• Dads Competitive Sports and God

    Competitive sports, extracurricular activities and programs for kids are popular in schools and homes. Parents invest a lot of time and money in getting their kids to practice and games or performance events. But is there a danger to all of this that can damage or destroy family relationships?

    My guest is National Chess Master and owner of Premier Chess who manages programs for students of all ages and levels, Evan Rabin.

    If you would like to connect with Evan Rabin or learn more about the educational programs at Premier Chess, visit: https://premierchess.com/

    Email: evan@premierchess.com

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcription - Dads Competitive Sports and God


    Competitive sports and extracurricular activities and programs for kids are popular in schools and homes.

    Parents invest a lot of time and money in getting their kids to practice in games or performance events.

    But is there a danger to all of this that can damage or destroy family relationships?

    Find out in just a moment.

    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere,

    to take great pride in their role and a challenge society to understand how important fathers are to the stability and culture of their family's environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone, thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is National Chess Master and owner of Premier Chess, who manages programs for students of all ages and levels.

    Evan Rabin.

    Evan, thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    Yeah, thank you so much for being here. It's my pleasure.

    Evan, I am curious, what is your favorite dad joke?

    Why didn't the chicken cross the road?

    Oh, I know I've never heard this one before.

    What was the answer?

    Because he was chicken.

    I love that one.

    Yeah, it's a good one.

    Well, Evan, let's start with your story behind how you became a National Chess Master

    and now you're running student programs. How did this happen?

    It's a good, very good question.

    So I first started playing chess when I was very young.

    I was seven years old.

    My brother and my dad taught me how to move the pieces.

    And I quickly started playing the program at my school, the Churchill School.

    And I pretty much started playing very actively since then.

    I actually played the Nationals two months after I learned how to move the pieces,

    basically, and just kept going with it when I was 20.

    I made National Master.

    And when I was 12, I actually started teaching chess off off and on.

    And seven years ago now in 2017, I started Premier Chess.

    And now we have 65 coaches.

    We run programs in 80 schools, a bunch of companies like Google and City Group.

    And we also do a lot of camps, tournaments, private lessons, etc.

    All over the country.

    That's amazing.

    What was your goal behind starting Premier Chess?

    Pretty much the biggest thing was to follow my passion.

    Before that, I did enterprise sales at Oracle and Rapid Seven.

    It was fun. I enjoyed it.

    I made pretty good money doing it.

    But at the end of the day, I didn't really to CIOs that much.

    And I felt kind of bad in the way, almost, that I would just...

    Well, they felt bad, but it's just probably like I was, you know, thinking a little bit, almost.

    Where, you know, I was selling something that I didn't really know about.

    You know, until this day, I don't really know exactly what an engineered system is.

    But, you know, that's what I was selling at the time.

    And basically, I said, you know, why don't I sell my true passion of Chess?

    So, that's what I'm doing.

    And, you know, it's just a lot more relatable.

    And, you know, I'm an expert in the field.

    So, it's great to do what I love and sell what I love.

    Is it ever more than just being about Chess?

    Is there something else besides the game that you are offering?


    So, when we're teaching Chess, we're also teaching business and life lessons through the game.

    So, very often, actually, I'll meet people networking and they'll say,

    "Great to meet you. You know, we'll definitely keep you in mind."

    You know, here, Chess players looking for, you know, a coach.

    But, I always say that our target market is actually not Chess players.

    You know, for the most part, people who are more serious about Chess, you know,

    they actually have the coaching that they need or want.

    But, really, we're more interested actually talking to the schools and companies,

    other organizations that want to learn things like

    critical thinking, healthy competition at the law firm.

    We teach about judgment training, you know, on the one hand, you know.


    Law in and out, you know, basically, but when you're on trial or a deadline,

    you need to take everything you know and put it into basically a few minutes of work sometimes.

    And it's the same thing in Chess, of course.

    I tell students all the time, even if it's an opening or a middle game or an end game,

    that you've looked at a billion times in theory, you still need to make sure you're spending time at the board

    and making sure that you're, you know, doing things correctly.

    So sometimes I'll teach you an opening, for instance, and then I'll say, "Oh, let's review it."

    But then I'll purposely make a slightly different move, sort of secretly.

    And they'll just kind of blindly play the move I taught.

    And I say, "But didn't you realize that I actually did something a little different?"

    And I'm like, "Oh, no, because they were just so rushing to play, you know, exactly what I taught them."

    And I was really just testing to see like, "Oh, are you actually going to think on your feet

    and realize that I did something slightly different?"

    Or you're just going to go through the motions.

    So critical thinking skills are a huge part of what you're teaching.

    It's beyond just the game itself, but you're teaching kids and maybe even adults to actually think for themselves in life.


    What are the benefits of dads getting their kids involved in competitive sports or the arts?

    The biggest thing is just being able to get yourself out there, get yourself exposed.

    And it's also, of course, very important for college and career.

    I've been able to build such a great community and chess that has helped not just in my business, but also before.

    When I was in college, for instance, one of my good friends called Adyemi, helped tutor me finance and whatnot,

    and also helped me in my career search quite a bit.

    Many other chess friends have helped, and now I'm given back all the time through other people and thinking forward.

    So yeah, it's community, but then it's also just self-self-growth.

    And that's why I do actually tell students all the time that if it's a chess, stick to chess, if it's basketball, fine, stick to basketball.

    Develop one or two extra career killers that you're really into and be able to grow with those.

    I think people do sometimes try to get into too many different things, actually, and it kind of hurts them overall.

    I see this all the time where they spread their kids too thin.

    The kids are involved in programs outside of school. They're involved in sometimes more than one athletic program within school.

    They have their academics to be concerned about, and they don't do very well.

    They are actually some of the slowest performing students, because they can't really concentrate and do anything well.

    And their parents are just, they have their kids way, way too busy for their age that they really can't even be a kid.

    They can't be a kid, but then also they don't practice, right?

    I've actually, for instance, I'm in a lot of parent groups on Facebook all over the country.

    And, you know, I'm relatively often actually, I'll see someone say, "Oh, do you know any piano teachers that have their own instruments?"

    You know, as if they don't want to bite, right? And I'm right away thinking, "What about that's ridiculous? How are they going to learn piano or any other instrument if they don't want to have an instrument at home?"

    You know, I think they're in practice throughout the week.

    And in a similar vein, right? I always tell students, right? Even if they take private lessons with us, they're in a school program with us once or twice a week.

    Right? Make sure that our next lesson is not the next time that you're playing or learning chess, right? And you still need to be pretty consistent throughout the week.

    Absolutely. I love this. The other thing that makes me wonder, sometimes if the parents have these kids so busy to compensate for something else, maybe they really are uncomfortable just spending that one in one time bonding with their own children.

    And so they're using something else to keep them from actually having to build that connection in a meaningful way.


    What are the advantages to putting your kids in either athletics or an art? So is there an advantage to your kid being in the arts versus being an athletics or one of the other or is there no advantage at all?

    Honestly, really, I think just depends on the kid. If they're more athletic, all the power to them. I have a nine-month-old daughter now. So we're not, you know, yet thinking about extra curriculars too much, of course.

    One thing I definitely plan on is getting her exposed to everything. And then wherever she wants to go with them, that's where she wants to come.

    So it's more of athletic route, playing volleyball, basketball, whatever it is.

    No, great. No, no. I was actually just listening on a different dad podcast the other day.

    That's one of the biggest things that you should actually do is, ever early on, give them decision-making abilities.

    Oh, wow.

    I'm not like when they go to college, that's the first time they're like, wow, what a major, et cetera. They should be trying to figure out many different choices from simple things like what's for dinner tonight? Have them have a say in it?

    I had a fascinating guest on, and actually two guests that talked on this topic of what you can do with things you can do with a baby.

    And it turns out that intellectual development or brain development and athletics, so to speak, in a newborn or a baby, are very, very much linked together.

    In other words, developing core strength and developing eye coordination, eye movement, just brain development, they're linked together through play, through actual physical play with your baby.

    So what are your thoughts on that? And in your own experience, you're a new dad. Have you ever seen play really help with your child's development?

    Absolutely. Actually, in the beginning, my grandmother actually was yelling at us for not having her have enough toys. I grew up in the college of 94 and very healthy and very good, but she also very much will always say her opinion.

    Which I'm actually incredibly grateful for, of course. But, we weren't spending enough energy making sure that she had toys and whatnot.

    And yeah, I really do think that it's incredibly important to constantly get her developing. It's under, you know, under control, of course.

    Yeah, so it's fascinating. It's beyond just school programs later in life. This development starts very, very early, even from when they are a baby. And this isn't something you want to just hand off to somebody else as a parent.

    This is something you're going to want to roll up your sleeves and get involved with early because that's how you begin and maintain that bonding process that can really help you later on down the road when they become a teenager.

    And let's shift back to chess a little bit. What are kids learning from your chess program besides the game and how does that give them a personal advantage in life?

    So there's several factors, of course. So, you know, making sure that you're looking ahead, you're realizing that, you know, time is valuable.

    And also just making you think about different options. So I myself, by the way, actually had a learning disability growing up. I went to a school called Churchill in New York when I was, you know, very young.

    And to you know, if I was upset, you know, unfortunately, I was likely to, you know, yell at another kid or hit another case even, you know, in some cases.

    But I really do think chess, you know, actually helped me in some ways and made me realize that there are different options, you know, out there.

    And, you know, I could tell the teacher I could ignore it. I could, you know, tell another student and something was, you know, disturbing me.

    And, yeah, there were a lot of other options out there. And that's why I do tell students, you know, every time you make a move, make sure you're at least considering two or three alternatives.

    And you should never, yeah, typically make the first move that you see necessarily, right? You can make that move eventually. But if you are, make sure you're at least considering some alternatives.

    Now let's look at the flip side of the topic. What are some negative effects of competitive athletic or arts programs? In what ways can it be harmful to or damaging family relationships or even health?

    Anything could definitely, if it's not in moderation, be actually harmful. I personally, you know, see a lot of chess parents that could be a little bit too crazy about their kids and results.

    You know, one thing I always actually talk about is how, like when we run our tournaments, the kids relatively easy to deal with the parents. Most of them are absolutely great.

    But some of them could be a little bit difficult. You know, they don't leave the room when we tell them to leave the room.

    Because they're some like helicopter parents. In one case, one of the top grandmasters in the country. I won't mention his name, but in the past, when we were both in high school,

    we had to take the tournaments and literally, in some cases, I heard the dad like publicly yell at him, you know, that he would lose a game. You know, this and that.

    It wasn't good for him at all. And obviously, yeah, did not go over well. I think maybe even got to a point where he was welcome at the club and not his like father.

    Yeah, just just like, you know, pretty, pretty crazy at the time. So I think that the short of it is that, yes, you do want to get a little bit of all with with with your kids.

    You know, but you should step to the side a little bit as well.

    You know, I also have seen many cases, you know, kid, not really wanting to, you know, listen to the teacher much.

    You know, because the parent is right there in the parent. And I, you know, I've in a couple cases that we did actually a snow day virtual camp a couple weeks ago.

    It was one younger girl, you know, who's like five signed up for the camp. And, you know, she was a little upset and the mom was kind of there, you know, supporting her.

    And I actually privately messaged her in the chat with, with all due respect.

    And I said, you should, you know, go do your thing, you know, work for the day, whatever. You know, and she's like, Oh, I don't really know she, she maybe I should get a refund because my kid is young most of the other kids are older.

    And I said, just trust me, just literally leave five minutes and into what happens and then throughout the day, the girl was more than fine, you know, loved it.

    All it was was, you know, if she was a sand holding a little bit too much.

    I love the story that you brought out about the dad yelling because I see so many times where parents will live their own lives, either their successes or they will live their failures vicariously through their kids.

    Instead of their kids letting, letting their kids have their own experience, they burden their kids and they put their own experiences or missed experiences and put that burden on their kids.

    And they may not even be aware that they're doing it, but it's really damaging. And that's one area where I see that can be really damaging to, to that relationship, putting undue unnecessary pressure on a child.

    Yeah, I mean, I think that's crucial, you know, to think about.

    Do you ever see those conflicts and goals between a student and a parent or a dad?

    I haven't so much, you know, I would say that, you know, pour them into something we, you know, strongly encourage, of course, to, you know, all students.

    Actually, I was actually at a recital a couple of years ago, one of my good friends, Mike Papapalu owned a company guitar guy go over, they do piano and guitar lessons and other instruments as well.

    And actually a couple of years ago, he partnered with this guy, Scott, something or other.

    And one thing Scott actually said that I really actually appreciated was you guys are going to learn more in this recital.

    Then you have in the last, you know, seven months, you know, learn, learn.

    And I really do think that that made a lot of sense, you know, I think, you know, what was the point of learning an instrument for six months if you're not going to like perform at all.

    And it's definitely similar in chess and in tournaments.

    You could take lessons every week for a long time, but you're not really going to get better until you're like starting to play some tournaments here and there.

