Girl Dad Nation

Guide to Daddying (ft. Allan Shedlin, Daddying Film Festival)

June 06, 2023 Matthew Krekeler, Allan Shedlin
Girl Dad Nation
Guide to Daddying (ft. Allan Shedlin, Daddying Film Festival)
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode I welcome Allan Shedlin. Allan is a father of and daddy to three daughters and five grandchildren. He has devoted his life’s work to education and the importance of good fatherhood, what he calls “Daddying.” He holds many titles and degrees, but he is most proud of his title D.A.D.. In this episode we talk about his goals for the Daddying Film Festival and Forum. Plus, I share my inspiration for the short film, ‘Love Grows Here’, that I submitted for the festival.



LINKS

Daddying Film Festival and Forum

'Love Grows Here' - Short Film


Thank you to Allan for sharing his story and being part of Girl Dad Nation. Check out the links in the description to learn more about the Daddying Film Festival and Forum, including the short film I made for my girls. It’s an honor to have my film, ‘Love Grows Here’, selected among so many wonderful films celebrating the role of good dads. I’ll be looking forward to the festival each year around Father’s Day!

As I mentioned in the interview, video technology is more accessible than it ever has been. Most parents have a camera and computer in their pocket with the popularity of smart phones. I encourage you to capture the good memories, share your family’s story, get creative, and also make things with your kids. It will mean so much to you and to them!

Thank you for journeying with me.

If you've enjoyed this podcast, please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts and sharing the show with a creative dad! I’d also love to know which movies inspire you. Is there a film that you love with a strong father figure? Send me a note!

Girl Dad Nation is on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

You can also email me at girldadnationpodcast@gmail.com

There is no greater joy than being a dad!

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Girl Dad Nation is made possible by the generous support of our listeners and my wife, Executive Producer of my daughters and this podcast. 

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Matthew Krekeler:

Welcome to Girl Dad Nation. In this episode I welcome Allan Shedlin. Allan is a father of, and daddy to, three daughters and five grandchildren. He has devoted his life's work to education and the importance of good fatherhood, what he calls daddying. He holds many titles and degrees, but he is most proud of his title DAD. In this episode we talk about his goals for the Daddying Film Festival and Forum Plus. I share my inspiration for the short film Love Grows Here that I submitted for the festival. Let's get to it.

Matthew Krekeler:

Allan, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for being here. It's great to meet you. I got connected to you through the Daddying Film Festival and Forum and, yeah, i think it's a really great opportunity for dads and their kids to just celebrate fatherhood, celebrate parents and all of the joys and challenges and craziness, funny stories that comes along with raising kids. And, yeah, i was actually up late last night inspired to make my own film, so I was really excited to share that and I got to share it with my kids this morning. So, yeah, thank you so much for being here.

Allan Shedlin:

My pleasure and, as I mentioned before the introduction, i loved watching your film last night.

Matthew Krekeler:

Thank you, Yeah, it was such a personal thing for me. I work in media so I do video production like as my full-time job now. But doing something for the film festival was just so great because I got to look back. I took all this footage that I just had on my phone. You know, usually it just lives on your phone. But being able to write a story around it and kind of share my films, kind of like an open letter to my daughter, and looking back at all of the wonderful memories just in the past three years with my kids and then getting to share my hopes and dreams for them and kind of passing that on And then hopefully it inspires other fathers.

Allan Shedlin:

Yeah, I think it absolutely will inspire other fathers, especially in their willingness to express their feelings, which is, I'm sure you know, is not always something that we have come to believe men do easily And we can talk about it. I find that you know I have lots of examples where that is untrue.

Matthew Krekeler:

Yeah, and you're also a dad of three daughters, so we have that in common. Plus, you're a granddad. So tell me, yeah, how old are your kids now? And, yeah, what inspired you to start this film fest? Okay, so.

Allan Shedlin:

I should probably not say it this way, but I will because it makes me smile. All three of my daughters are members of ARP, so they're all over 50. And I have three granddaughters as well, who range in age from 17 to 26. And then I have two grandsons who are 21 and 23. So that's wonderful. What inspired me to start the film festival and the daddying film festival and forum? So before I answer that, it's probably really necessary to talk a little bit about the term daddying as opposed to fathering, because I see them as two quite dramatically different things. So I'm trained as an educator.

