Cards For Kids Planet Fitness

The Benefits of Kindness & How Planet Fitness Is Paying It Forward

One of the things I am always conscious about is the fact that, because of this blog, my children get to experience things that a lot of other children do not. They have had toys sent to them, met their favourite major league baseball players and been treated like VIP’s at numerous events we have attended. My concern has always been that the kids will become entitled and think that everything in life will be handed to them, when we all know that this isn’t the case.

That’s why my wife and I have been having some really great conversations with kids lately about the importance of kindness and giving back to those less fortunate, and the kids have responded in amazing fashion. They have both agreed to create a giving jar, where they will put away a portion of any money they earn, to be given to the cause of their choice each month. Further to that, my son recently decided that he would set up a driveway booth where he would sell some of his hockey cards, with all the proceeds going to charity.

Cards For Kids Planet Fitness

This month, their earnings will be going to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada! We are also happy to be teaming up with Planet Fitness, the innovative health club franchise known for its Judgement Free Zone® and affordable prices. Planet Fitness will be inviting Canadians to join their clubs for $5 down and as low as $10 a month, which includes donating 100% of the enrollment fees to Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada as part of their Judgement Free Generation™ initiative! This incredible campaign runs October 2-13.

Give Jars Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness has also challenged my kids, and children everywhere, to display what a bullying-free world looks like to them, or to show an act of kindness. If you feel like sharing your child’s vision or act, you can do so by tagging Planet Fitness Canada on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by using the hashtag #JudgementFreeGen! Furthermore, if you have been debating that gym membership, there’s no better time than now to head into of Planet Fitness’s 15 locations across Canada!

Planet Fitness Canada Picture

Here’s more information on Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada:

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is dedicated to supporting and encouraging children and youth as they discover, develop and achieve great futures. They are a national charity serving 96 member Clubs that provide services to 200,000 young people in 625 locations across Canada. For 116 years, They have welcomed children, youth and their families into Clubs that reflect the diversity of Canada in small and large cities, and rural and Indigenous communities. Visit and follow them at and

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Planet Fitness. The opinions on this blog are my own.

My Interview on Family Matters With CJAD800’s Ric & Suzanne


This is my latest appearance on “Family Matters” with CJAD800’s Ric & Suzanne. In this month’s podcast, I talk about the Canadian Soccer Association’s decision to ban scores and standings in leagues with children under the age of 12.

We also discussed the Rehtaeh Parsons case and why it’s so important to talk to our children about bullying and consent. It was a difficult conversation but it’s one that all of us need to take a lot more seriously.

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What Do I Stand For?

Holding Hands

While discussing my new obsession with the band, “Fun” the other night, Candace Alper from Name Your Tune CD’s asked the following: “Can you answer the question, ‘What do I stand for?’” This was in reference to Fun’s song, Some Nights, where they continually ask this question. We both agreed that while we didn’t have an answer to the question, that it was definitely worth investigating.

So, here I am, still struggling to answer the question but willing to at least start the thought process here with you. I have decided to make a list of the things I stand for and will hopefully be adding future editions to the collection.

What Do I Stand For?

• I believe in being a gentleman. This includes but is not limited to, holding doors for people, being courteous, giving up my seat for women and elderly, treating others with respect.

• I try to make a difference in my community and beyond by giving back to those who are not as fortunate as I am. I have my problems too, we all do, but it’s not hard to set aside some time to help others and this is something I hope my children will carry with them.

Kindness always trumps hate.

• My family is my life. Everything else is secondary.

• I don’t have time for drama, nor will I participate in it.

• Pizza.

• Being a good father is more important to me than writing about being a good father. That being said, this blog has helped me become not only a better father, but a better human being as well.

• Smiling breeds happiness; Negativity breeds negativity. You choose.

• Failing at something doesn’t make you a failure. It just gives you the knowledge to get it right the next time.

• I make no apologies for who I am.

• I’ve made mistakes. Lots of them, actually, and while I have learned a lot from making these mistakes, they certainly do not define me.

• The word ‘retard‘ is not in my vocabulary. It was at one time but it is no longer.

• I do not tolerate bullying in any way, shape or form.

• I believe, perhaps gullibly, that I can make a difference in the world.

That’s all I wanted to share with you for now. It was a difficult exercise to not only think of these things but to also question whether they are things that I actively practice. The great part about making this list is that I am far more conscious of not only what I stand for, but also what steps I need to take in order to further back up the above statements. I highly recommend this exercise for all of you out there as well, whether you are a blogger or not, as it was very eye opening.

I leave you with the song that started the conversation and also with the question, “What do you stand for?”