    It's about conquering a fear that the otherwise would not have had the courage to conquer if they really didn't have that structure in those lessons to really hold them accountable.

    It's a lot of fun to really teach different tricks and tips to help them overcome their anxiety and help them to focus.

    So in chess, are there ever strategies that you teach that really helped to hone in and develop focus and concentration?

    Yeah, so definitely a fair amount. I mean, obviously that is huge. And I always tell students that you do need to study a lot of jazz.

    Of course, if you want to get better, but you also have to learn how to focus at the board, which honestly, even myself, you know, compared to other masters in particular.

    I just struggled with focusing. You know, I just, I'm actually reading now book about the Kasparov Carpov match in 1985.

    And Kasparov talked a couple times about how he and Carpov, you know, it's been 30, 40 minutes on one move.

    So it's probably, in some cases, a little bit too much, but you know, it just goes to study that he focuses very, very, very key.

    And a lot of players, including myself, you know, will fall into the trap, but wow, this move is so obvious.

    And you make it instantly. And right after you play, you're like, wow, I should have considered these two things.

    Or, you know what, even worse, I missed this very easy win for him. I usually should have seen, but I did.

    And the only reason you missed it is you move too quickly. And very often too, you know, students will miss simple tactics, which are, you know, for those that don't know, basically a small series of moves too.

    Basically, usually one material, in some cases, checkmate. And, you know, they'll miss it, simply because they weren't looking for it.

    So yesterday I was actually looking at a game with the student. It was a very short game actually from Larry Christianson, who's the several time US champion.

    We still actually played together in the Boston team of the US Chessley.

    And he actually meet on a car path with currently World Champion in 13 move in car pod miss something relatively very, I mean, not even relatively, you know, very simple.

    But it simply was because he wasn't looking for, you know, tactics.

    And yeah, I teach that game all the time now to the students just to show that, you know, even like a lead World champion, you know, he's putting his guard down and not focusing.

    And then, you know, you could lose the game in 13 moves, which is like almost unheard of.

    This question, this next question is a question that has taken a lot of discipline for me not to ask this question in the very beginning because I honestly don't know the answer to this question.

    And it's been burning on my mind. So I've saved it for last.

    You've talked about a connection between chess and understanding God. And I'm really curious to know what that connection is.

    So there's definitely I think several different answers to this question. I've actually had several rabbis on my own podcast.

    Actually just last night we published an episode with two rabbis who are actually both rabbis.

    Obviously, but also physics experts. They actually have their own podcast physics to God.

    Oh, wow, super, super interesting. The king is the only piece in chess that does not get captured.

    So a lot of beginners, but they actually have a very common mistake that you win a game by capturing your opponent's king, but no, that doesn't happen in chess.

    So the king is not being captured and God is always there. Wherever you are, a big believer in that.

    Sometimes we don't know the answer. Why? Yeah, it does. But once certain things, but there's always a reason for that.

    And I'm a big believer of that. Very, very powerful. Evan, how can dads listening connect with you or learn more about your chess programs?

    Yeah, thank you so much. For one, I'm really grateful for this appearance. I do also want to give a quick shout out to our mutual friend, Rina of the better called Daddy Show for introducing us.

    She's just an absolute great connector. And yeah, thank you so much to her as well.

    But yeah, if anyone does want to reach out, learn more about chess. We do work with a lot of schools, companies, individuals.

    Whether or not you're looking to go and pay for lessons, we definitely love to be a resource, a network or a connector, many other things as well.

    Yeah, you could definitely email me at evan@premierchess.com, or website, premierchess.com. And we'd love to be in touch.

    And just to make things easier, if you go to the fatherhoodchallenge.com, that's the fatherhoodchallenge.com. If you go to this episode, look right below the episode description.

    I will have all of the links that Evan just mentioned posted there for your convenience as well.

    Evan, as we close, what is your challenge to dads listening now?

    Just being able to kind of live in the moment, be present. I now have, as I said before, a nine-month-old daughter, Maya.

    And frankly, in the last nine months, I've been somewhat behind on my business and whatnot.

    And I pulled that to my wife a couple times and some other people as well. And at times, actually, somewhat regretted that.

    We didn't have a babysitter earlier. We actually got one a couple of weeks ago. But at the end of the day, I have no regrets at all.

    I guess I am somewhat flexible as an entrepreneur. And I've been able to kind of juggle, take care of the baby and, you know, and, you know, and, you know, running the business.

    But, yeah, I just want to say that, you know, don't have any regrets. And along with that, you know, it's very easy to make mistakes.

    Of course, you know, especially your first time, you know, parents' things still are all the time, obviously. And, you know, just rolled punches. It's okay. You know, every guy that makes mistakes.

    That's absolutely true. Well, Evan, I have learned so much from you, so I definitely know dads listening have as well.

    Thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge. I really appreciate it.

    Thank you so much, my sincere pleasure.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of The Fatherhood Challenge. If you would like to contact us, listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned in this program or find out more information about The Fatherhood Challenge, please visit TheFatherhoodChallenge.com. That's TheFatherhoodChallenge.com.


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Apr 9, 2024
  • Hacks to Parenting Teens and Tweens

     Are you a dad with a teen or tween and you are feeling overwhelmed and out of your league on how to parent and connect with them? Do you feel like you can’t relate to their world but wish you had a relationship where they trusted you with everything? I’ve brought a guest on the program who can help you parent your teen or tween with confidence and build a strong connection with them.

    My guest is certified professional teen life coach Kevin Baker. Kevin’s specialty is empowering teens and tweens  to build self esteem, boost confidence and overcome limiting beliefs to be the best version of themselves.

    If you would like to connect with Kevin Baker or receive coaching you can find him at: https://lifecoachkevin.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lifecoachkevin/

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcription - Hacks to Parenting Teens and Tweens


    Are you a dad with a teen or a tween and you're feeling overwhelmed and out of your league

    on how to parent and connect with them?

    Do you feel like you can't relate to their world but wish you had a relationship where

    they trusted you with everything?

    I brought a guest on the program who can help you parent your teen or tween with confidence

    and build a strong connection with them.

    He will join us in just a moment so don't go anywhere.

    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere

    to take great pride in their role and a challenge society to understand how important fathers

    are to the stability and culture of their family's environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone.

    Thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is Certified Professional Teen, Life Coach, Kevin Baker.

    Kevin's specialty is empowering teens and tweens to build self-esteem, boost confidence

    and overcome limiting beliefs to be the best version of themselves.

    Kevin, thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    Oh yeah, thank you.

    Thank you, Jonathan.

    Happy to be here.

    We're going to start out with my favorite question.

    Kevin, what is your favorite dad joke?

    Why did the coffee fall a police report?

    Why did the coffee mug file a police report?

    Because I don't know.

    Because he got mugged.

    I absolutely love that joke.

    Well, thank you.

    My kids love to roll their eyes at all of them.

    As long as the dads are chuckling, then I've done my job.

    Yeah, it qualifies then.

    It definitely qualifies.

    Well, Kevin, let's get into your story.

    What is the story behind what led you to coach teens and tweens?

    You know, I guess looking way back on it, you know, it all started when my wife and I decided

    to have children.

    That started my journey on parenthood and being a father and learning all sorts of things

    about childhood development, medical issues, mental health issues, school issues, social issues,

    you know, everything that gets thrown at you as a parent.

    And you know, fast forward about 14 years later, 13 years later, I found myself, I was

    with a lot of time on my hands.

    And I had to do some soul searching and figure out how is I going to have the greatest positive

    impact on as many people as possible with the time that I have here on earth.

    And through a lot of soul searching and reading and having conversations and being coached

    myself, I came up with life coaching and specifically for teens and tweens because I'm in the

    thick of it.

    So you know, it helps my personal growth.

    It allows me to have meaningful purpose.

    I develop all sorts of fantastic relationships with all sorts of fantastic people and that's

    what drives me.

    Making a difference, you know, that moment when you're having a conversation with a kiddo

    and you know, the light bulb goes off and they get it and you're able to change what was

    a roadblock or an invisible barrier when you're able to get rid of that so they can move on

    to be the best version of themselves.

    That's really the story of why.

    That's my why.

    And I'm here to get the message out that life coaching is not just for adults and kiddos

    need positive mentors and role models and positive influence and they need people to ask those

    thought provoking questions that help pull the answers out of their subconscious because

    the kiddos they have the answers, they need the guidance and the friendly input in order

    to help get those answers out so they can fulfill their life's purpose.

    And you said on that calling, did it really ever dawn on you that what you are really doing

    is leaving a legacy behind with many teens?

    It did.

    It did and that was part of my checklist.

    I have a whole career checklist that I used to get here and leaving a legacy was a big

    part of it.

    I want to have my positive impact that I can make on just one kiddo.

    Have that reverberate throughout the world long after I'm gone because it's like the

    old story goes you hold door open for someone going into a building in the morning and before

    you know they are holding the door open for somebody else.

    It's the power of positivity helping encourage that mindset that'll leave that legacy behind.

    I've heard it said of dads that they can either do the hard work early or they can do the

    hard work later.

    If they do the work and they bond with their child at infancy the teen years are easier.

    Is that actually true?

    Easier than what?

    You know I think the entire experience of fatherhood is hard work.

    You know it's really hard.

    It's very important to bond with your child while they're in infant having that you know

    chest to chest time.

    You know let them feel your heart beating.

    Let them breathe with you in rhythm.

    And it's important for you to play catch with them in the backyard.

    You know when they're growing up and you know it never gets easier.

    It's just the challenges get different.

    The challenges change.

    And as long as you're present, empathetic and guide your children to make the best possible

    choices that they can in life.

    You know I think that's what it's all about and if you can foster the importance of choices

    and the consequences of those choices so that they're aware of them every step of the


    Yeah it might get easier as you go but I don't know if there's a tradeoff for infancy

    versus the teenage years in particular.

    So it sounds like really what you're saying is what's required is full engagement from

    infancy, all the way into the handoff to adulthood.

    And even then there's still going to be engagement in the adult years as well that there's

    never really a moment or a time in the development phases where you really let off the gas.

    I do let off the gas in the sense that I like the kids to go on their own adventures.

    I like them to discover who they are on their own and make choices and decisions according

    to that knowing that they're going to have consequences from the choices.

    I never stop giving them an opportunity to do that.

    I like to put them in different situations all the time.

    Whether it be engaging in different social arenas or engaging in different activities, sporting

    activities, family trips, traveling, even giving them a freedom to head into the market.

    And here's the money, that's your budget, here's what we need.

    Come on out when you're ready.

    When you're done.

    And bring the change.

    But those sorts of things, those sorts of things really empower them.

    And they give them a sense of freedom, it builds confidence and self-esteem.

    So father's job is never really done.

    Talk to that dad who thinks or knows that he's made mistakes with his child or his children

    and he feels disconnected from them and doesn't know where to begin repairing things.

    That one hits close to home a little bit.

    And the thing that I have to say is it's never too late to be the best you can be.

    And it's never too late to be empathetic, to be a really, really good listener and to bond,

    and to try and discover who your child is on the inside and what drives them and what

    emotions they're feeling and what thoughts they're having and how their thoughts affect

    their emotions and how their emotions affect their behaviors and how their behaviors affect

    their actions.

    And to really find out who they are as a whole person, it's never too late to get involved

    and to let them know that you're ready.

    But if there's their dads out there that feel like they have made mistakes, we're all human

    and we all make mistakes.

    The only way I know how to be a parent is from how my parents parented me and the only

    way they knew how to be parents is because they learned from their parents.

    And that goes on for generations.

    So we all make mistakes, but it's what we do to repair them, to make amends, get rid

    of the baggage from the past and not even worry about the future that much but to be present

    and engage and smile and have fun and give the kiddos the dad and the childhood that

    they deserve.

    I think that breathes so much hope into a dad that's in that scenario where for whatever

    reason he missed out or he wasn't there, wasn't present and he feels like now he needs to

    make it up and he's trying to to establish that bond later.

    The other thing I find really interesting is I'll use my wife for example, she's middle


    Both of her parents are still very, very much involved in her life and that that echoes

    what you said earlier and that is that you never stop being a parent.

    Maybe the way you do it changes slightly but that never stops.

    So as long as your kids are alive, it's never too late.

    Never too late.

    Never too late and parents have different roles all throughout their lives.

    So I've three children and my oldest, I was a certain version of myself.

    When she was born and three years later, you know, guess what?

    When we had our son, our second child, I had changed again and by the third child, I was

    an entirely different person.

    So each child has different versions of their parents and parents change over time too

    and we all know that the kiddos grow up and they change.

    There's always a place for parenting, whether or not the relationship is at a place where

    they want to accept advice or not, that's another thing.

    But I think there's always a role for a parent in a child's life in vice versa.

    We love stories.

    Please share some of your best and insightful experiences helping teens that you've worked


    And one of the favorite experiences working with a kid out was he had come to me, actually

    his mother had come to me and said, you know, he is very depressed.

    He won't get out of bed in the morning.

    He doesn't like to go to school.

    He doesn't think he has a future.