Allan Shedlin:

I taught all the way listen carefully. I taught all the way from graduate school up to nursery school. You have a four-year-old, so you understand the importance of nursery school right And early as school years. And I taught in lots of different settings, beginning as a special ed teacher for autistic and emotionally disturbed and learning disabled kids and ending up as the principal of the school for gifted kids. And all of those were in one borough or another of New York City.

Allan Shedlin:

And when I was principal I had a rule I think it was the only rule I had which is that teachers were not allowed to complain at faculty meetings, which were once a week for two hours, unless they made a suggestion on how to improve what they wanted to complain about. And after eight years as a principal I realized I had to follow that same rule and there were things I wanted to complain about. The first was the lack of recognition of the importance of the earliest school years. You know, usually think that where you went to college is the most important. I disagree and I always felt that it was the earliest school years that were important. And, by the way, you know, sort of going back to we're talking a little bit about males and what the stereotypes and expectations are I used to get all of the time Alan, you're not serious about being an elementary school principal really. I mean, you want this to be a stepping stone. You want to be a high school principal or a college president or a student? No, i don't, i want to be an elementary school principal. So that was kind of interesting to me And after eight years, of that it was enough and I wanted to address three things that I was complaining about.

Allan Shedlin:

One, the lack of recognition of the importance of the earliest school years. Two, the fact that public schools and private schools kind of see each other almost as the enemy camp rather than as colleagues, and since both camps, that made no sense to me at all. And the third was that when you're a special educator, you're used to having dialogue with people who aren't teachers but also who might be psychologists, social workers, neurologists, pediatricians, and I miss that. And so when I left my job, i created something which became the National Elementary School Center and its focus was those three things dignifying the importance of the earliest school years, having people cross their silos as you know, their professional silos and also having public and private school teachers understand that colleagues were not competitors. And I did that for ten years and then I wouldn't say I'd burned out, but it was close, because if you run a nonprofit or what I call a social profit organization, you spend way too much of your time begging for money, and it's at the expense of doing the programs you're trying to raise the money for. So it made no sense to me, so we closed the shop and somebody said what are you doing next? And I said I have no clue. And they said well, we just had a conversation with your three daughters who at that point, when they're early 20s and you need to write a book on fathering, that's great. So that's where yes, sorry for the metaphor the seed was planted. And I had two reactions to that. One was my smart ass reaction, which is it's lucky you were talking to my kids in their 20s rather than as teenagers. You might have gotten a different take on my daddying And fathering isn't a book. Fathering's a paragraph. It's a one-time biological act requiring zero commitment, just a shot of DNA. And so, again, not believing you don't complain about something unless you offer an alternative or a suggestion, i came up with the term daddying, which is what happens when nurturing and fatherhood intersect, and that is a lifelong commitment, as you've already discovered And as I certainly have discovered with three daughters over 50. So, yes, it takes different forms, but so that's the where daddying came from.

Allan Shedlin:

The first two years of using that term, it kind of stuck in my throat, because so many people said to me and this goes back 30 years so many people said to me Alan, no real guy is gonna say that word. Daddying, it's wimpy, it's wussy, it's soft. You know, no real guy is gonna say that word. And so I was a little bit hesitant to use the word, especially when I did my first daddying interview, which is now the first of 205 such one-on-one interviews with guys as young as 16 and as old as 104, from 20 different countries. And that first interview, which lasts about an hour and a half, was in the cab of a pickup truck in Albuquerque with an all former Allstate linebacker who had a gun rack on the back of this pickup truck, bug heads on the floor and looked like a linebacker And I thought what the hell is gonna happen when I use the word daddying with this guy. He's gonna open the door and he's gonna push me right out. But I discovered something different, which is the word gave him permission to get in touch with the part of him that was more tender, and from that point on I was no longer nervous, worried, hesitant to use the word daddying. So that's where it came from.

Allan Shedlin:

Why did I do that? other than somebody suggested it? because of the way my daughters expressed the way they felt about me, but also because I wish that my own dad had been more involved in my life. I knew he would be there in a pinch, but like you, i'll bet we need more than a pinch. So I kind of devoted myself very early in my life that if and when I become a dad which was always the goal of mine that I would be a different kind of dad. So those were really the two main reasons that I started my work with daddying, and just then I'll take a breath and let you ask fire away. But you asked about how that then became the daddying film festival. So the goal was to write that book And before I started interviewing dads, i did it.

