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Showing posts from May, 2019

Should my young athlete get a trophy just for participating?

This question is sometimes hotly debated within sports organizations as well as within families.

There is the school of though that if you haven't earned it you shouldn't get a trophy/medal:

There aren't any participation trophy's in life, so don't expectations that they are owed something just for participating.If a sport keeps score then there are those that win and those that don't, participation trophy's don't reward the right goal.Participation trophy's diminish  the value of trophy's that are earned by the fastest, best, most accurate... name your measure. That gives a kid something to strive for.If you want to reward them for making every practice or attending every game, that great but awarding kids who don't making all the practices or games diminishes the effort put out by those that do. Then there is the school of thought that a participation for everyone, regardless of effort is a good thing: It's worth a couple of dollars to g…

A Day At The Game

My wife got us all tickets to a Seattle Mariners game this past Sunday. One of the things that I was hoping to come from this game was to teach my son how to do baseball score keeping. More on that in a bit


This past Sunday was our semi-regular annual day at a Mariners game. Except for last year we have taken the twins to at least one of the Seattle Mariners home games each year and as the kids have gotten older the enjoyment has the improved, both theirs and mine. 
The other reason that we do this is that we have a new Au Pair each year and it gives them an American cultural experience. There was a time not too long ago when a Chevy commercial went something like “As American as Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet” so this is a great slice of American culture to share with international visitors. This year we also had our Au Pair's dad visiting with us for a couple of weeks from South Africa, and her boyfriend was also joining us, so anticipation and excitement was high.
I…

The Expedition Orientation

Today was the Orientation day at the YMCA for the kids rock climbing camp coming up in July. The goal of the orientation day is to give the kids an idea of what to expect, the gear and essentials they will need and be using, and allow them to ask questions and get comfortable with the whole thing.  The program is run by the YMCA of Seattle through their Bold &Gold Leadership program. Since the twins are 11 they were eligible for 3 different expeditions,2 being backpacking and the third focused on rock climbing, which is what we signed the twins up for:“Sea to Summit”.
Their rock climbing expedition will have 9 kids, two adult instructors, and a teen who has graduated the full leadership program and is a graduating High school senior. The Expeditions are separated boys from girls, which minimizes the distractions and issues a coed trip might have.
I’m not sure of the quality elsewhere, but the YMCA programs here in the Seattle area are top notch. Both of the kids have previously at…

The 11 Rules to successful Dadding

I don't know how many billions of Dad's there are out there in the world, but that's at least how many different opinions there are on being a Dad. While we might be able to reasonably discount a few, every one of those opinions are just that... an opinion and no better or worse than yours or mine.

So, with that premise, and knowing that some may agree with me, some may disagree, but most won't care one way or the other, I present to you the
2019 Dadding Today List for Dad's
First, let's start off with the "it's okay to" list and give yourself permission to openly and frequently exercise these. As a Dad it’s okayTo say I was wrongTo say I’m sorryTo say I don’t know (however, you should also look at numbers 3 through 7 below)
Now onto what I like to refer to as the "Learned from personal experience" list Your wife is always right. I'm serious here. Share your opinion but if she is adamant about her position you need to let it go and give …

Difference of parenting for a second time 20+ years later

This is a question that I have been asked and one that I have thought about. Some of the differences are due to having a different partner and her perspective on raising children. Another is because I'm now 20+ years older than the last time. And some of the differences are due to the many changes in the world since the last batch.


I'll take the last one first. Obviously the technology of today is vastly different than it was 20 years ago, from the Internet, to PC's and other computing devices like iPad's and cell phones, to wireless connectivity, minivans with screens and outlets, to the multitude and diversity of what is available to watch on the TV.

The level of education that is being taught in school also seems to be significantly more advanced. This could be the difference between schools where I raised my oldest kids and our current school district here in WA, so this may only be due to location but I don’t think so. While there are sure to be differences based …

Welcome To Dadding Today

Hi, I’m Jim and welcome to the “Dadding Today” blog!
A bit about me: I’m a member of the “Dadding 2.0” club as we are raising twin 11 year old’s, my second set of kids. 25 years earlier I was raising a daughter and a son 2 years apart, so I’ve done this role from diapers to Granddaughter.

