The Outstanding Ohioans show, Episode 56-Interview with Heather Shumaker, author of “It’s OK To Go Up The Slide”


This show brings the audience great things Ohioans are doing to make their communities, the state, the region, and the world a better place as entrepreneurs, leaders, historical and popular culture figures.

For episode 56, I had the pleasure of speaking with Heather Shumaker, author of It’s OK to Go UP the Slide… Renegade Rules for Raising Confident and Creative Kids It’s OK NOT to Share… and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids

To connect with the Outstanding Ohioans show, here are a few ways:

The two books that Heather Shumaker has written provide great insights and ideas on how to raise children to be responsible, creative human beings with the ability to communicate.  Many of her thoughts counter the current culture of overprotective parents & practices within the school system.

Here were the topics we discussed in our conversation:

  • growing up in Columbus, Ohio
  • the background of her mother and father, who both recently retired as educators
  • attending the School for Young Children, founded in 1969 in Columbus
  • why she structured specific tools & ideas in her books that parents could use
  • her two central parenting themes
  • street smarts and stranger danger
  • sharing
  • calendars & clocks
  • homework
  • recess
  • reading
  • conflict resolution
  • reading for pleasure vs. forced reading
  • technology temptation
  • kid evaluation/resolution vs. adult intervention
  • fairness & justice
  • establishing boundaries

Listeners can connect with Heather in the following ways:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to the show.  Please leave a review on ITunes or Stitcher, or email me at  Please refer any recommended future guests to my email.


Legacy Living-Sawyer’s Bedtime Routine

I am participating in this routine every chance I get, because I know one day he’ll outgrow it.  It’s Sawyer’s bedtime routine.

From the time they were born, Jen and I have actively read, sang, and talked to the boys when they are getting ready for bed.  We believe the benefits are tremendous, and will foster a deep appreciation for reading and learning.

What I enjoy most is when the boys curl up on my lap and follow along.  It’s one of the greatest rewards I get as a father.

I am sadly aware that one day, they won’t want to do this anymore.  I’ll have my memories, and this blog post.

Sawyer’s routine goes like this:

  • I finally corral him into his room to get ready for bed.  Sawyer rarely goes to bed willingly, but he will go into his room to read.
  • He’ll say, “Let’s read a book, daddy.”
  • We’ll negotiate on the number of books we’ll read.  It’s based on length of the books he wants to read, our energy level at the time, and how late it is.  The average is two.
  • Sawyer says, “Sit in the chair, daddy.”  I sit in the easy chair, and Sawyer pops out the leg rest so we can stretch out.
  • Sawyer then grabs his blanket from his bed and lays it across my lap.  He climbs up, grabs his book(s), and snuggles into a position he wants.
  • After we read the books, he either gets tucked into bed, or he demands that I stay in the chair so we can fall asleep together.  “Sleep here, daddy.”
  • If we sleep together on the chair, I wake up at some point, and put him into bed.

We have such a mutual connection when this happens.  While it won’t last forever, I am confident I am sowing the seeds for a strong future relationship.  Sawyer knows I support him and love him.

Enjoy your moments that may not last forever.  Thank you for reading and have a great day.


Check out my podcast Outstanding Ohioans.

Looking for a speaker who will challenge your culture and make you think?  Click here for more information.

Check out my Amazon Author page.

My speech to our student management staff on personal development


Ron’s Leadership/Personal Development Resources/Notes


If you believe it, you can achieve it.


In customer service, it is important to realize patrons don’t know/understand our terminology.  We must interpret, ask questions, create links, and ask for affirmation.


You will be the same person five years from now that you are today, except for the people in your life and what you learn.


Expectations of children, why not adults?


  • If reading is important for children, it is important for you!
  • You are the average of the Five People you associate with the most.  Are you getting value in these relationships?


Utilize the University On Wheels, Exercising Your Body and Mind.


What’s on your Twitter feed?  Best way to filter your information


John Wooden Pyramid of Success


Next play…but reflect later for improvement


Starting is half-finished


Fail forward


Parkinson’s law


Don’t worry about what to do in the next 3 days, get to work for the next 15 minutes


30 day habits


Andy Andrews Seven Decisions


  • The Buck Stops Here
  • I will seek wisdom
  • I am a person of action
  • I have a decided heart
  • Today, I will choose to be happy
  • I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit
  • I will persist without exception


Find someone who is doing what you want to do, and develop a relationship with them.  Search for podcasts, YouTube subscriptions


Don’t want to purchase books, use your free library card.


One resource will lead you to another, which leads you to another in an endless web of resources, learning, and skill acquisition.


Here are some resources I believe will aid tremendously in your personal development::


Ryan has mastered the delay game……

During his legendary coaching career, Dean Smith of North Carolina developed and mastered the Four-Corner Offense, a delay game designed to protect a lead late in the game.

By spreading the floor and developing skilled ball handlers, defensive teams were forced to chase the ball.  North Carolina was able to draw fouls or get dribble penetration for layups.  They often were able to build on the lead they had when they started the Four Corners.

