Tom Brady Takes A Flying Leap

Fatherhood On Friday: Vivi Brady’s big jump illustrates how “risk perception is a muscle that needs to be developed and flexed.”

Dad 2.0
Dad 2.0
Jul 26, 2019 · 4 min read

Tom Brady inspires strong feelings in people, either as a super-model canoodler and the most blinged-out quarterback in NFL history, or as a “ known cheater” and “ diet pseudoscientist.” Given this polarized backdrop, it fits that his recent Instagram video launched the online parent-sphere into a bubble-wrapped uproar.

The clip features Brady and his 6-year-old daughter Vivi holding hands as they jumped off a rocky outcropping into a Costa Rican watering hole. Apparently, some felt that Vivi’s slight hesitation and subsequent awkward landing were too dangerous for their liking. It even made The Rock anxious.

The Internet loves its loud opinions, whether or not they’re justified. (It’s funny, for example, how many reports refer to “ cliff-diving,” even though there’s no cliff, and they didn’t dive.) What’s the calculus here? Why assume Brady hadn’t done his due diligence in confirming their safety? And what happened next? It would help to know whether Vivi emerged enthralled or in tears.

The passionate reaction highlights a larger issue when we encourage our kids to take risks: How risky is too risky? Our first instinct is to protect, but “ risk perception is like a muscle that needs to be developed and flexed.” And when Dad holds a child’s hand when she takes her first big leap, she’s far more equipped to calculate the risk when she leaps off on her own.

That’s a trust exercise with someone kids trust most, and the benefits of facing one’s fears generally offset any need for helicoptering. And if we pause to strip out any preconception of her (impossibly blessed alien freak) father, we really won’t have any idea of this jump’s long-term effect until Vivi is an adult, and is either running from creditors or running for Senate.


The list of paid leave benefits is as long as your arm, and getting longer. But since employers aren’t always accommodating to dads, the reluctance lingers.

Ironically enough, the “Mad Men” model found in much of America’s collective workplace, only makes men mad.

Lackluster family leave policies often force middle-aged adults to choose between maximizing their earning potential or caring for an aging parent.

“The best flex policies are reason-blind, which allows anyone with a caregiving need of any kind at any age to get their job done in the most productive way possible.” — Jessica Grose

“It’s a cliché that parenting is hard, but what is even harder is the judgment from other members of society-parents and nonparents alike.” — Olga Mecking

“Perhaps we need to look at educating families in gender equality, rather than taking choices away from them.” — Madelaine Gnewski

Theresa May, the now-former PM, wants dads to receive 12 weeks off, four of them paid at 90% of their usual salary. Will new PM Boris Johnson follow through?

Sometimes, when it comes to kids overusing tech, the parents are to blame.

Are you a country family or a city family?



Do you receive the Dad 2.0 Summit Newsletter? You should! In it we share all kinds of information and news about the Dad 2.0 Summit. Add it to your inbox! It’s the perfect way to start planning for our ninth summit, coming to Washington D.C. in 2020! Share your fatherhood news and/or stories with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook using the #FoF hashtag!

Originally published at on July 26, 2019.

Dad 2.0

Written by

Dad 2.0

Where marketers, media, influencers, experts, and parents discuss and define modern fatherhood. Our 10th Summit is Oct. 1–2, 2020 in LA!

More From Medium

Also tagged Fatherhood

Also tagged Fatherhood

Who Will Sire my Nation?

Also tagged Tom Brady

Top on Medium

Ed Yong
Mar 25 · 22 min read


Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade