What Meathead Can Teach Dads About Modeling Good Behavior

Rob-reiner-meatheadRob Reiner’s directorial career has given us a signature courtroom drama, the saga of a single president and a metal band known for cranking it up to 11.

To many, he’ll always be Meathead, the hippie son-in-law on “All in the Family.”

That doesn’t mean Reiner doesn’t have something to share with fathers everywhere.

Reiner is out promoting “And So It Goes,” a new romance starring Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas. The director spoke with Movie Mom (Nell Minow) about the film, but during their chat he opened up about life with a very famous father – comic mastermind Carl Reiner.

Minow asked the son a variation on a question I’ve posed to many celebrities. Do you ever ask questions of the show biz legends you’ve worked with?’

Rob Reiner had the ultimate access to one of the greatest comic minds of the 20th century. But the son’s answer may surprise you:

When I was 14, 15, 16 during the summer when I was off from school, I would go every single day with him to The Dick Van Dyke Show and watch him. I watched him work with the actors, work with the writers. I saw the stage, the performances and where they put the cameras and all that. So that’s how I learned. It wasn’t so much from him sitting down, “Well, son, this is how you do it.”

Modeling 101. It’s how Rob Reiner became a major director. And, of course, it’s something every father should understand. Our actions influence our children in ways we cannot fully grasp. We model behavior for our kids at all times. The way we treat a restaurant server. How we settle disputes. The respect we show our wives or girlfriends. Everything we do is a potential lesson for our children. Or, in worst case scenarios, a template that could haunt them should we exhibit poor behavior.

For now, let’s consider the director’s latest handiwork and see if we can glimpse how his papa’s legacy continues to play out.



  1. says

    I couldn’t agree more. Kids learn much more from behavior than they do by sitting at their parent’s knee and listening to instruction.

    It’s always shocking when I do something now, as an adult, and I realize it exactly something my parents would do.

    Actions speak louder than words. It’s an old cliche, but so very true.

  2. Christian says

    Listened to a podcast about the perils of too much screen time for kids, and then I realized how often my boys see me gawking at one screen or another. Ugh. I’ve got some work to do …

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