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February 20, 2013, by Charlie Jahnigen

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!

Wow, 2013 started off with a bang!  The new year always brings with it a sense of reflection and renewal.  I feel like I’m living more in the car and in meetings and have made a conscious effort to break the cycle and be a better dad at home.

One recent opportunity was assisting in my son’s school over the past few weeks.  My six-year-old son is in first grade and has been enjoying all the adventures of primary school.  While volunteering in the cafeteria, I was surprised to see how well the kids behave and how they enthusiastically participate in recycling efforts.  When kids are dismissed to the playground, they separate containers for paper, plastic, foam trays, food and Capri Sun.  Yes, recycling for Capri Sun.  I learned his school and Capri Sun take part in Terracycle.  Through this process, the Terracycle company repurposes Capri Sun containers for other uses and sells them on their website.  This level of awareness for being sustainable and creative with resources reignited me in my own design approach.

Another way I am trying to be a better dad is to limit the use of digital devices around my kids.  If you work with me, you will quickly notice that I am usually attached to one of three devices at all times; laptop, iPad or iPhone.  I’ve noticed lately though, when I come home from work, my children flock to the electronics and are face down tapping the screen.  In some cases, this behavior is okay and the fearless tapping of the screen is impressive to see.  But playing Star Wars Angry Birds for hours on end is not productive for three-year-olds with curious minds.  My new rule is to put the electronics away, especially during dinner.  Additionally, I've incorporated playing cards, board games and Legos with them versus being “face down" in a screen.  By the time they reach adulthood, both of my kids will have years and years of electronic stimulation and as I write this blog, my three-year-old will be three for only 2 more days.  I want to treasure as much of this precious time as possible, even if it means ignoring emails and Twitter for a time.

That’s it for now, I hope you are having a good start to 2013!  Now I need to get in my car and go to a meeting…..