Expert Interview: GreatDad.com’s Paul Banas Answers our Father’s Day Questions

We asked Paul Banas, CEO and Founder of GreatDad.com and father of two, his insights and gift picks for Father’s Day. Paul has 25 years of marketing and business development experience and is a leader in providing a man’s point of view on parenting.

What does Father’s Day mean for you now that you have your own children?

Fathers Day now means breakfast in bed and probably brunch two hours later. The kids are very demanding with their mom that breakfast in bed is part of the program.  It’s nice to have a dad’s day, but it’s usually like family time on most other weekend days.

What is your favorite Father’s Day gift you have received?

Now, seven years ago, I got my first digital camera. At the time, it seemed like the best thing in the world for getting pictures of my then 4 year old.

Channeling your great parenting wisdom, what advice comes to mind for first-time dads?

Try as hard as you can to shift your expectations about what you think life with kids is like and the reality of day-to-day child rearing. Hopefully, you took on this role willingly, and you need to steel yourself for a long commitment of doing the best for your kids.  That doesn’t mean losing yourself, but it often means self-sacrifice.  Many cliches come to mind, but two are important. Number 1:  “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”  Keep yourself charged up so you can get up and do it again tomorrow.  And that also means with your relationship with your kid’s mom.  Number 2: “The days are long, but the years are short.”  You’ll be amazed at how fast ten years flies, but you’ll be a lot happier if at the end you have a lot of photos of smiling kids with you in them.

As society shifts towards more Stay-At-Home Dads (SAHD), how have you seen this affect the family dynamic?

The societal shift is slower than the news media would make you believe, though there are fare more stay-at-home than commonly reported.  Sex roles are changing creating a lot of confusion in gender roles and resentment among some. Are men becoming more feminine?  Are women bad moms? Our feeling is that raising a child is the most basic of human roles and is NOT exclusively done best by either sex.  Each family and each parent has to live out the life that is best for them, whether gay, straight, single, or traditional nuclear family.  The only responsibility we have is to provide a caring, supportive environment for the kids we bring onto the planet.

As the CEO and Founder of GreatDad.com and Pregnancy Magazine Publisher, what are additional websites, apps, books, etc. you would recommend to involved fathers?

We’ve long been associated with Mr. Dad, Armin Brott, the author of “The Expectant Father,” and seven other bestselling books on involved fatherhood. He was a pioneer in this area with his first book fifteen years ago.  Lately, there have been a lot more “how to” books for dads including the recent, “Show Daddy How” from Parenting Magazine, Daddy Dates by Greg Wright, a book on really getting to know your daughters, and Grant Eppler’s funny “What to Expect When Your Wife is Expecting,” his chronicle of the birth of his first child.   For websites, we like DadLabs.com, which has entertaining videos on many parenting topics and is a GreatDad partner.

What are your top 5 gift picks for Father’s Day?

1. Get him soup. We tried and like spoonfulofcomfort.com for dads who are far away and need a little home-cooked feeling their lives.
2. No dad would frown if you get him an iPad. It’s a cliché this year for a reason.
3. Get him a kite and take the family kiting. Nothing excites a dad’s imagination in the same way as seeing a kite soar.
4. If he likes to cook or grill, get him a herb garden, available at the hardware or garden store for under $10.  Not all men think flowers are manly, but herbs are a different animal.
5. Bake him cookies or pie and write him a sappy card with a list of special memories (and why you love him) from the last year.
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On father’s day, dads really don’t need you to spend money to make it a special day.

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Paul Banas has more than 25 years of marketing and business development experience from companies such as Unilever, Visa International, Alibris.com, and most recently Yahoo!. He is also a member of the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), former President and founder of the Bay Area International Advertising Association and serves on the Advisory Board of Pregnancy Magazine where he is a monthly contributing editor. After becoming a dad and realizing a need for a man’s point of view on parenting, Paul created GreatDad.com, a leading resource for involved fathers.