Honoring Dads Category
Being a family owned company, we especially love Father’s Day & Mother’s Day. Recently we were talking about what it means to be a dad and what our dads mean to us. People started sharing photos of their favorite moments with their dad and moments with their children or grandchildren. These are so cute, we had to share them with our Kolcraft fans.
Enjoy meeting some of the dads of Kolcraft.
The Don’t list:
- Don’t go to sleep
- Don’t lose it. Take a quick break in the hall to regroup if you need to
- Don’t leave on your phone ringer
- Don’t whine/complain
- Don’t turn on the TV or surf the web if she has not said it’s ok to
The Do list:
- Do encourage your partner by telling her how well she is doing
- Do try to anticipate her needs by asking her if she needs her back rubbed, does she need ice-chips, etc.
- Do make sure the staff knows her wishes and is following them
- Do know the emotional & physical signs of labor stages (We strongly recommend Bradley Method books for understanding these phases. They have very clear explanations.)
- Do listen to your partner’s needs and help her think through difficult decisions she may need to make during labor.
Do you have any “Delivery Room Don’ts” to add to the list? Share below.
With Father’s Day around the corner, we wanted a dad’s parenting perspective. The following book review is by one of our Kolcraft Dads, Pete Collins.
When my wife and I found out that we were having a baby girl, I’m not sure if my first feeling was happiness or shock, but I’m sure that my face expressed that “glazed-over” look usually reserved for teenagers. My friends with sons offered congratulations and wished me well in my future life filled with pink. My friends with daughters, however, looked at me with wry smiles and sympathetic eyes, as if they knew I was heading on a paddle-less voyage up a creek.
I had been aware of the concept of “Daddy’s Little Girl”, and knew that fathers and daughters had a special bond, but it was not until I received the book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, by Dr. Meg Meeker, that I realized the importance of the father-daughter relationship.
Through her experience counseling teens and parents, and by providing poignant examples to illustrate her points, Dr. Meeker outlines the very specific areas of development where fathers are necessary to provide guidance and influence on their daughter’s lives. Additionally, and most importantly for me, the book provided insight into the characteristics and behavior young girls NEED and EXPECT from their father. The explanation of how fathers’ actions are viewed and interpreted by daughters gave me a unique insight that I would never have known, and which I believe will help me to send the right message and be the figure of stability that my daughter will need throughout her life.
By detailing and explaining daughters’ needs and how fathers’ actions affect daughters throughout their lives, I believe that Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters is the paddle I will need to help me navigate my relationship with my new daughter.
Pete Collins lives in Chicago with his wife and soon-to-be born baby girl.
Sometimes a dad can feel a bit on the outskirts of a pregnancy or baby bonding. They don’t do the actual birthing of baby, breastfeeding, etc., but there are still many ways that daddy can bond with baby.
Here are 5 ways that dads can bond with baby.
- Feeding time – If you are formula feeding baby or baby is taking breast milk from a bottle at times, now is the opportunity for hubby to pitch in for those 2 am feedings. It may be difficult at first for you and for him, but soon that 2 am feeding will become special baby/daddy time.
- Story time – Tired of reading Good Night Little Bear for the millionth time? We have seen some dads read the sports page or ESPN magazine in their story-time voices. Who knew golf could sound so sweet?
- Diaper time – Not exactly the most exciting job on the planet, but it has to be done and it can become a bonding moment. We love how Mat uses a Cajun accent when he is changing his daughter’s diaper.
- Texture time – Dad’s bodies have lots of textures for baby as he learns his new world through tactile contact. Everything from a dad’s 5 o’clock shadow to a smooth beard to hairy arms – a baby has a whole “texture map” to explore while bonding with dad.
- Carry time – Babies are portable and dad’s can bond with them by strapping on a baby carrier and going for a walk, doing safe chores together (not a good idea to mow the lawn or paint a room when baby wearing) or doing a hobby together. It’s a great time for baby to snuggle against daddy’s chest and for dad to bond with baby.
What ways has your baby bonded with dad?
