Which do you chose for your kids? Why….?
After a week off we are back.
Football is officially back, and while the Rams sucked ass, we can still be excited that football seems like it actually is here.
The Cardinals, who should have swept the Phillies, are back in town this week with what seems now more than ever an intense week. 3 against the D-Backs, 3 against the Pirates (crucial series), then 3 against the Astros. I’m so excited to see Tyler Greene back at Busch…wait….
The Cardinals, in my opinion need to go at least 7-9 on this home stand.
Here are my 3 keys to this home stand:
1: Timely hitting
2. Bullpen on lockdown
3. Starting pitching
Keep your heads up!
We will be interviewing Skip Schumaker near the end of this week and this will be posted either Monday or Tuesday.
Also in line for interview are David Crank, Josh Earls, and some surprise interviews in the mix.
Keep checking back and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @DadLifeSTL
Until next time…
It’s Tax Free Weekend…the weekend from HELL!
I make it an effort not to go anywhere the first weekend of August. It’s like Black Friday, but worse because there isn’t any anticipation for a holiday. This weekend marks the annual “back to school/tax free weekend.” What used to be just for students, is now open to anyone to buy anything. Just the perfect time to buy a TV, computer, or all the clothes before school starts up. I will give this advice, if you are thinking about going to the Apple Store to buy a Mac or iPad, expect to wait, and probably wait a long time. I have seen first hand the lines. So expect to wait.
nsideSTL Night Tonight
Tonight the Cardinals are celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the 1982 World Series Championship. After the game, head to Shannon’s for InsideSTL Night at Shannon’s Outfield. Plus, InsideSTL and TheITDRoll.com Morning After Show crews will be there! Come out for the party!
The Olympics = It’s getting old. But the best story is the Brazilian dude who broke is bronze medal…IN THE SHOWER. What are you doing with your bronze medal in the shower? Never mind, I don’t want to know. The olympian, Felipe Kitadai, says he “wears the medal everywhere and brought it into the shower as a joke, when the part holding the medal’s string broke. The medal fell and now has a dent.”
Chick-fil-A = All of these conservatives are on my nerves with their support of Chick-fil-A. All the liberals are on my nerves opposing Chick-fil-A. So what. Eat the damn food. Shut up. Chick-fil-A needs to shut up too. You’re a fast food chain. No one cares what you have to say. Facebook and Twitter blew up about this drama this week and I about had to unfriend/unfollow every one who mentioned it.
Robert Pattinson vs Kristen Stewart = Seriously? Yes, at my house we watch E! News. I’m not proud of it, in fact I think I lost some man points here. It is what it is. I feel for Rob. What would you do if you were cheated on?
Tom/Kate/Suri = Ok this is actually getting absurd. Yes, I’m talking about what I’m writing about. I feel bad for Suri in this. If you’ve been through a divorce as a parent, or as the kid in the middle, it sucks no matter what. There is no win-win solution for the kids. It’s lose-lose.
I get asked a lot, “What’s your biggest advice you can give a Dad?” I typically answer, “Be there.”
63% of teen suicides come from fatherless homes. That’s 5 times the national average. (U.S. Dept of Health).
Daughters of single parents without a Father involved are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 711% more likely to have children as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a pre-marital birth and 92% more likely to get divorced themselves. (U.S. Dept of Health).
What does this mean? Being there could literally mean life or death. Being there could literally save your kids’ life. Kids who have dads that are regularly involved are more confident, gain their own identity, more likely to have high self esteem, boys are less likely to become violent, and girls are less likely to engage in sex.
What was your relationship like with your Dad? How is your relationship with your kids? Are you involved in their lives?
Dad Life STL is starting a movement. It’s called BE THERE. It’s just a simple reminder that as a dad, you have the amazing opportunity to change the world. The best thing you can do as a dad isn’t buying stuff, working overtime for your family, living in a big house, or going on vacations. The best thing you can do is to BE THERE. I’m not advocating quitting your jobs. I’m asking, when you’re sitting with your kids, are you also on your phone? Are you so engaged with the outside world that you forget about the world in front of you? There is something very real and very authentic to live in the moment with your kids.
