I was having a conversation with some of my colleagues yesterday while we had some time between clients. We got into the subject of kids & parenting.
Since I've been a father for 10-years now and I've got 4 kids, I've managed to rack-up a lot of REAL WORLD experience as a parent.
By no means, however, do I consider myself an "expert" on the subject. I believe that parenting, like life, is an evolutionary process. Something that changes while you experience the world. What you do with one child, you may not do with the other and still try a different approach with the 3rd. Conversely, if you find something that works well, it's up to you to recognize that and make sure you repeat it with each child, still remembering that each child is different and that the same approach will not always have the same effect.
Confused? I am.
BUT, there is ONE THING that I know for sure. And if you follow this advice as a parent, you are guaranteed RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT.
That ONE THING...
SPEND TIME WITH YOUR KIDS.
That's it. Plain and simple. They don't need to be programmed at a different activity 5 nights a week. They don't need an X-Box. They don't need to have the latest version of Barbie or American Girl or whatever it is kids are playing with these days. What they need, is time with YOU.
Spend less time at work and spend more time playing with your kids. Show them that you're around. Teach them how to cook. Have them pull weeds with you while you're out in the garden. Kick the soccer ball around. Read the bedtime stories. Exercise with them. Be present to show them that you live a healthy life and they'll do the same. Because you can tell them WHAT to do until you're red in the face. But chances are, if you set the example, and they see it, they'll follow what you do.
Here's a workout that I did at home with my kids yesterday...
1) We all did a BODYWEIGHT WARM-UP (Squats, Push-Ups, Rev Lunges & Stick-ups) & some core stuff together (planks, bridges & side planks).
2a) Push-Ups (w/AJ on my back - She weighs about 65lbs) 3 x 15
2b) Pistols 3 x 5
(Holding Frankie who was curled up into a ball...This one was tough because Frankie's 3 and can't stay still. She weighs about 30lbs so when she's squirming she really challenged my balance. We had a lot of fun with this one!)
2c) Chin-ups (w/Joey holding on to my waist-She's about 40lbs) 3 x 8
After that, we had some fun and they showed me their form on push-ups and squats.
Then daddy showed-off and did a "clap-behind-the-back" push-up" and a clap pull-up...(that's probably why I woke up with a sore shoulder and a popped rib this morning!)
Sound silly? Maybe.
But my 3-year-old knows what a kettlebell is...and I think that's pretty cool.