20 Years and Counting

20 years together, two decades, seventy-three hundred days, however you want to list it. It’s a number that a lot of people strive for in a relationship. For us, it’s just another day.

It’s amazing that our journey has continued trucking along for this long. I could not ask for a better partner to call my wife. I can only imagine the life we will have together as our adventure continues. Happy anniversary Destiny, I love you always and forever!

How Video Games Can Help Build Your Child’s Self Confidence

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Video games tend to get a bit of a bad rap from both parents and the media.

There is the assumption that gaming isn’t healthy and this is partly tied into the ‘screen time’ debate that is often a hot topic of discussion.

While too much screen time can be a bad thing, and while hours spent gaming isn’t healthy, there are reasons to suggest that gaming isn’t a wasted hobby. And for your child, one benefit is the way gaming can build their self-confidence. Here are the reasons why.

#1: Gaming can give your child a sense of control

Children don’t have a lot of control over their lives. Not only do they live under the rules of their teachers and parents, but they might also be subject to the demands of their peers too. This is all part of growing up, of course, but when children can’t make decisions for themselves, their confidence can be knocked. This is where gaming is useful as they can be in charge of making decisions for themselves. From make a country games like Politics & War where they can rule their own nations to The Sims where they can manage the needs of a virtual family, they can finally take charge and be the person in control.

#2: Gaming is a skilled hobby

Many children excel when playing video games. While they might struggle with the game mechanics at first, they can learn as they go along and then master the game in question by becoming much better at it. This is a great way to build confidence, as they will gain a sense of achievement, such as when completing a very difficult level. They can also gain approval from their peers as they will have the opportunity to show their friends how good they are when playing a multiplayer title. The commendations they receive will also give them a boost to their self-confidence. 

#3: Gaming can build social skills

Not every child has good social skills. And because of this, they can receive a knock to their confidence when they struggle to communicate with others. Thankfully, playing video games is a great way to build social skills, and this might make it easier for them when they’re interacting with people in the real world. Children can share their opinion when discussing tactics in a multiplayer game, for example. And they can make friendships with people they regularly play with. For children who struggle to raise their voice or make friends in school, this can help them become more confident when trying to relate to others. Gaming isn’t the isolated hobby that many consider it to be, so multiplayer games shouldn’t always be discouraged. 

And so…

Should you be worried if your children spend all of their time playing video games? Yes, of course. However, in moderation, gaming is a perfectly acceptable hobby. Especially when it can help your children grow in self-confidence, it’s important not to dismiss video games as ‘unhealthy’ or a ‘waste of time.’ You might know this already of course, especially if you’re a gamer yourself, as you may have grown in confidence because of the games you have played.

Mother’s Day Minus Mom

This past Mother’s Day was the first Mother’s Day without my mom. Surprisingly, I handled it pretty well. I spent the entire day with my beautiful wife, celebrating her with some movies, food, and a couple gifts. It was a great day all around and I am so happy I was able to pull it off without breaking down, because let’s be honest, my mom being gone was on my mind the entire day. I knew I had to be strong, this day is not about me or about my loss, it’s about celebrating the amazing mother of my two crazy kiddos.

After waking up just before my wife I went upstairs and woke up the kids and had them help me wrap the Mother’s Day gifts they made and helped me pick out. We ended up making an adorable photo book with lots and lots of photos from last year. The kids also made a bunch of cards and pictures to fill up her gift bag. When she finally woke up we surprised her with her presents and then we relaxed and watched some movies while finishing up a couple of illustration projects we were working on the night before. For lunch we ventured down to Jersey Mike’s (we really need one closer) and enjoyed a ridiculously delicious sandwich.

The kids were amazing all day, they picked up after themselves, didn’t fight, and even went to bed on time. It was a pretty good day, although the weather sucked, it was a nice day celebrating an amazing mother.

By the end of the night I was exhausted and ready to crash. We had a full day and it was time to shut down. What sucked was that it took me forever to fall asleep. Laying there quiet it’s easy to get into your own head and have those thoughts that you have held back all day just unleash themselves on your mind, of course right before it’s time to sleep too. So I ended up sleeping like crap. I woke up tired and groggy. Whatever, I will push through and own Monday!

I still miss my mom as I am sure I always will. It just kind of sucks sometimes. Like recently, I really needed someone to talk to and I pretty much had no one. I had to solve my problem on my own. It’s not the first time nor will it be the last time, but it was harder this particular time because mentally, I had to push through.

Even at 37 years old I still needed advice from an “adult” and that person I wanted to talk to was not there and I need to remember that they will never be there again. My self-doubt will be all over the place while I figure out how to put my shattered self back together. In the end I am sure I will be okay, but it takes time, a clear head, and being honest with myself. Which I am trying to do, but I got to tell you, it’s hard. A mom is the one that tells you that your crappy drawing is a work of art and hangs in on the fridge, she boosts your confidence even when you’re acting a fool. I miss my mom, and while I made it through Mother’s Day, I know it’s not going to get any easier not having her around and I will continue to do my best in making sure she is never forgotten.

I Have Enabled Advertisements

It’s not something that I really wanted to do, but this site has to pay for itself somehow. I have been writing for St. Louis Dad for over five years now and while it’s not expensive to keep running, it’s also not free. So as a test I am enabling Google Advertisements on the site. I am open to other ideas as well but for now, this is what I have to do.

Drop a comment below if you have any other ideas on how a dad like me can earn some passive income!