BE THERE challenges us to care. It challenges us to live in the moment. It challenges the status quo of what it means to be a parent. It challenges us to change the face of what it means to be a dad. Join the movement! BE THERE!
Hope to see you at Shannon’s tonight!
Until next time…
*Follow Dad Life STL on Twitter at @DadLifeSTL and read our blog on InsideSTL HERE. Don’t forget to hashtag #dadlife and #bethere
**Log-in to post your comments, or you can email me at email@example.com
Client X wants you to jump.
You: “How hi?”
Client X: “As high as you can.”
You: “OK…” And you jump as high as you can.
Client X: “That wasn’t high/good/fast/big enough.”
Does this sound fimiliar? Maybe it’s not Client X. Maybe it’s your boss, your bosses boss, your parents, a friend, or your spouse.
We have become a society of working hard, only to work harder. Maybe you have that dreaded someone. You know who they are. They look unhappy, they are grumpy, they are rude, and they overwork. Maybe you’ve become the client, the boss, or the spouse that expects too much.
The constant emails…
I hear the notification and I rush to my Mac, Pad, or iPhone…whatever is closer. There are times when my phone is NOT in my pocket and I feel something vibrate…and there’s nothing there!
The constant feeling and need to jump and respond to emails has gotten out of hand. We demand and expect instant responses. We feel the pressure, the demand and the expectation to respond. And respond quickly.
Don’t demand or except instant responses, and don’t think you to respond instantly.
Think you’re a good at multitasking?
You probably aren’t. Hate to break that to you. But you’re not. Turning off the email forces you to pay more attention to what you’re doing. Doing too much only leads to promises being unfulfilled, projects lacking 100% attention and effort, and ultimately gets you behind and will stresses you out.
Turn off the email from time to time. Set up “email only” times. Only check email twice a day. Once in the late morning/early afternoon before lunch, and once in the late afternoon/early evening before being done with your day.
Yes, this will be hard. You will need to train yourself, your customers, and your employers/employees not to rely on you via email.
Add a signature at the bottom of your email and with that signature add something like, “I will be moving to a new email policy. This is a move to increase productivity to serve you better. I will check and respond to email from 11:00am-12:00pm and also at 4:00pm-5:00pm, Monday-Friday. If you require immediate attention you may call me at 555-555-5555. Again, thanks for your understanding as I move to better productivity.”
Heck, you may even want to make an auto responder with that! This will train people to contact if, and hopefully only if, it is a true emergency and people will start thinking twice before sending you pointless emails.
The point is this, we are too stressed. This is a simple way to lower that stress.
Give it a try!
If you have picked up a shinny new mac on or after June 11, 2012 you may qualify for the latest and greatest operating system from Apple. On July 25 Apple launched Mountain Lion (10.8) on the Mac App store. Packed with tons of new features its a steal at $19.99, but if you qualify based off of your purchase date Apple will send you a redemption code to download Mountain Lion for free. Here it is straight from Apple:
Qualifying purchases between
June 11, 2012, and July 25, 2012
Customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac computer from the Apple Online Store, an Apple Retail Store, or an Apple Authorized Reseller — or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer from the Apple Online Store — between June 11, 2012, and July 25, 2012, that does not include OS X Mountain Lion can upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion for free.
Qualifying purchases on
or after July 26, 2012
Customers who purchase a qualifying new Mac computer from the Apple Online Store, an Apple Retail Store, or an Apple Authorized Reseller — or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer from the Apple Online Store — on or after July 26, 2012, that does not include OS X Mountain Lion can upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion for free.
Click this link to participate in the program. Your completed order must be entered within 30 days of the date of your purchase of a qualifying computer (described in this offer). Subject to terms and conditions.
Let us know what your favorite new features are on twitter @dadlifestl
We are social creatures. Some better than others.
From eye contact, to picking at your body, and looking at your iPhone. Here are some things to avoid doing while interacting with others
-Cracking your knuckles
-Bad eye contact
-Checking your phone
I am notorious for checking my phone too much. It’s become an awful habit for myself and I actually have gotten better. In a generation of iPhones and other smart phones, sometimes there is nothing better than just putting the phone on silent and keeping it in your pocket.
Are you guilty of some of these bad habits? If so, what are you doing to fix them?
*You can find more habits to break here
Jimmy “The Cat” Hayes
Yesterday I had the oppurtunity to interview Jimmy “The Cat” Hayes. As one of my favorite STL guys, this is was an honor. I hope you enjoy this interview as The Cat talks about being a Dad, being a Cardinals reporter, and his advice for other dads. Below is the transcribed interview, and stay tuned for the podcast! Enjoy!
Vince Mahtani (VM): You run a pretty busy schedule, between the morning show and FSM, you have to be going wall to wall. Where does that “me” time happen?
The Cat: I get up at about 5:00 every morning, and then the day starts and then after radio, it’s not like I do a lot of show prep, but I get up early so I can shower since we are in a small studio, you don’t want to offend the other people. Mostly it’s just waking up. If you’re tired and you’re on 3 or 4 hours of sleep, it’s hard to string together a sentence. It’s hard enough for me to string together a sentence that other people can understand, but I try to get up early just so I’m awake for the show, and look up what I have to look up. And then once I’m done there, I go home and spend some time with the wife and kid (3yrs. old), take care of whatever needs to be taken care of on the home front, then I’m off to the ballpark. So yeah, the schedule is very tight and sometimes sleep takes a back seat. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
VM: Does your son get to go on trips with you or is he at home?
The Cat: Well, family of the media don’t get to fly with the team. But in Chicago, I have family there. My brother and Dad live there so it’s a great opportunity, especially for days games, for my wife and son to go to Chicago. So they got to fly up (to Chicago) and he got to see his grandpa and his uncle and his cousins, so I am very thankful they were day games. We have family in Philly too, so they usually make that trip. If we go to LA, they typically make that trip because we have friends there too. Also, it’s such a long season, not complaining, it’s just part of the job and travel is a such a huge part of it, and when you have a young one at home you miss so much, if it’s doable for my wife and kid, then they are on the road on a bunch of trips, just to try and break up the road trips just so we are together.
VM: Do you guys get to Skype of FaceTime when he’s (3yr. old son) not with you?
The Cat: We just got FaceTime. See, I consider technology to me my enemy. I am an old school guy. But I got an iPhone, and we got my wife an iPhone and now we FaceTime a lot. My son gets a kick out of that. That Daddy can be at the baseball game and he can see him on the phone. That’s a good thing.
VM: Has your son become better at the iPhone than you guys?
The Cat: Not yet, but he’s pretty good at it. He loves Thomas the Train videos and truck videos. He can now find them on my wife’s cell phone. He can go on YouTube and find it. I don’t know how he does it. I can get there, but it takes me a little bit of time, but he is quicker at it. He could watch Thomas the Train or truck videos all day long. He’ll watch that for an hour.
VM: The iPad is the best hold over when you go out to eat. We will set that up for our daughter and she can watch Dora and be quite for 20-30 minutes so we can actually have a grown up conversation.
The Cat: We have talked about getting an iPad just for that reason. But when we go out to eat all bets are off with him. He’s the most energetic kid we know of and he is fascinated by everything and I don’t know where he gets it from. He’s the biggest wise guy I’ve ever seen. So he likes to see things or do things just to amuse himself or make us laugh and quite frankly, when you’re at a restaurant, a lot of those things aren’t the funnest things to deal with. For example, he will take salad tongs out of the bowl and pretend that he’s using them, (to) the people innocently eating next to you, on their food. At home it might get a laugh, but not at a restaurant.
VM: That sounds about right. Especially for boys. Your son probably watches games, does he think Daddy is famous?
