Jerry Seinfeld’s New Fatherhood Initiative Is Anything But A Joke

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Jerry SeinfeldWhen you think of Jerry Seinfeld, obviously the first thing that comes to mind is the long-running sitcom that has become a lasting part of early 2000s pop culture. But the actor and his wife are working hard to become recognized for something more than being the correct answer in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Through the Baby Buggy Fatherhood Initiative, Jerry Seinfeld is attempting to help fathers with few resources become an active part of their children’s lives.

If you’re a parent, you may recognize Jessica Seinfeld as the author of several cookbooks which have recipes for sneaking healthy foods into your children’s meals (I never would have thought that chickpea chocolate chip cookies would be edible, but I made her recipe on a dare and I am ashamed to admit I ate more cookies than my children). BabyBuggy is a charity founded by Jessica Seinfeld that has been in operation since 2001. The organization collects diapers, new and used children’s clothing and baby items and inspects them for safety before distributing them throughout the country through various community based organizations.

When I first read about the charity’s new fatherhood initiative on the Huffington Post, my first reaction was to scoff. Seinfeld’s advice to fathers on how to avoid snapping at their kids seemed woefully out of touch:

The practice of meditation gives you those crucial extra few seconds to gather yourself. It’s an actual physical change in the brain. Instead of a reflexive moment of anger, you might be able to go, ‘well let me not do that right now. Let me not scream right now.

Seinfeld went on to say that practicing daily mediation will make parents wake up feeling like they’ve got a full night of sleep. Whether that restful feeling is actually a result of mediation or the fact that his children are older and he no longer remembers the particular brand of torture that is sleep deprivation we may never know, but it’s certainty the type of statement only the rich who can afford overnight baby nurses make.

Goop-like mediation advice aside, the Baby Buggy Fatherhood Initiative appears to have the power to make a big impact. When fathers participate in the program they receive baby items and clothing for their children. Unlike many other parenting programs that focus on basic care and discipline of a child, Baby Buggy goes beyond that to teach fathers tools to assist the long term well-being of the family. Along with other programs they offer financial literacy workshops to teach the dads strategies for budgeting, debt reduction, and saving. They also have social events so fathers can connect with other dads from similar backgrounds and encourage continued involvement in their children’s lives. Trying to enact long term financial change for families in need and giving fathers the chance to make dad friends are just a couple ways Baby Buggy is working to make a real difference.

While personally I think the “show about nothing” was over-hyped, I’m definitely a fan of the Baby Buggy and what they are working to accomplish. We need more programs like this one.

(photo: Gettyimages)