Guitar Hero

I have to admit, I was sucked into guitar hero for a little while. I halfway convinced myself that playing guitar hero was actually helping my guitar-playing skills.

I’m wondering how much time is spent by pre-teens, teens, and even college students on a game that mimics reality like guitar hero. With a little patience, some good instruction, and probably the same amount of time, who knows what could happen.

Continue reading “Guitar Hero”

Moms & Little Boys (Post 2)

A couple years ago, my wife and I were spending time with our good friends and their son who had just turned 3 years old. Our friends (the parents) stepped out of the room for a bit, leaving me in my chair working on my computer and my wife interacting with the 3 year old. 

The 3 year old boy suddenly started bossing my wife around, being intentionally mean to her. It seemed a switch had been flipped as his parents left (not that his parents could do anything about it – I don’t believe any of this was due to their parenting at all). I let this behavior go on for about 30 seconds before I interrupted and told him not to treat my wife that way. Yes, you heard right. I confronted a 3 year-old about mistreating my wife. 

I learned a couple things from this little demonstration. 

  1. Boys don’t naturally respect and care for women – whether the women are young or old.
  2. Boys need a role model for many things – including someone who treats women well (which this boy does have in his father – and in friends of his father). 
  3. Boys need to be confronted about their wrong behavior – and sometimes it’s best done by a man. Mothers can discipline, but there are some things that a father figure needs to address – including how to treat women well (including their mother). 

Mothers – have you had issues with this in your sons? Fathers – have you ever had to confront this issue with any of your sons? What do you think?

Thanks to Trippography for the photo above.

A lesson learned…

This article is from ‘Parents’ magazine. May 2010 issue, page 43.

I really don’t think the mom has to ‘go in with him’ any more. He won’t do that again, I’m sure of it.

Moms & Little Boys (Post 1)

In response to a friend’s request, I’ll be posting a little series about boys and what I think their mothers need to know about them.

My son is only 6 months old right now (no, that’s not his picture on the left…), but I know that his interactions with the world around him is different that little girls. At least that’s what my doctor says. 

When my wife and I first observed our son noticing the world around him, he was fixated on objects – not faces, but objects. Our doctor mentioned that most (if not all) boys do this, whereas girls will first lock their eyes on faces. That’s amazing to me. 

What does this mean? So far, I think it merely means that mom’s (and dad’s) will need to be ok with their sons playing on their own, observing and watching the world around them. Don’t take it personally if your son doesn’t lock eyes with you for long periods of time. I notice that even I want my son to interact me for longer than he currently does. He just needs a break from social interaction to observe things around him. 

I’m interested to see what this little nuance will mean for our son in the future. 

What have you noticed your little boy or girl locking eyes on? Does our doctor’s theory hold true? 

*Coming up… I have a short story to post next about a 3 year old boy interacting with my wife… it’s pretty interesting.

Thanks to GoodNCrazy for the photo above.


Why are more parents today letting their kids get away without working? “You’ll have your whole life to work,” I’ve heard many parents mutter. True, but what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with working now? I think parents now need to encourage their children to work, and the earlier, the better.


Work is great for several things. It helps us know more about ourselves and what we enjoy doing. It helps us develop socially as we interact with others we work alongside. It helps us gain respect for authority, even if we don’t always agree or get along with our bosses. It teaches us to respect the people that work hard for a living – especially in the jobs that we would not want to have. It helps us make the world a better place.

QUICK POLL! At what age did you get your first job? If you feel spunky, elaborate on that – what was your job?

Thanks to The U.S. Army for the photo above.

Connecting with each other: men vs. women

I can’t remember where I heard this, but I think it’s genius. Men connect shoulder-to-shoulder, whereas women connect face-to-face. This makes sense why I don’t feel deep connections with men when we meet over coffee. I’d rather be doing something; playing sports, hobbies, etc. 

One of the best things I do every year is go hunting with one of my good high school friends. We don’t get a lot of time together throughout the year, but we make it a point to hunt together once a year over opening deer weekend.

