Alpha Child

2015-08-25 18.50.26If you have a high-energy youngster living under your roof then this might prove helpful.

The first thing I remind myself is there’s nothing, and no one, to fix. My kids are happy and the feedback from the outside world is positive.


I ask myself, “With this child, what’s my role?”

My role is to avoid becoming the problem.

Which implies…

  • taking care of my sleep, my body, my mind and my habits
  • ensuring that I get enough silent time (alone and in nature)
  • steering away from the urge for revenge, aggression and anger


All Day Engagement – a bored alpha child makes everyone miserable, including herself. While some kids can putter and amuse themselves (see below), our oldest does best with a structured day with unstructured breaks.

2015-08-26 13.24.41Ritual & Routine – from birth, my wife has done an excellent job of conditioning the kids to relax when their heads are wrapped in a soft cotton blanket. It works so well that our oldest will resist when she doesn’t want to relax. Ritual and routine are soothing to an anxious child.

2015-08-27 07.55.36Parent Like Dora – if you’ve watched Dora the Explorer then you’ll know that each show features three steps.

To give my kids something to latch onto, I’m always explaining the next three steps…

  • Dinner, Bike, Shower
  • Bath, Pajamas, Story
  • Socks, Shoes, Car

2015-08-23 18.51.51Spread The Energy – I use high chairs, assigned seating, cold drinks and air conditioning to reduce stress when we’re packed together.

  • For drives, my Sienna is set up with staggered seating so the kids can’t whack each other. Throwing things in the car is highly frowned upon!
  • As they develop, we find that different kids push our buttons. To dial down the house, I’ll take a little “disrupter” on a trip. The trips last anywhere from an an afternoon to a week. Sometimes I take more than one kid.

2015-08-21 09.53.08Do you know your parenting preference?

Mine is a shared activity with one person – I sign up for that a lot.


It’s proven much easier to change my attitude, habits and approach than the core personality traits of my children.

Be Skillful.

A Collection of Moments

2015-08-23 09.08.27This week marks the start of the school year and that should enable me to get back to blogging.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to knock out 13 hours of cycling and 13,000 vertical feet.

Even better, I got to visit with an old friend from New Zealand, Scott Molina.

2015-08-22 11.58.47Above are a couple of local characters out for Rollyfest – happening halfway between my house and the Continental Divide. I stopped in, both days, for a large pourover. Yes, those are pipes (below).

2015-08-22 11.27.10

I was thoroughly blasted when I arrived in Winter Park (elevation 9,100 ft) and got a kick out of the Kiwi recovery set-up…

2015-08-22 17.53.24

I opted for the toast.

You learn a lot about a guy when you train together. Scott’s one the nicest people I’ve ever met.

One of Molina’s quirks is that he likes to get dressed for the first session of the day, the night before. When we shared a room, he’d sleep in his run gear (and have his morning coffee pre-brewed).

True to form… here is with his mountain bike shoes on the night before…

2015-08-22 21.38.02

It was made clear, by Erin (Scott’s wife), that this wasn’t an “epic” camp, which suited me fine.

However, I was the only one that had done their final route in the last twenty years (!) and knew they had some surprises heading their way.

Kiwis don’t complain…

They don’t complain when the planned route is detoured up a 100-year old wagon track above the pass…

They don’t complain when they double-end-o down the rough descent…

2015-08-23 12.43.18

And they certainly don’t complain when they have to hike-a-bike over a collapsed tunnel at 11,600 feet (red jersey over my shoulder)…

2015-08-23 11.25.00

I was soooo grateful that the route wasn’t my idea!

In addition to the temporary hardships, we had remarkable views…

2015-08-23 11.44.29

Such a pleasant change to focus on helping others, rather than my next session.

2015-08-23 09.59.45

Life is what you focus on.

2015-08-22 14.33.56

What are you doing when you’re thinking about love?