Hello global dads!
For my book with HarperOne, titled Stretch Out, I want to hear from fathers all over the world. Here are some questions. Please copy and paste them into an email or document, and share with me at josh @ joshlevs . com.
Feel free to add anything you want - these are just to get you started.
What country and city are you in?
How many members of your family?
What kind of home do you live in, and who else lives there?
Where did you grow up?
What nationalities are your parents?
America ranks behind other developed nations when it comes to parental leave from work. What’s it like where you live, how is that paid for, how well does it work, and what do you think of it?
What kinds of parental rights do you have in a case of divorce?
How are stay-at-home fathers looked at in your culture?
How does your style of fatherhood compare to what your father was like, if he was in your life growing up?
What are the best and worst things about being a dad in your country?
From what you know, are there things dads in America have that you wish you did?
To you personally, what does it mean to be a good father?
How has fatherhood changed in your country over the past generation?
The title of my book is Stretch Out because dads today in the U.S. have so many responsibilities both at home and at work (if they work outside the home), and a busy, frenetic life. Do you feel stretched out in your life? How much?
Please share anything and everything you with to share. And remember, copy and paste this into an email or document and send along.
P.S. Here’s coverage of my book plan from TODAY:
thedaddycomplex asked: Hey, Josh. I enjoyed your talk at Dad 2.0. And I heard you had a long conversation with my former colleague Ryan Miller. He's a good egg. Good luck with your book.
He’s great!! Stay in touch!!
When his first two children were born, Josh Levs, a CNN reporter, didn’t fight company policy that granted 10 weeks of paid leave to…
“You can’t have family values without valuing fathers,” Levs said in his talk at the conference. And, I would add, our society won’t truly start valuing fathers–and change its perception of men and work–until we fathers make it that change happen.
Hi again. In the previous post, I announced exciting plans for a book, Stretch Out, to be published by Harper One in 2015. As I wrote:
“Titled Stretch Out, it will explore what the new American fatherhood means for men, women, children, big business, and our country as a whole. It will look at the kinds of corporate and public policies we need, and the individual decisions we can make, to adapt to this new reality and make life better for American families.”
I’d love to include the voices of all sorts of dads and moms in it. I’m interviewing lots of families, but wanted to give every family the opportunity to be included. So I’m doing something new.
Below is a list of questions. Please copy and paste them into a document or email, answer whatever you’re comfortable answering, and share whatever you wish to share.
Consider them jumping off points for you to write anything you want.
If you wish to share some things on condition of anonymity, then write that in. If we choose to use that section, we can refer to you by a fictional first name. I want you to feel fully comfortable sharing your reality.
Please type only, no handwriting! If your children want to hand write something, that’s allowed.
When done, either share the document with me through a service like Google Drive or email to josh @ joshlevs . com
How many people in your family, and their ages
What kind of home do you live in?
Do you work outside the home?
If so, what do you do and how many hours a week do you work?
If you are a stay-at-home parent, how did that come to be? Was it always your plan?
Being stretched out:
Parents today are stretched out, with tremendous responsibilities and stresses at work and at home. On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is a pencil point and 10 is the love child of Stretch Armstrong and Elastigirl, how stretched out do you feel and why?!
More seriously, how does being stretched out affect you?
Does any part of your life suffer as a result?
What, realistically, could make life better for you as a parent?
What government policies, if any, would you like to see enacted that would make your life better as a parent and help American families?
What corporate policies?
What personal decisions could you make to improve your life as a parent?
What are the biggest problems facing you as a parent, and what, if anything, can be done about it?
If you have a co-parent, what are the biggest problems facing him or her, and what can be done about them?
Elements of your life:
Think about the following elements of your life. Please share however much you’re comfortable sharing about how well you feel you’re doing in each arena. If you’d like, say how your spouse/partner/co-parent is doing as well:
Spirit (define this however works for you)
How much time do you have with your children each day/week/month?
How much of that time are you able to enjoy?