Allan Shedlin:

Focus groups with the consumers of daddying, like that. So if you want to improve a product, you talk to the consumers. So the consumers are kids. So I did 28 focus groups in three countries with kids from five to 21 years old. The focus groups were like ages, so just span that. And when I was all finished with that research with the kids and then beginning with the dads, i found an agent in the DC area who shopped the book around and this now goes back 15 years ago And the book was rejected by all eight publishers that she shopped it around to All saying exactly the same thing No book on fatherhood. Men don't read, men don't buy books. No book on fatherhood is ever so well and no one ever heard of him.

Matthew Krekeler:

Yeah, it's a tough challenge, for sure.

Allan Shedlin:

So I had all this research.

Allan Shedlin:

I had listened at that point to about 50 dads And the soulful sadness that often came out of those interviews was something that I couldn't ignore, and so if a book wasn't going to do it, then I had to figure out some other way to address that. And it's not as you said in your introduction, it's not all challenging, it's all a delight as well and a lot of fun. So, yes, it was plenty of good stuff that came, but it was the soulful sadness that really got to me the most. And I saw a movie called My Architect is Son's Journey in 2003, which was an Academy Award nominee as the best documentary film, and I found myself in that darkened theater wishing that my father, who had passed away the year before, was sitting next to me so that we could have used the film as an opportunity to discuss issues that came up in the film that would have been very hard for me to bring up without referring to the film. That's where the idea of using film as a way of getting to important batting issues came from.

Matthew Krekeler:

Yeah, that's something interesting to think about, because even if you read a book, it's kind of hard to share a book. It takes a long time and you can't really consume it necessarily together. But sitting down and watching a movie or a short film, you could do that with your kids. And I know we watch Disney movies with our kids or shows or other things and we talk about those things. We were also into sports and we just had the Stanley Cup playoffs and stuff like that. So watching those things and talking about those values like teamwork, and then oh, why did that person have to go to the penalty box or something? And it brings up conversations. And then watching movies too with your kids.

Matthew Krekeler:

Who's the main character? What's their goal Like? why are they in this challenge right now? Why is this person the mean person? What are those traits about them that are not good? And kids recognize that right away. So I think that's really good to understand. I'll throw this movie out, but Incanto was really impactful for our family And my wife's a social worker, so seeing it kind of through her lens too, in the ways that each person has their own special ability, and then the main character seems like she didn't get the same gift as everyone else. But understanding those gifts that like just because we don't have the same gift as somebody else or our gift doesn't seem as extraordinary, in little ways we can bring everyone together And in some ways that's an even bigger gift than what you see on the outside.

Allan Shedlin:

So yeah, i mean that was definitely a mindset that I cultivated as a teacher of autistic and, you know, severely emotionally disturbed and learning disabled kids is finding their, if finding their asset and being able to build on it and to recognize it. So, yes, absolutely, and I'm sure Finding Nemo was another. I don't know if you watched your kids, but there were so many wonderful movies out there for all the different age levels And I'm sure you have a different discussion with your four year old than you do with your baby.

Matthew Krekeler:

But yeah, and I love the term daddying too. I think about that and, like you know, my most common and most favorite title is dad. So my kids are daddy and and I love that. Like father kind of seems so formal in a way, but not that it's a bad term, but but just that personal relationship to someone that it's just simple, it's just familiar dad. And even like I look at people like the rock who has daughters and like doesn't matter how much like machismo you have, like how like these people like you mentioned linebackers or all these like from the outside tough guys, like the love that they have for their kids is universal And that is just so inspiring to me.

Allan Shedlin:

Yeah, and as it is to me, matthew and the and the whole notion, it's very interesting using words like tough guys and machismo. So for me, i wish that machismo included those aspects of men that were that are more tender. Yeah, i've written a good deal about crying and about that is a strength and not a weakness for men to be able to do that and to show it. Yeah, embarrassed about doing it, so that that may be another issue, but you know when you were talking about the term daddying and dad. So one of the things I do in workshops that that I do is I ask people to give an association with two words. The first word is mothering, you know, and think about what our association is with that word, and then fathering, and think about what our immediate mindset is when we hear those two words If instead we say mommying and daddying.

Allan Shedlin:

One of the crazier things I did at a talk I gave was because I tend to get bored with my own talk sometimes that I have to do something that lightens it up a little bit. So I told this large group of people that I had invited a guest to come. Toward the end of the talk, i ducked down behind the podium and when I stood up I was wearing a full Darth Vader mask. I said I am your daddy. I asked them, as the final thing, to imagine how differently that story would have ended if he had been daddy and not father For me. That's why I like that word and you like that word.