The Cat: No. He actually couldn’t care less that I’m on television. And here’s the thing that if you have a kid, you can bond with other parents; your kid will do something every day at least once that amazes you. The other day my wife told me they were watching the game and she says, “The game is over, Daddy is coming home,” and he says, “Not until after the post game.” But he doesn’t care to see me on TV. He likes baseball, and he does consider baseball players famous, but not me at all. He knows work is the baseball game. He always says to me, “You going to the baseball game Daddy?”
VM: You’re a household name now. We see you on TV and every morning we hear you in our cars. You should tell him, “Daddy’s kind of a big deal.” Do you get to enjoy baseball as Father and Son? Do you have that Father/Son bonding over baseball? Or because it’s your work is it different?
The Cat: If I’m home, I like to watch baseball. He would rather watch Pokeo, which is his favorite show, or what he says, “I want to watch my show,” so I don’t think he’s to that level yet. Although we do play a lot of wiffle ball, so I know he likes baseball, but to sit there for 3 hours, he’s not quite there yet. And I think deep down, he sees baseball and he thinks “Daddy’s work.” That’s what takes Daddy away. He asks me all the time, “Are you going to go to the baseball game today?” That’s his association with work. I don’t think he totally embraces (baseball), but he will.
VM: We tweeted out to have people ask questions for The Cat. So, first question, how did you get the nickname “The Cat”?
The Cat: It’s the worst story for any nickname ever. It happened accidentally, and to speak well for the preparedness of my partner Tim McKernan, in that his dad has a long time friend by the name of Johnny Latten, Johnny “The Cat.” I don’t know how he got his nickname, but it was Johnny “The Cat.” So, when I first started doing radio and I was on with Timmy, he called me Jimmy “The Cat”. It really didn’t mean anything or have any actual meaning, except that it kind of sounds like Johnny “The Cat” that Tim was around growing up. And because I was new to radio, when I did the next appearance, someone heard that and said, Jimmy “The Cat” and next thing…it stuck. And I don’t think it was ever totally embraced by Fox until Joe Buck started saying on the broadcast, when he did them, Jimmy “The Cat.” So from then on it stuck. But it doesn’t mean anything. But it shows the power of Tim McKernan.
VM: Right, and always (Tim McKernan) in cahoots with Joe Buck.
The Cat: That’s right. Back then I don’t know if they were that close as they are now. But you have two powerhouses, Joe Buck and Tim McKernan, embracing a nickname it’s probably going to stick.
VM: Yeah, it’s stuck and everyone refers to you by that.
The Cat: That’s good.
VM: Now, you don’t have a twitter do you?
The Cat: I actually do have a twitter account that Producer Joe set up. I actually don’t remember. I haven’t tweeted on it yet. But I do tweet lineups and news of the day for the Fox Sports Midwest Account. And the reason I haven’t done it myself, I think if you’re going to be a full time tweeter, it takes a certain amount of commitment and it just doesn’t dawn on me. I don’t want to give you the false impression that I don’t enjoy making things about me, obviously I do. But I can’t imagine just because I had a delicious roast beef sandwich it would never dawn on me to tweet that. Or if I’m at Giantoni’s, my favorite restaurant, I wouldn’t tweet that. I don’t think I would be a good tweeter. Because in my down time, I don’t think anyone cares. Let’s say I’m in Chicago, and I find out someone is hurt, or someone is back in the lineup…Freese is back in the lineup, I’ll tweet on (Fox) Midwest account because I think that’s something that Cardianls fans are interested in. Not so much that my cab was stuck in traffic on the way to the ball park.
VM: I often wonder while I’m tweeting if anyone cares what I’m having for lunch and the picture I attach with it. Does anybody care? Probably not, but it’s what we have become a custom to do.
The Cat: Right, I’m an old guy, it never really stuck in my brain that I’m supposed to tweet, “Boy, I really enjoy watching the vintage NBA games on ESPN,” when I’m watching it, I’m just watching it. I’m not telling someone.
