Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: daughters

Why it is OK to Scare Kids…(and other big babies)

My wife tends to disagree with me on some of my parenting theories.  She thinks that I shouldn’t be the big, bad, scary and intimidating father to my daughter’s (who is age 13) friends.  I, of course, disagree.  I’m not mean, big, bad or scary to my daughter’s female friends…just to her little male friends.

I want those kids to fear me.  I want them to know that if they mess with my little girl that they will have to deal with me.  Is that really wrong?  To be honest, I’m not threating them or verbally scaring them….I just look scary.  That is the key…look scary to future suitors.  Nothing wrong with looking scary, right?

Sure, I’m a very articulate individual who enjoys a good conversation but sometimes the best thing to do is to keep your mouth shut.  He who talks first, loses right?  I want to be that father that is sitting in his chair when the daughter comes in with her friends and the boy just looks at me and knows he should be fearful.  He should think “Hmm, I probably don’t want to upset her dad…he just looks scary.”

It isn’t like my daughter is dating so I shouldn’t worry….yet.  However, why not plan for the future and lay the foundation now.  The farmer doesn’t wait until the summer to plant his crops; he plants his seeds in the winter.  I’m planning for the future.  I’m planting the seeds of fear and respect in the minds of these 11 year old boys now so they know not to mess with me (or my daughter later).  Hopefully, when they get into middle school and high school my reputation as a scary, frightening father grows into an almost unbelievable legend that will be passed down from generation to generation.

Of course, my professional as a school photographer isn’t exactly a job that scares kids.  I also don’t have any tattoos, nor do I talk “ghetto” or “white trash”.  The best I can do is speak Hawaiian Pidgin English from my school days on Kauai.  Furthermore, it’s not like I’m from SEAL Team Six or on the SWAT team. The only scary thing about me is my bald head and the fact I practice aikido (a non-violent martial art).  I suppose someone unfamiliar with it could possibly think I am a weapon of death and destruction.

Any thoughts on making myself a little bit more intimidating to the youth of today?  Any tips, suggestions, ideas?  Come on….leave a comment or two!  And thanks for reading!

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Curriculum Night: How my Child will learn to Become a Mid-Level Management Suck Up

This evening I went to my daughter‘s “curriculum” night at her school. This just happens to be my last one for elementary school. Have you forgotten about curriculum night? Or maybe you are a bad parent and have never attended one before? Basically, the teacher tells you what your child will be learning over the course of the year. In the great State of Washington, goals have changed and the names of the goals have changed. We’ve had WASL goals, we’ve had Iowa tests, we’ve had critical thinking goals, MAPSAT, BS Goals, etc. The acronyms keep rolling out and the goals keep changing but it all comes down to this: we want our kids grow up with a decent brain inside their heads.

I’m all for progress and helping my child become a world thinker who is compassionate and uses critical thinking in their ever changing world of shifting paradigms while at the same time becoming a global citizen that needs to manage her own future. How about that? Is that a “mission statement” or what?

One of the new math concepts is for our students to work on the computer solving problems. Really? The teacher had a sample problem involving pizza and two kids. One kid was named Lucas. All I was thinking while she was showing us the math word problem was that Lucas was a fat pig who shouldn’t be eating 3/8 of the cheese pizza, 4/8 of the pepperoni, and ¼ of another one. That Lucas kid is going to be one fat ass kid with weight and self-esteem issues if he keeps pigging out. Poor Lucas.  Did Lucas think he found the best Seattle pizza?

Welcome back to School!

Welcome back to School!

My other concern was that it was fairly stupid to being solving this math problem on a computer. A good old pencil and paper would be a lot quicker and easier to use. How are they going to do the math on the fly if the computer isn’t there? Hmm? Are the children of today (and tomorrow) going to be able to do math without the use of a pull down menu? Could they mix art and math together and sketch out the problem on paper with a pencil and still figure it out?

Really, all I saw was that our schools were teaching our kids to rely on a computer to create a whole bunch of extra work to solve a simple math word problem. They can make pie graphs, charts, etc. That’s great but it is a simple problem. They don’t need to make a ten page report on it that is a waste of everyone’s time. Are we creating a society of mid-level managers that make reports for the heck of it and to justify their jobs?

“I have that twenty page report on why we shouldn’t eating Twinkles!” Conclusion: Uh, because they are bad for us? Or maybe we should eat them because it helps the fitness industry keep fitness instructors employed?

Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to watch less TV, get off the worthless texting and Instagram, Facebook, social media sites, and read more nonfiction (that was a big one tonight) and classic novels. I would also add you need to get out and experience life. Take the kids to museums, road trips, ferry boat rides, hikes, walks, boat rides, and feel the wind in your face.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the internet as much as you do. All the information at your fingertips, merely a click away…it’s wonderful.

Yet, I’m just as guilty as other parents and their children in letting social media run our lives. I have a hard time disconnecting from my iPhone. I have slowed down my use of social media. I have tried to make a deliberate effort not to check my phone when I’m doing activities with the family. I try to ignore that email buzz on my phone. It is hard. Sometimes I’m good and other times I’m not.

What are your thoughts about using only computers for school work these days? Will it work?

 

Back to School and a Ruined Labor Day Weekend

Here in Washington State, our school kids don’t go back to school until the last week of August or the first week of September. In fact, my kids went back to school on August 28. In comparison, the Seattle School District started yesterday September 3, 2014. This makes a heck of a lot more sense than starting August 28, going to school for two days, and then having Labor Day weekend off. It puts a bitter taste on the last week of August and Labor Day. You can’t milk summer out for a bit longer. Instead, you must think of getting your kids back in time for starting school on Thursday before Labor Day weekend.

It isn’t like anything is done the first two days of school when you have Labor Day weekend right there. Everyone knows that Thursday and Friday (before the Labor Day weekend) are “throwaway” days of education. You might as well let the kids watch TV because they sure aren’t paying attention to the teachers during those two days of school.

Labor Day Weekend wasn’t ruined for me. I always have fun. This year instead of heading to Anderson Island for the three day weekend, we went camping at Sun Lakes State Park. It was a good choice because we left the rain behind. Sun Lakes is located on the eastern side of Washington, roughly three hours away from our house. While western Washington might be experiencing rain and misery, the eastern side of the state will have sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. Well, maybe not unicorns and rainbows but you get the idea. The weather is nice. We don’t have lots of rain and huddle under blue tarps. In eastern Washington, we don’t do the “blue tarp” camping made famous on the west side of the state. In eastern Washington, you slap on the sun block (SPF 45) and a big hat

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What lurks beneath the waters of this lake?

What lurks beneath the waters of this lake?

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It's all fun and games until someone falls off the cliffs!

It’s all fun and games until someone falls off the cliffs!

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On the negative side, it was windy in the evenings and the state park was full. Truth be told, it was very windy and miserable in that respect. The first night was bad. The tent was flapping around, keeping both myself and my wife wide awake. You would drift off to sleep, and then a gust of wind would pop up and wake you up. The second night, the wind was just as bad but I wore my ear plugs and I enjoyed the evening a bit more.

Sun Lakes State Park has a few different lakes within the park boundaries. On Sunday, we hiked along the Deep Lake Trail which was about 2 to 2.5 miles round trip. It goes right along the lake and is an easy hike. There is an opportunity to do some cliff diving or jumping off the cliff edge but we didn’t do it this trip. Perhaps next time we can jump off some basalt rock cliffs into the water below, have a scary monster grab us and drag us under.

I did manage to get some swimming in Sun Lake itself with my daughter and her friend. The weather was a bit cloudy, the wind was blowing, and the water was a little colder than I would have preferred. However, it was probably going to be the last swim of summer so I toughed it out. I’m not a little baby (well, I really am but I try to act tough).

My son and I also did a twilight walk where he was almost hit by a bat. Lots of bats on the Park Lake Trail, however I can’t complain about the bats because they keep the bug population down. Go bats!

Overall, the camping trip was a good one. No flat tires, no lost sleeping bags. The drive home wasn’t too bad. I’d go again but probably opt for a RV campsite further and with less wind.

 

Thanks for reading and your comments are always welcome!

Roller Coaster Adventure Trip Part 2

The other day I started to write about my recent Roller Coaster Adventure Trip to California and the first stop on our tour was Six Flag’s Discovery Kingdom. However, besides roller coasters and thrill rides, I also wanted to visit with some of my friends.  With Facebook, it was been nice to see what they are doing but a face to face visit is much more fun!Yummmy! Jelly Belly Store!

I honestly thought the goal of this exhibit was to kill as many butterflies as I could.  Imagine how embarrassed I was to find out you weren't suppose to do that.

I honestly thought the goal of this exhibit was to kill as many butterflies as I could. Imagine how embarrassed I was to find out you weren’t suppose to do that.

