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Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law




This is about fathers' rights law, and protecting the best interests of your children. It provides information, news and comments on laws, cases and strategies for life as a single father and winning your custody, access or child support case.

Morning Inspection

I am now the morning parent for our two beamish boys, ages 8 and 12.  If your house is anything like mine, no matter how early you wake up, or how organized you are the night before, there is a rush at the last minute to organize book bags, musical instruments, shoes, glasses, lunches and other things.   Several times, we have left things at home that had to be ferried to school later.

I might have stumbled upon a system that works.  Ten minutes before we leave, I call an “Inspection”.  The boys stand in formation at attention.  I go through the checklist: Teeth brushed?  Check.  Hair combed?  Check.  Book bags packed?  Check.  And so on.

The penalty for missing something is 5 pushups.  Get down and count them out, mister.

They can also get pushup credits for doing something extra.  The first day one of the boys made his bed.  The next day they were fighting over who was going to make the beds.  One of them gave his brother five of his pushup credits.  So I gave him five more for being so generous.

This is working out well so far.  Both boys completed inspection perfectly this morning.  We’ll see how long it lasts.  Let me know in the comments if you try it and what success you have.


4 Responses to “Morning Inspection”

  1. David Says:

    As a retired Marine and a single Father of an amazing 4 year old girl, I like the concept of a final inspection prior to departure. More for me than for her.

    I also like the use of a simple, easy, and ‘creditable’ penalty system.

    My only concern would be attaching a negative affiliation with something positive – exercise.

    My Daughter and I run, swim, climb, and exercise together (yes, even push ups) as a fun part of our daily routine.

    It might be interesting to note, Marine Enlisted Recruits, while enduring the challenges of Boot Camp are often penalized by being made to do push-ups or other forms of physical exercise.

    By contrast, Marine Officer Candidates, who endure a much more physically rigorous indoctrination, are not penalized with physical exercise. They are given ‘chits’ – small pieces of paper noting their infractions. If they receive too many, they are dropped from the program and do not receive their commission as officers.

    Not surprisingly, based upon their earliest indoctrination to physical fitness, a higher percentage of officers embrace and enjoy physical fitness throughout their life as opposed to enlisted Marines who often retain at least some negative association with physical fitness.

    Moreover, Marines don’t find push-ups nearly as harsh a penalty as being made to stand at attention (no movement) for extended periods of time or restrictions of their leave and liberty (free time).

    As such, I tend to penalize my daughter with time-outs (yes, she is allowed to move) or restricting her already limited time watching her DVDs. It seems to be working at this age but we’ll see what happens as she grows up.

    I welcome you thoughts and feedback from others.

  2. James J. Gross Says:


    Good comment. My boys are in Tae Kwon Do and they are supposed to do a certain number of pushups every day for that anyway, so this takes care of some of them. No penalty pushups lately however because they have been passing inspections.

  3. J. Smith Says:

    As a mom reading this my first thought was, this is such a father thing to do. My second thought was, thank goodness these children have their father’s in their lives. I never would have thought of this but I think it is a wonderful idea and I appreciate the great idea.

  4. James J. Gross Says:

    J. Smith: You’re right, it is Dad’s thing to do, but Mom likes it, too. It makes her life easier.

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