Army Broadcast Journalist/Combat Cameraman & Urban Pop Artist
Age & Name of your other daughter?
Isadora Jade Young, age 2.5
Avianna Pearl Young, age 14 months
Primary Reason for Participating in DLG:
I wanted to participate in the Daddy’s Little Girl Health Challenge because I think it’s important for our daughters to be active and experience things in person. We keep our daughters very active, and involved in social activities. We keep TV & Device time to a minimum to inspire their imaginations and encourage physical play.
In my line of work physical fitness and eating right is paramount and I hope to pass on healthy habits to my daughters.
What other things do you and your daughters enjoy doing together?
Since I’m a musician as well, my daughters love dancing in the “music room,” sometimes we’ll make our own music with maracas, tambourines and a cajon. Isadora loves to read books, we try to read at least one new book each day, but she has her favorites and a strong opinion. Avianna, even though she can only pronouce a few words, LOVES to sing her heart out in gibberish.
What resources allow you to spend so much active time with your daughters?
The main thing that allows me to spend so much time with my daughters is having a fairly flexible work schedule. I work as a videographer in the press office for the New Jersey National Guard and some assignments start later in the day or at night and it allows me to spend more time with the girls occasionally during the day. My job also gives us every other Friday off since we are scheduled 9 hour days. Every normal workday I spend time with them when I get home from work while my wife makes dinner, and on weekends when I’m not working or performing with my band we try to make sure that we’re maximizing our time with them. Where we live in Bucks County, PA there are always family activities going on and a very active community of working parents. By far the best resource I have is my wife, she is a stay-at-home mother that does not believe in letting a television babysit our kids…I wholeheartedly agree and the dishes can wait.
What activities are the most fun for you?
I love dancing and singing with them, they both show the most amount of joy when they’re singing and dancing with me in the “music room.” Story time is definitely our all around favorite time of the day, I love reading to them and often Isadora tries to read to me. We make up little games that has us crawling around the house pretending to be animals or searching for colors or shapes.
How do you balance your daughter’s health and education needs.
My wife and I found that we are both experiential learners, so we read to them and then explore our world to find the things we learned about. We take them places to experience what they’ve read and we try to find opportunities to add in additional teaching points.They’re both in bed by 8pm and every night we have a call and response conversation with them about what we did that day, what we saw, where we went, and what we liked about it so we can reflect. There are no silly questions in our house and Isadora’s favorite question is “Why Daddy.” We learned colors from vegetables and fruits (i.e., red peppers, green lettuce, “crunchy crunchy orange carrots”, etc) We always pack healthy snacks/lunches when we take them places to try our best to avoid fast foods and junk…occasionally we give in, more-so for special treats like soft serve ice cream. My wife buys organic and healthy foods for their lunch and snack time and even then everything is in moderation.