    I don't know what to do.

    He's having suicidal thoughts.

    We've been in therapy for years and we're stuck.

    Coach Kevin can you help us?

    You know, I really, I felt that.

    That got me emotional.

    You know, and I said, yeah, I sure will.

    Within two weeks, this kiddo, we were able to really, really dig deep and build awareness

    around some of the negative, limiting thoughts and beliefs that he had that were automatically

    coming to, coming as soon as he would open his eyes in the morning.

    They would start.

    And we, we practiced techniques.

    We had some heart to heart.

    We did the exercises long story short.

    I talked to him last week.

    I think before his family left for Safari in Africa and he was ready to apply to colleges.

    And he's so excited about his future.

    It was a transformation that, you know, it happened so quickly and I'm so proud of it for

    doing the hard work.

    And when you get a client, when you get a student, when you get a kiddo, that is as invested

    as you are in helping and making things better.

    Can you see that kind of progress?

    You know, it can't help but make you feel great.

    Do you see any difference between the teens that you've helped, the ones that have fathers

    and their lives and the ones that don't?

    What difference is if any do you see?

    I don't know exactly the level of participation that the fathers have had in their lives, but

    I can tell you that the fathers that with no uncertainty have participated to the best

    of their ability.

    The kiddo holds them, you know, with a certain level of respect.

    I think that is the main difference is that when the father is involved and he's an active

    participant and he's, you know, helps to guide their kiddo, you know, that young adult

    will always somewhere in the back of their mind.

    Here are their father's voice, along with their own internal narrative.

    And I think that's the main difference is that, you know, the fathers have, you know, instilled

    these, you know, I call them little golden nuggets, you know, information and guidance and

    tricks, you know, that they practice.

    Probably that, you know, a lot of their fathers handed down to them.

    Yeah, I absolutely love that.

    Here's another way and a lot of times when we talk about an absent father, we, for some reason

    we automatically associate that with a physical absence.

    And yes, that is most definitely an absence, a form of absence, but there's also an emotional



    That can have just as damaging of an effect on, on a teen.

    So is there anything that can be done in a situation like that to try to mitigate some

    of that damage and repair the relationship and bring it to health?

    The most important thing, an absent, you know, an absent father, you know, maybe it's an

    emotionally absent father can do one of the most important things they can do to bring

    it back and try and repair that is to, is to really try to envision what life looks like

    from that through their eyes and try to imagine the feelings they're feeling, the thoughts

    they're having, what their expectations are.

    And then really talk to them about that and say, you know, I can tell, I know that you're

    feeling anxious or I know you're overwhelmed, you know, with all the schoolwork you have

    or I can tell you feel, you know, betrayed or overwhelmed, you know, whatever the feeling

    is that they're having, try to try to really empathize with them and view things from their

    perspective because really connection is all about emotional, and it's about understanding

    the feelings and emotions that the child is feeling so that you can empathize with that

    because if they see that, if they understand that, okay, now we're on the same page, you

    can see it from my perspective.

    I think that'll go a long way in earning the respect to repair any damage that's been

    done from being emotionally unavailable in the past.

    I think that's a huge gold nugget just to try to summarize it and make sure we understand

    correctly, you're placing a huge value on communicating their feelings, not projecting

    your own, but listening, spending a lot of time listening to their feelings and then verbally

    acknowledging their feelings so that they can verify within themselves that you, you understand

    you're picking up on it and you can relate to their feelings that you're actually trying

    to put yourself into their shoes and understand life and their world from their lens and

    that alone can go a long way in creating that bond, especially if that bond has been missing,

    you can repair the damage that way that I understand it correctly.

    Yeah, you hit the nail in the head, 100%, you know, dad gets me, you know, that's where we

    want to, you know, bring the relationship to, you know, dad gets me, he understands.

    He knows what I'm going through, he knows my feelings, he knows, he knows, you know, what

    trigger those feelings and, you know, now we can work together to take next steps in life

    and fostering open communication about emotions is huge.

    You know, that, that, I think, is the holy grail of fatherhood.

    You know, if you can, if you can be on the same page emotionally with your kids and understand

    the feelings, their feeling and why they're feeling them and help them to process those

    emotions and regulate them, you know, that's what parents know about as a father to the


    One of the things I'm learning from my own journey, my own experience is that there is

    a high value when I also communicate my own positive feelings towards my sons when I

    acknowledge what they've done accomplishments.

    And I think what's, what I've learned is just as important is when I acknowledge their

    value and I disconnect their value from their accomplishments.

    In other words, you're not valuable because I decided that you're valuable, you're valuable

    because you're created.

    You have your own value and, and there's nothing I can do to add or, or detract from that

    value, it is who you are.

    And so I am here just enjoying that, appreciating that and, and you need to know that, you need to

    be aware of your value.

    And there is nothing that you can do to change that value, to make it grow or to make it


    You are valuable the way you are.

    And, and I've learned that when I do that boy, that also goes a long ways in towards that


    Oh, yeah, what a, what a positive way to approach that.

    I love that.

    You know, I just, you know, their existence, you know, their existence is valued.

    You know, they are a part of you and a very big important part of you.

    You know, there's nothing that that could happen that anybody could do or say.

    That's going to make you value them less sort or love them less.

    There was a guest, the former guest that came on here, and it was Dr. Canfield, and she

    talked about eye contact and how important eye contact is.

    So I've learned that, and I'm curious what you think of the importance of asking questions,

    and making eye contact when you're asking those questions, like just questions about

    what's going on in their world and mixing that with eye contact.

    Oh, eye contact is one of the most important forms of communication.

    And you can read so much from it.

    So when you're having that conversation, when you're asking a question to your, to your

    child, you know, you see what happens with their eyes.

    Do they go, do they go to the right?

    Do they go to the left?

    Do they go up?

    Do they go down?

    You know, do you know, are they, are they trying to, you can tell, you know, are they trying

    to remember something or are they trying to fabricate something or, you know, what exactly

    is, is going on and you can read a lot into their body language from how they respond

    with their eyes.

    But you, intently looking into their eyes gives them a sense that you're engaged and you're

    present and you are not only interested in your question, but interested in their answer.

    And that helps them to feel valued, helps them to feel empowered.

    Like I said, it's one of the most important aspects of how we communicate.

    What are some of your favorite bonding rituals with your teens?

    Hmm, you know, my favorite bonding ritual with my kiddos, uh, two, one is skiing.

    We'd love to go skiing as a family.

    It's one of those things we look forward to every winter and it's priceless.

    You know, my wife and I say that the family that skis together stays together and we're,

    we like to practice that.

    And I love that.

    And you know, the other bonding ritual is, you know, it's a little bit unorthodox, I'd say,

    or maybe not.

    But we like to play video games together.

    Yeah, I think it's really important for, you know, me to see what they like to do,

    and for me to get into their world a little bit.

    And so when we have an opportunity, you know, to all five of us, you know, get on a, a

    co-op game together, you know, work together as a team, or, you know, play hide and seek, you

    know, that sort of engagement in the digital world sort of lets them know that, you know, dad's

    fun, you know, dad can hang.

    And, you know, I think that goes a lot way, a, a, a long way in, in helping build bonds.

    I really love that.

    One of the things that I've learned is how valuable having a family hobby can be, things

    that you all enjoy that you can just have fun doing.

    Uh, in our case, one of our family hobbies is remote control cars.

    Everyone has, has their own car that they like.

    And when we go on vacations, but it's not just vacations.

    I mean, if the weather is really, really nice, we'll just go right outside in the yard.

    And, uh, we just have lots of, uh, we'll trade cars and, and switch vehicles.

    Yeah, it, and it's fun.

    It gets really interesting looks from other families, they'll walk by and they'll see us

    having a good time and it's, it's making an impression on them as well.

    So, yeah, I would, I would definitely say, don't underestimate the, the value of what a

    family hobby can do for, for bringing that closeness together as a family, that joy

    that you need.

    Yeah, it's, I would say it's, it's up there with, uh, sitting down at the dinner table every



    And then that reminds me of that.

    Are there any really good, dinner time rituals that can also help with, with bringing

    that closeness?

    So, one thing, you know, we try to incorporate to really foster positivity is to, is to ask

    our, our kiddos to, uh, you know, give a compliment to one of their siblings or to us.

    Oh, wow.

    And, uh, you can feel the positivity and you can feel the love and you can feel that, you

    know, we all, we all care about each other.

    I mean, and the, and the other thing we can do is, you know, say, hey, you know, what, what

    can we do better?

    You know, this is a judgment-free zone.

    We all live together.

    We all want to live together half-lead and peacefully.

    You know, what's one thing that I can improve on and grab that feedback.

    You know, and take that in and, and work on it, you know, because it's important.

    So, you know, it can bring a whole lot of information to light, something we can work on and it's

    important to always be developing that trust and foster that ability to have open communication

    within the family.

    And the dinner table is the best place to do it for us.

    My dad was in and out of my life, but, uh, one of the pleasant memories I have of him was,

    was a dinner time ritual that he started and, uh, everybody was around the table and,

    uh, and he, he pounded this fist on the table and he had a very stern look on his face and

    everybody looked at him and wondered, uh, oh, you know, what's going on here?

    And he looked at everybody and he said, I have one rule at the table and the rule is very


    He said, there is to be no talking at the table doing meal times.

    And then he smirked and he said, unless you either have a joke or a story.

    And then he smiled and he said, I'll start and he just, and he just went off on a story

    and then when he was done, somebody else had to jump in with theirs.

    And let me tell you that was probably one of the most fun meal times I remember.

    Oh, that's perfect.

    They probably kept it so positive too.

    It did.

    That's great.

    That's great.

    I love that you have that memory.

    So Kevin, how can dads connect with you or learn more about what you're doing or get

    help with their teen or tween?



    My, uh, the website is lifecoachkeven.com.

    Uh, you can also see me on Instagram at lifecoachkeven.

    Uh, you can schedule a call.

    We can get it on the phone and talk about what you're seeing with your kid up and talk about

    what kind of results you'd like to get.

    All right.

    And just to make it easy, if you go to the fatherhoodchallenge.com, that's the fatherhoodchallenge.com.

    If you go to this episode, look right below the episode description and I will have all

    the links that Kevin just mentioned.

    I'll have him posted there for your convenience.

    Kevin, as we close, what is your challenge to dads listening now?

    My challenge to dads listening now.

    The next time you are about to have a situation with your child and they've said something to

    you that you don't like when you're trying to get them to do their homework or you're trying

    to get them to clean their room.

    You're nagging them about something.

    When they, when they say something to you, before you react, I want you to be a little

    angry to take, take a minute, take 60 seconds, pause and breathe and walk away.


    And I think you'll find your child is going to do what you want them to do.

    They just want not to be nagged about it and to feel like they're in control of when

    they do it.

    Well, Kevin, it has been an honor having you on the fatherhoodchallenge.

    You've given us so many good nuggets and actionable steps that any dad can start doing

    now and it's appreciated.

    Thank you so much for being on the fatherhoodchallenge.

    Thanks for having me, Jonathan.

    It's been a pleasure.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of The Fatherhood Challenge.

    If you would like to contact us, listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned

    in this program or find out more information about the fatherhoodchallenge.

    Please visit thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    That's TheFatherhoodChallenge.com

    [music fades out]

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Mar 29, 2024
  • Harsh Parenting Results and Alternatives

    Were you raised with harsh parenting techniques? Do you still rely on the same harsh parenting style you were raised with when parenting your own kids but find you’re not connecting with your kids or getting the results you want? If you’re ready to try something different, my guest will share some tips you can begin using right away.

    Bryan Saint-Louis is a Youth Inspirational Specialist and Speaker with over a decade of experience in driving positive outcomes in education and parenting. And now I’ve brought his expertise to help you dads listening now.

    You can connect wit Bryan Saint-Louis or learn more about what he's doing by visiting https://www.bslspeaks.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bslspeaks

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@bslspeaks

    Email: info@bslspeaks.com

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcription - Harsh Parenting Results and Alternatives


    Were you raised with harsh parenting techniques?

    Do you still rely on the same harsh parenting style

    you were raised with when parenting your own kids?

    But find that you're not connecting with your kids

    or getting the results you want

    if you're ready to try something different.

    My guest will share some tips.

    You can begin using right away in just a moment,

    so don't go anywhere.

    - Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge,

    a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere

    to take great pride in their role.

    And a challenge society to understand

    how important fathers are to the stability

    and culture of their family's environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    - Greetings everyone, thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is Brian St. Louis,

    a youth inspirational specialist and speaker

    with over a decade of experience

    in driving positive outcomes in education and parenting.

    And now I brought of his expertise on the program

    to help dads listening now.

    Brian, thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    - Jonathan, thank you so much for having me.

    I really appreciate it.

    And it says an honor.

    Thank you so much.

    - Brian, what is your favorite dad joke?

    - Man.

    So I heard this one and I actually like this one a lot.

    So someone comes to the dad and says,

    "Hey, dad, Sunday was a sad day."

