Written by Jason as a part of the We’re Godfathers Too series
Inevitably, I’m going to be a Dad one day, so it’s helpful getting lots of practice now. I’m the Art Director at Step2 and we have dozens of mini models scampering in and out of our studio every month for product photo shoots. Some kids are cranky, several little ones really love being in front of the camera, others are afraid of the flashing lights and a couple won’t leave mom or dad’s side. And there are a few that are daredevils! Whatever the case, we always have to be on alert to ensure their safety.
I’m getting married this October 2015. My fiancée, Lynsey and I have a little 16-month-old nephew (and godson) named Dominic. While mom, dad, grandma and grandpa see him everyday and know his abilities and limitations, we’re never quite sure what new tricks he’s picked up from previous weeks. His new skill is climbing everything and giving me a panic attack when I’m around. I seem to be the most worried when he’s scaling his climber like King Kong. I know kids need to fall a few times in order to learn, but being a parent means keeping your head on a swivel 24/7! During our toy photo shoots, we only have to be attentive for the 30-60 minutes while the kids are in the studio….apparently, I still have a lot to learn.
Step2 is headquartered in Northeast Ohio, and obviously it’s basketball playoff time. Dominic loves watching the Cleveland Cavaliers with us. Even in the car or stroller he points out every basketball hoop in the neighborhood. “BALL! BALL! BOOM!” His dad had to chase him down the other day as Dominic was waddling furiously to the hoop across the street. Yikes!
But there’s no better dad practice than working with kids at your job and having a thrill seeking nephew/godson. I’ll be a good dad one day, and by then I’ll be really good at swindling kids for smiles and laughs without having to give them sugary treats!
Jason is the Art Director at Step2. He’s a science & astronomy nerd and thinks digital currency is inevitable. He has a slight Beatles-like obsession with the band FOALS and thinks Elon Musk is too smart to be fully human.
Every year on April 10, we celebrate the bond we share with our brothers and sisters. We’ve grown up with them, fought with them, laughed with them and cried with them. Siblings share many unforgettable memories with each other. To celebrate the bond your little ones have, here are four great activities for National Siblings Day:
- Siblings picnic: Spring is here, so your kiddos can enjoy some fresh air and hang out in the backyard. Set up a picnic for them to enjoy a snack or lunchtime in the bright sunshine.
- Encouraging kind words: Ask your youngsters to say three things they love about their brother(s) and/or sister(s). These kind words will make your little ones smile and enjoy this blissful day together.
- The sharing game: Motivate your tots and preschoolers to share their favorite toys with each other on this special day. For each toy your kids share with their siblings, they’ll receive a star sticker on a score board. Let them know if they get a certain amount of stars, you’ll reward them with a special treat!
- Get artsy: Suggest that your mini Picassos draw or paint pictures of one another to show their love. After their done with their artistic creations, they can hang their masterpieces of their brother(s) and/or sister(s) in their room or in the playroom for all to see!
How are you and your family celebrating this special day?
Written by Chris as a part of the We’re Dads Too series
Back in August 2014, a tragic event occurred that had a profound impact on my family, particularly my wife. My sister-in-law who lived in Northeast Ohio passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. As we were grieving the loss of a loved one, we were also preparing to send my son Chris on a five country “technology detox” service program where his mission would be to help people using his hands and heart rather than a keyboard and mouse. Chris had been asked to take a year off from college as the result of his gaming addiction.
As we underwent this difficult time in our lives, I really wanted to bring my wife back to Ohio, where she grew up, so she could be closer to her family. By coincidence, I received a phone call in September 2014 asking if I was interested in interviewing for the President and CEO position at Step2 in Streetsboro, Ohio. I decided to look into the company, spoke to a number of employees and interviewed with what seemed like a hundred people over a span of four months.
During the interviewing process, I fell in love with the culture and potential I saw at Step2. This company is like a family and it’s our goal to bring families together to play, laugh and enjoy childhood. Driving more social engagement and interaction between parents and kids is important to me. This hits home personally as I know I sometimes lose my son’s attention. However, I have faith my son will learn from his service program and reach his potential, just like I will learn and grow with the employees of Step2 and what it means to them to serve excellent products and services to parents and children.
My family and team members at Step2 motivate me each day to have a positive impact on families across the globe and I’m excited for the journey ahead.
Chris is the CEO and President at Step2. His most important roles also include being a husband and loving father of two. He enjoys spending time with his family and traveling. Chris is a big sports fan and active in community service.