Phil Dunphy, Yo!

I love Modern Family. It’s a refreshing comedy that details the everyday life, struggles and wins of a family that despite their obvious differences, choose to stand together. My wife Jen gets a kick out of Cam and Manny. Me personally, I’m a Phil guy. He’s your typical suburban, real estate dad that loves his wife and kids. He’s clumsy, sensitive and is always trying to fit in.

To be quite honest, when I’m with my family I feel like I channel Phil all the time. What is my “Dunphy-ism”? My wife would say that I’m goofy even though I’m not trying to be. For example, she laughs at the way I dance with our girls. Apparently I’m like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, but minus the rhythm and swanky hair. So, basically I’m Chris Farley. Want proof? Check this out.

While it’s fun to goof off and relate to your kids in in creative ways, we must not forget the the great responsibility we have as parents to speak life into our children. What does this look like? For me lately it has involved extending grace to my 3 year old. As her father I want to communicate God’s truths to her right now, even in her young age. I’ve also been reminded lately about how God views my children. They are more than the nicknames we call them; they were created with a purpose, to live a life that brings Him glory.

What is a “Dunphy-ism” that you can relate to? In what ways do you ‘speak life’ into your children?

62 Comments

  • bill (cycleguy)

    February 2, 2011

    I can’t say anything about a Dunphy-ism but I still speak life into my girls even though they are adults (35 & 31) and away from home. (I kicked them out. How’s that for speaking life into them?) jk. I still tell them I love them and let them know how important they are to me. In my mind, they are still my girls and will be until one of us leaves this earth.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Bill, that’s the truth! One day, I’ll have to ‘kick’ my girls out as well. :) But, truthfully, that is an excellent example. Words of affirmation, showing them at they matter, speaks volumes.

      Reply
  • Ben

    February 2, 2011

    Oh man, any time Phil shows his ADD my wife looks at me and gives me the “That’s You” look.

    Speaking life, what a concept. I would definitely say it’s by showing how to overcome fear, doubt and adversity. Overcome fear because God has not given us that spirit, doubt and adversity because in Him we can do all things, and nothing is impossible.
    (y’all know those verses)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      that’s great Ben. as parents we want our kids to not only be strong in the world’s eyes (perseverance, independent, successful), but there is also the growing of their faith through seasons of doubt and adversity. I pray that during those times (because they will come) my kids feel comfortable to share those things with us, so we can walk through together.

      Reply
  • mo

    February 2, 2011

    That’s really good man. I can’t watch the video right now, but I connect big time with what you said about extending grace to your daughter. I think about that a lot with my son. At this stage, its just making sure we’re smiling whenever we pick him up. But I know it’ll grow into more as he gets older….

    Man that’s crazy to think about!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Thanks! There have been some specific moments over the last couple months where I’ve felt that concept has hit home. I believe that it’s never to early to start “training your child in the way he should go”(Prov 22:6). God will bless that!

      Reply
  • Jim F

    February 2, 2011

    I love how Phil tries to be cool – it always makes me laugh – but it is also looking in a mirror.

    I try to live life intentionally with my kids and use life as an opportunity to teach them constantly. I see that as the easiest way to consistently be speaking God’s truth into their lives. I also do my best to live Christ out loud in front of them each day.

    Good thoughts.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Looking in a mirror? Me too! Feel free to label me a corny, cheesy, doofy father. Guilty as charged.

      I love the idea of living intentionally. There will be teaching moments where you’ll have the specific opportunity to teach/speak into their lives. I, for one, want to be ready for those opportunities!

      Reply
  • Michelle

    February 2, 2011

    I think that sometimes we care too much about being the cool parent, we forget that we have a responsibility to our kids. I have a member of my family that has been the cool parent and now her kids are doing all sorts of things and if she reprimands them, well..she’s a pal, not a parent, so what do they care?

    I think family is about loving each other, having fun with one another and too much of anything is going to be a bad thing. If we are too fun or too authoritarian, we are misleading our children. The one thing I tend to lean towards more is being authoritarian. My mom was that way and I kind of inherited that. I fall back on it often. It’s too strict. There has to be a balance of love, mercy, and discipline. My kids and I are learning 1 Corinthians this week and I think that says it well, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing”

    We can be the strict disciplinarian or the fun parent who knows all the hips things to say, but if we don’t show the love God has shown us, we are just background noise to our kids.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      most definitely, thanks for sharing michelle. I too believe it’s all about balance. There is something real special about goofing off with your kids, and seeing them let out a big belly-laugh. But certainly the balance part comes in because there has to be a measure of respect and responsibility as parents- God has entrusted these little ones to our care. But, I think you’re right-most often it all comes down to love, right? Extending the love that we first received through Christ down to our children.