    And then he says, "But yesterday was a sadder day."


    Okay, all right, good.

    We got it.


    All right, I love it, we got it left, man.

    That's all I need.


    It got me.

    - All right, but I hope the listener

    has got a little left out of that one too, but.


    As well.

    - I'm sure they did.

    That was awesome.

    - Oh man.

    - Well, Brian, let's start with your story.

    How did you get involved with working with youth

    and helping parents connect with their kids?

    - I was 20 years old.

    I used to work in a, as a,

    not speaker necessarily at that time, right?

    But 20, I was working as a, as a Bible teacher.

    And I remembered I was embossed at the time

    and there was a group of kids.

    I wanna say about 70 kids and it was three of us.

    And we were supposed to be basically helping them out

    for, for the whole month that this series was happening.

    And we were supposed to be teaching in the Bible.

    Ultimately, the two other guys kind of stepped off

    and found myself being the one having to take care

    of a room of 70 kids between the ages of 13, 12, 13 to 17.

    - Oh wow.

    - Yeah.

    And of course, I had some people who would come in

    and help out and such, but for the most part,

    the brunt of that focus was on me.

    But man, when I tell you, I was,

    I was so impressed with these kids being able to,

    ask answers or certain questions that I had.

    But then I also realized that I was very keen on connecting

    very well with this age group because, you know,

    I wasn't so old, you know, I'm only 20,

    even though they said I was old, but I was only 20 at the time

    and so I wasn't so far away from being a teenager

    and I remembered what it felt like to be a teen,

    trying to understand certain concepts

    and also feeling like a lot of what was being taught

    had no relativity to me.

    And so I was very specific and intentional on the questions

    that I was asking these kids ended up being such a powerful

    time that brought me and led me to continue to do work

    with youth when I was 21.

    I started working at a youth juvenile detention facility,

    just seeing the power of how radical empathy

    was able to make me help build stronger relationships

    with these youth but also impacting their lives

    when they get out of that juvenile detention facility.

    Being in that space at such a young age

    helped me to see how powerful youth really are

    and understanding how much they need strong supports

    in their lives because a lot of them,

    sometimes we see kids who are acting crazy,

    we see kids who, you know, speak out of their disrespectful

    and such and I always ask myself the question,

    who taught them?

    What was it that happened in their background

    or their life that got them to the place that they were?

    That they were and ultimately I'm not responsible

    for who they are before they meet me

    but because of the connection that I am right now with them,

    now I'm responsible of modeling the proper behavior

    that they can now choose to use in their future.

    And so this is something that I started

    when it was about 2021 and just seeing the power of how youth

    are need that strong mentor and youth need that one caring adult

    has pushed me to want to continue in the work with youth as well

    but then as you said, right, as I got older, became a dad

    I'm realizing how powerful it is for these children

    to have strong figures in the home.

    And so now as I'm also working with youth,

    my main focus as well is also uplifting

    and supporting the adults in the lives of youth

    so that they can also know how to properly connect

    with those teens and the children in their lives as well.

    - The next question could be a tough one,

    but definitely an important one.

    Harsh Parenting has been a reality for many generations

    and is argued to be effective.

    This includes everything from yelling to even corporal punishment.

    In fact, some say that we have crime rates

    because parents are often too soft on their kids.

    I'll give you one example I saw.

    There was a post by a very popular pop star bragging

    about the fact that she actually uses corporal punishment

    on her kids and I believe she's a,

    either a Gen Xer or a millennium.

    And I looked in the comments and the comments were flooded

    with mostly baby boomers who were jumping in there

    and congratulating her.

    So I'm curious, you know, if this is,

    if this rule, this idea that harsh parenting is effective

    and we don't have enough of it

    and that's why kids are going wrong these days,

    is this true or is this a lie?

    - I don't think that's true.

    We have seen high rates of criminality throughout the years

    since the 80s, since the 90s.

    And corporal punishment was absolutely a major use

    in parenting at that time.

    So it's not as though because of corporal punishment,

    it made for better conditions.

    A lot of youth were treated that way, right?

    They had corporal punishment used

    and yet crime rates have not necessarily lowered

    or were lower back then than they are today.

    I think there's a lot of more different factors

    that deal with why youth are still necessarily

    being connected or getting involved with criminality,

    especially with the rise of social media,

    they're being influenced in a major way,

    which I think can also contribute to what they want

    to do or how they're connected to other people around them,

    but it's not necessarily for corporal punishment.

    And in fact, I mean, when you look at the question, right,

    for the fact that people argue as effectiveness

    and I know a lot of people wanna say

    mental health has also risen in these years,

    but in the 80s, 90s, early 2000s,

    how many people were actually going to counseling

    due to their mental health?

    We weren't necessarily seeing a lot of individuals

    who were connecting to psychologists, the therapists,

    because it was such a taboo concern.

    And individuals were not necessarily trying to see

    what was going on introspectively in their minds.

    And so many of them, the statistics show

    that mental health is on the rise right now,

    but if we were actually doing the right work

    to better ourselves, to connect ourselves

    with mental health professionals,

    when we were dealing with traumatic events,

    we would have seen the same level of mental health

    back then as well.

    And I know people, for instance, Jonathan,

    I know people love to say, well, it worked for me

    and look how I turned out.

    But I always ask the question,

    if you go back to that child that you were,

    don't think about the child, the adult that you are today.

    I'm not talking about the adult that you are today.

    I'm talking about that inner child that you were.

    What was it that you're inner child needed?

    Not that you're an adult and you can see things

    in a better perspective.

    What was it that you're inner child needed?

    Did they need all of that punishment?

    Did they need all of that yelling?

    Even if it happened once or twice,

    did they need it happening 10 times a week

    or 10 times a day?


    A lot of times we sometimes look at the perspective

    of who we are today, but we don't look back

    at who that inner child was

    and what they probably needed better

    in order for them to live a better life,

    not just focusing on the impact that it has on our today,

    but realizing that child probably needed

    a little bit more love.

    And if we looked at it that way,

    maybe we would have a different perspective as well.

    I can weigh on those two a little bit

    from a slightly different perspective.

    A lot of these arguments tend to reside in,

    especially in conservative religious organizations

    and denominations.

    This is where we really tend to see that argument stick.

    And I can tell you from my observation

    that a lot of those same adults that are arguing

    that have that argument that say,

    look how I turned out and they did the same thing

    to their kids that was done to them.

    I can tell you that in churches

    that have tried to grow youth programs,

    a lot of times the biggest people,

    the most of the people who stand in the way

    in the growth of youth programs

    and youth fellowship programs in a church

    are often those same adults.

    They are often the ones who are oppositional

    to youth programs and youth initiatives.

    They're an opposition to youth leadership and youth growth.

    And you see more hostility in their interactions

    with other youth.

    That's been my observation.

    - I can give you a quick example on that.

    I remember one time 'cause I used to be a youth pastor, right?

    And I remember there was a time where they blamed the youth

    for whatever, like I was in a board meeting,

    blamed the youth for the mess that was in the church

    for the wires that were messed up in the audio upstairs.

    And I was just sitting back and I was a little bit confused

    because I was asking myself the question,

    is that even true?

    And I remembered as they were naming some of the things

    that were happening, somebody said, oh no, no,

    that wasn't Pastor Brian and them, that was somebody else.

    That was another group.

    And then they said, oh, what about the audio equipment

    in the tech room?

    Somebody raised their hand, oh no, that wasn't the youth,

    that was X, Y, and Z, I couldn't remember exactly who it was.

    And I just looked at them and I said,

    you realize how you're quick to attack the youth

    on what's happening here.

    And you blame the youth on things

    that they didn't even do in the first place.

    The perspective was the youth caused problems.

    And that's the philosophy that causes a lot of issues

    that I see, like you said in churches

    and in many different organizations as well.

    If they don't, if they have a philosophical view

    on how they see youth,

    they will never be able to actually see them

    as the empowering leaders that they are right now

    and they could be even better.

    Also from a biblical's perspective,

    the biggest argument that's used

    for enforcing corporal punishment on youth

    is the scripture tech spare the rod spoil the child.

    Yeah, I love that one.

    Yeah, and what's interesting about that one is the rod.

    The word, the Hebrew word that's used for rod

    is the exact same word that's used for a scepter,

    a scepter that a king or a queen would use.

    And what's the purpose of a scepter, a royal scepter?

    What is the purpose of it?

    I mean, isn't that the scepter to basically

    not like crown or shoulder royalty of the individual?

    In that sense?

    Yeah, it's a symbol of leadership.

    It's a symbol of authority.

    So when someone approaches the throne,

    the king or queen isn't hitting anyone with the scepter.

    And so what's really being said there is dads step up

    and be a parent, be a dad.

    I can even add to that right,

    because Solomon's father was who?


    And what did David say about the rod?

    It's a comfort.


    That rod and that staff, they comfort me.

    Why would, if the rod was meant to be

    and to destroy and to demean,

    how is that a comforting tool?

    And so Solomon,

    it's not.

    It's an anxiety and it's a source of trauma.


    And so I love that you brought that up.

    Not a lot of people talk about the rod in that sense.

    And so I love that you brought that analogy

    and understanding of how the rod is really supposed to be.

    Like you said, the symbol of authority.

    That's amazing.

    One of the biggest arguments I hear for why dads yell at their kids

    is because it gets their attention.

    And it's the only way that they will listen.

    What are some other options dads have that would get better results?

    Man, that's a really good question, Jonathan.

    And as a father myself, I would say that one of the things

    that have helped me to connect more with my children

    is not the loud yelling dad voice.

    But it's the presence.

    It's just a strong presence with that child.

    That child feels safe with me.

    And I even tell him that.

    I talk to him and I tell him, listen,

    if you listen to me, I will guide you to places

    that you will grow much better than me in your life.

    And he's only four years old.

    I have a four year old and a two year old.

    And I'm very keen on making sure that they understand

    how safe they are around me.

    Because I'll be honest, growing up,

    I used to be afraid of my dad.

    Me and my dad right now have a very amazing relationship.

    And that took time to build, but I used to be afraid of my father.

    And so it wasn't very this strong loving connection

    that I had.

    It was more so on a fear base.

    As I grew older, I understood certain aspects.

    I also understood how he grew up and why things are the way

    that they are.

    But that doesn't mean that I have to do what was done to me

    in a certain sense.

    And so when I speak to my kids, and listen,

    I'm not going to be a liar here as well as to say,

    I've never yelled.

    But when I yell, I'm quick to apologize.

    I'm quick to tell them, hey, look, that he used a yelling voice,

    that I didn't need to use in this moment at all.

    This wasn't urgent where you were crossing the street

    or something was happening to you.

    I made a mistake in yelling at you right now.

    And then I start breaking down.

    Why is it that I did that in the first place?

    And then what did we need to do in the situation?

    How could we do this better?

    And I tell you, as sometimes we think we

    can't converse with our kids.

    These kids are so smart.

    They take up a lot of information.

    I just spoke to my child this morning,

    and I told him, and said, Levi, need you to come downstairs.

    Then he says, OK, dad, he didn't come downstairs.

    I didn't yell.

    But what I did, I switched up the question.

    I said, hey, Levi, what did I ask you to do?


    I didn't say, come downstairs again.

    And then now that aggravates me.

    I told him, what did I ask you to do?

    And then he says, oh, you asked me to come downstairs.

    I said, OK, can you do that now?

    And then boom, he just walks right downstairs.

    A lot of the times--


    Yeah, no, no, a lot of the times, man,

    if we actually just converse deeper with our children.

    And so one of the techniques that I've learned

    is don't repeat your question twice.

    When you give your question to your child,

    hey, can you go clean that up?

    And they'll be like, OK, yeah, clean it up.

    Let's say they don't do it.

    The next question should be, because now you're

    giving yourself a sense of authority and power as well

    while you're asking this question.

    But you also don't have to be yelling

    at reverting to anger and aggression.

    You just asked the question, hey, what did I ask you to do?

    And so now, instead of them having to be abrasive and such

    back and building that type of connection,

    it just thinks to them, so, oh, sure, he asked you to do this.

    And then, all right, yeah, let's get to it.

    It's simple techniques, but these are things

    that have to be done from early on.

    We're not expecting children to be adults.

    And I think that's one of the problems that we have as parents

    and as far as we expect them to be at a higher level of regulation

    than we are, or maybe not higher than us,

    but we expect them to be at higher level

    than we think they are supposed to be.

    The people who need to regulate their emotions

    and know how to speak to them is always the adult.

    We're modeling the behavior that needs to be shown.

    And so when that child comes to us, we are able and should be capable

    to show them the way to move in that light.

    And so now they can see how to speak, how to understand,

    how to act in certain situations.

    So it makes it a lot better now when we're speaking

    with assertiveness, not aggression, assertiveness.

    And when we have to lay down a specific--

    I would say tone, but this is what needs to be done in the home right now.

    It's still done in a way that the child is still

    loved, cared for, and communicated properly with.

    But that's my perspective.

    That's what I've seen has worked.

