There are little pieces of parenting ‘gold’ surrounding us, all the time, I reckon.

We often hear that licenses and accreditation’s are issued for nearly every task that we take on in society with the exception of being a mum or a dad. There is no official guide book, so capturing a good idea when you see one is important. Yesterday, I was catching up with Ted just briefly. Ted does the design work for things like my recent e-book and he was kindly doing a couple of revisions for an upcoming Dads and Daughters night.

I have always admired the way that Ted is ‘dad’ to his two boys. There are the headline moments he has crafted – a while back he created an adventure with his oldest son, who is in senior primary school now. They drove from Melbourne to Ted’s home town of Perth. Ted’s son was the navigator and helped with the planning – those sorts of journeys forge in the memory for nothing short of a lifetime. I recommend to all parents, planning and creating big memories for your kids.

The little things matter too and yesterday, I saw one such moment that could be useful to you if you have kids that enjoy a bit (or more than a bit) of time on a PS3, PS2, X-Box, Wii or any other game platform your kids have. We’ve finished that bit of work out in Ted’s office in the back yard and we walk back through the house… Sunday morning, and his youngest is up, in his pyjamas and asks if he can have a go at a game on the Play Station 3.

What Ted does next is simple yet really, really smart.

“Sure, you can go on it” says Ted, “I am starting your time now.”

And with that, Ted walks over to the oven, sets an hour on the timer.

Simple. Clever. Most ovens now have a timer that beeps. Ted’s son knew the ground rules… he asked if he could play on the console. He knew how much time he had.

If there was an instruction manual for parenting, I’d hope that Ted’s idea is in there in the ‘electronic games’ section.

What ideas do you have? What smart parenting have you witnessed your friends carrying out – even really simple things? Feel free to write your comments and ideas in the section below.

Thanks for taking the Time & Space to read this.

Bill Jennings

P.S. Ted’s website is