CM Teammates, as Father's Day approaches and with three little man-monkeys (6-4-2 yrs) to motivate on a daily basis, I've become acutely aware of the importance of tiring them out each and every day - otherwise they take the fight to us (my wife, Chief - our Lab, and me).
Not sure how many folks are out there who are in a similar predicament but I'd like share my current strategies for applying SEAL discipline to efficiently conducting OPERATION TANGO (Tire Out the Kids!).
First - make'em run - and I mean everywhere! There's no such thing as walking with them - I make everything a race between them and Daddy's ever ticking imaginary stopwatch (with all 3 being different ages they quickly get frustrated if they race against each other since none of them like to lose!)...and in this family it pays to be a winner!! (This saying, of course, is directly hijacked from BUD/S.) Winners get anything BUT sugar or something that requires trips to the toy store! Most of the time they get points which can be redeemed with the Bank Of Mom and Dad for potential trips to the toy store or ice cream or a movie on a pre-determined timeline (otherwise they ambush me with their sugar energy reserves).
Second, make'm do pushups and pullups, - seriously - they get the biggest kick out of it - especially if you do it in front of them from time to time as well - if they are watching a cartoon - then every commercial break costs 10 pushups to keep the TV on - if they're looking to wrestle with the Blind Monk (aka Daddy!) then they do pullups first using the Perfect Pullup in our bedroom doorway. Of course they can't reach the bar so I lift them to the top and have them do negatives on the way down. Once they perform 2 or 3 negatives then I lower the bar to the bottom position and get them to swing on it until they tire of holding it - make it fun and put a timer on them. Then all of sudden the competitive spirit emerges, which is perfect timing so I can wear them down before they face the Blind Monk and his special wrestling moves that make them work twice as hard as me!
Third - take'em on a snipe hunt. You're searching for five kinds of imaginary creatures that are only limited by your imagination. Here's what I use as a starting point and then adapt the snipe’s capabilities depending on the situation and the kids behavior (e.g. Caught one of the kids throwing rocks so he had to wear his bike helmet because the blue snipes in the area we were searching was throwing rocks at kids who did the same): Green - those are young ones; White - friendly but shy; Brown - smelly ones that throw smelly things; Blue - they fly and spit on you so make sure you get them conducting 360 degree awareness (tires them out even more!) and Black - the meanest of the bunch (get creative on its deviant powers!). Put the kids outside and have them hunt for all five kinds them get them to draw what they saw...
At the end of the day your kids will have fun - get stronger - sleep well and most importantly think you're one cool Dad, and at the end of the day what could be better than having your kids wanting to hangout with you! After all there's no better job on the planet than being a Dad.
Happy Father's Day Fellas!
CM - ALDEN