Matthew Krekeler:

Even on medical forums like take our kids to the hospital and filling out the forum relationship to patient, and I'm like right and dad, yeah, perfect, yeah. So tell me more about just some of the details of the Film Festival. This is your second year of doing the festival.

Allan Shedlin:

Well, the second year, but really the first year of having the forum and having it live, and it will be very different. So last year we did a pilot run of the Film Festival and it was all virtual. We were blown away by the interest that it seemed to stimulate. We had submissions of one to five minute videos by kids from 17 different countries and it blew us away. We had no idea that that kind of entered. So this year we decided that we would do the. And it was all virtual last year And this year we decided we continue with the virtual.

Allan Shedlin:

But we'd also add two things, probably because I'm a masochist and it was not great that I figured okay, we got this, let's add some other stuff that'll make it much more challenging. So we increase the length of the film to seven minutes instead of five. We opened it up to fathers like Matthew to submit films, which we got and I loved your film, by the way, oh, thank you And we decided to have two live days which we're calling not a film festival, but a film festival and forum. So it's going to be very, very different than what the typical film festival is, because the focus is really more on the essence of the films rather than the production of the films, and because I've done lots of work over the years in New Mexico.

Allan Shedlin:

I've been going out there for 27 years now because my oldest daughter was a bilingual teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools, so I was going out there twice a year and, as a former educator, spending, at her request, a day in her classroom focusing on kids who were a little bit more challenging, and she wanted to have my opinion and tips, which is, by the way, a wonderful thing if you're a dad that actually have your kid want you to do that.

Allan Shedlin:

Yeah, so that's great, anyway, so it's June 24th, the festival will be in Albuquerque and the forum will be in Albuquerque, and in June 25th it will be in Santa Fe. And what the day will look like we'll have a welcome by a couple of different folks, then we're going to show a three-minute film from last year's virtual, which I will send you when we're finished with the interview, because I promise you you will smile from the second you open it till the second you close it. It's called Dad for Hire and it was made by an Australian dad whose 18-month-old daughter interviewed him for the job of being her dad.

Allan Shedlin:

Oh that's so sweet. I promise you that you will smile from beginning 10. So we want to set the tone that although this is serious, it's also fun. And then, after that show, then we're going to show the winning films that the kids submitted in four categories elementary school. And your oldest, matthew Kaley, is how old? She's? almost four. Okay, so she's a little young to submit her own, but we did have an eight-year-old to submit a film last year. So we have elementary school, middle school, high school and undergraduate college. Oh, that's great. Those are the four age categories, or grade categories. We didn't assign ages because, as you know, sometimes now undergraduate college kids can be 25 or 27. Sure, sure.

Allan Shedlin:

And then this year we opened it up for dads to submit films, as I mentioned, and also for independent filmmakers to submit feature films if they wanted to. So after the kids showed their films the five, the four winning films in those age categories and the winning dad film then we're going to break into discussion groups, small discussion groups, to discuss the issues that were raised in the films. Then we'll have a break And, by the way, dads and kids will be discussing those together, and then there'll be a break for a little bit of a snack, a little bit of food, and then we're going to show a full-length feature that was submitted this year We've actually selected that one already which will also have you smile from the beginning to the end for an hour, but also as deep. So it's a wonderful combination. And then towards the beginning, so after we show that sort of one film about dad Pahir of the kid interviewing the 18-month-old, interviewing her dad to be her father or her daddy, then we have a woman who just completed her dissertation at UCLA in and you'll like this as a film person yourself on how men have fathers or portrayed in the media. So she's going to give a 15 to 20 minute talk about that, showing some clips to illustrate her points.

Allan Shedlin:

But at the very end we're doing two additional things. One is we are taking still portraits black and white portraits of fathers and their kids, dads and their kids, and we're calling them commitment portraits. So there is going to be a space underneath the photograph to make a commitment to your child and for your child to make a commitment to you, and you're only getting the photograph if you do that And you both have to sign it, and it could be something very simple, like watching a movie with your kid once a month or reading a nighttime story every other night. It's not, we're not looking at gigantic things And for the kids, you can picture with your own kids what kind of commitment you'd like them to make to you.