    And a lot of the people who I've learned from goes, again,

    I had mentors growing up.

    And when those mentors showed me how they speak to their children,

    it allowed me the opportunity to say,

    I want to go a different route when I have children

    to speak to them and to raise them a certain way as modeled better as well.

    Let's talk about bonding.

    How early does the bonding process start?

    And how can dads create and maintain a strong bond with their sons or daughters?

    Yeah, I love that question.

    When I think about bonding, that happens since day one, right?

    And somebody gave me some really good advice

    when I had my first child that I could raise.

    When I felt a bit confused because the child

    was always wanting to be her own mother,

    because at the end of the day, she was breastfeeding.

    And so I found it kind of difficult.

    How do I bond with the kid?

    Or what am I supposed to do?

    And I found those moments where I would just

    be around both of them, just sitting, just connecting.

    Somebody told me this very specific thing.

    They said, when you take care of the mother, you're taking care of the child.

    And one of the things that I found myself doing and learning early on was

    the better I take care of my wife, that child will also be taking care of supported

    and bonded with.

    But then I also needed my own time.

    I needed time to bond with my child.

    I needed time to connect with my kid.

    And one of the things that--

    and I'll just be really transparent with this.

    This was 2020, so the height of COVID.

    And my child was only about one years old at the time,

    but I was playing a lot of video games.

    And I realized I asked myself the question.

    I said, man, I'm playing more time or spending more time gaming than I am,

    spending with my child.

    Because COVID was-- nothing was going on.

    There was a lot of confusion.

    Everyone was just home, so I needed something to do.

    And I found myself that something to do was to game instead of just sitting there

    and chilling and just looking at my kid, making funny spaces and reading

    or whatever the case may be.

    Now, I'm not saying everybody has to do this, but I threw away my games.

    I threw away-- actually, I sold my computer,

    and I threw away the rest of the games that I had because I asked myself the question,

    I said, do I care more about this than I care about my child?

    And I wanted to be a lot more present and connected with my kid,

    in which allowed that very thing.

    I deepened my connection with my child, making some radical decisions

    that were helpful to our relationship.

    And four years later, he's almost five.

    Man, when I tell you, my kid loves me.

    I love my child.

    We're so connected with everything that we're doing.

    It's because I made some decisions that allowed us to build a strong connection

    instead of waiting years later.

    I don't need to wait until that child is six, seven, and throwing a baseball

    or can play basketball or can do extra curricular activities

    or it's good at something that I like in order for me to bond with them.

    I just need to connect and just sit and converse and read and just build that bond.

    And I think that once we start doing that more often,

    these will deepen our connections with our children.

    And no matter what they do, they'll love the connection that we spend time with.

    It doesn't matter what we do, it's just the fact that we're spending the time together.

    What can dads do if they've made mistakes in the beginning

    and they don't know where to begin creating a bond and connecting with their kids

    later in that journey?

    I mean, first thing, man, just forgive yourself, number one,

    because we don't need to hold on to that baggage, right?

    We all make mistakes.

    And so forgive yourself and move forward with that, right?

    Because at the end of the day, if you show me anybody who says that they're a perfect father,

    they're just a liar.

    At the end of the day, let's just be real.

    We make mistakes.

    Let's understand that.

    Let's forgive ourselves and let's move forward.

    That's number one.

    And then number two, as we're taking those steps,

    let's really understand that child, right?

    And one of the things that I, what I mean by that is,

    don't just look at the fact that there are certain things that you love and care for.

    And try to understand what they truly love and care for too,

    and bond with them and those aspects in their lives.

    So it's not just the things that you love and now you're projecting your life on them,

    but you're able to now have this communication or the sharing bond

    where you both can show what each other love and care for, and ultimately,

    that child sees, "Man, my dad cares about this too in my life."

    So I think that's very important as well.

    How can dads connect with you or learn more about what you're doing?

    Yeah, a lot of the work that I'm doing right now is more so centered around youth development

    and empowerment and understanding how to truly build up the next generation.

    And so my work has done a lot in schools.

    And I do a lot of conferences as well where I speak to fathers,

    where I speak about mental health, where I speak about youth development and empowerment,

    I do a lot of work with schools and with classroom presentations.

    I know a lot of dads might not be in that, but I do community work as well.

    And so what that means is we're looking to bond parents with educators

    so that they build a stronger connection to their schools.

    That's one of the things that I think is very missed right now is the education to parent ratio.

    And to even go a little bit deeper, as being an educator,

    we see a lot of women in education, but we don't see a lot of fathers or dads or men in education

    as much as we used to.

    And so one of the missions that I'm looking to do is really start pushing men back into the schools

    because it helps those kids to be able to see their fathers as leaders as well,

    to care about their education in that sense.

    And so that's a big mission of mine, but you could easily find me either on BSLspeaks.com.

    You could even book me to come to different places that you would like for me to come speak at.

    And then also my Instagram is BSL_Speaks as well.

    And just to make this easier, if you go to thefatherhoodchallenge.com,

    that's thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    If you go to this episode, look right below the episode description and I'll have all the links

    that Brian just mentioned. I'll have it posted there for your convenience.

    Brian, as we close, what is your challenge to dads listening now?

    Ain't no, my challenge is it's not about doing something specific. My challenge would be

    to challenge your thinking, challenge the way that you view your relationship with your child.

    I want you to challenge even the way that your child sees you.

    Think about how does your child see you as a father?

    And I want us to really just start thinking how we can deepen our connection with our kids.

    I believe in this concept of empathy and radical empathy even more.

    The action that it takes and empathy allows us to try to understand and to imagine the feelings

    that that child is doing or feeling at that moment.

    So I want us to try to challenge ourselves to think more empathetically.

    To think about how that child is seeing their situation and how we can better be fathers,

    be dads, be pouring into our children in a certain specific way.

    And so with that challenge, I know that our perspectives will deepen and be able to connect deeper

    with our child as well.

    Brian, it's been an absolute honor to have you on the Fatherhoodchallenge.

    You've given us tremendous wisdom and actionable steps that any dad can do

    two day to do right now and get results.

    And I really appreciate that.

    Thank you so much for being on the program.

    Thank you again for having me.

    I really appreciate it, Jonathan.

    Looking forward to hearing and seeing the impact that our fathers can take from us.

    Thank you.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of the Fatherhoodchallenge.

    If you would like to contact us,

    listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned in this program or find out more information about the Fatherhoodchallenge.

    Please visit thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    That's thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    [ Simultaneous expressions ]

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Mar 27, 2024
  • Inside a Real Father Daughter Bond

    Do you have a daughter that you are trying hard to bond and connect with but are struggling? Today in this episode you’re going to get inside access into the relationship between a real father and daughter, what makes and keeps them close and how you can have the same relationship with your daughter.

    My guests are Reena Friedman Watts with her dad and co-host of the Better Call Daddy podcast and show, Wayne Friedman.

    To connect with Reena Friedman Watts or Wayne Friedman or listen to the Better Call Daddy Podcast, visit https://bettercalldaddy.com/

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcription - Inside a Real Father Daughter Bond


    Do you have a daughter that you're trying hard to bond or connect with but are struggling?

    Today in this episode you're going to get an inside access look into the relationship

    between a real father and daughter and what makes and keeps them close and how you can

    have the same relationship with your daughter.

    If you're ready to be inspired and ready to make some changes, help is on the way in

    just a moment so don't go anywhere.

    Welcome to the Father the Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere to

    take great pride in their role and a challenge society to understand how important fathers

    are to the stability and culture of their family's environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone, thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is Rina Friedman Watts with her dad and co-host of the Better Call Daddy Podcast

    and show Wayne Friedman.

    Rina and Wayne, thank you so much for being on the Father her Challenge.

    Thank you for having us.

    We're excited to be here.

    Wow, I love that radio voice.

    Let's start out with my favorite question of all.

    What is your favorite dad joke and this is to both of you.

    When I think of dad joke, I think my dad loves to say, you know what your problem is?

    You like me.

    Oh, you fall this mustache.

    Your father's mustache.

    Yeah, at the end of every reaction that we do, my dad continues to surprise me with his

    reactions, by the way.

    Sometimes I don't know what he's going to think about the guests that I've interviewed.

    He's always like, when I have a good reaction to his reaction, he's like, you know what your

    problem is?

    You like me?

    I'm like, yeah, I do.

    Then I put that in my intro even because we say it so much to each other.

    It is a true story.

    I've listened to a few episodes and that's exactly what happens.

    He does.

    Wayne definitely says that.

    Well, Wayne, let's start with you.

    It's obvious you and Rina have a bond.

    You can't co-host a program or podcast with your daughter without that strong bond.

    So where did that begin?

    Well, I think I've tried very hard to have a bond with all three of my girls and you know,

    you have to find what interests them and you have to be part of their show.

    In the beginning, you would think that a father, whether he has sons or daughters, wants

    your children to be part of your show or my show, but it turns out that trying to force

    or trying to put your values onto theirs, they have to accept it on their own.

    It's got to be their choice.

    And if it isn't their choice, it's really not going to work because eventually when someone

    is telling you what to do or telling you how to feel or instructing you of what you can

    do and what you can't do, eventually a person is going to revolt and say, you know, I've

    had enough of that spaghetti in meatballs.

    I want to try something else.

    And I think a parent has to try to set some guidelines, but you have to be able to give

    your children an opportunity to stand on their own two feet and be able to blossom and be

    their own person.

    And the best way to do that is to have communication that's not just one-sided.

    It's got to be where it's reciprocal, where they have a voice that is going to be heard.

    And if you can't get it from your father and your mother, where are you going to get

    it from?

    And if you get it from other places, it's sometimes a very tough learning experience.

    It's a lot nicer if you can get it at home.

    That's interesting.

    So, if we go a little deeper into that, and if I'm understanding you correctly, what you're

    really doing is you are modeling those values, but in the world of your daughters.

    That's correct.

    Rina, you've referred to your dad as your best friend whom you can share anything with.

    What are your earliest memories of your dad that have made you feel close to him?

    I was thinking about this question, and one of the earliest memories I have is decorating

    my dad and our dogs with stickers and jewelry.

    And he was always willing to kind of like play along to my shenanigans.

    And you know, that progressed as I grew older.

    I was putting on like musical performances and he would sit on the couch and clap his hands

    and then you know, when my grandparents were in a nursing home, he encouraged me to go sing

    for them and sing for the residents.

    And I think that goes along with what he was saying, you know, encourage your kids' talents.

    Each one of us kind of had our own talents.

    I like to sing and I had a sister who played the violin and she played baseball and I had

    another sister that was very into art and painting and whatever interest we had, he really

    got us the lessons and went to our games and you know, cheered on the sidelines and was

    there with, you know, my parents, my grandparents and it became a family affair.

    I mean, as you can imagine, having three daughters, there was always us competing for our parents

    attention and our interests and what we wanted to do versus, you know, what they wanted us to


    But they did make us believe that we could do anything that we set our minds to and I think

    that that's really cool.

    Like they never said you can't major in vocal music or you can't major in sports medicine

    or how about physics or how about becoming a doctor.

    Like I was pre-med for two and a half years and then switched my major to communications

    and broadcasting and they were really okay with it.

    They're like, okay, if that's what you want to do with your career and I did end up doing

    that for my career but I was much closer to a bachelor's of science and I was on a full

    scholarship at a college and I ended up transferring from the University of Charleston where I was

    doing a little bit of partying to Purdue, which was a much more serious university and

    I left behind a singing scholarship and decided I wanted to try something else and I didn't

    really see a lot of resistance there.

    You both co-host a podcast and show called Better Called Daddy.

    Where did you come up with the idea of working together and how was that decision made?

    How do that decision make you both stronger?

    My dad is always who I've called.

    He's always the one that can stay on the phone for hours at a time and pretty much handle

    most situations that I've been in.

    So that has been a common theme through my life.

    I think I decided that would be a good idea for a show after I worked for a top podcaster.

    I worked for Kathy Heller host of Don't Keep Your Day job and I was like seven months pregnant

    helping her produce a 350 person event.

    This was also after I had co-hosted the next level people show so I had kind of already worked

    in radio, co-hosted another podcast, then worked for a top podcaster and my dad was in LA

    on business meeting a colleague and I was seven months pregnant putting out tables for

    sponsors and keeping the guests happy in the green room and he was like, I will help you

    put out the tables.

    I will help you set up the booths.

    I will make sure this event runs smoothly.

    He was worried about me moving chairs.

    He was like my production assistant for the day.

    I've been behind the scenes, kind of got my start in television at the Jerry Springer show

    right out of college and worked in reality TV for a while and then like I said worked for

    a bunch of influencers and I felt like during the pandemic it was kind of my opportunity

    to step in front of the camera and use all of these skills that I had learned for all

    of these years and I knew my dad wouldn't back out on me that he would be the best co-host

    and that he really synthesizes my thoughts well and he's there for me and I thought that

    his wisdom and his intergenerational flare would make a good show.

    Everything I'm hearing from what you're saying is comes back to the earlier question of your

    dad actually modeling this idea of being in your world of helping you thrive in your world

    and helping you grow.

