What Being a Dad Means to Me

Meeting Ted Rubin provided affirmation for “Los Tweens”

I had the pleasure of meeting Sr. Ted at the Blogalicious conference this past October. It was my first time attending and was a wonderful opportunity to meet so many blogger friends I had established in the digital world. When I met Ted- a social media guru with mucho respect among colleagues- I immediately told him about my then ‘soon-to-be-launched’ site focused on parenting Tweens from a diversity/multicultural/Latino perspective. His immediate response was- “I miss being a Tween dad, those are such special years!” I knew then that the site my partners and I had envisioned had a true purpose and goal. I invited Ted to contribute his thoughts as to why the Tween years are so important to the basic foundations our children will rely on moving forward in their lives. He has put together a wonderful post with a focus on being a divorced parent- which has its own very unique challenges and opportunities. – Cristy

What Being a Dad Means to Me

By Ted Rubin

Too many parents over schedule activities for their children and do not understand the value of truly spending time with them. Playing with your children, participating at their level, teaching by example, and making certain to allow them the time and opportunity to have fun is so very important. In addition, allowing your children to freely play with others, without the parents hovering over them, is fast becoming non-existent, and we are raising our children without socializing and problem solving skills. Let them play and you will be amazed at what they learn, how they develop and who they become.

Spending time with my girls is something I put before all else and have for many years. When they are little you are a god to them and can do no wrong. It is when they hit their tweens that the time you spend, and how you spend it, becomes all the more important in framing what comes next. My girls are teenagers now and being a divorced Dad it can be challenging to continue to reach out, put them first, and maintain this in the face of their lack of interest and being apart most of the time, as well as all the other distractions, like social media, that can keep my focus and attention from them.

What inspires me to move beyond limitations and obstacles is the love of my children and a desire to not only be a part of their lives, but to have influence on how they think, reason, and develop.

I believe being a Father transcends how we feel moment-to-moment. We have to remember that everything we do is being observed, recorded, and processed in the present, and the future, and will be a key component of our children’s emotional development… especially for children who are the products of divorce. They are always watching/observing, and although they cannot truly understand it all now, our interactions are being stored for future analysis… whether conscious or subconscious it will all affect the way they view the world, friendship, love and affection.

This is the thought process that guides the way I behave, the face I reveal to them, and how I impress upon them my values and attitudes about life, friendship and love.

I love my girls not because everything in them is beautiful and according to the way I would like it to be, but because there is an ingrained and incomprehensible bond which is stronger than anything life can throw our way.

What do I wish for my girls? Inner strength to guide them, the ability and courage to pursue their dreams, a bright carefree spirit, and most importantly the ability to see into their own hearts and understand what is most right for them. And always remember what is most important… how much they are loved and how proud I am always.

Message to my daughters… “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” ~Dr. Seuss

 

Ted Rubin is a leading social marketing strategist and in March 2009 started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship™  a concept he believes is the cornerstone for building an engaged multi-million member database, many of whom are vocal advocates for the brand, like the one he built for e.l.f. Cosmetics (EyesLipsFace.com) as the Chief Marketing Officer between 2008 and 2010, and the one built for OpenSky where Ted, was the Chief Social Marketing Officer.

On May 1st Ted announced leaving OpenSky and accepting the position of Chief Social Marketing Officer at Collective Bias (whose Advisory Board he joined in January), a company he has worked closely with since it was founded by John Andrews who Ted met through the blogging community when he was leading Emerging Media at Walmart. Ted is also on the Advisory Boards of Blue Calypso, OpenSky, SheSpeaks, Zuberance, and Taptank.

Many people in the social media world know Ted for his enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter and has one of the deepest networks of any marketer in the social arena. ROR is the basis of his philosophy…It’s All About Relationships!

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