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  • Writer's pictureAllan Shedlin

The Daddying Movement Continues to Evolve

Updated: Feb 15

By Allan Shedlin

Grampsy and Founder, DCG and Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F)


Back on June 2nd, 2008, the Hearst/NYT News Service distributed worldwide my commentary, “The Daddying Movement – A Gentle Revolution.” It triggered a response from the Obama White House and many others. If I was updating the commentary today

I would rename it “The Daddying Movement – An Inadvertent Evolution.”


The Movement has grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined almost 16 years ago when social media was much less ubiquitous. Podcasts, blogs like ours, and other social media options have provided many more opportunities for dads to express themselves and to chip away at their shields of invulnerability – many have found a fatherhood brotherhood.


Back in 2008, I wrote and predicted:


For several decades, a social movement has been gently and quietly growing. The confluence of factors that has led us to reexamine gender roles and expand the definition of family has also pushed us to the point where we are in a full-blown social revolution that continues to evolve and hold great promise for children and families, while redefining what it means to be masculine. Slowly, relentlessly, like a snowball rolling downhill, the movement has picked up strength and size. Nobody trumpeted its coming, and, unlike most revolutions, it began without an articulated injustice, and it is essentially leaderless. It is evolving without a strategic plan, without an identifiable leader, and without bellicose tactics. In other words, the movement’s characteristics challenge some basic male stereotypes.


The world of dad-related podcasts also continues to evolve, with many more featuring hosts who are particularly reflective and thoughtful. I'm happy to have joined this growing "podcasting brotherhood" as an honorary member after appearing recently on several dad pods. I've been able to talk at-length with a variety of podcasting dads about the Daddying Movement, positive dad/dad figure involvement's importance to kids and dads/dad figures alike, and the Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F) as a guest on Girl Dad Nation, The Art of Fatherhood, Welcome to Fatherhood, Dads With Daughters, Young Dad Podcast, and As Dad As It Gets. More recently, I was a guest on podcasts created by two of our D3F Circle of Friends members: the I Am Dad podcast, hosted by Fathers Incorporated's Kenneth Braswell, and Dad to Dad hosted by Special Fathers Network's David Hirsch.


My most recent conversations with Braswell and Hirsch were especially thought-provoking for me, so I want to share links to those episodes here on the blog as soon as they are available. During my guest spot on I Am Dad, which airs Sunday, February 4, we discussed the following:


  • The difference between fathering and daddying

  • Granddaddying

  • The Daddying Movement and its future

  • The importance of sharing daddying stories

  • Why we created the Daddying Film Festival & Forum

  • The need for father figures

  • The apex/zenith of daddying (parenting)


Both my I Am Dad and Dad to Dad (airs Friday, 2/9) appearances are about an hour long, and it is my hope that they will inspire as much reflectiveness for you as they did for me.


Find the dad pods you like, subscribe, and Daddy on!


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Poster Designed by Michael Duggan


Call for Entries for the 3rd Annual Daddying Film Festival & Forum (D3F) is LIVE! Check out the D3F website for more details, submission guidelines, and Atticus Award-winning examples from previous years. Students (1st grade through undergrads), Dads/Dad figures, and other indie filmmakers also can head directly to D3F's FilmFreeway page to submit films/videos celebrating the importance of having or being an involved Dad or Dad figure.


Early-bird submission deadline is February 5th!

Regular deadline is March 4th


Daddy on!



 

Allan Shedlin has devoted his life's work to improving the odds for children and families. He has three daughters, 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.

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