From chasing elephants to manufacturing crib mattresses, this Kolcraft employee loves adventure. We couldn’t pass up an opportunity for you to have a behind the scenes look at Kolcraft and meet Sam Logan who is one of our project engineers.
Sam, you lived all over the world. You even had a stint in Africa. How did you decide to be an engineer and not lead a Safari somewhere?
I was born and grew up in Africa and absolutely loved it. I guess that wasn’t enough Africa for me, so a friend and I took an eight month motorcycle trip from Israel to South Africa visiting 15 countries. It would be hard to top that motorcycle safari as we chased animals on our motorcycles, ran from an elephant on foot, drove through thigh deep rivers, crossed over rivers on a 6 inch wide steel beam and other fun things like that. I always loved tinkering with mechanical things and so I chose to study Mechanical Engineering which lined up with what I liked doing.
What do you like most about being an engineer?
The best part of my job isn’t engineering related – I love being able to work with people and I’m fortunate to work with a great bunch of people at Kolcraft.
What is a typical day like for you?
Days can be very diverse from visiting our mattress factory and getting grease up to my elbows as I try to improve how a machine works, to witnessing mattresses burning so they can pass a flammability test, to trying out new ideas for how our mattresses will be designed or made, to working with others to develop new quality standards.
Where do you receive inspiration for your work?
I love putting effort into making Kolcraft a better place to work and seeing changes that take place as a result of my efforts.
You have been at Kolcraft for 7 years, how have you seen Kolcraft change?
When I started at Kolcraft we were in a tiny office and had very little space. Sometimes we would only have little pathways to our desks because of all the product around with no place to store it. We then moved to a new office and have so much space. When I started, there were only 2 other engineers, now there are 6 other engineers. We have dramatically changed the process of how we develop product since I first started and now have a much better way of taking a product from start to finish.
Obviously you are living & breathing baby products at work and you are also a dad of 4 beautiful children. How has being a dad impacted how you approach your job?
I see firsthand just how “creative” kids are in the way they use things. For instance, we have a swivel stool with wheels at home and one day I found our one year old standing on top of it. When we design products here at Kolcraft, we have to constantly think about what a child could do with our product and how we can design it differently so it will be as safe as possible.
What has been your greatest joy & greatest challenge to being a dad?
It is a real joy seeing them mature and grow. I was thrilled last night when our 9 year old spontaneously ran to open the restaurant door for someone. Or I love seeing one of them, without being asked, going to comfort their crying sibling with a glass of ice water.
To be honest the hardest thing about being a dad is shaping their character. When my wife Sarah and I see something negative in them, it is sometimes so hard to coach and mentor them through that negative trait.
Sam at a glance:
Funniest thing that one of your children has said? At supper one day, one of them said “Thank you mommy for making these nice waffles. Did they come down from heaven?”
Favorite daddy activity with your kids?
Each Saturday one of the kids gets to go on a date with me. They love being able to choose what to do: McDonalds, the ice-cream place, the park, playing a game at home, a bike ride, etc. It is a very special time for both of us.
Favorite Kolcraft product? Baby Sit and Step
And since you now have “baby on your brain” 24/7, a little fun mind game with Sam. We asked Sam what is the first word that comes to mind when we say:
Baby – Treasure
Sleep – Baby
Morning – Fresh
Broccoli – Puréed
Beverage – Milk
Lady GaGa – Rattle
There is a lot going on at Kolcraft this weekend and we hope we get to meet some of our fans virtually or in real life.
This Saturday is the annual Stroller Strides for Wishes 5K at Brookfield Zoo. Kolcraft will be there raffling off a Jeep Tandem stroller and answering all your stroller questions. Check in on Foursquare for the Kolcraft Stroller Strides Booth & get a free prize.
Speaking of prizes, there is a $100.00 gift certificate up for grabs at our Father’s Day Facebook Contest. The contest ends Sunday at midnight CST. It’s easy to enter. All you have to do is post of picture of the dad you are nominating and in 100 words or less tell us why he’s the world’s greatest dad.
Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there!
What are your fun plans this weekend to celebrate Father’s Day.