Allan Shedlin:

And then the second thing, at the very end, is there's a entity called the Daddy Wishes Fund, and so we invite dads to apply for up to $250 to be spent on doing an activity with your child that you otherwise couldn't afford to do unless you had this $250. And the only requirement is that you document what you've done in some way, not because we don't trust you or we don't believe you, but that we can put it online so that other dads might get ideas of things they can do with their kid. So those are the things that end the day. So our intention is to or commitment actually is to do the festival and forum in a different state each year, and we are thrilled to have been invited to do it in Pennsylvania next year. And there are a lot of reasons I'm thrilled to do it, one of which is I can drive to Pennsylvania as opposed to flying to New Mexico. It'll be a lot easier. So it'll be in the next year around Father's Day like it is this year.

Matthew Krekeler:

That's great. Yeah, i think I was thinking about this too, just as a dad to daughters. One of my guests said, like he got the question well, like, what do you do with your daughters? I think it's sometimes more natural for dads with sons to be like, yeah, like we'll go and do, like fix something or like or play sports or whatever, and there's kind of a more of a maybe a natural connection. But but my guest was like, well, yeah, you just do what you normally would do. It doesn't like. The gender doesn't really have to be a barrier in a way that I think sometimes some people unfortunately like see it as such. So, like my kids are always like following me around. Like we fixed our washer dryer one time and then we fixed up our little like power wheels car And it was great like having them involved in that. And then, yeah, i love the idea too that you're giving dads an opportunity to spend a little bit of money to do something, do an adventure that, either financially or otherwise, like they might not make that commitment for, but having the money in pocket with a commitment to go out and do that, i think is really great. I'm thinking of a bunch of ideas now with my own kids. And then, yeah, i'm going to just do another shout out on the podcast.

Matthew Krekeler:

Part of Girl Dad Nation started as a podcast to have these kinds of conversations, but I was thinking of ways to grow the community, not just online but, like you're doing, in-person forums, which is great, and connecting it to a film festival and all that, and then this other opportunity for to sponsor events for kids. So, yeah, so coming up just in a couple weeks, in May 13th, is our first event hosted by Girl Dad Nation And it's hosted at an indoor playground And it's an opportunity for dads and daughters just to come and enjoy playing with their kids. I had a guy on the podcast. We shared stories about getting in the playground at, like, the fast food restaurant and because our kids are both young And so we were crawling up to the slide with them and just seeing their joy and like us being right there in the action, and so this is an opportunity for dads and daughters to do that, but also to meet other dads, have those conversations. Yeah, in very positive ways to encourage yeah, really great parenting and daddying.

Allan Shedlin:

Yeah, and, of course, how interesting that you're doing it on Mother's Day weekend.

Matthew Krekeler:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's going to be day before Mother's Day, so like the next day is completely devoted to their mom and all of that. And then, yeah, for that day I'm going to have some printouts so that the kids can draw and color some Mother's Day cards, like as one of the activities during the day.

Allan Shedlin:

So yeah, that's a great idea. So you know when you're talking about, you're a prior guest who said you know, what do you do with your daughter? I was thinking in preparation for and for our discussion is would do? I think I would have daddied differently if I had sons instead of daughters or an addition daughters? I don't think so. I don't think I did stuff uniquely because they were three daughters as opposed to three sons. I can sort of see that, at least in my grandparent thing, where I have grandsons as well as granddaughters. But you know, i did think I'm big, as you know, obviously, with the word daddying And I like to create terms, you know, like that, because Z is another term. But I think about and I mentioned, had differently we might respond to the word mothering versus fathering, but we also talk about daddy's little girl And then we talk about mama's boy, right? So it's kind of interesting again, those stereotypes that we begin to think about back in 2000. It was either eight or 11.

Allan Shedlin:

I wrote a piece, a commentary that the New York Times distributed called the daddy movement, and I pointed out that there was a movement. In my opinion, that is been happening underneath the radar. And it's happening underneath the radar, partially because the stereotype we have about how would a guy create a movement Right, we probably think it'd be very strategic, it'd probably be a little bit aggressive, maybe in your face a little bit, and there would probably be a charismatic leader of the movement. Okay, one of those things have happened in what I consider the daddy movement. They are obvious in other ways, like there's a guy who does a podcast called you know dad, you know girl dad, and there are now we talk about family leave, not just maternity leave, and you see sports figures you mentioned before the rock Dwayne, the Rock Johnson, you know, talking in a very tender way about his girls. And so it's obvious in so so many ways.

