Level-up your parenting skills

Being a father is the greatest blessing in my life.

It’s also not an easy gig.

Let’s get some lunch!

I’ve recently had a few conversations with a neighbor that remind me how the challenges of fatherhood change over time.

I’m not talking about across the ages (medieval vs. modern parenting challenges), but rather throughout our own lifetimes.

Parenting challenges are quite different with toddlers vs. teenagers and young adults.

Exploring in California.

As our neighbor asks for advice about the toddler challenges he and his wife face, I can’t help but smile. I fondly remember dealing with those same types of challenges with our kids.

And I sometimes secretly wish I could go back to those challenges. They seem much easier to face than the challenges we now face.

Perhaps they seem simpler now because of what I’ve learned through the process. It’s the whole “been there, done that” feeling of confidence.

Even though every child is very unique, with their own personalities, there are some general challenges they all go through. As kids grow and develop new skills (such as teenager independence), the challenges swing from more physical developmental challenges to emotional and psychological challenges.

In turn, we as parents need to up our game by learning new skills to face these challenges head on.

Jaden on his mission in Malaysia.

One important parenting skill I’m still trying to master is resiliency.

Just like we teach our kids when they fall down, when we make mistakes as parents, we need to get back up, dust ourselves off, and keep on going.

Parenting isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.

And we need to keep that perspective in mind when we’re tempted to throw in the towel. The sun will come up tomorrow and we can try again.

The blessings of fatherhood don’t come from the absence of challenges. Rather the blessings come because of the challenges as we learn to work through them again and again.


Leveling-up in Games

Star Wars: Imperial Assault board game

It’s fun to level-up characters over many scenarios.

When speaking about leveling-up in a board game, many people immediately think of campaign type games where players take on the role of characters that can level-up their skills as they progress over a series of scenarios.

Games such as Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd edition and Star Wars: Imperial Assault are games we love to play that let us level-up our characters from game to game.

But those aren’t the only types of games that provide the sense of leveling-up.

There are plenty of family board games that give players an experience of leveling-up within a single game.

Most deck-building card games give players this sense of progression. In deck-building games like Dominion, Thunderstone Advance, or Legendary: Marvel, players start with a basic personal deck of cards. During the game, players add new and more powerful cards to their deck to gain additional abilities that they can later use to face tougher challenges and gain more points.

Splendor card game

We enjoy games that give an experience of progression.

Other games such as Splendor, Machi Koro, and Roll for the Galaxy also give players a sense of progression as the cards or tiles they add to their area expand their capabilities within the game.

Even luck-driven dice rolling games such as King of Tokyo and King of New York give players the opportunity to improve their odds by purchasing additional abilities for their monsters as they advance in the game.


Even though we can’t purchase additional abilities to magically level-up our parenting skills, ultimately we’re better off learning by experience through the challenges we face.

Happy Father’s Day!



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