Our first stop was beautiful Sacramento, California. Most people from Seattle know Sacramento as the city of the Sacramento Kings basketball team. And that we tried to take the Sacramento Kings away from this fair city and bring them to Seattle. We had hoped to turn them into the new Seattle Sonics. Needless to say, this didn’t happen. I didn’t wear my Seattle Sonics gear just in case there were any hard feelings from the citizens about this whole basketball team purchase.
We flew down from Seattle to Sacramento and stayed with our good friends Joe and Gavan and their two daughters. You know they are good friends when they let you crash at your house without a hesitation (or a moment’s notice)Zdx5. They have encouraged us to come and visit for the past several years and I was looking forward to this leg of the trip. Our friendship was built upon our years at Benson Hill Coop Preschool together as preschool parents. On a side note, we have a lot of friends from being coop preschool parents together that we still see and hang out with. I’m a big fan of the coop preschool system.
Of course, our daughters don’t remember each other but we (the parents) certainly do! It honestly seems like yesterday but it has been roughly eight years since Joe and Gavan moved back to California from Washington State. We picked up right where we left off.
I could ramble on about how time flies but we pretty much all know that already. Time does fly so you might as well enjoy life the best you can. Hmm, that really isn’t worthless advice so perhaps you should disregard that good advice. I don’t want you to think you could learn something from me.
I have to thank Joe and Gavan for opening up their home to us and allowing us to stay with them. They also picked us up from the airport, drove us to and from the Discovery Kingdom Park, showed us the Jelly Belly Factory Store, and then drove us to the airport on Monday for our flight to Burbank. You have to appreciate friends that will do that.

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Sugar Rush Time!

I want to say that on the way back from Vallejo, we stopped at the Jelly Belly Factory to load up on Jelly Belly and it was a great choice for a tourist stop. Joe kept telling me about “Jelly Belly Flops”. “Flops” are the mistakes from the Jelly Belly bean process. They still taste like Jelly Belly beans but they are the rejects. You might have two or three Jelly Belly beans merged into one or a jelly belly bean might have a funny flatness to it. Most of the jelly belly beans in the “Flops” bag look and taste awesome to me. I love them! I can’t wait to drop into a deep diabetic coma caused from my massive sugar intake from eating as many Jelly Belly beans as I can fit into my mouth.
Since we only had 15 minutes at the Jelly Belly store before it closed, we grabbed a bunch of “Flops”, ate some ice cream, sampled numerous different flavors, and started the journey back to Elk Grove.

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I have my snacks for the car ride!

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Nothing is better than instilling unhealthy snack habits into future generations!

Now, that would be the end of a prefect day of roller coasters and candy, right? Nope! We topped it off with some excellent tri-tip steak, homemade mash potatoes, wine, beer, Caesar salad, and some delicious (onolicious) Hawaiian style Macaroni salad. Then we topped it off with a nice relaxing soak in the hot tub under the stars. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Again, a big “thanks” to Gavan and Joe for being fantastic hosts for our first leg of our Daughter-Dad Roller Coaster Trip!
On tomorrow’s blog, we talk about our next leg of the trip: Six Flag’s Magic Mountain!

Why it is OK to Scare Kids….(and other big babies)

Would you want to date this guy’s daughter?

Why it is OK to Scare Kids….(and other big babies)

My wife tends to disagree with me on some of my parenting theories.  She thinks that I shouldn’t be the big, bad, scary and intimidating father to my daughter’s (who is age 11) friends.  I, of course, disagree.  I’m not mean, big, bad or scary to my daughter’s female friends…just to her little male friends.

I want those kids to fear me.  I want them to know that if they mess with my little girl that they will have to deal with me.  Is that really wrong?  To be honest, I’m not threating them or verbally scaring them….I just look scary.  That is the key…look scary.  Nothing wrong with looking scary, right?

Sure, I’m a very articulate individual who enjoys a good conversation but sometimes the best thing to do is to keep your mouth shut.  He who talks first, loses right?  I want to be that father that is sitting in his chair when the daughter comes in with her friends and the boy just looks at me and knows he should be fearful.  He should think “Hmm, I probably don’t want to upset her dad…he just looks scary.”

It isn’t like my daughter is dating so I shouldn’t worry….yet.  However, why not plan for the future and lay the foundation now.  The farmer doesn’t wait until the summer to plant his crops; he plants his seeds in the winter.  I’m planning for the future.  I’m planting the seeds of fear and respect in the minds of these 11 year old boys now so they know not to mess with me (or my daughter later).  Hopefully, when they get into middle school and high school my reputation as a scary, frightening father grows into an almost unbelievable legend that will be passed down from generation to generation.

