9 Create Games

One of the more senior dads interviewed provided an insight that really helps when trying to teach your children new topics, or things they have a hard time learning. Teaching is one of the most important tasks we have as parents and it’s always great to have multiple strategies. The strategy of creating games helps children to have fun and participate even when they are trying to learn something difficult. You can make a game out of almost any topic and with the right games, you can help your children learn anything.

Todd Jordan

Todd Jordan is @tojosan on twitter. He blogs about fatherhood, http://toddrjordan.com/thebroadbrush/

ToddJordanKevin: Can you tell us about your kids?

Todd:  My oldest, he’s in the Army.  He’s been in, oh my gosh, about ten years. So I guess he’s making his time through. They’re right now stationed down in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  He’s married for most of that time and has three daughters.

My youngest is working two jobs right now instead of going to school, for right now anyway.  He took a break, he went to school and then he decided to work instead. So right now we’ve got him living here and working two jobs and pretty much now he’s already up over 40 hours a week between the two of them. It’s fun, he’s getting his first real taste of what it’s like to work full time and have to live.

But they’re both very different sons. The oldest is much more, what would I say – when we were raising him we traveled a lot more, because I was in the Navy for about 11 and a half years. And so we traveled a lot and our last place we were, we were in New Orleans for about three years. So he really identified a lot with that culture, and that’s affected him a lot as an adult, and who he’s become. He picked up a lot on the hip hop scene and rap and almost, in a way I guess the black culture that was preeminent down there, and it’s really impacted him in terms of his outlook on life and the way he carries himself.

It’s different because he really relates more to what you’d see in the hip hop scene. Trucks, he’s big into trucks.  He’s a modder, makes mods to his truck. That’s his big hobby right now and he just won two awards back-to-back for his truck mods.

Todd:  Yeah, and my youngest, he’s a technology geek like me. He’s been online since he was old enough to sit at a computer, probably a lot longer than other kids his age. We, at the time had computers in the house and he was able to get online and we taught him how to use DOS, run programs as early as he could sit at a computer. So it gave him a nice head start against other kids his age. He’s a whiz with setting up computers and running them, installing software, has a real gift for that sort of thing – technology.

Kevin:  What’s maybe one of your favorite experiences you’ve had with your kids and you know what, I’m going to actually expand the question too to grandkids as well.

Todd:  Oh my gosh, favorite experiences, that’s so tough. There have been so many.  For me, it was probably with my youngest.  One of my favorite experiences was trying to struggle to help him learn and get excited about learning some different things. From simple tasks to complicated tasks and for me, I still have fond memories of making things into games for him and challenging him a little bit. And letting him be a winner when we would compete, and so we would turn things into games. Car rides, getting dressed, learning new habits, you know?

And that really helped us bond, because I was in the Navy. We didn’t get a chance to bond until he was a little bit older, a few years old. And he really was just a wild two year old – literally broke a door, busted out windows, so it was a lot for me to try to reach to him and I struggled. I tried the ordinary parenting things and they just didn’t work. Discipline, punishment, he was a kid that stuck the screwdriver in the socket and then held out his hand so you could smack it because he was determined he was going to play with the socket.

But for him, and for me, my oldest, my best experience with him was when I got to adopt him. He’s not actually my son by birth, and he is my wife’s though and adopting him and getting to share that with him, to have a real father.  He had never had a father that he knew, so that was great.

And then for my granddaughters, the best – oh so many.  The best, best was they were living with us when they learned to walk. The oldest are twins and it was amazing. As soon as one walked, it was just amazing how quickly they had developed, you know, together.  And I’ll warn you now; if you ever have twins they get busy twice as fast as one kid.

So the biggest for me, picking one would be them learning to walk and communicate together. Because once they caught onto one thing they would instantly both know it. And so it was really a neat experience to watch them crawling and then the next day they’re walking.

So, I missed out on some of that, being in the Navy. I missed seeing some of those experiences for both of my boys. And then being here and a civilian and being home every day was a nice change. So yeah, it’s tough. It’s a tough question. So many good experiences, but thank you, that was a great question. I could talk all night about my granddaughters.

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