"Who's Dave?"

It’s a new year and a new me! Um, not quite. I’m the same old me (and getting older apparently). I’m ok with that, since I made it to another year intact. I’ve been busy working on great projects behind the scenes and planning for 2010. Throughout the year I’m hoping to roll out some of the projects but for now I am keeping it mum. I don’t want to jinx anything. As someone who volunteer blogs to help out a non-profit, and after working in the non-profit field since I was 19 I can say that the best laid plans often don’t roll out as planned. Stuff doesn’t necessarily fail, it just sometimes gets modified along the way. With that in mind I’m hesitant to start yapping about what I’m hoping to accomplish this year. All I have to say is that last year was my planning year and this year (crossing my fingers) is my implementation year.

In addition to the vague statement above I’m still working on being Dev’s dad. So many other guys out there are coming into fatherhood for the first time (I can name three people off the top of my head) and it’s awesome. But we are parenting in a different era now than our parents did before us. We are dealing in some crazy stuff. For one, our kids have access to information that we never would have imagined, which is a blessing and a curse. Today my wife was annoyed because Dev put a passcode on her iPod and forgot what it was. By him doing that she was blocked from thousands of her “favorite” songs and videos. So I had to reset and restore the darn thing wasting over an hour of my life in the process. When we were kids our parents didn’t have to worry about such things with their walkmans and discmans. And this is just a tiny example of the changes we’ve lived through. Very tiny.

As big a fan of the 80s as I am, however, I am not going to say I want that old thang back because I don’t. I’m cool with the past staying in the past – I love my computer, iPod, and Kindle. What I am saying is that parenting strategies are going to have to change with the changing times. That doesn’t necessarily mean that us dads have to become moms. Or that we have to figure out how to Jerk. It means that we have to stay a step ahead of the technology, a step ahead of the schools, a step ahead of our kid’s plots, a step ahead of the music videos, and in tune with the shifting trends. It’s stressful, but actually more fun than it sounds (at least until the kids become teens then it’s a series of full-blown covert intelligence finding and covert ops missions). It keeps you young.

For me, at least for now since Dev is only six, I will continue to limit and monitor his screen time (a.k.a. time spent with screens including TV, computer, and handheld video games) in favor of more interesting activities. I also plan to continue to participate in school events, and regularly grill the boy about what he’s up to when I’m not around. And I have to figure out how to set up the parental controls on all the random gadgets floating around my house…

Or maybe I’ll just hide them.