortunately most human children lack fire-producing power and laser-eyes.

Be supportive of your partner...

Support Your Partner as They Support You:

Whether you have a wife, husband or other partner in parenting, remind them how much they're loved. Life is fast-paced and in my own experience it feels like there's seldom the opportunity to adequately show appreciation for all my wife does for our family. Like Elastigirl racing off to work on her Elasticycle, it's not uncommon for my wife to get a call from the kids (or me) while she's on the road to work -- and it's usually to ask for the location of a missing piece of clothing, which somehow she always has the answer to. 

Call mommy...

Just remember, as Auntie Edna said: "Done properly, parenting is a heroic act."

In Incredibles 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible. Written and directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland”) and Nicole Paradis Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer), Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2 has just come home for the holidays!

Incredibles 2 Prize Pack

An Incredible Holiday Wish Guide Giveaway!

One (1) lucky reader will receive a Disney•Pixar's Incredibles 2  prize pack courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and shopDisney (ARV $77)

ENTER TO WIN by answering this question: What is your favorite Super Power?

After that, you can complete social actions for additional, completely optional entries. Please Note: By entering giveaways on The Rock Father™ Magazine, you agree to comply with my fairness policy. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rock Father's Holiday Wish Guide™ Giveaway Series 2018

The Fine Print: Promotion open to U.S. residents only, ages 18+, void where prohibited. Winner will be chosen at random on, about, or after December 1, 2018, and will be notified via email to confirm. If no response within 24 hours, an alternate winner will be chosen. Prizing provided and shipped by The Walt Disney Company. This is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any social network. It is our intention to get prizing shipped and delivered by Christmas, but this is in no way guaranteed.

1980s-style Disclaimer (the finer print): Many will enter, few will win! The Rock Father is not responsible for shipping or for any lost or misdirected packages. In the rare occasion that a prize does not arrive (which, sadly, has happened), you have no remedy other than moving on. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery, but it seldom ever takes that long - we just have to say that. 

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.

Learn more here

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