Allan Shedlin:

Some are like changing you know I hesitate using the changing table. You know, in men's restrooms, oh yeah, what are you changing? You changing your kid for somebody else's kid? What are you changing? And I was very excited when I saw the first signs of those and they tended to be in airports actually, but they're also now in stadiums and they're all over. But it was about five years before I saw anyone actually open one up. And I was all excited when I saw somebody open one up until he took out his computer and laptop and put it on. That started working And I thought no, that's not what it is, or, but anyway, there are just lots of ways that the studying movement exists.

Allan Shedlin:

Whether it's you just describing what you're doing on the 13th, that wouldn't have happened 10 years ago. You wouldn't have dads going to reading, you know, storytime at the library. You would have had fewer dads going to conferences at schools. You would have had fewer dads wearing their baby or talking about you're pregnant, which still jorts me a little bit, but anyway. So I think the dating movement exists in a way, and it doesn't need to be in what our mind thinks of as a movement. It exists.

Matthew Krekeler:

Yeah, and I like how you sort of describe the movement going under the radar too and in little ways but in progressive ways, and the commitment to being there for your kids too. And like the changing table thing I think is a great example, and I think we still have a long ways to go, because whenever we go to like the library and they don't have a changing table in the men's restroom, i'm like what Come on? Like there's so many areas where it could be easily adapted to give dads more ability to be present and to take on that responsibility with their kids in very practical ways, like just changing diapers and stuff, and then also just around the work environment too, like paternity leave, family leave, and then so much of the responsibility of kids lands on the mom too. Whenever the kid's sick, the mom even if she's a working mom, like my wife is typically becomes the one that has to rearrange their schedule or take the kids to school or whatever, and so I've been fortunate enough to be able to be in a position at my work to ask for similar accommodations.

Matthew Krekeler:

So there's a day a week that I take my kids to preschool and kind of sharing that responsibility with their mom. But I love it. I get so much joy and my daughter loves when I'm the one to pick her up from school. It just brightens her day And I think providing those opportunities for dads is just such an amazing thing And I bet it brightens your day.

Matthew Krekeler:

Oh, absolutely. I look forward to that day of the week when I get to pick her up and she gets so excited. Sometimes we get a treat afterwards and then we go to the park when it's nice, and yeah, that time is just so valuable And it goes by way too quickly too.

Allan Shedlin:

It does, and one of the things I really would like to share is that I've been writing about dating now for 30 years in different formats, and now we have this blog that's almost two years old is creatively called Daddying And, by the way, we'd love to invite you to do a guest blog, so we don't do all of the blog, thank you. I write two to three a month, and Scott, who reached out to you, does also about one month, and then the rest are inviting others to contribute what they do, and I love, for instance, the topic of your film that you submitted last night about love growing here and growing love here, because it reminds me of something that my youngest daughter, who has three children, said to me when she was pregnant with the third child, and she said to me that I'm really worried. And I said what are you worried about, christina? And she said I'm not sure I have enough love left over for my third child Because I love my two sons so much And she's about to have her first and only daughter. And so, of course, i teased her, which I love to do, and I said so what order are you in our family? And she looked at me like she knew where I was going with it and she said I'm the third daughter and I said did you have a feeling that I didn't have enough love left over for you? And she said, oh, i said so. One of the things you will discover is our hearts have the infinite capacity to expand just as much as they need to have enough love for all of the kids That we have.

Allan Shedlin:

In my case, having been a school principal And I think I mentioned this in my note to you last night A four year old described my job as a school principal is the daddy of the school, and I felt like I did have plenty of love. You know that I can share with with lots of other people, so that's one of the things that you know. I love that you call that love grows here, because because it does So. That's just something that I feel is important for all of us to think about. And the other thing that I want to mention is that, having written about this for so long and done so many things that have to do with that And you know we we do workshops in the penitentiary. Actually, in the one penitentiary we did was near where you got your film degree, was the penitentiary in Mexico and Santa Fe, do a program with veterans, did a program on Native American Pueblos at the World Bank and nursery schools.

Allan Shedlin:

So a lot of them and people have asked me do you think you've made a contribution to the field? It's not sort of my mindset, I hadn't thought about that before, but it was a fair question And I think the contribution that I can take some pride in contributing was noting that not only is active parenting important for your child and all measures of social well being go up when dads are positively involved in the lives of their children But so is it important to dance, and there was very little writing about that. So for me the apex, the zinus of that in is when nurturing your child is nourishing to you. Yeah, yeah, and that's why I jumped in and said not only is it great for your daughter when you pick her up at school, but I'm betting it's also great for you, oh, absolutely, and thank you for sharing that too with the theme of my film.