I haven’t seen it all, probably just enough to be dangerous ;) 
I did 10 years in the USAF and the past 32 years at a behemoth telecom company where my wife also works, and I am right there in middle management. Which means I have all of the responsibility and none of the authority. So, it's sometimes a joy and often something a lot less than that, but its what I do and I'm pretty good at it.
I’m still a few years away from retirement but I now have it in the cross hairs and the twins freshmen year at collage and my retirement should line up nicely. That’s today'splan anyway.
My wife, the twins, our two dogs Lucy and Ryder, and our current Au Pair, who is here from South Africa, reside i…

Little Things Matter

As I mention in my introduction blog, I work at one of the "mongo sized" telecom/entertainment companies in the US,  which begins with an "A" and ends with a "T".

I‘ve worked at one or another of the companies for the past 32 years as they put Humpty Dumpty back together again and I've seen many management and leadership fads come and go. Every year the company runs a leadership program for Level 3 Managers and above and all have been very good learning experiences. ,
There are a few in person venues around the country, but Dallas is where it is actually held at. Being in the Pacific Northwest I attend virtually from the comfort my home office.
Most of the 3 days are what you would expect at these kinds of things, but this year one of speakers was Admiral William McRaven, who led the US Navy Seals raid that got Osama Bin Laden.,
Lots of motivational stories and anecdotes, but the one line that really caught my attention is one that I’ve been focusing …

KGOY - Kids Getting Older Younger

Please NoteSince this was a bit more preachy and a downer then I had originally intended I have included a link to a video that I created and posted on youtube several years ago on memories from my youth to help lighten the mood of this blog 
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KGOY - I did not make that up, I promise.

But it is a reality that I have clearly seen, probably better than most since I raised my oldest daughter and son starting in the mid 80's.

30 years later and the differences between the two times is not always fully appreciated by many of today's parents. My 11 year old's are learning stuff in the 5th grade that I did not even learn until High School.


When I was a kid (I can hear the grumbling now "here we go") we had one TV. A black and white with rabbit ears and 3 networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) plus a couple of PBS and the like.

Being the youngest, I had no say in what we watched so, depending on the show, I sometimes enjoyed the adver…

The Camping Years

Probably more aptly named "The Trailer Years", as the last time I slept on the ground was in 1986 when I was in the US Air Force stationed in Germany (West Germany at the time). So, 30 or so years later the thought of sleeping on the cold, damp ground and then trying to get off the ground the next morning without looking like an Old Man to my kids was not going to work for me. And it was a nonstarter for my wife as well.


It all started off well, with my wife and I heading out to "window shop".

Let me be clear, I have never done "window shopping" very well, always ending up to be more like "window buying".  Not to say that we didn't do our research, but once there actually looking at the trailer we were sold.

So, we went to a Car and RV dealer and bought a nice 27' light weight trailer, with a slide out
and an outdoor kitchen. High fives all around. Except, it was a bit too much for my GMC Yukon to trailer. I was a bit nervous, so I list…

May the Fourth be with you!

It was one of those special, and somewhat rare, Saturday mornings when it was Vanessa that got up to let Ryder out at 5am (he is an avowed early morning pee’er) and then decided to hang out on the couch with him and let me sleep in.
 On most days I’m the one to get up with Ryder, as I’m much more of a morning person than her. But occasionally the stars align and I get to “sleep in”.  A morning person knows that’s a relative term, as I did get up at 6:30am but for me that was good. Vanessa can sleep in, and when the stars align for her, we won’t see her till 10am.
Anyway, my intention for today was for me to get up, pull some weeds, cut the grass, and get started on my spring power washing while the girls went out to get manni peddi’s and then they would pitch in when they got back.
I actually started off on track, getting my coffee and reading blogs for 20 minutes while walking on the treadmill (more about that another time). However, the plan went south soon enough when I sat down a…