As a veteran on-air meteorologist, Paul Goodloe has reported from the scenes of blizzards, floods, fires and hurricanes—here’s footage of him trying to stay upright while covering Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. Today, he co-hosts Weekend Recharge on The Weather Channel. Here’s how he parents.
Name: Paul Goodloe Location: Atlanta, Georgia Job: On-Camera Meteorologist at The Weather Channel television network Family: Wife Rebecca and sons PJ (16) and Austin (13)
Take us through your morning routine.
If I’m working, I usually try to get an hour workout in at the gym and then head into work. If I’m not working that day, I usually drop one of my sons off at school and then head to the gym.
How much outside help do you get as a parent? Who or what can’t you live without?
My wife has been the backbone of the family and there’s no doubt that as a stay-at-home mum, she works harder than I do.
When the boys were little, we did have a nanny that would help out 4 to 5 days a week. When the boys were infants, we couldn’t live without the Baby Einstein videos. They would give us 25 to 30 uninterrupted minutes to take a shower or take a phone call. Every parent needs a “go-to” plan for times like that.
What are the gadgets, apps, charts or tools you rely on?
I really like the Xfinity xFi app. I can limit WiFi access and institute bedtime cutoffs so the kids have to put their devices down and go to sleep, or maybe even pick up a book. I also like that we can access their school assignments and grades on a daily basis. This keeps everyone on top of homework and other projects that are due.
Are your kids interested in the weather?
My kids are aware of weather in the sense that they know what to do if they see lightning or hear thunder, but that’s about the extent of their interest in it. I’ve talked to both of their classes about what I do for a living, but haven’t involved them in my work.
How can parents help get their kids excited about the natural world around them?
Get everyone outside! National Parks are a great place to start. Both my boys went through the Junior Ranger Program at Yellowstone National Park.
It sounds official, but it’s really not that difficult for kids to do and a fun activity for all ages. When my boys went through the program, they got a patch for each level they completed.
How do you decompress?
I decompress in several ways. One way is exercise, especially when I’m on the road covering storms. Travelling into these areas is sometimes stressful—your sleep schedule is off, you’re not eating right, you don’t know when you’ll go back home, and sometimes you can lose power for days, especially during a hurricane. So being able to exercise can at least help my body feel good for a short amount of time. I’m also a fan of binge watching shows here and there.
And finally, I decompress on vacation. My wife and I make sure we take at least one vacation every year. For us, a vacation is a multi-day trip without the kids. If you include the kids, it’s no longer a vacation—we just call that a trip.
What’s been your proudest moment as a parent?
One was when my sons surprised my father-in-law by giving his introduction for an event he was participating in—and it was a pretty full auditorium! Neither child had done any public speaking before so they were both nervous.
I worked with them to improve their comfort and delivery, and when it was time, they nailed it! My father-in-law was thrilled.
What is your favourite family ritual?
Captain America Tuesdays. My sons are big Marvel fans and every Tuesday we usually all wear Captain America shirts. Even when this last Christmas fell on a Tuesday, we wore Captain America shirts that had the shields positioned in a Christmas tree shape.
Is there something that your parents did that you’d like to pass onto your children?
My parents had a good work ethic and that’s something I’d like to pass on to my kids. They both have chores around the house that they are held accountable for.
Has anyone ever given you a piece of parenting advice that has really stuck with you?
We met a retiring paediatrician in St. John when we were expecting our first baby. He told us that everything a toddler does is controlled by adults except for two things: eating and going to the bathroom. Once toddlers realise they are in control of those two things, they will try to drive you crazy with them. It was tough, but when it came to potty training, we just had to wait until they were ready.
What’s the hardest part about being a parent?
Not knowing what the future holds for your kids. You try to set your kids up with every opportunity in life but they don’t always take advantage of it. When they are little, you choose their schools, but as they mature, you see them start making their own decisions that could impact them for the rest of their lives. You hear about some of their peers doing this or that, or being recognised for certain accomplishments, but you really can’t get caught up in that.
It’s tough because most parents are a little competitive about their children. But at the end of the day, I want my kids to be good people. If they are good people, they will find a way to have a good life in whatever direction they decide to take their lives. I know, much easier said than done.
What’s your favourite part of the day?
Late afternoon when everyone is home. Kids make a house a home. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ll miss this when they go away to college.
The one thing I would tell other parents:
Even though there have been thousands of books written on parenting, there are no manuals written for your specific child. Each and every child is different so frustration is inevitable. They are life’s greatest joy and greatest worry all wrapped up in one. Tell your children you love them and know they won’t truly understand what you mean until they have children of their own.