VM: Did you play baseball in high school or college? Where did your love of sports happen? Is that between you and your Dad?
The Cat: Well, I grew up in Nyack New York, Rockland County, as Tim likes to point out, I’m an outsider. I actually played lacrosse all through high school. But I always loved baseball. I grew up a Yankees fan, my Dad and my brother and I would go to Yankees games. Every once in a while we would mix it up and go to a Mets game. In fact, my Dad actually sang the National Anthem at a couple of Yankee games. If you could imagine a kid who just loves baseball, to be there on the field while your Dad is singing the National Anthem, that was something. But my whole family grew up Yankee fans. I obviously have become a Cardinals fan. And it’s weird in my family, on my wife’s side, they are all die hard Phillies fans and on my side they are die hard Yankee fans, but both have a healthy respect and love for the Cardinals, based on the fact that’s how I make my living.
VM: You being a reporter and on TV, do you feel “I’m a reporter first, then a radio show host? How do you label yourself?
The Cat: I wouldn’t even know how to classify myself. I just know I spend my days trying to make sure I do the best job I can for whoever I’m working for at that moment. You know? The radio show is a lot of fun, it doesn’t require a lot of work. And I’ve been working with Tim and Doug and Producer Joe a long time now. When I’m there, that’s what I’m committed too. But otherwise, Fox is my primary job. I also do some stuff on MLB Network. And I just try to make it all work and make sure I’m doing the best I possibly can for whatever I’m doing at that moment, so that all the guys dumb enough who employ me continue to do so. I do everything I can for Timmy. You know, Timmy is a great boss and doesn’t ask a lot of us, but when he does ask I try to do my best. I do whatever Fox requires of me that day. I try to give every ounce of effort to that. And that’s the way I go about my day. And then I’m balancing that with the real boss in my life, that is my wife. She’s the most important of all. Of all the bosses I report to, she’s the most important. So, I just try to balance that day to day. And sometimes it’s easier than others and sometimes it’s tough. But all I can do is try and that’s what I do.
VM: Yeah, I’ve found the struggle of doing my job, and starting Dad Life, to still be home for wife and kid. And I think that’s so over looked. And that’s why I started Dad Life. Too many dads just aren’t there for their kids. That’s a great answer. Another question from Twitter is, “Who is your favorite Cardinal to interview?”
The Cat: Let’s see..of all time? It’s hard to say. They’ve been such a good group of guys to interview. I know that’s a cop-out answer. There are a lot of guys, who if they know that it’s not going to be a plain baseball interview, embrace it and get involved with the nonsense. Kyle Loshe who’s been on the radio and our pregame show on Fox Sports Midwest, is great. But I can’t think of anyone. They are all really good. To me the funniest guy on the Cardinals, and I don’t know if the average fan knows it, is Jake Westbrook. I mean, he makes me cramp up laughing sometimes. And then you get to a point with these guys where you can kind of joke around with these guys. Same with Matt Holliday. Then you end up doing a post game interview and it’s almost hard to do. It got to that point with Scott Rolen where we joke around all the time, and we get to a post game interview and he’d be in character and you couldn’t even get a legitement post game interview out of him. Holliday punched me in the chest as he was leaving the post game interview. I like that, I think it’s fun. And sometimes, it’s just a straight three questions, and sometimes the guys joke around with you a little bit. But all of the guys, so many stand out, I don’t even know where to start to even say who I like to talk to.
VM: I’ve seen you and Holliday interact, and again, this is from a fan sitting on the couch, but it looks like he’s actually having a good time. And he seems very funny. I’ve seen the video of him and Skip, when they are sitting at your table (at Spring Training), and for like 40 minutes you guys just kind of B.S.-ed around and it was hilarious. And he seems like a very genuine guy. I remember when Rolen was here, it’s hilarious to watch Rolen. Many people think because of his demeanor that he’s serious, but he’s a very funny guy and very sarcastic and it’s fun to watch that personality play out on TV.