      Reply
    • Randy Kinnick

      February 3, 2011

      These are wise words, Michelle. We can’t be the “buddy” at the expense of being the parent. If we parent with love and intentionality of purpose (God’s purpose for them) we won’t have to worry about being the “cool” parent. They’ll know we love them and at the end of the day, they’ll come to us for the opportunity to “speak life” into them.

      Reply
      • Dustin

        February 3, 2011

        Intentionality… so true. Thanks for sharing that, Randy.

        Reply
      • Michelle

        February 3, 2011

        Good points Randy. I never thought of it that way. It does seem like a choice, doesn’t it? Either be strict or be cool. There is never an in between. My kids laugh at me quite a bit and even though I’m not intentionally trying to win their favor by doing funny things, I get it anyway. It’s a cool gig even though somedays I’m up to my ears in discipline too. I homeschool, so I’m in the thick of it, for sure. God is good though. He uses me extreme weaknesses to His glory. And I don’t have to be perfect. That’s the best part. I can be humble around my kids and say “I messed up and so will you” and they will hopefully know that I’m not gonna judge them then. I will in a sense be the cool parent because they can talk to me. That is my hope anyway. Thanks guys.

        Reply
        • Dustin

          February 3, 2011

          I think that being humble enough to say “I messed up” is huge. My oldest may not realize it yet, but I want them to absolutely know that I am not perfect. No way. 2 Cor 12:9, “…for my power is made perfect in weakness”; God name will surely be magnified in those seemingly small instances.

          Reply
  • seekingpastor

    February 2, 2011

    I say things like “keep it real,” “tore up from the floor up,” “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Stuff like that because I am a nerd.

    Reply
    • Ben

      February 2, 2011

      haha, why is this so easy to believe?

      Reply
      • Dustin

        February 2, 2011

        HA!….tore up from the floor up. I am SO using that one. My oldest is at the age where she’ll repeat things if I tell her too… and then she’ll continue repeating if she sees me laughing at it.

        And, not surprisingly, I’m with ben on this one. Somehow I’m not surprised. :)

        Reply
      • seekingpastor

        February 3, 2011

        Because I’m a beast.

        Reply
        • Dustin

          February 3, 2011

          “Being loved by God is far better than being a beast.” #jesusjuke

          Reply
    • Randy Kinnick

      February 3, 2011

      Hahahaha…I have no words.

      Reply
  • Moe

    February 2, 2011

    I too dance… break dance. I’m getting too old for it though. I tried the worm a few days ago and I think I injured chest, hip and knee in the process.

    As for speaking life to my children, I tell them, Love God, family and have fun while doing it. Laugh a lot, it’s worth it.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Moe- that.is.awesome. I stub my toe, sprain my wrists, and bleed when I just go up and down the stairs. Who knows what would happen if I ever decided to breakdance? I’m certain I couldn’t even call it breakdancing. It would just be flopping around like a wet fish on dry land.

      Reply
  • Melissa Brotherton

    February 2, 2011

    I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Modern Family, I think I need to catch up online. That clip was hilarious. And the dancing video? Really? I think my favorite part was that you had no head. :) Your daughter is the cutest pitootie ever!

    My kids are 6-4-2-7mo. They’re still too young to not think I’m cool. I guess I hadn’t really stopped thinking of myself as cool yet. I think I’m in for a wake up call. Haha! Josh and I work a lot with college age, so I still picture myself as college age. I’m more nearing the back-to-college age now at 30. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll do tons of stuff to embarrass my kids over the years. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Melissa, definitely check it out. Its funny, yet heartwarming at times. You can catch episodes on Hulu and ABC’s site (I think).

      And I’m with you- my girls don’t know whether or not I’m cool yet… I hope one day. :) Work with college age? Through church?

      Reply
      • Melissa Brotherton

        February 2, 2011

        My husband runs the cafe at a bible college, and we frequently have college age students from our church to our home for meals/hanging out. In the past we’ve run a couple of college age groups at churches we’ve attended, and looking toward the future we hope to do that again. I love that age group; they have such an eagerness for what’s ahead of them and what God can do. It’s great!!

