Win A Giant Skylanders Themed Easter Basket!

Hey you! Yeah, you. See that basket filled with Skylanders goodness up there? Do you want to be the heroic parent that delivers this to their child? Well, it’s your lucky day because the fine people at Skylanders HQ have tasked me with finding this basket a good home. Here’s what you get:

Skylanders Giant Easter Basket
· 3DS starter pack (Skylanders SWAP Force game)
· Springtime toys – 4 characters
· Mega Bloks set
· Monopoly game
· Gill Grunt pillow
· Blanket
· CSS Egg with tattoos/stickers
· Book
· Dangler
· Slap band
· Topps trading cards
· Battle packs/adventure packs
· Stickers
· Stationary
· Markers
· Roller stamp markers
· Journals

I don’t really have much more to add. Skylanders are awesome and please don’t tell my son that I am the only one who is not allowed to win this… This is open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, and closes at midnight on Friday, April 18th. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I accepted a copy of Skylanders Swap Force in exchange for facilitating this giveaway. I would have rather had the whole basket but figured I’d share with all of you! You’re welcome ;D

How To Get Your Kids To Stop Playing Online Video Games

Call Of Duty Black Ops

My 4 year old son loves his Super Mario Bros video game. Some days it borders on an unhealthy amount of love and I have recently started taking measures to cut back the amount of time he is allowed to spend on it. I realize that it is a non-violent video game for kids, but I really don’t want him to be so dependent on video games for entertainment. I mean, that’s why I bought him all those toys, right??

While doing my daily rounds on the internet yesterday, I came across another reason why I want to cut down on his video game time. That reason came from this article on, which describes how far one father was willing to go in order to deter his 23 year old son from playing video games.

The father of 23 year old, Xiao Feng, didn’t like how much time his son was spending playing online video games, so he took matters into his own hands. In an effort to discourage his son from gaming and to get him to focus more on finding a job, Mr. Feng decided to hire in-game assassins to kill his son’s character every time he logged into his game.

As a former (mediocre) online gamer and as someone who has been killed in Call of Duty more times than I care to admit, I can sympathize with the frustration the boy must have felt. The son probably won’t admit it but the planning that must have gone into hiring in-game hitmen is most impressive. I wouldn’t even know where to start in contacting the top players of a specific game. It’s not like they use their real names and openly publish all of their contact info. Although, they may begin now that a new “Hitman For Hire” business opportunity has opened up!

I’m not sure how effective this strategy would be with other kids but it seems to have had the desired effect with Xiao Feng, who said “I want to take some time to find one (a job) that suits me.” I’ll be keeping this one in my back pocket for future use. Secretly, I hope it’s something I get to use someday. Talk about being a Bad-Ass Dad! Way to go, Mr. Feng!


My Son Schooled Me At Mario Kart And All I Got Was A Lousy T-Shirt

Yeah, I said it! In fact, I didn’t even get a T-Shirt because my son took it right off my back! Never have I been as humiliated as I was this past weekend when my 4 year old son asked if I would play Mario Kart on the Wii with him, and then he proceeded to teach me just how old I am getting.

Oddly enough, my first thought when he asked me to play was if he was old enough for me to not let him win. After all, I am very serious about my gaming, just look at the photo above. It had never occurred to me that he could possibly be in a totally different league than I was. A much, much higher league, in fact.

I should have known things weren’t going to go as planned when I couldn’t get the Wii to recognize the 2nd remote, prompting my ever so funny wife to quip, “Haha, you’re like the old guy who can’t figure out the electronics”. Very funny, dear. Now go ahead and sleep and don’t worry about why I have a bucket of warm water next to the bed…

After getting the controller issue sorted out, which was totally a Nintendo Wii issue and NOT an old man issue, I set out to let my son take an early lead in the race before I would pounce on the final lap and take him down. After all, kids need to learn about winning and losing at an early age to help them deal with it later on in life, right?

Here’s the problem with my game plan, not only did he take an early lead, but I felt like my driver was stuck in quick sand the entire race! I couldn’t make a move without hitting a banana or driving off a cliff and finished in last place in 3 of our 4 races. I am mortified to even be admitting to this, but at one point I even glanced over at my son’s remote to see what he was doing differently that I was. It was hopeless and it certainly didn’t help to hear the continuous chuckles from the peanut gallery! Ahem, Wifey!

The tipping point came when I calmly stated to my driver, Luigi, that maybe he should have spent more time training like his brother, Mario, and less time goofing around. My son then answered, “Its okay Daddy, just do the best you can”, which gave me pause and perspective on what was going on here.

I realized two things in that moment. First, that I was actually getting frustrated at a video game, which means I’m not as old as I thought I was. The second thing is that my son is actually learning from the lessons we teach him, such as “Always try your best” and “Practice makes perfect”.

It was an eye opening experience for me and a very cool moment of clarity to see your parenting lessons come full circle.

There is one more thing I’d like to point out. Just because I lost to my son, badly, on this day, it doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on the game altogether. I’ll pull all nighters if I have to but I’ll get back to the Mario Kart dominance of my early 20’s and that’s a guarantee! The next time he meets me on the battlefield basement couch, he will see a whole new attitude and a very different looking Luigi!

Watch out, son of mine, Daddy’s coming for that trophy!!!