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Kids | Who's Your Daddy? | giggle Blogs


October 4, 2010

A Hacker Is Born?

So the Little Man is now officially becoming a computer user and more importantly (and scarily) an internet user.  Me, being the always clever chap, decided we’ll limit that usage by using the standard password feature of Windows so he can’t access it without the password.  No Club Penguin or drooling over the Lego sets without some parental supervision. 

Naturally next time he wants to get on the information superhighway, he comes to me and asks what is wrong with the computer.  I explained to him the concept of a password as a key to lock things and that he’d need mom or dad unlock it to use the computer.  Of course, the normal protest stomps that follow every time the Paternal Dictator gives an unsatisfactory answer, but we all seemed on the same page. 

Fast forward a few days later and I walk in to find him using the computer.  When I inquire if his mother said it was ok and he said he was just checking on some new Lego set.  When I pressed on how he got on, he replied with an innocent smile, “I figured out the password, it was easy.  I tried my name, mom’s name then your name.  Now that I know it I can get on the computer without bothering you.”

August 31, 2010

Super Summer Videos

As the official end of summer is approaching, I think back on all the fun, silly and sometimes crazy moments from this summer.  While some of the moments have slipped by and I kick myself for missing them in all their glory, with my Flip in hand (sometimes in pocket) I’ve been lucky enough to capture some of those moments in all their digital video glory.  So now I’m hoping that some of you readers have also captured some of your own crazy summer kid moments.  I’m sure you’ve already shared them with friends, family and those people you kind of know that friend-ed you on Facebook. 

Now we want to see them!  So please, comment on this post and include a link to YouTube, Vidme or however you want to get your video to me.  If I get enough submissions, I’ll pick a few and include them in my next post.  So get your Flip out this weekend and let’s see what happens!

 And here is my personal leading contender for crazy summer fun:

June 24, 2010

Private Video Sharing With Vidme

A smart kid (the Little Man) once told me that if you put it on the internet, it’s there forever and you can’t get it back.  So maybe you’re a bit hesitant to post photos or videos of your kids or with open access for the world to see.

If you do share some awesome moments, maybe you take steps to keep it a bit non-descript like posting only videos away from home without names like my semi-famous in my own mind “Over The Lake Man!” video of the Little Man.  Maybe you’re not worried at all and you’re like the iGeneration who wants to broadcast every photo, video and other detail of their lives.  If so, you can stop reading (but don’t).

Sites like YouTube or Vimeo have always been so “everyone” focused with people trying to gain fame and fortune.  Many of us would rather just share some of those classic kid moments with friends and family.  A new company wants to help.

Vidme a new site that instead focuses on private sharing with lots of easy controls to limit access so you might feel a little more comfortable uploading some classic moments and sharing with your preselected group (with no 25 person limit like YouTube).  So if you’d like to share some videos of the kids with friends and family, but not the world, you might check out Vidme, that for now is free.

Full Disclosure:  I have no relationship with Vidme and have received no compensation for this blog post.  Vidme doesn’t even know I exist.

May 27, 2010

Never As Expected – Always Perfect

As we approach the Memorial Holiday weekend, we’re all starting to think about summer and vacations and all the wonderful things that go with that. Also, some of us are planning those family moments where everything will come together in one shining moment – or not. In watching the Modern Family finale (“Family Portrait“) last week, it was a perfect example of that specific moment planned down to the last detail that does not come off as expected, but is perfect none the less (and yes, I’ll admit, I may have more than a little Claire in me). So as summer and all its family moments close in, just remember that sometimes the unexpected and unplanned ARE the perfect moments.

May 18, 2010

It’s No Myth – Kids Have Boundless Energy

The Fitbit Experiment data is in and the winner is the Little Man in a landslide.  After compiling data for three days, I had to say uncle.  It is no myth, kids in fact do have boundless energy.  In case you missed my last post (The Fitbit Experiment), last week I set out to try to catch lightening in a bottle and measure the energy of a seven year old. I figured, “hey, I live in New York and walk just about everywhere, I can hang with this kid.” I though that maybe it was just a myth and we adults move just as much as these kids. After three days, the results (steps and Fitbit Active score) looked like this: 

  Little Man Dad
Day 1 20,897 steps (1848) 11,865 steps (1073)
Day 2 18,359 steps (1290) 11,900 steps (1102)
Day 3 14,818 steps (1124) 7,682 steps (721)

You can see from the numbers that those little feet are moving.  It is even more telling if you look at the Fitbit graph that they keep for each day to show you activity in five minute increments.


I guess I’m not surprised by these results, but at the same time, they are startling in how clearly they show the constant motion and boundless energy of kids.  If only we kept it as we aged… 

April 28, 2010

Take Help – Stay Sane

"Wanna Party?"

 Having a baby enter your family is one of the greatest joys I have known. We talk all the time about how we can’t even remember life before the Little Man. Then five years goes by and you think to yourself, “When was the last time we went out?” Before kids, the concept of “Date Night” was completely foreign because every night was date night.  Before kids, you and Lionel Richie partied “All Night Long” right? 

Well those times may be over, but as parents, you can’t lose your identity as the couple who started the whole thing. Hold on too tight and you will squeeze the fun out of parenthood. If you are lucky enough to have family and friends willing to help out occasionally to give you some “me” time or “us” time, I strongly suggest you take it.

Your family or friends may not do it exactly as you do. They may give an occasional treat or let bedtime slip by a few minutes, but your child will survive. We all did. Look at it as broadening your kids’ horizons while keeping yours from shrinking to the size of a nursery.

