Take the Family Trotting with Chad the Dad’s Advice

This month Chad discusses how to get your kids to cooperate during the Thanksgiving season for that painfully sought-after family photo or that calm morning of relaxed 5k running.

By Chad Harris

Nov 2018

Chad the Dad, Chad Harris
Photo by Brandon Alms

How do I keep my kids engaged while shooting fall family photos? 

Surprisingly, family photos are a kid’s worst nightmare. Dress up. Stand still. Smile. Repeat in another outfit. It is up to you to make it interesting. When my family gears up for a round of fall photography, we tell the kids that we’re going to a forbidden location. Heck, we may even tell the kids we’re trespassing to keep them on edge and not throwing fits. “See any police, son? No? Let’s have a smile of relief!”—this exchange allows the photographer to capture a pure, unmanufactured expression of happiness. The kids are on their best behavior, too, because they know that at any moment the 5-0 could show up and throw them in the paddy wagon, which allows the session to go fast because the children know that we have to get in, get some good shots and get the heck out of there before we’re busted. Win-win-win-win. 

Should I take my kids on the Turkey Trot? 

Spending time with the littles is always great during the holidays, especially if you can get some outside exercise in November. The Turkey Trot is a fantastic place to meet up with friends and get the skinny on what you’ve missed since last time you tried to complete a 5K before giving thanks and eating all day. The only drawback is waking up early on a day off, but the kids will already be awake—might as well do something productive! 

Here are some tips to keep the kids entertained:

  • Tell them frozen turkeys are hidden on the streets, and, if they find one, they can take it home.
  • Stand out from the crowd wearing turkey gear by going as another food you’re about to eat, say cranberry sauce, a thermometer or the sleepy uncle who falls asleep on the La-Z-Boy.
  • It’s technically a “trot,” so encourage the kids to prance. Show them how first. 
  • Load the smallest of the littles into a jogging stroller with a turkey leg to chew on.

Happy Trotting!



Chad (the Dad) is a husband, father and comic who realizes it takes a village to raise a child, yet parents can’t dump their kids in the village square where the village idiot becomes a bad influence. Chad maintains that you should raise your own damn kids to make the world a better place—have fun, but don’t mess it up for the rest of us. Send your questions to him at

Disclaimer: C(TD) is not a parenting expert, holds no relevant degrees and claims not to provide helpful advice.