The Cat: I always compare Holliday to Rolen in the way they feel about the media. They’re not anti-media by any stretch, they just hate doing, especially television stuff, where they know they are going to be asked questions about themselves. That was the case for Scott Rolen. He would do it, and then he would joke around. And I think the same goes for Matt Holliday. He’s the last guy that wants to talk about how he had a big day and how important his 2 run double was. But he does it. And he is a really funny guy. It’s just the media part of it. He’s just uncomfortable standing there in front of a bank of cameras and microphone talking about himself. He, like Westbrook, is a very funny guy and if you just talk to him, you will end up laughing because he just has that kind of personality.
VM: Last question, this is geared towards new dads, or dads with younger kids. Your son is three. What advice do you have for dads with young kids? I know that this is a hard question and extremely on the spot, but what advice do you have for dads who are trying to be a better parent?
The Cat: I would have a bunch of advice. And I’m still flying blind at this. But I don’t think there is any set of rules that you have to follow. I think a lot of parents have to figure it out for themselves as they go. You know, everyone gives out advice, we always seek out advice and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. So, I would say, love the kid and support the kid. Don’t worry about the little things too much. And also, here’s a couple of pieces of advice; put your pride on the shelf. There are times, like when I had to play the role of the bar bouncer when we were at Diebergs a couple of months back because he was acting up. And I ended up bouncing him. I had to pick him up and he’s punching me because he wants a toy or something, and I realized here’s a store full of people. They don’t know who I am, they just see some kid wailing on their dad, as the dad is carrying him out. Don’t worry about that. If the kid acts up on the plane, nothing you can do about that. If the kid breaks something at the house, those are the little things. Don’t worry about the little things and just love your kid and do your best. I really don’t believe there is a set rule that works for everybody.
VM: We read baby books and it was hard to realize that every child is different. We don’t have two kids, but when we do, those two kids may be completely opposite and what worked for the first time might not work for the second.
The Cat: Here’s a good thing. We have a lot of friends that we’ve made through activities with kids, so we all have kids the same age and we’re all friends. And everyone we know in our little group, their kids nap at 1:00(pm). And we feel like the bad parents and it’s our dirty little secret. Our kid doesn’t take a nap. And here’s why. If he took a nap at 1:00(pm), he would be up until 3:00 in the morning. This kid is non stop motion, and if he naps, he’s up. So we don’t give him a nap anymore. It’s not like we tried, we don’t even bother with that. We just let him run himself out with a full day of activities and hopefully he’s in bed at a reasonable hour and we can relax and sleep ourselves. That’s a rule that most of our friends would say, “You’ve got to train them to take a nap at this time.” Ok, it doesn’t work for us and that’s one rule that goes right out the window. And I think parents need to asses each one of those things and how it works for them.
VM: I agree! I really appreciate you taking time out of your day and interviewing with us.
The Cat: It’s important for me and a good thing and that’s why I did it. Can I tell you one other thing before I go? To me it’s the number one thing for me, aside the fact that I realize I’m not going to be sleeping very much as the new dad, but here’s the number one rule I think all parents, especially as young kids should bond on this. Here’s how my life has changed, especially with the travel I do. It used to be as I traveled, and I’m on a plane and the kid behind me is kicking or screaming, I used to think to myself, “the parents got to control the kid, what’s going on here?” Now, based on the fact that I’ve been that guy who can’t control his kid on a plane, my worldview has changed. So my point is, if you have a kid and you see, even if your kids aren’t with you, and you go to the airport, and let’s say you’re on Southwest Airlines, and you see that dad who has a three year old who you know is a suspect to act up on the flight, I always give the guy a look like, “I got your back.” If I’m on a plane, and there’s a kid acting up in the row over, I let the parents know, “I got your back, I’m with you.” Your whole worldview changes and people who have percostious or kids who don’t behave so well on planes, need to bond, unite and support each other.