Matthew Krekeler:

Just love grows. here. And that's what I was thinking about is like I shot that, like you know, two years earlier with my daughter planting, like using her watering can and watering the grass and the flowers and stuff. And I was like, oh, that was so special, and that was when she was just an only child. At the time maybe we were pregnant, but but yeah, just thinking about how special that moment was. But then now, like two years later, she's almost four and she has two more sisters.

Matthew Krekeler:

Like just watching them in the backyard again the same location but watching her now be able to share that with her sisters is just so incredible, so incredible. And, like you were saying, like as a parent, now I see that love isn't finite. You know, it's amazing how your love grows and then, sharing it, you just increase your capacity to love and and I love my oldest so much, but I love all of my daughters equally and and then watching them love each other has just been the greatest blessing because, like watching her play by herself is so great, but then seeing the way that she shares that and just the joy that she gets. She gets so much more joyful when, like she comes home from pre school and knows that her sister is waiting for her and and they can enjoy the same adventures together. It's just amazing.

Allan Shedlin:

It is amazing and it's it's kind of interesting as one looks at it in terms of stages. So when you're doing your live event on the 13, i will be in North Carolina for my oldest granddaughters graduation from. You can share this with with Becca With her degree in social work. So, and I was thinking about, as I'm anticipating that event And I'm anticipating it's going to be the definitely the subject of a blog is I'm thinking back to having been at her nursery school graduation And I'm just thinking of the different graduation seasons, if you will. So her graduating is a four year old from from nursery school and now her graduating with a degree, you know, graduate degree in social work.

Allan Shedlin:

It's just really quite, quite astonishing, yeah, yeah that's incredible cry just as hard, if not more, in her graduate school graduation as I did from their series.

Matthew Krekeler:

That's so wonderful. We just have a few more minutes, but I wanted to give you the floor. Any other advice for dads or any other thing you want to say about your festival before I ask my final question.

Allan Shedlin:

Yeah. so I would like to let people know that we'll be doing this again next year. You know you can attest to it, ain't that hard. You got a lot of stuff already on your phones. You know doesn't need to be a finished. you know Disney spectacular, it's, you know, one to seven minutes long. So we usually announce usually this is the first full year of doing it, but we will announce again on Martin Luther King Day that we are open for submissions.

Allan Shedlin:

And, by the way, when your film comes in, i think where your film is going next is to kids of this age that are submitting films so elementary, oh wow. They will evaluate the films and we've had a training program for them in terms of evaluating films and then they will narrow down the 10 semi finalists in each age group. The semi finalists, the 10 semi finalists, will go to people in the entertainment industry and they will narrow down the five, and those five finalists will be online June 4th through the 10th on a YouTube channel for the public to vote. And the winner all of the finalists received $250, earned $250, and the winner receives not an Oscar, not a Golden Globe, not a Grammy. They received an Atticus named after Atticus Finch from Tekelberg, who is believed to be the best portrayal of a, especially a single dad in literature and in the movies, and so they actually received a physical award with a mockingbird on the top of the pedestal, and another $250.

Allan Shedlin:

So that's something to leave people with is to start thinking about next year's submitting next year's film, and we're thinking of doing a special category of films made with fathers and their kids together next year. That's great, yeah as well. So you know that's. and the other is to saber to get to that apex, to get to that zenith of daddying, which is to allow yourself to be nourished by nourishing your children. It is very, very important, and cry.

Matthew Krekeler:

And, as someone who's made several short films and stuff like that, i just want to encourage dads out there. It's so accessible now, even from five or 10 years ago. You have a camera in your pocket and you can edit it on your phone or you can edit it on a computer. But software now is accessible And, yeah, i love watching the reels that people have on Instagram of things that they're doing with their kids and just, yeah, dads like me posting stuff that they're excited about. So, yeah, i encourage people This came out after the deadline for this year, but I encourage people for next year to start thinking and start I mean, i have like 100 pictures from yesterday of my kids.

Matthew Krekeler:

So, yeah, just really cherishing those moments every day. And then this is a really wonderful way to honor your kids by presenting those special things and it's a really great keepsake too. So when I was thinking about making this film, i really I came in like right at the last minute for the submission deadline. It's been on my mind and I'm always like up to the wire, like doing it, but I was like, even if I miss the deadline, this is something that I'll cherish with my kids forever.