The First Cut Is The Deepest

It happened already and I have no idea how I’m supposed to react to it.

My son came home from his 12th day of Junior Kindergarten with a huge scar above his eye. When I asked him what happened, he got oddly shy and replied, “I don’t know”. This response isn’t uncommon from kids but in this case, it was a frustrating experience.

I prodded him a few more times to try to get any bit of information I could get. Eventually he said that one of the other boys in the playground pushed him down and he landed on his face. How am I supposed to react here? My first thought was obviously anger. I don’t know who I was angry at though. The other boy for pushing my little guy, the school for not noticing or even my son for not saying anything after it happened.

My next revelation was that boys are usually pretty rough with each other on the playground. I mean, I used to be one and I know exactly the types of games that get played there. In fact, I’ve even stayed around after dropping him off and witnessed firsthand, the high speed games of tag and “got your hat” that they play with each other. They all seem to be smiling and happy, even as they get thrown to the ground; but you can’t help but cringe and wonder if some outside intervention is necessary.

That’s where the hard part begins. I am new at the whole “kid going to school” thing and have no idea what the proper etiquette is in these situations. Has this been going on for years and I’m the guy overreacting on the inside? Should I ask the teachers to keep a closer eye on the playground activities and stop violent games before they start? Or would that be overstepping my boundaries in the parent- teacher relationship?

My son is hardly innocent in all of this by the way. I see him running around and grabbing at kids sweaters and hats as well but once you drop them inside that gate, you are on the outside looking in. As it turns out, he was even less innocent when he later admitted that instead of being pushed, he actually ran into the other boy while they were all running and both kids went down. After confirming this story with the other child’s parents, what I am supposed to do as his father?

I had a talk with him, being careful to explain why it’s important that he not lie about things like this. As any parent of a 4 year old knows, it’s hard to judge how they are processing the information, because they are constantly looking for any place to be but immersed in a discussion about rules with their parents. I just have to hope he understands and then make sure I stay on top of it.

In the end, I most likely overreacted to the situation but that is MY little boy coming home with scars on his face. The thought of him getting hurt and for the first time and not having Mom or Dad there to make it better, leaves a little sting in my heart. With bullying being the hot topic issue it is these days, it’s hard not to jump to that conclusion immediately.

I want to know what you do when your kids come home from school with unexplained injuries. Do you have a “boys will be boys” attitude? Do you rationally attempt to get to the bottom of it; Or do you straight up freak out and call the cops?!


**This post originally appeared on the CHEO Moms&Dads Blog on October 24th**

Something Made Me Very Angry Tonight!


I’m not perfect. Not even close really.

I have done things I am not proud of. Recently even.

I guess I’m lucky that my parents taught me the gift of humility and how to admit when I am wrong. This is something I hope to pass on to my kids as they grow older.

Another thing I want to pass along to them, is that bullying is not acceptable. Not in any way, shape or form. I want them to know that it’s not okay to bully someone and it’s equally not okay to get bullied themselves.

While surfing Twitter tonight, my friend and local radio DJ Katherine Dines posted a link from a young girl named Sarah.

I was curious, so I clicked on it and it led me to the video clip you are going to watch right now. Please watch it.

That brings me to the part where I got Angry. And Sad. And Emotional. Then Angry again.

What kind of human being bullies a beautiful person like this? My mind is aching at the thought of what life must be like for Sarah and all the other kids who have to deal with this on a daily basis. Most of whom suffer in silence.

I don’t want to do the “Blame the Parents” thing for the bullies because I don’t know their situations, but as parents, we have to do a better job of educating our children on the effects of bullying and why it’s important for them to not behave that way.

Admittedly, I’m not up to date on the Bullying Awareness campaigns that are going on around the world. Possibly because I have very young children, possibly because before I found blogging and social media, I was fairly sheltered. Either way, this one touched me tonight and made me think about my son, who starts school next week.

What if it happens to him? I want him to be able to come to me if it does so I can deal with it and not have him suffer alone. Alternatively, I need him to know that it’s not acceptable to do this to others.

We can’t end this problem without brave people like Sarah, who have chosen to put themselves out there for the world to see what is going on and I applaud her for sharing her video.

So here’s my plan. I thought it would be cool if we all gave Sarah a follow on Twitter and let her know that she doesn’t have to suffer by herself anymore. You can find her at @LuckyElizabeth2 and I’m sure she’d love to hear from you!

I realize that’s it’s only one person but isn’t lifting one up better than none at all? No one deserves to be treated this way, no matter what their situation is. Let’s start tonight, with this one brave girl and see where it takes us!