Tag Archives: Guidance

Yoga Dad Turns Cancer To A Positive

Yoga dad Dennis Ingui has a story to tell that all you dudes need to hear.

Now, I don’t normally turn over the precious white space here at A Dude’s Guide very often, much less three times in less than a week, but this is a special case. See, a friend of mine told me about Dennis and, once she did, I knew I’d have to have him share his story here with all of you. It’s a long story, so I’m going to have a jump that I want you to follow and I think you will.

This yoga dad is more than a health nut, more than a cancer survivor, more than a business man. Although he’d probably fight against anyone telling him this, he’s a bit of an inspiration. But let’s hear the story from Dennis’ mouth instead of mine.

Despite completely changing my life starting with a yoga practice at the age of 48, I wouldn’t call it a mid-life crisis.  

My mid-life turnaround was brought about after a stunning diagnosis of prostate cancer and surgery. What began as a journey of recovery and self-discovery has grown into a new business venture, mentorship for other budding entrepreneurs and a path toward philanthropy, touching the lives of children and adults across the globe.

Born and raised in the Bronx, I’ve always been athletic and physically fit. Which meant I was thrown completely off guard after a cautionary check up with my urologist showed a slightly rising PSA test. I will never forget the moment I received a call from the doctor on my way to the airport for a business trip. Immediately, I turned the car around and my wife and I went straight to the doctor. Within a few weeks, I was scheduled for surgery.

Continue reading Yoga Dad Turns Cancer To A Positive

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Freaky Friday: WebMD Baby App

by Richard

Okay, sure, you’ve got The Dude’s Guide to provide the light you need to find your way out of the darkness of ignorance about family life and leading a humor-free existence. But sometimes you need help a bit more immediate or focused to just what problems you’re having that day.

Thanks to a recent article in the New York Times, I might have something to recommend to you. It looks like there’s help. You can find a supplement to The Dude’s Guide in the form of the WebMD Baby app for Apple’s iPad Touch, iPhone and iPad.

The newest baby app of note on the market, though, WebMD Baby, is free, and it is arguably more practical and useful than many of the others combined.

WebMD Baby is available only on Apple devices, at least until the company releases an Android version later this year. It provides a strong complement to — if not a total replacement for — Baby Connect ($5 on Android andApple), the best mobile assistant for new parents.

Unlike Baby Connect, whose strengths and weaknesses I’ll detail in a moment, WebMD Baby comes packed with information. The app takes advantage of its parent company’s trove of medically related content to offer parents guidance on what to expect from their child’s physical and emotional development, as well as health-related counsel when things go wrong.

At the core of the WebMD Baby app are WebMD’s informative articles and videos: more than 400 articles, 600 tips and 70 videos. Dudes, that’s a lot of information. Sure it’s probably not as funny as paging through the Guide, but it might be of help to you and the family.

The app also presents daily and weekly packages of information aimed at helping parents understand a child’s development during the first year. Last week, the daily tip for a parent with a 3-week-old baby, for instance, offered details about what to expect at a one-month doctor’s visit. (There are packages for the child’s second year, as well, but at longer intervals.)

So, yeah. This looks like something you’re going to want to have around the house. If you’re an Android user, fret not. WebMD says it’s working for an Android-specific version of the app to be released soon. For varying definitions of soon.

Give this a shot. But when you want your information served with a generous helping of snark and humor, you know where you need to go.

It’s here, dudes. It’s here. Of course that’s what I meant. Here. The Dude’s Guide.

Sheesh.

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Freaky Friday: Video Games Equal Bad Grades

by Richard

In what is sure to go down as the most infamous post ever posted here at A Dude’s Guide (at least among a certain subsection of little dudes that consists of boys named George of the Jungle, Zippy the Monkey Boy and Speed Racer), some researchers have found that just having a video game system will reduce academic development in some little dudes and dudettes.

Commence the screams of denial and agony from the peanut gallery.

Okay, that’s been enough wailing and gnashing of teeth for now. Somebody get a bouncer back there to take care of the noise.

Ah, that’s better.

So, let’s get on with the bad news.

Psychological scientists Robert Weis and Brittany C. Cerankosky of Denison University conducted a study examining short-term effects of video-game ownership on academic development in young boys. Families with boys between the ages of 6 to 9 were recruited for this study. The families did not own video-game systems, but the parents had been considering buying one for their kids. The children completed intelligence tests as well as reading and writing assessments. In addition, the boys’ parents and teachers filled out questionnaires relating to their behavior at home and at school. Half of the families were selected to receive a video-game system (along with three, age-appropriate video games) immediately, while the remaining families were promised a video-game system four months later, at the end of the experiment. Over the course of the four months, the parents recorded their children’s activities from the end of the school day until bedtime. At the four-month time point, the children repeated the reading and writing assessments and parents and teachers again completed the behavioral questionnaires.

All of which sounds perfectly reasonable so far. But that’s just the calm before the raging hurricane.

The results of this study showed that the boys who received the video-game system immediately spent more time playing video games and less time engaged in after-school academic activities than boys who received the video-game system at the end of the experiment. Furthermore, the boys who received the video-game system at the beginning of the study had significantly lower reading and writing scores four months later compared with the boys receiving the video-game system later on. Although there were no differences in parent-reported behavioral problems between the two groups of kids, the boys who received the video-game system immediately had greater teacher-reported learning problems.

Okay, that does sound really bad. Now, not to defend video games, because, FSM knows, I’ve had more than enough of those darned things. I mean, when are they going to bring back challenging games like Pong or Pac-Man?

Still, I think there might be a problem with the methodology as applied to the real world. As I read this, it seems as if these kids are having unlimited access to the game systems. Nowhere does it say that the parents are putting any restrictions on time played or when the system can be played. That, I think, is an important omission.

Just for the record, we do have a couple of video game systems. And, yes, the little dudes are allowed to play on them. But we have restrictions on when and for how long they can play. Because I’m normally in charge of enforcing these edicts, they do get enforced. Mostly because video games start to annoy me when they’re played for a while. Then I exercise my parental privilege and just tell them to shut it off so I can listen to music. This study? Not so much.

One last big block of stolen borrowed text.

Further analysis revealed that the time spent playing video games may link the relationship between owning a video-game system and reading and writing scores. These findings suggest that video games may be displacing after-school academic activities and may impede reading and writing development in young boys. The authors note that when children have problems with language at this young age, they tend to have a tougher time acquiring advanced reading and writing skills later on. They conclude, “Altogether, our findings suggest that video-game ownership may impair academic achievement for some boys in a manner that has real-world significance.”

Maybe I’m just trying to justify my laxness in allowing them to have game systems, but I think until they find some way to factor in parental guidance to this, it’s not really going to get as much traction as it might otherwise.

That said, however, I know I’m going to be cutting down further on how much the little dudes are allowed to play these game systems during the week.

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