In high school, Triway was our opponent that had mastered this offense, coached by legendary coach Randy Montgomery.  We could never beat Triway, because they were good enough to go into this offense just leading by a couple of points and maintain or build on their lead.  His players were exceptional at handling the ball and making free throws down the stretch.

Recently, Ryan has developed his “delay game routine” during bedtime.  He doesn’t want to get out of the bathtub…. Then he brushes his teeth for two minutes… Then he goes to the bathroom… Then he wants to play with his toys..  Then he wants to read 4 books….then he wants a drink….a snack….say two things we are each thankful for….then prayers….and the bathroom again….take something downstairs….bring something from downstairs….

The thing is….these are all things we have encouraged…..What are the alternatives?

  • he is a dirty, smelly kid
  • smelly breath and filthy teeth
  • wet the bed
  • no imagination, plays video games
  • no desire to learn through reading
  • wakes up in the middle of the night because he is thirsty/hungry
  • has no sense of gratitude or appreciation
  • doesn’t think of others
  • takes out clutter
  • bring up a comfort item

When I look at this list in this way, do you think I mind the delay game in the grand scheme of things.  Absolutely not!  I never wake up feeling angry that I had the opportunity to spend extra time with him.  These delay game items are teaching him values and the thrill of learning.  These are foundation pieces.

I would love to hear about your children’s “delay games”.  Have a great day!


Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.



Mother’s Day Road Trip 2013

photo (19)

Doesn’t this look easy?!

Road Trip!  What do you immediately think about hearing those words?  Do you remember a crazy trip that you don’t know how you survived?  Did your car breakdown?  Did you have a car accident?

These days, my memories involved two young boys and the challenges they bring.  I don’t blame them, they don’t like sitting in a car seat for four hours.  We were making the journey from Oxford, Ohio to Litchfield, OH

The day started out great, with Sawyer and Ryan playing together in the morning.  I went to work, which was very emotional because I was saying to goodbye to a dozen Miami University student staff who were graduating that weekend.  You work with these kids for 2-4 years, they become a big part of your work life and you get to see them develop on bridge from high school to young adulthood.  I hope they go on to accomplish great things in the world.

We left Friday afternoon on Mother’s Day weekend.  Ryan (2.5 years old) is not too bad on the road at this point.  He will sit in his car seat “reading” (feel good about this), pointing out every big rig and farm tractor he sees (funny, amazing, constant chatter, good), or watching a movie (it keeps him quiet for a long time, don’t like him watching this much TV though).

Sawyer (8 months old) slept about half the trip, which was great.  He rarely cried and sat some of the trip looking out the window.  Our restroom/eating/diaper changing break was pretty uneventful.  The toughest part of was listening to the Cleveland Indians lose, however, they are a 18-4 streak as of this writing…..

We rolled into Litchfield tired and ready for bed.

That Saturday was packed with activity.  Jen and I had separate friend plans, so we divided and conquered.  We went to visit my grandmother, who is in her nineties and had a tough fall earlier that week, breaking her wrist and getting banging up.  On our way to her house, our “check engine” light came on.  We went in the house, dropped the boys off, and then I took the car to Auto Zone to get checked out.  I was told it would be fine by putting in some fuel injector cleaner, but the light stayed on.

After a nice visit with Grandma…….Car re-shuffle…..Jen took my dad’s car, dad took my van, I took his van.  Jen took Sawyer to the Eastside of Cleveland for a baby shower for her friend Derek McDowell and to spend the night with her mother.  Ryan and I went back to my parents for his naptime.

While Ryan took his nap, I went to the Buckeye Library to catch up on some email (parents don’t have the internet).  I had the pleasure of running into Amanda Cook Hudak, a former classmate from high school.  We had a nice chat and got to catch up on our families.  It was great to see her.  Afterwards, I went by the Buckeye High School baseball field and had the chance to talk to Randy Haury, my old basketball coach.

Ryan and I went next door to a birthday party for my friend Bob Dieter’s FOUR kids (two sets of twins).  There were six kids (including Ryan) who were running around having a great time.  It was so neat to see!

On Sunday morning, we went to morning breakfast with my dad’s side of the family.  Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins were all there.  The newest addition were two-month old twin girls.  It was great to see them for the first time.

To cap off the visit, there was a surprise 80th birthday party for my grandpap, with about 30 family members in attendance.  How everyone kept this a secret so he was genuinely surprised is beyond me, but kodos to the tight lips.

My grandpap is a remarkable man.  He is one of the smartest, toughest, most caring men I have ever known.  He can fix about anything, is so smart, and lives his life with integrity and purpose.  He has been a role model throughout my life and I feel so thankful that my boys get to experience this as well.

Oh….the trip home.  It did not badly, except for the 80 miles of Sawyer crying.   His screeches really amped my stress level and I had to tune it out and concentrate on the driving.  Jen made great efforts to keep him calm, but he just was not happy.  Big picture, we made in back safe and sound.

Hope your mother’s day went well, and if you have any tips for keeping young children entertained for long car rides, I would love to hear it.  Thanks for reading.



car rides

80th birthday party