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Len Filppu
Len Filppu is a writer/screenwriter who’s worked as a communications executive in Silicon Valley, served as a press secretary to Jimmy Carter and on Capitol Hill, and helped produce a low budget horror movie. But the best thing he ever did was become a first-time father in midlife. Watch for his forthcoming book, "PRIME TIME DADS: 45 Reasons to Embrace Midlife Fatherhood" ( and follow him at

Entries by Len Filppu

Pre-Father's Day Debate: 7 Rational Reasons Why Men Should Delay Fatherhood

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 12:24 PM

When faced with first-time fatherhood at the age of 49, I didn't know whether to celebrate with champagne or hemlock... whether to jump for joy or jump off a cliff. But it's turned out to be the most interesting and rewarding thing I've ever done. I believe delaying fatherhood for...

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Bemused by a Math Muse

(4) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 11:33 AM

I do not hate math. I respect math. I did well in math. But because I've not used many math skills beyond the basics in my adult life, I've often questioned our education system's obsession with math and its dominance in our classrooms. And now that I have children getting...

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Father's Day Message to Dads: You Can Still Be Heroes

(3) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 2:09 PM

I remember my childhood dreams of becoming an NFL football star, saving someone's life as a Boy Scout, exploring the seas as a famous aquanaut. Time and reality whittled those heroic daydreams down to prosaic size.

It seems fate and character choose only a few larger than...

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What Time's Article on Older Dads Did Not Report

(21) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 3:27 PM

Time magazine's recent article "Too Old To Be A Dad?" discusses studies finding that older men face increased risks of fathering children with autism or schizophrenia, and warns older dads that the biological clock ticks for both sexes.

I was interviewed for this article by Time reporter...

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BFF Advice for Kids (Learned at my Reunion)

(12) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 6:08 PM

Our tween-age son and daughter are beginning to encounter the tricky and treacherous turmoil of relationship trauma. Friends can change allegiances and alliances; coveted party invitations may not arrive; choices must be made on who to invite for special events; there's unhappiness with mom and dad's play date recommendations; there's...

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Father's Day IS the Gift

(10) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 12:40 PM

My fatherhood style falls somewhere between Robert Young of Father Knows Best and Ozzy Osbourne, bat biter, so it's always good for me to bounce ideas off other dads... even if I get back a twisted triangulation on my parental reality. I invited my friend Vern to join me for...

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March Madness: What It's Taught Me About Parenting

(4) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 12:58 PM

March Madness offers parents a double bonus situation: excitement and insight. Behind the blinding blitzkrieg of b-balling, beer commercials, and college boosterism, I found some parental tricks easily transferable from the polished hardwood courts to the stained-forever carpets of our cozy family room.

Jump Ball
This is so...

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A Valentine to Pregnant Women

(16) Comments | Posted February 7, 2012 | 11:31 AM

Roses are red,
You look nearly due,
Good golly, you're big,
Enormously gorgeous, too!

Valentine's Day seems like an appropriate time to set the record straight from the heart about a pet peeve of mine, and while some of you may think I'm blatantly pandering to female...

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Five Mistakes My Parents Made That I'm Not Repeating

(26) Comments | Posted January 26, 2012 | 10:15 AM

Can anyone say their parents were perfect? OK, those of you who raised your hands may now Google the word "denial."

For the rest of us, of course our parents made mistakes. It's as normal as... as not being there when I came home from my first two-week, sleep-away camp...

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Sweating a Sex Education Class for Fathers and Sons

(14) Comments | Posted December 6, 2011 | 9:13 AM

Fatherhood continues to amaze, delight and enrich me. I just went to a sex education class with my 11 year-old son, and yes, I was secretly dreading it.

My wife signed us up. She was almost giddy from the program's great reviews she'd heard through her ever-flowing moms' grapevine....

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The 7 Wonders of Parenthood

(5) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 10:51 AM

We've all heard about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Here are my Seven Wonders of Parenthood... as discovered and stumbled over on my trepidatious expeditions as an ordinary dad.

There's an ancient, mystical skill women possess for divining the best times for...

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Technology and Kids: Moving Them From Consumers to Creators

(10) Comments | Posted October 5, 2011 | 5:49 PM

Like just about every parent I know, I have some concerns about kids and technology, whether it's the time sinkholes and lurking dangers of social media, the addictive nature of video gaming, the lack of physical exercise, or even the cost and shelf life of increasingly sophisticated electronic devices. But...

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5 Secret Holidays for Parents

(48) Comments | Posted September 16, 2011 | 10:23 AM

Traditional holidays are great, and I've discovered they're even more fun when you have kids. You'd have to be a pre-transformation Ebenezer Scrooge not to delight in your children's dreaming and diabolical scheming for holiday presents, their wicked Halloween costume sense, their fearful fondness of booming fireworks, and all their...

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Confessions of a Tony-the-Tiger Dad

(19) Comments | Posted August 30, 2011 | 4:44 PM

As I prowl through the tangled jungle of parental advice literature, I can no longer sugar coat my flaky approach to fatherhood. I'm forced to admit... I'm a Tony-the-Tiger dad.

You see, I'm dedicated to raising my two children to become human beings, flawed and imperfect creatures with feet of...

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Parental Survival Tip # 1: Develop Mirth at Birth

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 11:37 AM

The most important survival skill I've learned during my 11 years as a midlife dad is that a sense of humor is truly the best medicine. The ability to laugh when my automatic reflexes urge me to scream or cry or hide or run away to Las Vegas helps me...

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Am I Too Old To Be a Dad?

(8) Comments | Posted August 2, 2011 | 3:46 PM

I'm an older first time father, a late bloomer dad, a more senior sire. Our son was born when I was age 49, and our daughter arrived three years later. While I've discovered over this past decade of parenting that becoming a father in the maturity of midlife has proved...

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