        Reply
        • Dustin

          February 2, 2011

          awesome to hear! college was one of the most impactful times of my life. many lifelong friends, and i was able grow in my faith in many ways.

          Reply
    • Randy Kinnick

      February 3, 2011

      Melissa, I can relate to working with college students to keep you thinking young. I’m 51, work some with our college ministry and I still have a hard time not thinking that I’m still in that age group. Whoa…I’m old!

      Reply
  • Jason Vana

    February 2, 2011

    I LOVE Modern Family…and will probably be a lot like Phil Dunphy when I have my own family someday. The college students in my ministry already think I’m goofy weird like him.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Jason, don’t say “probably”. Say you WILL! #ownit! :)

      Reply
      • Jason Vana

        February 3, 2011

        But, but, but…there’s still hope for me right now! LOL

        Reply
  • Jay Cookingham

    February 2, 2011

    I like to remind my children that the were created to love God with all they have and when they do, the path for them to follow gets a whole lot clearer. Thanks bro’

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Yep! Thanks for your comment, Jay!

      Reply
  • Ally Garner

    February 2, 2011

    I’m not a parent yet, so i have very little to add to this great conversation, except that my Dad was Phil Dunphy b4 Phil Dunphy was Phil Dunphy.

    He was a great Dad & set a wonderful example for my brother & i. But he was also so incredibly funny & loved making life fun, enjoying being a family. He passed away 3 years ago, but left me with some great memories & priceless lessons.

    Dustin, from everything i’ve seen you seem a lot like that to your girls-a great balance of fun, love & responsible parent. Kudos & God bless your family always!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Ally, your comment PROVES that you have much too add to the conversation! Thank you for sharing that about your dad. Sounds like he was a pretty cool guy!

      And, thank you for the kind words!

      Reply
  • Jon Malstrom

    February 2, 2011

    My father-in-law, like Jay, makes snide remarks about me. It’s not as subtle as “Dum-phy,” he just calls me “idiot.”

    *If he’s reading this, that was a joke. If he’s not, I’m totally serious! Help me!

    Reply
  • ThatGuyKC

    February 2, 2011

    I’ve heard of Modern Family before, but never gotten the chance to watch it. Too busy with homework at night.

    Will have to catch up over the summer. Thank you for the share.

    I’m probably that kind of dad. Even if I’d like to believe otherwise.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      you most certainly have to check it out. a great sitcom, for sure!

      Reply
  • jay sauser

    February 2, 2011

    I don’t know what way in which I channel Dunphy or anything, but I do love the way in which he tries to take Claire back to the days of a simpler life when he gets the station wagon up and running. And then when him and Luke explore under the house – that was a priceless episode!

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 2, 2011

      Love both of those! (especially the one with Phil and Luke exploring under the house… what a great message on overcoming fears)

      Reply
  • Donald Borsch Jr

    February 2, 2011

    *sigh* I am so out-of-touch. I haven’t a clue as to what you were referencing, Dustin. I understand this is a television show, but…I’m just not aware.

    I speak life into my children by placing my right hand upon their heads and pronouncing blessings upon them in the name of Jesus. (I’m old-school like that, what?)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 3, 2011

      It’s all good, Donald. You should check out the show sometime… We don’t watch a lot of tv, but this is one show we love to catch.

      I’m old school in a lot of ways too. That is a good thing! :)

      Reply
  • Bryan Thompson

    February 3, 2011

    I think I channel Phil Dunphy, too. Funniest show on the planet, by the way! And so politically incorrect but it does it in such an innocent way that it works.

    BTW, over the last year, I have done a lot of work with real estate agents and get the RE jokes he does so much more. What I think is actually kind of interesting is that the show even shows you the struggle of real estate agents in a tough housing market and economy. There’s one episode recently where he’s having a real crisis in showing his manliness to his wife, and on a phone call, a client changes her mind on a house. For a second, we see a struggle in Phil, and it hits the viewer that this is REALLY about his struggle to provide for his family. I’ve seen it all too many times (have lived it too many times), and I really appreciated it.

    Good post, Phil…I mean, Dustin.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 3, 2011

      Bryan, exactly! One of my favorite Phil lines from season 1 was “Every realtor is just a ninja with a blazer.” HAHA!