April 14, 2010

Get Out! (Outside That Is)

Last week I was talking about sunscreen and warm weather morning routines (read it here).  You can tell by the theme of my posts that is that time of year where those of us living in cold weather states start to emerge from our houses and apartments rubbing our eyes like a grizzly coming out of its cave after a long winter of hibernation.  It is so great to feel the sun on our faces (with sunscreen on of course).  My love of spring intersected with an article I read in the Wall Street Journal this morning about Pushing Kids to Play Outside

 The article sounded a bit like Who’s Your Daddy in lamenting how kids just don’t play outside like they used to in the “old days.”  Parents are of course battling safety concerns that our parents were confronted with.  Add to that video games, cell phones, tv, internet, iPods and the list goes on.  There are so many distractions inside it’s hard to get this iGeneration outside. 

 As parents, we need to make sure our kids don’t miss out on the adventures that wait out the back door.  I have such fond memories of exploring my own backyard and even as I got a bit older, exploring trails around our house.  I sure hope I can convey this sense of love and wonderment with the outdoors to the Little Man.  Some suggestions (some from Pushing Kids to Play Outside):

  • If both parents work, encourage your babysitter/nanny to get the kids outside
  • To help alleviate safety concerns, share supervision of kids outside with neighbors
  • Choose day care that makes outdoor play a priority
  • Occasionally skip the gym in favor of a walk with your kids
  • Encourage kids to help with outdoor projects and yard work
  • Make up games or challenges for outside like counting animals in your yard

It’s a bit ironic to think that we expect our kids to be green and save the planet from behind a computer screen.  Get them outside for everyone’s sake, but mostly theirs.

March 17, 2010

Did You Use Your Brain?

As parents, we’ve all had moments where our kids pull a stunt that we simply can’t believe. Anywhere from a playground “incident” that ends up with a kid having sand somewhere they shouldn’t and you profusely apologizing to some angry parent to the time you find yourself standing at your front door talking to a police officer about your teenager (not that my parents would know anything about the latter). While you’re knee-deep in the cleanup of the aftermath, you’re thinking, or perhaps even saying to them, “didn’t you think about that before you went ahead and did it???”

Before today, I always thought that babies, kids and teenagers are mostly products of their experience and education, so hopefully by the time they’re out of the house they’ll have some sense. Of course their bodies, including their brain, are developing along the way, but that is more for learning stuff, right? Turns out, some of the silliness and bad judgment might not be totally their fault.

While at the doctors office today, the doctor and I got off on quite a tangent and she mentioned how our brains are still developing into our twenties, yes I said twenties. She alluded to how some of the stunts our kids pull is just because they haven’t developed the ability to fully reason yet. I was surprised and of course immediately thought about how I could have used that as an excuse all through high school. I had to know more.

After some research, it turns out (not surprisingly) the doctor was right. I’m not an MD but the basic idea is that as we develop from children all the way to our early 20s, the brain continues to develop in significant ways. The latest one to the party is the frontal lobe which is the part of the brain that, among other things, controls reasoning, including evaluating the consequences of actions. So basically as our frontal lobe develops, so does our ability to make thoughtful and logical decisions. Before that, the amygdala is more actively involved in decision making resulting in more gut reactions.

Think about this and imagine a world where it was reversed and our frontal lobe fully developed first. Then came all the other stuff, including puberty. Our jobs as parents would be so much easier! But then again, high school would have been so boring without all those gut reactions. Either way, next time you find yourself looking at your child of any age wondering, “what were you thinking” just remember when they look at you with a sheepish look on their face and say “I don’t know”, they’re probably telling you the truth.

For More Info:

March 9, 2010

Too Much Dad?

I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “that’s just ridiculous! It’s impossible to think that there could be too much ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’ coming at me. Stop that crazy talk!” Just cool your heels there my friend because I know that is crazy and not what I’m talking about.

I’ve been wondering lately about the balance of “involved dad” vs “over-involved dad” (in my case in sports) and where that line might be. I’ve coached the Little Man now for his first two soccer seasons, plus a season of indoor soccer plus being a de facto coach for his first year of little league. I’m now signed up to actually coach his second year of little league and this raises the question, “too much dad?”

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy coaching and the Little Man seems to enjoy having me as his coach (most of the time). But I worry that it might be getting a little too comfortable for him and if he can learn as much from me. In my experience so far, it seems that your kids (especially father and son) sometimes have a hard time taking coaching or advice from their parents. This was never more evident to me than last summer when the Little Man became truly interested in golf. Almost every attempt to help, fix or coach by me was completely rebuffed. When he took a lesson, the exact same information from the golf pro was taken without question.

As with everything else, there is a balance there somewhere. So I ask you, could we be entering the territory of “too much dad?”

March 1, 2010

Kicking and Screaming

The Little Man had his last indoor soccer game this past Saturday. The kids have shown real improvement in their first season of indoor soccer, which is very different than outdoor soccer. Fast paced, slamming into the boards and players on the ground – sounds like the USA vs. Canada gold medal hockey game, right? In any case exercise and good sportsmanship are what matters, right? Right.

The Wolves had a great first half and were up 3 to 1 going into halftime. Woo hoo! Our opponents came out strong in the second half and proceeded to tie us and then score the go ahead goal with about three minutes left. The parents of both teams were pretty into the game and the crowd erupted for the go ahead goal. My fellow coach and I were disheartened, but tried to rally the troops for one final push. I have to be honest, I was in true Will Ferrell form – straight out of Kicking & Screaming, only missing the sweatsuit.

In any case, with Olympic form, our kids sucked it up and scored with less than one minute left to tie the game. Fortunately no overtime and the kids really got to enjoy the last game of the season, parents survived without any heart attacks (barely) albeit with a few more gray hair. Soccer is fun!