    And his parents modeled that too.

    He worked with his parents for 40 plus years and he learned every aspect of the business

    and that's something that my grandfather encouraged.

    He said if you want to have your own business then you need to learn all of the departments

    not just had to manage people but had to do the work that you're asking the people to

    do and so my dad worked alongside his parents saw them model that and you know it wasn't

    just working together in the factory it was once he came home to you know they learned

    how to invest in the stock market together.

    We had a close-knit family where we got together on weekends.

    I mean I spent the night at my grandparents house until I was about in fifth grade they had

    like a special mattress for me in their own room.

    I remember my grandmother on the typewriter doing the time cards and my grandfather always

    had the news on and I grew up with my grandparents like a five minute drive away and whenever I called

    them my grandfather was like be right there a little girl you know.

    So my grandparents were a big part of my life like my you know I grew up in Kentucky so

    people get married young and my grandparents were like second parents to me.

    Everything I just heard you say I think can be summed up in one word and this is what I see

    happening in the dynamics between you and your dad and that word is legacy.

    There's a legacy generations deep that's being left and I think that's absolutely


    Yeah thank you.

    I appreciate that because that's what the better called daddy podcast is about is really

    sharing not only our legacy but asking people to investigate the legacy of their own families

    and with their own experiences so that really coincides with what the theme of the show is


    So let's dive into the spiritual dynamics.

    What dynamics of your father daughter relationship mimic the image of God and how does that relate

    to all of us is in a true that at least in our family and with the religious background

    that we have were obligated to really pass to the next generation everything that we've

    learned and values were supposed to be able to pass down as the belief of God to the right

    things and to be spiritual and to be educated and grow your whole life.

    That's a legacy that we feel is very close to God and the fact is is that we just don't

    live forever and the only way that we can have a chance of living forever is if we pass

    on through the generations our knowledge and our wisdom and pass that along and hopefully

    if you're successful in business a little bit we can give a tool of passing on and some

    inheritance financially as well but it doesn't take much to blow the money.

    So we better make sure that we pass down good values as mentioned already earlier that your

    children and your grandchildren your great grandchildren want to learn and grow and have

    values of caring about others and not just yourself and try to make humanity a goal not

    just individual goals.

    I love that it's funny to you because he always says have a couple kids your own you'll see

    how easy it is.

    It's a big job and the funny part is is that it only took a second to make arena but the

    fact is is that it's a life long commitment it's a life long I don't know how to say it

    I guess it's really where you have to set the right example for your children always

    they don't necessarily follow what you say they follow more your actions of what you do

    so you really have to set a good example hands on your whole life because your children

    are watching you at all different ages of their development are are following what your

    lead is and I think we have a responsibility to do the best that we can to set the best

    example and like I said it's got to be done to where an individual has to understand that

    part of our existence is to be able to give your children every opportunity to have a continuum

    and without that I think our individual lives are would be more shallow.

    There's something really profound that you're bringing up and that is the fact that

    we have a spiritual responsibility and accountability as fathers for our children for the legacy

    that we leave our children we are accountable we are responsible for that that's what it

    means that's this whole idea of mimicking the image of God which is the way he set it

    up this is the way it was designed to be and if I really dive into the emotional component

    of it to me that's overwhelming that's that actually I would probably just go ahead

    and say it's a scary thought to me when I look at it that way does it ever feel overwhelming

    to you.

    Always certainly can be and sometimes when you even think you've done a terrific job it

    can all blow up in your face because events can occur out there in the real world that

    can give you a major setback and the fact is is that we have to learn to pivot we have

    to learn to understand that it's not the end of the world and we just have to find maybe

    a new path or a new way of moving forward but we can't allow the pitfalls to stop everything

    that we're trying to build.

    Well the good news is we don't have to do it alone God has promised to help us if he's

    given us a responsibility that great he doesn't typically give responsibilities like that

    without access to helping resources from him to accomplish that.

    I agree with you 100 percent.

    Wayne and Reena I've been told by experts that eye contact is essential to a bond and connection

    with your daughter is this true and what's your experience with this?

    Oh absolutely.

    The funny part is is that I can tell when I'm looking at Reena whether she really hears

    me or if I have surprised her with an answer it shows up on her face just like she's written

    a book to me.

    So I think that expression or facial expressions as long as you know going with the eyes as

    well I think you can get a good read you can sometimes really know if somebody's got

    something in their hand by the way they're acting that's why a lot of times they have a hat

    on or a hood and dark glasses because they don't want to give away the emotion of their

    hand at all where they're trying to just be a blank because I do agree that we our bodies

    give us a lot of communication of how we really feel where it's very hard to fake that.

    So I agree with you that eye contact facial contact whether a person is you don't have

    them see a sweat okay or be extra nervous because like I said when it comes to being in

    the clutch you want someone that can step up to a higher level when you're competing when

    the pressure is on not someone who's going to melt.

    I think I have your eyeballs.

    My face says it all.


    It's like I said she can be communicating just by her reaction to things and sometimes I have

    to spend a little extra time calming her down even when she has said nothing okay just

    from the facial expressions.

    And I think a mother has that instinct even with her own children.

    I mean even in the way that she's able to pick up baby cries that's what I was thinking

    is you know you can tell when they're hungry you can tell when they're hurt you can tell

    when they're sick.

    So I think a lot of it is instinctual and another thing that I wanted to say too was my relationship

    with my dad and even my grandparents has led to a belief in God because my dad always told

    me as a young kid that as long as he's alive nothing bad will ever happen to me and I think

    you know when I'm having a hard time I even am like if you love me like my dad loves me

    then help me out right now like I know he puts up with a lot.

    You know I talk to God like that because of my relationship with my dad I feel like I'm

    able to believe in God and in the hardest times.

    Oh wow yeah that's powerful and I think that's another form of a legacy that's being left.

    I would and I would argue maybe the I would argue maybe that's the most important one.

    They're all very very important but that's the most important legacy because that's what

    was really designed all the way from the very very beginning the very first book.

    Scripture is about that.

    If that's being achieved that speaks to a huge success that's a big win as a parent.

    You touched on a different dynamic and that is the the mother daughter relationship.

    The very same thing happens there.

    Yeah I think that it's important to be able to talk to to both of your parents to feel

    understood and even in what we're trying to achieve with our show and I think what you're

    trying to achieve with yours as well is by hearing people's stories and by giving them

    time and not rushing through that and and making people feel like their story matters or

    that their experience matters or that they can help someone that literally can save people's


    That literally can give people legacy and purpose.

    It's truly unbelievable what listening to someone tell their story can do.

    My dad even encouraged me to put ear pods on his 93 year old mother and have her tell me

    stories of where she came from so that I could get that before she wasn't able to tell that

    story anymore and now I'm so glad that I did that and he found a recording of his dad when

    he was clearing out the factory that they used to work at together.

    It was like a cassette recording of he was getting ready to fire an employee and the other employee

    who had referred him to the company was like I'm sorry I referred that guy like he was making

    me look bad and he was like well you know thank you for letting me know that but I think

    my grandfather was like hitting record just to document what he was getting ready to do

    and I had that cassette transferred to an MP3 and I did an episode where I interviewed my

    grandmother and then did a little transition explaining that I had found this tape and so

    I had my grandfather in the same episode and his philosophy on work and then my dad responded

    to the episode so it was like a triple generation episode me and my grandparents and my dad

    and that too is like the power of storytelling the power of legacy and the power of documenting

    for the next generation.

    I think even your daughter was part of that show I think it was four generations.

    Yeah my kids have participated even in the podcast through creating intros asking some

    of the guests that I've interviewed questions coming up with different commercials with me.

    I think that if you have skills that you can pass on to your kids chances are they have

    some of those talents and they might even not not know that they have those talents so if

    there's something that you're good at I'm even trying to tell my dad teach teach my kids

    how to invest you know teach my kids how to take care of the yard teach my kids how to

    take care of their grandparents I think them seeing me wanting to go see my 95 year old

    grandma even though it's their spring break but you know how many years do I have left

    with her I think that that teaches them lessons just in in going to visit remember your

    actions sometimes speak louder than words.

    Yeah I saw a news article that they opened like a child care center in a nursing home they

    are testing that model because old people love babies and kids and kids love old people

    and there is I feel like that it's missing from society today like kids live away from their

    parents and parents live away from their parents me my dad flies to Florida like once a month

    to go help out with his mom and you know we're also spread out and like I said earlier in

    the episode I grew up with both sets of my grandparents within a five ten minute drive

    away and they were coming to all of my performances or all of my school events and grandparents

    day now grandparents day is like a parent coming or an aunt coming or a friend coming from

    the community and and that's great to it's just there is wisdom from those other generations

    and I think we still need to kind of incorporate some of that for learning.

    I want to move on to a different direction why is it essential for dads to drop their anger

    immediately and always when they interact with their daughters.

    The truth of the matter is is that if you want your daughter to have a relationship with

    a man down the road you have to give even an example of what a man should be like to

    your daughter so you have to treat her right first you have to be understanding first you

    have to be easy with your tone first because if you don't do that what can happen is that

    they will meet someone out there and if you're yelling at your daughter or if you're overdoing

    it or if you're being holding them back or telling them what to do and they can't do this

    then they can't do that.

    Well guess what then they're going to use that example and say well I love my dad and

    my dad was like that maybe I've got to find somebody that's like my dad but not necessarily

    in a good way but in a bad way and then that's how girls can end up in an abusive relationship

    because they think that that's normal so I think it's very important especially with

    a daughter that a father has to be extra extra extra patient and understanding and set the

    best possible example.

    You want to be a little rough with your son you want him to be a little tougher but with

    a daughter you got to treat her like she's a piece of pie with whipped cream and a cherry

    on top.

    Love that answer.

    You know what are your thoughts on this?

    I think that my parents got married super young and to be honest my dad was very passionate

    in his younger years with expressing himself and even if there was some yelling I think

    it's really important just to tuck your kids in at night and let them know that you love

    them and to drive them to school in the morning and ask them what's on their mind and if they

    want to talk for an hour or two at a time do that and if there are things that you can't

    talk about like you know I went to a grandparent so that's what comes to mind for me is there

    are going to be times where you guys don't see eye to eye or that you're not going to be

    as close I mean even when I was in college I was definitely figuring out myself and wanted

    some years to do that but just let your daughter know that kind of like what you stand for

    and what your values are and that you're going to be there and you're going to be accepting

    and you know that you can call it any hour.

    How can dads listening connect with you both with any questions or to learn more about

    what you're doing or to just listen into your podcast?

    BetterCallDaddy.com and we love when people have questions for us that's something that we

    do at the end of every episode we say is there anything that you would like to ask my

    dad and it can be around business it can be around a personal struggle that you're having

    people have even said that they want to adopt my dad and that is the biggest form of flattery.

    As we close what is your challenge to dads listening now?

    Dad should express to their daughters what they're proud of them about.

    I don't think that dads do it enough maybe they just don't think too and I think it's

    really powerful to do that.

    Let your kids know that what they've done is good and that you see that in them.

    I think letting your kids know that you see their gifts stays with them for a really long


    It's something that they can always draw from.

    But dad really has to be able to step up and be able to show that they're going to be

    there for their daughter no matter what.

    I feel the same thing about a son too.

    You've got to be there unconditionally and sometimes it's hard because if they're doing

    certain things that are against the grain that you don't believe in but you have to try

    to put your you know how the shoe fits on the other foot and try to see where they're coming

    from despite your own beliefs.

    But it's hard.

    Sometimes it's really hard but you have to be willing to at least try to find some middle

    road if you can.

    Wayne Reena it has been a pleasure having you both on the fatherhood challenge.

    We've given us so much wisdom, much needed wisdom.

    I've been looking forward to doing this episode for a long time because I knew it was going

    to be packed with so much wisdom and certainly true today.

    Thank you so much for being on the fatherhood challenge.

    Thanks for having us again.

    We appreciate it.

    Thanks Jonathan.

    Loved your questions.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of the Fatherhood Challenge.

    If you would like to contact us, listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned

    in this program or find out more information about the fatherhood challenge.

    Please visit thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    That's thefatherhoodchallenge.com.


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    30m - Mar 21, 2024
  • The Curse From Ignoring Fatherhood

    Has the world fallen under a curse? If so what is it? If you've ever wondered why it seems the world is spinning out of control with things like violence, anger needless suffering and mental health issues, the root cause of most of it is the same and so is the solution.

    To learn more about The Fatherhood Challenge or to listen to more episodes visit https://www.thefatherhoodchallenge.com/

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    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcription - The Curse From Ignoring Fatherhood


    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere to take great pride in their role and a

    Challenge society to understand how important fathers are to the stability and culture of their families environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. It's always good to have you with me.

    I always appreciate each person that listens. There's many things you could be listening to, many things that you could direct your attention to.

    But you have chosen to listen to this program and you've chosen to listen to this episode.

    And I just want to tell you right now that I appreciate you. I appreciate each and every one of you.

