Like a fine wine, some people only get better with age. Part of it has to do with genetics, but a large portion depends on your lifestyle. And a perfect example of looking better and better with time is Dr. Alec Couros, a professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina in Canada.

He took photos of himself and his daughter sitting on the couch together with laptops since 2007, and while his daughter has grown up, her transformation wasn’t the only one that was impressive. It would be no stretch of the imagination to say that Dr. Couros looks better as the years go by. Not only does it look like he doesn’t age, in fact, at 48 years old, he looks much younger, more energetic, more full of life, and more handsome than before.

In an exclusive and in-depth interview, Dr. Couros talked to Bored Panda about the photos with his daughter, how he changed his life, as well as about the foundation of a healthy relationship between parents and children. Read on for the full interview, as well as the professor’s challenge for all of you Bored Pandas out there.

More info: couros.ca | Twitter | Instagram

2007

Image credits: courosa

2014

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2019

Image credits: courosa

The professor, who specializes in social networks and social media at the University of Regina, has a very large family. He revealed to Bored Panda that he has 4 children, all between 5 and 15 years old. (The writer of this article is the oldest of 4 siblings, so it’s a pleasant coincidence.) According to Dr. Couros, his kids are already “well-immersed in a society full of technology that is much different from the one many of us grew up in.”

“Where these roles as a parent and as a researcher overlap, I’ve dedicated the last decade or so finding ways to demonstrate how technology can be used as a positive force in our world. A simple series of photos like the one I shared tends to resonate with people at multiple levels; whether it’s the passing of time or the changing relationships we have with our children, these are important themes to give us pause in our busy lives. We sometimes just need a prompt that allows us to connect and reflect with others in our collective human experience.”

Image credits: courosa

“The reaction to this Reddit post was obviously larger and broader than what I expected. I’m happy to see how (mostly) positively the message was taken up. I’m a big fan of the Reddit community, and it didn’t disappoint,” the professor said. His post got more than 15,400 upvotes on Reddit in 24 hours.

Image credits: courosa

Dr. Couros went on to explain what changed between 2007 and 2019 to have made such a difference in how he looks. The changes have everything to do with more exercise, proper nutrition, and minimizing stress.

“I’ll attribute some of this perception to better angles and posture in the later photos,” the professor jokes. “But I’ve also made some definite changes in my lifestyle. I hit the gym 4-7 times a week (depending on how busy I am), and I eat much better than I used to: way fewer carbs and more healthy fats and protein. And, I’ve really tried to reduce my stress levels. It’s easy to binge eat when we’re stressed, and that was certainly an ongoing problem for me.”

Image credits: courosa

“My kids need me, and I need them. I have to be around for them as long as I possibly can,” the father-of-four bared his heart in the interview. “While I sometimes feel guilty when I have to take off to the gym for a couple of hours, I know that I’m potentially adding years to the end of my life where I can better enjoy experiencing them grow up into the adult versions of the amazing individuals that they already have proven to be.”

Image credits: courosa

Some people struggle with creating a warm, healthy relationship with their children or their parents. Luckily for all of us, Dr. Couros had some advice about parenting that he wanted to share with Bored Panda’s readers. According to him, connection is the foundation.

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“As part of my job, I am fortunate enough to talk to groups of parents across the globe to discuss the ins and outs of raising parents in the digital age. Connection is the term I use over and over. Connection can be about playing with our children, laughing with them, or enjoying time over a good meal.”

Image credits: courosa

The professor continued: “It can be connecting to them while helping them do their homework. It can be connecting with them online through whatever the current app they’re using happens to be. It can be connecting with them by posting a photo with them like I just did. It can be connecting with them in the times that they feel sad, angry, or disappointed.”

Image credits: courosa

“But always, it’s about keeping those connections strong — knowing what’s happening in their lives (both online and offline) and having a willingness to be part of their world in the ways they’d like you and allow you to be.”

Image credits: courosa

Dr. Couros said that he has a challenge for all of you Readers. Are you ready? Here we go. “As a challenge to readers, I’d love you to think about ways that you can document the growth of your children (or loved ones) and the evolution of your relationships.”

“As an example, over the years, I’ve taken photos of my children on a familiar red bench close to our family home. Take a look at the photo and you will see the remarkable and wonderful changes that happen over the years. These changes can be seen as triumphs and they represent the essence of what life is all about.”

Here’s how Dr. Couros’ family changed over time

Image credits: courosa

“Now, how will you take on such a challenge in your lives? Think about it, start today, and you will be forever grateful,” Dr. Couros challenged you, dear Readers, to document how you and your loved ones evolve over time. Sounds wonderful. I’m game. Are you?

Internet users were wowed by the professor’s youthful and energetic appearance