Allan Shedlin:

So yeah, and they will too. obviously, as you said, you showed it to them today, so Oh yeah, and I recorded them watching it, which was sweet.

Matthew Krekeler:

So I recorded them watching it for the first time and my second. She's like recognizing oh, that's Kaylee, that's Daddy. And it was really sweet that they got really excited watching them play and stuff, which is what my film is a lot of, just like the home movies that I shot on my camera, on my iPhone. So Did you record their reaction? I did, yeah, so this morning I recorded the reaction.

Allan Shedlin:

So that's your film submission for next year, because actually, just give a, we'll be exciting and we'll make this available after, with the permission of the filmmaker. But the feature film is a film done by a dad with a teenage daughter who is in a dance program And the fundraiser for the dance studio every year is that the dads of teenage girls learn a routine and then present it at the fundraiser. That's great. It's an hour long and it's worth every minute. And so I contacted the dad, oliver Ortele, in Pasadena, and I said to him so what do you think of if we use your film as our finale for the on the 24th and the 25th of June? what do you think about you and your daughter interviewing each other about the film?

Allan Shedlin:

So I think of this because of what you said So the three questions that I recommend and you do whatever way you want. but is a? when I told you I was going to make a film about this, what did you think? Because she was 14. When you saw the film for the first time, what did you think? And now you're a freshman in college, what do you think when you watch the film now?

Allan Shedlin:

And they asked each other those questions and it's wonderful. So that's, that's a special introduction to the film. So it'll be cool when your girls five years from now, you know look at that film 10 years from now, and 15 years from now is the different ways they feel about it. So that's great that you did that. Thank you.

Matthew Krekeler:

It's been a pleasure talking to you. I have one final question, and I ask all of my guests this. So pretend like you're speaking directly to your daughters right now. What would you like to tell them?

Allan Shedlin:

So what I not only would like to tell them, but what I have told them and I tell them often, is very similar to how you began the interview, when you were mentioning why you started and you talk about yourself, and it's what's in my little bio statement at the end of my blog. So I have all these academic degrees and the one that is most important to me and I'm proudest of is my DAD, and I know they know that. So it's just the repeat. I would not like anybody's kid to wonder how their dad or their mom feels about them. So don't be, don't be afraid. I got a card from my youngest daughter on my birthday, which was just a couple of weeks ago, and what she said is thank you for teaching me how to love.

Matthew Krekeler:

That's beautiful.

Allan Shedlin:

So you keep doing your good stuff, Matthew. that's great. I'd love to hear how it goes on the 13th.

Matthew Krekeler:

That's great, thank you.

Allan Shedlin:

And maybe you'll do some filming of that, or maybe other dads will, or they'll share the photographs they take on their phones. Yeah, yeah, and that might be the blog you want to write.

Matthew Krekeler:

Awesome. Well, yeah, i'm looking forward to that And thank you so much. I really hope that we can keep in touch And, yeah, i look forward to the festival. I love to see what other dads are inspired to create.

Allan Shedlin:

Yeah, okay, and thank you for the opportunity. As you can tell, i'm not shy about speaking about any of this, so I'm delighted to have the opportunity, so thanks.

Matthew Krekeler:

Thank you to Allan for sharing his story and being part of Girl Dad Nation. Check out the links in the description to learn more about the Daddying Film Festival and Forum, including the short film I made for My Girls. It's an honor to have my film Love Grows Here selected among so many wonderful films celebrating the role of good dads. I'll be looking forward to the festival each year around Father's Day.

Matthew Krekeler:

As I mentioned in the interview, video technology is more accessible than it ever has been. Most parents have a camera and computer in their pocket with the popularity of smartphones, so I encourage you to capture the good memories, share your family's story, get creative and also make things with your kids. It will mean so much to you and to them. Thank you for journeying with me. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts and sharing the show with a creative dad. I'd also love to know which movies inspire you. Is there a film that you love with a strong father figure? Send me a note. Girl Dad Nation is on Instagram, twitter and Facebook. You can also email me at girldadnationpodcast@gmailcom. There's no greater joy than being a dad.

Daddying Film Festival and Forum
Daddying and the Power of Film
Virtual Fatherhood Film Festival and Forum
The Daddy Movement and Fathering Daughters
Fatherhood, Love, and a Film Festival
Encouraging Dads to Capture Memories

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