Do you feel fully “present” when you’re with your family, or do stresses too often get in the way?
How much sleep do you get?
How much caffeine to you need to get through the day?
How much “you time” do you get, if any, to relax or do something you enjoy?
What are some of your favorite things to do as a family?
What are some of your favorite memories as a family?
What do your children do that gives you the most joy?
What “drives you crazy” the most?!
Compared to the previous generation:
How is your role as a dad or mom today different what it was like for your parents?
How would you describe your parents’ parenting styles?
How does yours compare/contrast?
In what ways do you think yours is better, and in what ways worse, if any?
Please add anything and everything else you wish to share.
Also, if you want to share anything at all from your kids, feel free to type their words into the document, or take a picture of something they write and send it along.
Remember, when done, please either share the document with me through a service like Google Drive or email to josh @ joshlevs . com
I hope you’re off to a terrific start to the new year, and staying warm.
I’m excited to share news of a big task I’m taking on. I’ll be writing my first book! To be published by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins, in 2015.
Titled Stretch Out, it will explore what the new American fatherhood means for men, women, children, big business, and our country as a whole.
It will look at the kinds of corporate and public policies we need, and the individual decisions we can make, to adapt to this new reality and make life better for American families.
Did you catch President Obama’s reference to dads during this bipartisan moment in his State of the Union address?
“A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship. And you know what, a father does too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a ‘Mad Men’ episode.”
Stretch Out will look at some of those policies.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and other terrific books, as well as Maria Shriver’s The Shriver Report, are doing a great job of shining a light on some of the challenges moms are facing. A growing chorus of women is demanding important changes.
Stretch Out will tell the other half of the story, and provide a new platform for dads to be heard on these same issues..
As many of you know, I’ve covered fatherhood and parenthood for years. I’ve had the chance to assemble groups of dads for eye-opening conversations on TV; researched and reported on dozens of studies, and enjoyed sharing my own trials and tribulations as a dad, both on air and online.
After my own battle for parental leave fairness drew such overwhelming support last year, people began sharing their own heartbreaking stories with me, involving dads who faced similar issues. The need for change became clearer than ever. My wonderful agent and I realized that it’s time for a book.
Stretch Out will take on a broad range of topics, including some totally outside the workplace. We’ll look at whether courts now generally give dads a fair shot in custody battles; what the so-called “dad economy” really means, even how this new era of fatherhood can lead to better sex lives for moms and dads! You’ll hear from leading experts and decision makers. Expect surprising facts, important debates, and powerful stories.
And your voices! Dads and moms across the country, I want to interview you! And since I can’t be everywhere, I’ve created something; A series of questions for you to answer, listed in my next post right here on Tumblr. Please use it to send me your answers, thoughts, and ideas. Be a part of the conversation.
Today’s parents are stretched out like never before. Dads are Stretch Armstrong — tugged in multiple directions at work and at home, and still somehow expected to keep that big smile and buff physique! Moms are no less stretched out. They’re Elastigirl!
It’s time for our country to follow suit — to stretch out its understandings of men and women and the policies that affect their lives. In a country that prides itself on family values, we can do a better job of valuing families — moms, children, and us dads as well. You can’t have family values without valuing fathers.
Does this post give you a simple summary of what Stretch Out will encompass? Nope. I’ll have that when it’s time. For now, I’m embarking on this journey with eyes and ears wide open, excited to hear lots of ideas and perspectives. I look forward to discovering more issues to explore. And along the way, I hope to speak/email/tweet with as many of you as possible.
Thank you all so, so much for your incredible support — during the difficult times and the good times.
Always stand up, believe in an America in which positive change is possible, and, of course, “Be the Cups and Ice.” :)
josh @ joshlevs . com
As a father of two in a family where both parents work outside the home, I know how difficult it is to be both a good parent and a good worker. The good news is that the FAMILY Act would be low cost for employers and employees.This policy is not just good for families and businesses — it also makes economic sense.