Men are bad at making and keeping great friends, but we need close friends. We need meaningful friendships. It’s easy for us to retreat to women (girlfriends, wives, moms), but those friendships come up short. Without elaborating too much, men are missing out if they only associate with women. 

Let’s start by asking someone to join us in something we love to do – creating a shoulder-to-shoulder connection. 

What have you done to connect with your good buddies? Give us some ideas!

Thanks Steve & Jemma Copley for the photo above.

Being a Great Coach.

Our world needs great coaches. Not only in sports, but in life. Many men don’t understand what makes a great coach. A great coach brings the best out in people. A great coach fosters a thriving team or community. A great coach helps each individual understand they are part of something greater than themselves. A great coach helps people recognize the key part they play on the team and in the bigger picture. Our communities are lacking great coaches.

Many sports coaches in my local area choose to motivate by shame, saying degrading things to their players, and making them think they aren’t good enough to play at the next level. This is horrible. Coaches have every right to push people hard – harder than they have ever been pushed. Coaches have every right to expect greatness from their players. But, greatness and hard work will not come from humiliating players, or berating them.
Greatness and hard work will come when people are motivated to contribute to something greater than themselves. Greatness and hard work will come when somebody says, “I know you can do it, I believe in you. Now do it.”
What else makes a great coach? Any other thoughts?


I often drift off into my own world and it’s easy for me to stay there. I need to make a conscious effort to engage with the world around me. I’m willing to bet that most men need to engage more in at least one part of the world around them. Us men would be better boyfriends, better sons, better husbands, better fathers, and better friends if we engaged more with the world around us.

I could ask myself ‘how much is enough.’ I could make excuses for not engaging in the world around me. I need to engage more. Period.

Some quick advice: go toward people – toward those who are closest to you: your girlfriend/wife, son, daughter, mom, dad, friend… Then, ask questions. Get to know them. Get to know them better than you know them now. Don’t talk about yourself, just ask questions and listen.

Some more advice: start now. Don’t tell yourself you can’t change or that it’s too late. It’s not. Engage more with the world around you, especially those you love.

Tell us how it goes…

Recommended Books on Parenting.

My wife and I made a decision during our first couple years of marriage that we were going to try and parent our children well. We want our children to grow into men and women of character, and we know that the way we parent will impact our children greatly. 

These two books are the ones that my wife and I read together before we had our first son (yes, we actually read to each other out-loud) and I would like to pass on those that we really liked:

Raising Great Kids by John Townsend & Henry Cloud. I feel like I learned a lot about the kind of man I want to be (or should be) from this book as well as how to parent my children. In summary, it talks about the ultimate goal of parenting as raising kids with character, rather than raising obedient kids. I highly recommend this book for anybody, kids or not!

A Family of Value by John Rosemond. This book is written by a psychologist who recognizes how modern psychology has hindered raising great children nowadays (pretty bold!). This book was recommended to us by great friends of ours, and we would pass on that recommendation to you!

What great books have you read on parenting? Any recommendations?

Thanks to austinevan for the photo above.

Maturity & Men.

Men are maturing from boys to men slower than they ever have, at least that’s what I think. If that’s true, I believe there are several factors that cause this tragedy, but one blog puts it this way: we (as men) need to create more and consume less.

The Art of Manliness is a blog / website that addresses manhood from several angles. Here’s a snippet of why bloggers Brett and Kate McKay think that men are reaching maturity slower than ever:

“Whereas men once fought as soldiers, they now pretend to be ones. Where men used to play baseball and football, they now control avatars who play for them. Where men used to play an instrument, they now press buttons on a plastic toy. Where we once created, we now consume… 

Growing up doesn’t have to mean donning a gray flannel suit. It really means taking an active role in the world instead of a passive one. Making an impact. And creating your world instead of consuming it.”

I agree with Brett and Kate. Do you? How can we fight this trend? How have you fought this trend?

The full quoted article can be found here.