Of course, my professional as a school photographer isn’t exactly a job that scares kids.  I also don’t have any tattoos, nor do I talk “ghetto” or “white trash”.  The best I can do is speak Hawaiian Pidgin English from my school days on Kauai.  Furthermore, it’s not like I’m from SEAL Team Six or on the SWAT team. The only scary thing about me is my bald head and the fact I practice aikido (a non-violent martial art).  I suppose someone unfamiliar with it could possibly think I am a weapon of death and destruction.

Any thoughts on making myself a little bit more intimidating to the youth of today?  Any worthless advice, tips, suggestions, ideas?  Come on….leave a comment or two!  And thanks for reading my Blog of Worthless Advice!

Camping: Your Solution to Making Sure Your Kids Don’t Live With You Forever

Right now your children might be young and you think (hopefully to yourself) that they’ll accomplish anything they set their mind to.  Or maybe your kids are teenagers and your neighbor told you that their child didn’t blossom until they were 27 or 28 years old thus giving you a little piece of hope.  Or maybe your kid is 20, has dropped out of community college for the third time (in three attempts), lives in your basement, plays Black Ops all day, and will look for a job “tomorrow” (after he has his kill streak up to 70).

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but…the hard sad fact is that most likely your kids are losers and will be living in your basement for the rest of their lives.  Oh sure, they’ll move out for a year or maybe two, but they’ll be back…or will they?

Hmm, camping!

Let me introduce the concept of camping and how it can save you from having your children live with you forever.  Camping is where middle class people go out to the local state park and pretend to be homeless for a few days.  We like to cook our meals on a propane cook stove, wash our dishes in three bins, and use disposable paper plates (screw the environment).  We sleep on an air mattress and enjoy the light cotton sheets that cover us on a warm summer night.  We throw up a nice tarp and call it our outdoor living room/dining room/kitchen.

We set up a fairly well stocked kitchen, fill up some coolers with ice, and tell ourselves that camping is fun and easy.  Once we are out roughing it out in the wilderness of the State Park (with power hook ups, clean water, and a flush toilet a few steps away), we forget that we are camping.   We are on vacation and that we have time to be relaxing under the summer sun.

But will your loser children learn anything from your summer camping experiences?  Probably not.  They are too busy running around with their friends, sun block smeared across their faces, and rat nests for a hairstyle.  They’ll fling themselves into their summer sleeping bags (which are worthless during the other three seasons) and sleep a peaceful night’s sleep.

 This is one of those teachable moments you always hear about from other parents brag about but you never get to do because you are too busy yelling at your kids.

By taking your children camping, you are teaching them that camping is a possible housing solution in their near future.  The day will come when you will want to kick them out.  It might be a few weeks later or a few years later, but the day will come.

And this is a very good thing!  Once they reach the ripe old age of 18 or 30 and don’t plan to do anything with their lives, you can give them the ultimatum: do something or move out!  Heck, it’s your house and your parents didn’t give you a free ride to be a slacker, why should you treat your children any different?

With their summer camping experience under their belt, they will think that they are prepared for the real world.  Kick those leeches to the curb, have those children enjoy all four seasons that this great planet offers us (unless you live near the Equator or Australia or maybe South America). Allow your children the pleasure of sleeping in an igloo where the temperature is just above freezing and the drip drop of the melting snow roof falls on their thin, inadequate summer sleeping bag.  Then they can realize their boots are frozen because they forgot to keep them inside their sleeping bag. Now they have to push their wet socks inside their frozen boots.  Has the fun started yet?

Cooking under the open sky!

Imagine the joy your children can experience camping in the torrential downpour of a spring rainstorm.  Everything they own is soaked with the constant rain and there is no place dry in their tent site.  Nowhere to hang up the soggy towel to dry it out, everything they own is wet and damp.

And where do they plug in their Xbox and TV?  Grand Theft Auto V is going to play itself!  Do they run the power cord from the bathroom to their tent?  Oh, the problem solving they’ll have to do!

What about showers and personal hygiene?   No more 20 minute showers when you have to put in a $1 for a 3 minute shower at the state park.

Where will they wash and dry their clothes?  What happens when the sleeping bag gets a little stinky?

Either your children will quickly learn that this isn’t the lifestyle they want and will do anything to live back indoors OR they will decide that this lifestyle isn’t that bad and they like living in a tent for the rest of their life.  Either way, you’ll be taking the unknown part of your child’s future housing out of their destiny.

Add another “Win” for parenthood in your scoreboard for Parents!

 As always your witty comments are welcome!  Or just hit the like button below.

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