      And I agree with you-while making it funny, the show definitely pulls on your heart strings and makes the characters extremely relatable.

      Reply
  • Tom Raines

    February 3, 2011

    This morning I hugged my 15 year old son and let him know I loved him whether he made the high school baseball team or not. Unconditionally. He did make it but there have been several times he has not made teams and those were times to build him up in love and encourage that God had other plans for him. I pray he learned his value is not in what he does or accomplishes but in God’s unconditional love.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 3, 2011

      Tom, that is fantastic. I’m certain that is a moment your 15 yo son will remember for years to come. There is something special (and comforting) about knowing that your father unconditionally loves you. Thanks for sharing that!

      Reply
  • Randy Kinnick

    February 3, 2011

    I’m pretty goofy sometimes, but, hey, I can be pretty cool too! If I dress cool and keep my mouth shut, I can pull it off (#FTW). Seriously, it has been awesome to see the relationship unfold over the years as a parent. Because we have tried to parent with love and purpose, our daughter has maintained relationship and communication to allow us to walk through tough times with her. Now that she’s a college-age adult, she constantly expresses her love, appreciation, respect, and honor to us as her parents. It’s very rewarding to see God’s promises and plans come to fruition.

    I’ve never watched Modern Family…I’ll have to check it out.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 3, 2011

      Yes, definitely check it out! I promise, you’ll chuckle quite a few times.

      That is awesome that you have been able to not only see the growth in your daughter’s life, but also be there as a support to her over all these years. I can imagine being very grateful. By the way, I really enjoyed your ‘prayer’ post today.

      Reply
      • Randy Kinnick

        February 3, 2011

        Thanks, bro. I hope it will be an encouragement and a tool that lots of people will find helpful.

        Reply
  • Duane Scott

    February 3, 2011

    I’m not goofy at all.

    Nope.

    Judging by my avatar, I have no sense of humor.

    Okay. I lied.

    I once danced on top of one of those big red balls outside Target.

    Ya, I’m not goofy at all.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      February 3, 2011

      BTW, your facebook link doesn’t work. At least for me.

      Reply
      • Dustin

        February 3, 2011

        Hmm, thanks. I’ll check into it. Thanks for the heads up!

        Reply
    • Dustin

      February 3, 2011

      Not goofy at all. Got it. :)

      Reply
  • Donald Borsch Jr

    February 3, 2011

    Dustin,

    Had some down time and invested it in actually watching the video of your Friday Dance Party.

    …oh my…

    You are a brave man and an awesome father to play with your daughter(s) like that. My hat’s off to you, sir!

    You do have some good moves though. It did remind me of the last time I saw a guy get tazered on “Cops”, though. But vertically. No offense. Just an observation. :)

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 3, 2011

      Haha. I’ll have to keep that in mind… I’m sure we’ll film Part Deux sometime in the near future. :)

      Reply
  • Keri

    February 3, 2011

    Dustin, I’ve been trying to figure out how to work Modern Family into my blog. You beat me to it. But, maybe I can follow up with something too. I absolutely love this show! Wait, what was the question?

    How do I speak life into my kids? Encouragement. I love to praise my children for their efforts and hard work, for their budding personalities. I know that boys in particular crave words of affirmation, so it’s something I like to focus on. I just want them to always know what is special about them, what God made uniquely theirs, so that their gifts can be cultivated and nurtured. I want them to know their calling early on in life, so they can pursue it with abandon. I know so many men/boys who struggle with this, so I pray over my boys that they will know their calling quickly and hear it clearly from God.

    I have other “kids” in my life who I try to speak life to. Our sitter in particular is a 19 y.o. young woman seeking the heart of God. Anytime she wants to talk, I’m all ears. I share my experiences and she shares her heart. I pray for her and support her. I just love on her in the ways that she needs to be loved. The fruit of that relationship has brought me so much joy and fulfillment.

    Reply
    • Dustin

      February 3, 2011

      Keri, it is always nice to see fellow MF enthusiasts! I’m sure we could write for days on some of the things they tackle (in a light hearted way) on that show.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding encouragement. Kids aside, even adults need those words of affirmation! I feel it is so instrumental with their “budding personalities” (as you said). I can see that in my girls right now.

      Reply
  • Pingback: LOST and Trust | AbrahamChronicles.com

Leave a Reply to Bryan Thompson Cancel reply