    Thank you so much. This program is going to be a little bit different.

    You've probably already noticed a little bit of a change in the format. We have a lot to cover.

    And it goes pretty deep, so we're not going to waste any time. We're really just going to dive in.

    So I want to talk about the Fatherhood Challenge, what the Fatherhood Challenge is doing, why it exists, and what it has to do with you.

    The Fatherhood Challenge was, was a direct call in my life by God.

    This wasn't something I had any desire to do, nor did it, did I have any interest in doing something like this.

    But it was a calling that I felt. I've talked about this story on other episodes of how the Fatherhood Challenge started.

    I made a deal with God. And the deal was that since I didn't want to do this and I didn't know anything about how to do something like this,

    the deal was that God would take ownership for the program.

    I was willing to be the grunt. I was willing to be the face of the Fatherhood Challenge, the voice of the Fatherhood Challenge.

    But this would have to be his program. This would have to be his agenda, and he would have to take charge and run it.

    He would be responsible for opening doors and closing doors that I or the program were not meant to go through.

    And I can tell you to this day that he has kept that promise.

    When I think about why the Fatherhood Challenge exists, it's a very sobering reminder of where God's priorities are, and where our should be.

    So we're going to take a look at those priorities. Where exactly are our priorities individually?

    Where are our priorities as a culture?

    The heart of God is very, very, very close to the Fatherhood topic in the Fatherhood agenda.

    And there's a very, very unique reason why, and we're going to explore that in depth.

    And why Fatherhood should be close to you?

    So if you've paid any attention to the Fatherhood Challenge, if you've looked at the website, if you've looked at the logo, one of the things you're going to see as part of the logo is the mission statement and purpose.

    The mission statement and purpose comes from Malachi 4-6. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.

    Otherwise, I will come and strike a land with the curse.

    We don't like to talk about the curse part. The first part of that text really makes us feel warm and fuzzy.

    But the second part is just as important to talk about as the first.

    Originally, when we think of this scripture text, we think of thousands of years ago in the time of Elijah, and this has been part of the Elijah message.

    But we think of it as a story that was meant, that was written thousands of years ago, and it was,

    and that it was meant for that time. And yes, it was meant for that time as well.

    However, that scripture text is part of a prophetic message, and that prophetic message is equally valid for our time.

    It is relevant to the day and time that we are living in today.

    If you want proof of that, all you have to do is look at some of the bad things that have happened in our country, specifically things like mass shootings.

    You don't even have to look at that. You can just turn on the news and watch the news every night.

    But if we want to go even deeper, yes, go look at things like mass shootings.

    So every time a mass shooting happens, what is one of the first two things that gets talked about?

    One is gun control, and two is school security, or if it's happening in malls or in airport or some other public place,

    how to secure that environment. What you won't hear talked about is the home life of the shooter.

    Where was the father in that shooter's life? You will never hear that talked about on the news.

    You will never hear that explored. And why is that? It's very simple.

    It's a lot less painful to talk about things like gun control and security than it is to talk about what's going on in our homes.

    But it's time that we do because that is the curse that got us specifically talking about.

    But it is an escalation of violence. It is it is it is being out of control. It is a culture that is out of control.

    It is individuals who are out of control. And the root of most of that is lack of a father,

    a father who is either emotionally absent or physically absent or often both. This is the root cause of it.

    And this is what we will do anything we can to avoid talking about.

    There are many countries that are taking the fatherhood initiative seriously. But if you turn on the news,

    this is not something that you will hear discussed on the news. You'll still hear you might hear some good stories now and then.

    But it's generally bad news that you hear when you turn on your local news. We aren't talking about fatherhood.

    The whole of the place is I would expect to hear some sort of a sermon or some sort of talk about fatherhood and the importance of fatherhood and what it means to God.

    I would expect in a house of worship to hear that discussion or to hear a sermon like that happening.

    But I would challenge you to reflect back on when the last time was that you heard a sermon about fatherhood and about the image of God.

    So if we can't even talk about fatherhood and a house of worship, how do you expect to hear the topic of fatherhood being discussed on a national level in any country.

    Let's talk about what happens when we ignore these warnings when we don't take it seriously.

    Fatherless has been found to have significant impact on crime rates. And here's some statistics and research findings on the topic.

    According to the US Department of Justice children from fatherless homes are more likely to be involved in criminal behavior.

    They are at a higher risk of committing a variety of crimes including drug abuse, violence and juvenile delinquency.

    A study published in the Journal of Research and Crime and Delinquency found that fatherless children are more likely to engage in criminal behavior compared to children who live with both parents.

    Research from the National Fatherhood Initiative also shows that children who grow up without a father are more likely to experience poverty, drop out of school and have behavior problems, all of which are risk factors in criminal behavior.

    You think this might be a reason to take fatherhood seriously? We have prisons, both local prisons, we have state prisons and we have federal prisons that are overcrowded.

    Now let's talk about something else of the fatherhood initiatives that are out there that do exist fatherhood programs.

    There are very few programs out there that are actually involving God that actually talk about God and involve God as the solution.

    Being the fact and truth that we are made in God's image does it seem does it make any kind of logical sense to leave God out of the process of bringing fathers and children together?

    Does it make any kind of logical sense to leave God out of the process of a father trying to improve himself?

    Does it make any sense when we are made in God's image?

    So in our arrogance, have we actually accomplished anything? Have we actually made any improvements without God?

    Let's explore what religion actually contributes to the fatherlessness discussion.

    There are some studies and reports that have explored the role of religion, including Christianity in addressing issues related to fatherlessness.

    And here are some of the key points and findings.

    Many faith-based organizations, including Christian churches, play a significant role in providing support and resources to families affected by fatherlessness.

    These organizations often offer monitoring programs, mentoring programs, counseling services and community support to help address the challenges faced by children growing up without fathers.

    Research has also shown that religious involvement, including participation in Christian activities such as attending church services

    and engaging in religious practices was associated with a greater family stability. This can include stronger parent-child-relationships, reduced likelihood of divorce and improved overall family well-being.

    The Christian faith emphasizes the importance of fatherhood and provides guidance on the roles and responsibilities of fathers within families.

    Many Christian teachings stress the importance of fathers being present, supportive and actively involved in their children's lives.

    So let's examine this a little bit further. But if you actually go and look into, for example, if you look at a lot of radio networks, a lot of radio programs, you'll be hard pressed to find programs specifically dealing with fatherhood.

    They are out there, but they are few and far between. I am very, very proud to be part of a network that actually cares about fatherhood.

    And yes, I am one of the programs on a network that does actually care about fatherhood.

    Let's talk about religion. Let's talk about what God has to say about religion.

    And this scripture text comes from Isaiah 1. This is God talking.

    What makes you think I want all your sacrifices, says the Lord? I'm sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fat and cattle.

    I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. And when you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony?

    Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts, the incense of your offerings disgusts me.

    As for your celebrations of the new moon in the Sabbath and your special days for fasting, they are all sinful and false.

    I want no more of your pious meetings. I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them.

    When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.

    Wash yourselves and be clean. Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good.

    Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

    Come now. Let's settle this, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow.

    Though they are red as crimson, I will make them white as wool.

    If you will obey me, you will have plenty to eat. But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.

    I, the Lord, have spoken. So yes, that's a fascinating one from Isaiah. Do we have a lot of wars today?

    Yeah, are we talking about fatherhood? No. Could this be part of the curse that God talked about that God tried to warn us about thousands of years ago?

    Yeah, absolutely. I believe that 100%. Orphans are a parentless. They are without a parent.

    And there's lots of ways for that to take place. A parent can be physically absent.

    An apparent can also be emotionally absent and sometimes both. And this includes fathers.

    So yes, the fatherhood agenda, the fatherhood topic is front and center to God's heart.

    And as long as we are choosing to ignore this issue, as long as we are choosing not to talk about it,

    and as long as we are deliberately choosing to leave God out of the discussion, the curse is promised.

    And it is actively happening. God is not interested in your piety.

    God is not interested in your religious rituals and your services. He's not interested in your plain church.

    He's interested in how you treat those around you.

    If you've done the homework, if you've done a Bible study on it, then you already know very, very well

    that an expectation before you come and take part in the Lord's supper.

    The expectation is that you first go make things right. The starts in your home.

    The starts with your wife, the starts with your children. You first make things right in your home.

    Then you go make things right. With your brothers and sisters in the church,

    with people outside the church that you've wronged, you go make those wrongs right.

    You apologize where you need to make apologies. You make things right. Then you come before the Lord

    and participate in the Lord's supper. That is a very, very, very clear expectation.

    Now, let's talk about children. Children in this day and age are treated like an inconvenience.

    They are treated like a burden. If you want proof of that, all we have to do is talk about abortion.

    We're not going to spend, we could easily spend an hour episode alone just talking about abortion,

    but we're not going to do that. But the point is made, if you spend any time thinking about or

    researching the abortion issue, it's not hard to find the root issue in that is that children

    are an inconvenience. That is the central theme in abortion. Something a funny thing about children

    is that when you have them, suddenly it's not all about you anymore. You now have to care for someone

    else. You have to think about someone else besides yourself. It's very, very normal to have fears,

    certain fears. Am I ready? Am I going to be able to actually care for this child? Not feeling prepared.

    And you can have these feelings when you expect the child. But it's another thing when you actually

    don't want the child because it's going to up into your life because it's going to ruin your life

    because all you want to do is think about yourself. When thinking about yourself is the root motive

    for why you want to have an abortion, that's a problem. And it is not the unborn child's problem.

    It is not the unborn baby's problem. It is an internal problem. That's reason enough

    to prove that children are often seen as an inconvenience in our culture. If you go into certain

    churches, children are treated with the philosophy that they're to be seen but not heard. There are

    many churches where if a child starts getting loud, a deacon will escort the mother or someone will

    escort the mother out of the church or shame the mother or shame both the mother and the child.

    Jesus, however, had a very different take on children. Children flocked to him. He made time for them.

    He made them feel like they were special, like they were wanted. If we treated children that way,

    if we treated our own children that way, if children were seen as a blessing,

    instead of a curse or an inconvenience, well, I don't think we really would have to be talking

    about the fatherhood issue as urgently as we need to now. So what is scripture have to say about

    children? If we look at Psalm 1273, that text says children are a gift from the Lord.

    They are reward from him. Well, that's a different way of looking at children.

    Children being a reward from God. Children being a gift from God. What if our culture thought of children

    that way? Because the funny thing is when we neglect the fatherhood issue, when we ignore

    fatherhood and when we ignore God's role in fatherhood, what we're really saying is that we don't

    like children. What we're really saying is that children are not important to us. It's the same thing.

    You can't separate the father from children. Children need their father. I have seen time and time

    and time again. The damage that happens to children when they are missing their father.

    When a father is either alienated out of a child's life or a father chooses to alienate

    himself from his children's life. And sometimes it happens other ways, other unfortunate ways that

    can't be, there's nothing you can do anything about such as death. Fatherlessness can happen that way.

    But the earlier the absence happens in the child's life, the deeper the damage, I've experienced it

    in my own life. This is how I know. And I've seen it in other people's lives. And this is why

    when we ignore this issue, what we are also saying is that we don't care about fatherless children.

    They are not a priority in our culture. We don't care about them. If we don't care enough to talk

    about fatherlessness, and if we don't care enough to talk about God's role in solving it, then we really

    don't care about children. Now let's move on and let's talk about the image of God. What is the

    image of God have to do with any of this? If you ever look at the Lord's prayer in scripture,

    and this is how Jesus taught us to pray and taught us disciples to pray. The very first thing is our

    father. We address God the father as that as our father. So is it a stretch for us to understand

    that we are made in the image of God? This is in scripture. It's in the book of Genesis, the creation

    story. We are made in the image of God. I don't know what part of that our culture refuses to accept

    refuses to understand and deliberately ignores. It's a tall order for a father to try to understand

    that his relationship with his children is a reflection of his relationship with his heavenly

    father. And that's the way it was designed to be. It's a tall order. You weren't meant to deal with

    this alone. So why do we choose to? What exactly are we scared of? So as we wrap this up, I want to

    talk, I want to challenge you to look at yourself, to look at yourself. Where are you in this whole

    discussion of fatherhood? Are you a missing father in your own life and you're struggling with how

    to be apparent to your own children? Are you struggling to push past your own pain to become

    available for your own children? Are you one of the people that are not really interested in

    the fatherhood agenda and talking about it and you'd rather just ignore it and pretend it's not an

    issue? If that is you, why do you feel that way? What's the root reason why? Are you one of those people

    who refuse to involve God in the fatherhood discussion? Because you're angry with God over your own

    issues or your own pain that you're going through. If you fall into any of those categories,

    I'm not going to sugarcoat the solution. The solution may or may not be what you think or what you

    want it to be, but the center of the solution and the solution itself is God. It is God.

    God has always been open to us. If you're mad at God over a painful past or and I've been there,

    I know what that's like. If you're angry, if you're mad at God because you were abandoned as a child,

    the solution is to talk to him. He's not afraid of your anger, believe me, but he wants to hear from you.