VM: I agree. Yes, I absolutely agree. That is something I have found out as becoming a dad to my daughter, I view parents differently. Before, I would be out at a restaurant and a kid is screaming I used to think, “Somebody shut that kid up!” and now I’m like, “Oh man, I feel so sorry for those parents. I know exactly how they feel,” and it doesn’t bother me. Yes, I think parents should unite and have each others backs because that’s all we’ve got.
The Cat: Exactly! We are the only ones who understand and have the patience for that sort of thing on a planes. But we need to stick together.
VM: Yes, I agree. Well said. Jim, I really appreciate it and enjoy Colorado. I hope we can sweep, and I hope we can do it again, I hope to talk to you soon.
*Here is the link to the Matt Holliday and Skip Schumaker video from the ITD Roll Morning After Show on 590 The Fan, KFNS: http://bit.ly/MPlSKS
*Let us know what you think about The Cat. Who else would you want us to interview?
Your hand shake and shoes make a difference in first impressions. Make sure your hand shake is firm and shoes are the fit for the occasion.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
Posted by: John Amizich. You can find John on Twitter, @jamizich
If you had to list five of your kid’s current favorite video games, would you be able to? Some dads, gamers themselves, would be able to tell you this without hesitating, and make sure their kids only play things appropriate to their age. They probably even have games they play with their kids. However, there are still plenty of dads out there who never took up gaming themselves, and as a result just end up buying their kids what they ask for. This is unfortunate, since many of the most popular titles out there are in no way appropriate for your progenies, and expose them to things their young minds aren’t quite ready to process. Violence, gore, and naughty language abound in these titles. You’ve probably heard of at least, if not all of them: Call of Duty, Battlefield, Grand Theft Auto, and Assassins Creed. Just to name a few. While I myself have enjoyed games from each one of these series, and would encourage anyone my own age to go out and procure a copy themselves I would not encourage them to let their kids play. At least not until they are old enough to be able to process life like violence. Remember, it isn’t like a movie where you are watching Sylvester Stallone rip a mans throat out. You are the hand ripping out the throat. Who knows how this could affect a young person? Now, I’m not saying that video game violence causes real life violence, but what I am saying is that you should take an active and sincere interest in the content your children consume. Not just to keep them from playing something they shouldn’t, but because you are their dad, and you should want to know what they’re up to. Even if you never took an interest in video games yourself, that doesn’t excuse you from investigating what your kids take interest in. So, next time little Timmy or Jill says something like, “’Daddy! I want Murderscape IV: The Bludgeoning of Skulls’ for my birthday.” Don’t just go out and buy it because they asked for it. Open your preferred web browser, and Google what it is they asked for. It’s just that easy.
If you read the last paragraph and thought, “Man, that was interesting and helpful, but I wish I had a list of games I knew were fun to play for both myself and my kids.” Then it is a good thing you kept reading. Here are few games that you can enjoy playing with your kids that are actually fun for both parties:
We Love Katamari (Xbox 360, Wii, PS3) - The objective of this Japanese title, and all the others in the series is to roll as many object in the level up into a ball as you can.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) - Fight against one another as one of the Nintendo super stars like Luigi or Donkey Kong, and a few non-Nintendo ones too. This has been and continues to be one of my favorite game series, and one I look forward to playing with my kids.
Super Mario Bros (NES, SNES, N64, Wii, DS, 3DS) - One of the most obvious choices, and a series that your kids have no doubt played. Any of the many titles featuring everyones favorite plumber would be more than appropriate to play with your kids.
Mario Kart and Double Dash (Wii, Gamecube) - Are you beginning to see a trend here with all the Nintendo titles? Like the other titles I mentioned from them, these two are more than appropriate for both dads and kids to enjoy, and inexplicably addictive.
Minecraft (PC, Mac, Xbox) - Did you like Legos as a kid? Yes? Well get ready, because this game is Legos on crack. You are set in a world where anything you can imagine can be created. The PC and Mac versions require separate computers to play together on a server, but the Xbox version allows for split screen crafting. On the PC and Mac version there is even what’s called “Creative Mode” which gives you infinite crafting supplies.