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  • Writer's pictureAllan Shedlin

Let There Be Peace, Presence, and Daddying This Holiday Season

By DCG Founder Allan Shedlin & Daddying blog Editor Scott Beller

This holiday season, Allan and I would like to share a couple unifying messages with our readers. First and foremost:

And, second, in pursuit of parenting peace during this often-hectic time of year, we'll share with you the following poem written by The Whatif Monster chapter book series author and Daddying Books to Read with Your Kids Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway contributor Michelle Nelson-Schmidt, with her permission:

What if?

What if we slow it all down Still the merry-go-round

Of shopping and buying Of not enough, trying

To get it all done For everyone

What if we take time to breathe And take time to leave

The worry and bustle The shopping, the hustle

What if we let it all go What if we’re still and we’re slow

So we don’t miss this chance To be part of the dance

That matters the most Not the parties, the toasts

But the moments of magic That would be so tragic

To miss if we don’t Slow our pace, or we won’t

Take the time just to be To let our minds free

To wander, to feel The love that can heal

A soul we can fill From silence and still

Let go of the stuff We alone are enough

What if we slow it all down Still the merry-go-round

To feel the joy, feel the rush By just being…US

- Michelle Nelson-Schmidt

We hope you and your family will enjoy a healthy, peaceful, joy-filled holiday season. Stay warm – maybe work on your short film/videos to submit to the Daddying Film Fest & Forum when our Call for Entries are announced in January – and, as always, Daddy on!

OK, there's just one more message/reminder we want to share with you. We hope you'll consider giving AND receiving the gift of reading with your kids/grandkids this holiday season and all year-round.

To help meet that goal, the Daddying blog has once again curated its Holiday Gift Guide of books, old and new, to consider for kids of all ages. We then arranged for some amazing authors and publishers to contribute more than 20 books to our annual giveaway. Included among that bounty are books from bestselling author Brad Meltzer, who signed and sent us three of his latest from the acclaimed Ordinary People Change the World series. We also have signed copies of renowned poet and Daddying contributor E. Ethelbert Miller's "Baseball Trilogy." And our favorite family musician and five-time GRAMMY Award nominee Justin Roberts generously agreed to provide signed copies of his just-published I'll Be Your Polar Bear and new album (audio CD) Space Cadet.

If this Daddying post arrived in your email inbox, you've already qualified as a blog subscriber to claim 5 FREE Rafflecopter entries. Simply register and browse all our giveaway book offerings below. Comment on this post, follow us on Twitter, or tweet about the giveaway and earn even more chances to win. The giveaway runs through New Year's Eve.


DCG founder Allan Shedlin and his five grandkids on stairs
Allan and his grands, Christmas 2017

Allan Shedlin has devoted his life’s work to improving the odds for children and families. He has three daughters, and five grandchildren, as well as numerous "bonus" sons/daughters and grandchildren. Trained as an educator, Allan has alternated between classroom service, school leadership, parenting coaching, policy development, and advising at the local, state, and national levels. After eight years as an elementary school principal, Allan founded and headed the National Elementary School Center for 10 years. In the 1980s, he began writing about education and parenting for major news outlets and education trade publications, as well as appearing on radio and TV. In 2008, he was honored as a "Living Treasure" by Mothering Magazine and founded REEL Fathers in Santa Fe, NM, where he now serves as president emeritus. In 2017, he founded the DADvocacy Consulting Group. In 2018, he launched the DADDY Wishes Fund and Daddy Appleseed Fund. In 2019, he co-created and began co-facilitating the Armor Down/Daddy Up! and Mommy Up! programs. He has conducted daddying workshops in such diverse settings as Native American pueblos, veterans groups, nursery schools, penitentiaries, Head Start centers, corporate boardrooms, and various elementary schools, signifying the widespread interest in men in becoming the best possible dad. In 2022, Allan founded and co-directed the Daddying Film Festival & Forum to enable students, dads, and other indie filmmakers to use film as a vehicle to communicate the importance of fathers or father figures in each others' lives. Allan earned his elementary and high school diplomas from NYC’s Ethical Culture Schools, BA at Colgate University, MA at Columbia University’s Teachers College, and an ABD at Fordham University. But he considers his D-A-D and GRAND D-A-D the most important “degrees” of all.

Daddying blog editor Scott Beller and daughters in front of Christmas tree
Scott and his mighty girls, Christmas 2015

Scott Beller is the proud, imperfect dad of two mighty girls, Morgan and Lauren, imperfect husband of rock-star mom, Elisabeth, 15-year Elf on the Shelf wrangler and Santa stand-in, Editor of the Daddying blog, and DCG's Director of Communications. He's a seasoned writer and PR agency veteran with more than 30 years of experience helping organizations of all sizes reach audiences and tell their stories. Prior to launching his own creative communications consultancy in 2003, he led PR teams with some of the world’s most respected agencies, including Fleishman-Hillard and The Weber Group. As a consultant, he’s helped launch two other parenting advocacy nonprofits with DCG founder Allan Shedlin. His first book, Beggars or Angels, was a ghostwritten memoir for the nonprofit Devotion to Children's founder Rosemary Tran Lauer. He was formerly known as "Imperfect Dad" and Head Writer for the Raising Nerd blog, which supported parents in inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and creative problem solvers. He earned his BA in Communications from VA Tech.


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