Tag Archives: The Warrior Family

Establishing your family’s identity

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Without establishing your family’s identity, you deny yourself a platform for which to base your life decisions. This especially applies to your children.

How can you hold them accountable for things you haven’t taught them about?

Is it realistic to think that you can teach them everything?

How do we influence what they do when we’re not around?

Teaching your children about identity, and what it means to be them, gives them a path to follow – a left and right limit.

Check out Episode 2 of The Warrior Family Podcast to hear more on the topic.


 

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Constructive vs. Empty Praise

“Good job, Son!” … Sounds good, right?

Communicating with my two boys has been a hard lesson for me to learn. Thankfully, I have been put in situations where I have been taught to communicate in a way which will promote a desired end state.

What does all of that mean?

I learned that what I was giving my boys is known as Empty Praise. Essentially, the simple “good job” is not actually reinforcing the act that achieved the results. Often times, the pat on the back, or the “good job”, are used as a quick way to acknowledge our kids, and go on with our busy day.

This is not doing anything for your kids!

Bottom line, telling your kids “good job” often times just isn’t enough.

Ideally, what you want to do is praise the act or process that achieved the results. Sure, starting with “good job” is appropriate to acknowledge the accomplishment, but what follows is most important. Let us use the example of my son scoring 100% on a spelling test.

An example of Empty Praise would be: Continue reading

Fitness for Everyone!

Your kids will likely follow your example no matter what it is that you do. Why not lead them toward a life of good health and fitness?

If anything, one of the biggest motivators to getting in shape should be to increase your families quality of life. Here are some of the things that we did to help our kids, and ourselves stay healthy:

After dinner walks:

In Germany, one of our favorite things to do was to take our daily walks right after dinner. This would not only help digestion, but it would also facilitate conversation. I got to know my kids more, and more each time we walked to the park. We would often play tag, make up an obstacle course, and race each other. This type of interaction was important since I had to make up for the 12 or 15 months I would spend in Afghanistan every other year.

Start a club:

When we moved to Fort Benning, GA, I had to start my time as a Drill Sergeant. This meant little to no interaction with my kids or wife, which meant no more amazing after dinner walks. So, one thing my wife did was volunteer as a coach for the schools run club (which was run by another member of The Warrior Family team). This meant the boys, and my wife, would get together with 20-30 elementary school kids, and do sprints, play games, or even run around the neighborhood. The club was so effective that the children would compete at local races, and often win medals! This had an extraordinary effect on their confidence, and their overall fitness level.

Be The Example

I have been a paratrooper in the Army for seven years now. I loved competing in Army functions, and would often do races where my wife would also participate, and my kids would watch. Since 2009, I have been really big into Crossfit, and continually watch instructional videos, or technique ones as well. Recently, my boys asked if I would train them on the Olympic lifts (I have been certified since 2009). I must say, that was one of the most awesome things I have ever felt – to know that my boys want to go beyond the ordinary, and compete at an elite level like they see on the videos I watch. So, we started training:

First, before every time they wanted to play any video game, they owed me two minutes of movement: 5 push ups/5 sit ups/ and five jumps for as many rounds as possible (commonly referred to as an AMRAP). Then, we began developing form, and precise movement patterns. This, my friends, will continue since their motor patterns will change as they grow.

Here is a photo after our handstand push-up competition:

Those two little ones are BEASTS!

Those two little ones are BEASTS!

The boys and I had so much fun!

I would never think that a six, and nine year old would be capable of doing something so complex – they sure did impress me.

Mateo: 5 w/kips

Caleb: 5 w/kips

Dad: 6 stict form

I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for how interested my wife and kids are in fitness, I probably would have lost my motivation a long time ago. However, since they show so much interest, I will continue to teach, and mentor them to become as strong physically, and intellectually as possible.

Until next time, friends!

Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better. This is what we’re all about.

Fight on Friends! – The Warrior Family

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Tips to Improve Focus…ok, what?

Focusing and maximizing time is a hard thing to do when we are as distracted as we are. We live in a time where many peoples attention span is limited to how fast they slide their finger across the screen of their telephone. This causes several problems.

First, the people we should be paying attention to aren’t getting enough of it. When I moved back to the United States after living in Germany, one of the biggest things I had to get used to was how people didn’t really have conversations anymore. I remember very clearly sitting in a circle with friends, trying to talk about the past, and noticing that all of their heads were down staring at their smart phones. After living here for a few months, I found myself caught up in the same issue, and began trying to force myself to leave the phone in my pocket, on silent, while I visit with people. The need to see what the rest of the world was doing was eating at my productivity. I remember sneaking in occasional peeks at my social profiles while in the middle of homework for my college courses, what’s the big deal? Could this stuff not wait?

So, I’m going to post a few things that we can do to somewhat minimize the distractions we get from our smart phones/social media profiles.

Manage your time:

If we allow ourselves too much time to accomplish a list of tasks, there will not be enough pressure to actually ensure they get done. One method that could make you more productive is giving yourself time blocks to complete certain tasks. For example, when I get home, I know I have to eat, help with the dishes, talk to the wife, hang with the boys, and get my equipment ready for the next day (uniform, tactical gear, etc.). If I get home at 1930 (7:30PM), that gives me two and a half hours to get all of that done. Without setting time-hacks for myself, there is no pressure, and I have found that usually something doesn’t get done. Here’s what a more effective schedule would look like:

Eat dinner-15 min.

Hang out with the boys (before shower)-15 min.

Help with dishes (and send boys to shower)-30 min.

Talk to wife – done while washing dishes

Finish hanging with boys (and send to bed)-30 min.

Talk with the wife (or watch an episode of Supernatural) – 30 min.

Get equipment ready – 15 min.

Check social media – 15 min.

This may seem extensive, and a little crazy, but something strange happens when you add a timer to the equation. The same reason a timer is effective in things like Crossfit, time limits motivate you to get things done while focusing on one task at a time. Also, I have found that I usually finish my small tasks well before the time is up (probably because of my competitive side).

There is an article published in the Crossfit Journal that talks about this. Here is the link:

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/39_05_Tabata_My_Job.pdf

Give it a try, and let me know what you all think. I will post other tips throughout the week. MTF

Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better. This is what we’re all about.

Fight on Friends! – The Warrior Family

__________

If you like what you read, add us on Google+, share us on Facebook, and like us on twitter @thewarriorfam.

Leave a Comment, Folks!

Doing Warrior Family type stuff? Post pictures on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and add #thewarriorfamily !

Check out our Google+ page!

Like us on Facebook!