    He wants to reveal the truth to you. He wants to heal you. He's not willing to abandon you.

    He's not willing to leave you sitting there in your anguish.

    But if you don't talk to him, he's not going to force himself on you either. That's not the kind of

    God he is. So I want to challenge you to reach out to God if you're struggling as a parent

    with anything, whether it's raising a teen, whether it's lack of sleep and trying to have patience

    to take care of your family and not even sure how to do that well, talk to God about it. Bring everything

    to him. He wants to hear from you. Everything. He wants to hear everything from you. Every little detail

    he wants to know about and he wants to be involved. So don't shut him out. Don't leave him out.

    Your anger brings that to him as well. He wants to hear that. Don't hold anything back.

    And the other thing is trust. And that comes with time and that comes with trying him.

    Give him a chance. Open up to him and then watch what he does.

    So as we close and wrap up this episode, I want to pray a prayer for you. And so I want to ask that

    you open up your heart and take this prayer and is your own. Heavenly Father,

    thank you so much for each person listening now. I want to ask that you will personally send

    your Holy Spirit into their life, into their heart. And I want to ask that you will

    that you will come close and that you will read their what's on their mind and what's on their heart.

    It could be pain from a traumatic past. It could be an abandonment from a missing Father in their life

    that could be from a death that could be from a dad who's walked out. Whatever it is, Father,

    I want to ask that your presence will be there with that dad, with that person that you will be

    especially close to them that you will bring healing. The Holy Spirit is known as the great healer.

    And so I want to ask for healing for that person that you will heal their heart.

    For the dad that is feeling stressed to the breaking point, feeling overwhelmed, unsure of what to do in

    raising raising his children. You are also the source of knowledge and you are also the source of

    wisdom. And so I want to ask that you will give that dad wisdom and knowledge to know what to do.

    It may be help. Maybe that dad needs an extra hand and needs help.

    Whatever resources that dad needs to take some of that burn in a way to let him know that he's not alone.

    I want to ask that you will provide that for that dad that he can parent that child that he can

    love that child with all of his heart and give that child what he needs. And at the same time

    that his own heart would be filled. So that is my prayer, Father.

    For Father's listening today, help them to understand and realize they are not alone that you

    love them beyond what they can comprehend. That you care about them, that you see them,

    that they are not alone. Thank you so much, Father. In Jesus name. Amen.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of the Fatherhood Challenge. If you would like to contact us,

    listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned in this program or find out more information

    about the Fatherhood Challenge. Please visit thefatherhoodchallenge.com. That's thefatherhoodchallenge.com.




    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    27m - Mar 15, 2024
  • A Fathers Journey From Being Abused to Healing

    If you’re a dad who’s experienced sexual abuse and/or physical abuse as a child and it has wrecked your life into adulthood, this is an episode you aren’t going to want to miss. You might be desperate for real lasting healing.

    Dennis Knight Sr. is the founder of King Me Ministries, a ministry that focuses on equipping men to be who God created them to be. Dennis had a dark childhood that included sexual abuse and he will share his story and journey of how he survived the abuse and came to a place of forgiveness and true lasting healing.

    You can learn more about King Me Ministries and connect with Dennis Knight Sr. at: https://kingme-ministries.com/

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcript - A Father’s Journey From Being Abused to Healing


    If you're a dad who's experienced sexual abuse and or physical abuse as a child and it is

    wrecked your life into adulthood, this is an episode you are not going to want to miss.

    You might be desperate for real lasting healing. And my guest has been through all of this and

    he will share his story and his path to healing with us in just a moment so don't go anywhere.

    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire

    fathers everywhere to take great pride in their role and a challenge society to understand how

    important fathers are to the stability and culture of their family's environment. Now here's your

    host, Jonathan Guerrero. Greetings everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. My guest is Dennis

    Knight Senior. Dennis is the founder of King Me Ministries, a ministry that focuses on equipping men

    to be who God created them to be. Dennis has had a dark childhood that included sexual abuse

    and he will share his story and journey to how he survived the abuse and came to a place of

    forgiveness and true lasting healing. Dennis, thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    What a pleasure. The pleasure is definitely mine. I look forward to what we can discuss today.

    So Dennis, let's start with a dad joke. What is your favorite dad joke?

    Let me see. I guess I would go with why do chicken cubes have only two doors?

    Why do chicken cubes have two doors? I'm not really sure.

    Because if they had four, they would be called chicken sedans.

    Thank you for sharing that. Dennis, let's start with your story. What happened to you as a child

    and how did it impact you as an adult and as a dad? That's a great question. First, thanks for the

    opportunity of being able to share this. I'll start by saying that I never thought I would be able

    to. But there's something that has clicked recently and I see that God is asking me to do this

    for purposes that I don't fully understand. But I can see that it is it seems to be a life raft

    for some people that are drowning in where I was and I see that God is starting to get glory for that.

    So I thank you for the opportunity in having me on as your guest.

    Even from an early age, I wanted to know Jesus. I discovered Jesus at the age of about seven or eight.

    I did that by watching this TV show on a network called USA Network. The TV show or the cartoon

    was called Storybook and it was a story of two young kids who would travel back into these

    biblical times and what they would see in these biblical stories coincided with something that

    they were dealing with in their real life and they would understand how God wanted them to respond

    to that. And watching that cartoon just, I just fell in love with Jesus. I can't fully explain it.

    I come from a home where Jesus was nothing more than a curse word and I was the first person to

    to seek him out and to know him and what I know now is that he was seeking me out the entire time.

    I wasn't seeking him. But watching this TV program, I had a neighbor who finally the next phase,

    she stepped in and invited a bunch of us kids in the neighborhood to go to this vacation Bible

    school program at a local church. I loved it. I was all in and all my buddies went and not one of

    them enjoyed it, but I loved it. I was so drawn to Jesus even more because of this vacation Bible

    study of vacation Bible school. That same church invited me to go away to a summer camp for a week

    that their church was hosting and it was there that they filled in the gaps and told me who it was

    that I was so drawn to this person of Jesus. And I just fell deeply in love with him and I put my

    trust in him and I wanted to be a saviour. And I knew even at that moment at age eight, I wanted to be

    a pastor. And what happened was this church dropped us off at this camp and that person that was in

    charge, that pastor retired. And a week later, we were actually picked up by a brand new pastor.

    And that pastor was young and hip and he was kind of cool, but we had no idea that was even happening.

    And back home, I lived to go to church and I wanted more of God. I wanted him more than anything.

    And I was invited by this new pastor to stay over, to help. He made me feel special included. He kind

    of filled in some of the things that I was lacking in my own relationship with my family. And my hope

    was that in spending time with him that he would show me more of who Jesus was. And unfortunately,

    he didn't. He started to sexually abuse me and that abuse lasted for several years, progressively.

    And as I've come through that healing process, one of the hardest things for me to do

    was to see like, where were you in this Jesus? Why didn't you stop this? Why would you lead me

    to a man who I thought was going to show me more of you, but you allowed him to hurt me and

    ways that are unspeakable? Coming through that healing process, those were the hardest years of my life.

    And looking back, I realized that life is lived forward and it's understood backwards. And I say that

    to say that I didn't see how that childhood abuse impacted me until I've been removed from that

    in healing. And as I look at that, I see that my own self worth was in the tank. I constantly

    doubted myself and my ability. I had these big dreams that I thought were of God, but I had zero

    confidence that I was the man enough to accomplish those. I felt like I was always posing. And I was

    getting really good at hiding the pain and brokenness, especially from other men, hoping that they

    never could tell that I was damaged and even dirty. I was always confident that other men knew

    that I was less than a man for what I allowed to happen to me. At least that was my thoughts.

    I feel like my chance at being a man was stolen from me and I could never get that back. As a

    dad, I was completely overprotective. I wouldn't let my kids sleep out anywhere. I trusted nobody. I

    always thought that they wanted to hurt my child. And when it came to my walk with Jesus, I knew that

    he loved me, but it always felt that he loved me for some selfish reason. He loved me for what he

    could gain from me. I saw him through the eyes of my abuser. Jesus loved me, but he had an ulterior motive.

    He didn't just love me. He loved me for something that he could get from me. And that was really,

    really difficult. If God could have prevented such a horrible abuse from happening, then why didn't He?

    My own faith in Jesus has never really wavered. As I look back on this and this is the remarkable

    side of it, I have always believed in his ability to have saved me through this. I believe that he can

    bring good from what's happened to me, but I question, I just, I feel like that question has to be,

    to be, to be answered. If God were ever to be trusted by the men who have been abused or fathers who

    have not been able to prevent their own kids from being abused, we need to have an understanding of

    this. We need to have an answer for that. And yes, God could have stopped my abuser. And in some

    ways, He tried, right? He tried to put those guardrails to prevent evil from coming into this world.

    It's complicated and that's hard to understand and it takes some faith. But here's what I understand

    and choose to believe about why God allows bad things. I am sure there are greater minds that can speak

    to this, but for me, this is what God has allowed me to believe and where He's allowed me to connect

    back with Him. I think of a couple things. I think of the book of Job and had God decided to protect me

    and let no harm come to me. I feel like Satan could have sent a God. Of course, he's going to follow you.

    Of course, Dennis is going to be a good pastor. Of course, he's going to be a good dad. Of course,

    because you've protected him and you keep him safe from any harm. God could have challenged God

    if God chose to just supernaturally protect me. But God let Satan cause some really bad things to

    happen to Job and to me and other people that have been abused. But one thing is interesting. God

    trusted, a Job trusted God. Job was frustrated. Job was angry, but that was all directed towards God.

    Job's eyes never left God. He questioned. He was frustrated. He was angry, but he was angry

    in a relationship with God. And what I've discovered is Satan doesn't want me to worship him.

    Satan's plan is so much more simple than that. What Satan seems to want to do is he wants my

    eyes to leave God, to look at my situation, to be afraid of the evil that happens. And in doing so,

    Satan wins. Satan's goal is simply to get my eyes to not look at my savior through the hardest

    times of our lives. The second thing that I look at is the story in John 9, where the disciples come

    across this blind man and they say to Jesus, Jesus, who sent him or his parents? In Jesus looked at them,

    he said, "Neither. Sometimes some of these bad things happen to people so that the glory of God

    can be shown." And I see the story of Job and the story of Jesus in John 9 on the same level.

    Because Job chose to trust God through unspeakable things, unspeakable loss. God was honored. God was

    able to look at the enemy and say, "See? I can allow the worst things to happen to them, but when they

    keep their eyes on me, everything's okay. Everything works out. Everything makes sense." And so,

    why does God allow some of that stuff to happen? I don't fully know. But I do know in His promises

    and where I get my hope is through the Prophet Joel, where God says through Him. He says, "I will

    restore the years that the Locus have eaten." And so, while I can't understand why God allowed it,

    why He didn't prevent it, I know that He has poised to get glory for Himself. I know He's poised to get

    to make good things come out of this in my own life, even if it's just to make me more like His Son.

    I know this promise that He says, "What was stolen from you, Dennis? All the things that you've had

    to go through, because you've trusted in me, because your eyes remain on me. One day soon, I'm going to

    restore all that stuff that was stolen from you." And so, that's kind of where I am. And that's how

    God has allowed me to answer why He has allowed this to happen in my life.

    I think it's important to note as well that God doesn't cause these bad things to happen. He

    allows them. And I think the other part of this to understand about God is that it says repeatedly

    in Scripture that God really loves justice. Justice is a very, very big deal to Him. And when we go

    to the story of Job, and we look at how it resolves that God restores Job, in part of that is all of

    His friends who were mocking Him, who were ridiculing Him, criticizing Him, who were really of no help.

    And they had a very holier-than-thou attitude, like, "What did you do to bring this on yourself?"

    You need the piety that they were trying to brag about and demonstrate to Job.

    In the end, that comes back to bite them because when God makes it very clear to them that they were

    wrong, and that they had actually sinned, God made it clear, "I'm not going to listen to your prayers,

    I'm not going to accept your sacrifices or anything until you have made first made things right

    with Job." When you have repaired things with Job and repaired that relationship,

    yeah, then go make sacrifices to mean, "Then I'll listen to your prayers and forgive you."

    Yeah, I think it was Tim Keller who said that. He made such a good point. He says,

    "Jobe was permitted to share his frustration, to share his anger, the share, the regret that he was

    ever born." He was allowed by God to do that, and God didn't call that sin because what Job did,

    which was different than his friends, is Job directed all of that to God. Job stayed in relationship. Job

    kept his eyes on God through it all. At the beginning of that, it says, "Even amongst

    this Job chose not to sin." He never dishonored God. Even when his wife said, "Curse God and die."

    He was like, "No. Even if God takes everything away from me, or if He blesses me,

    my eyes are going to remain on him." For me, that's the deeper theological reason of why God

    allows bad things to happen is because I do believe that God's eyes are going back and forth in the

    world like He tells us. He's looking for that one man or that one woman who sold out to Him,

    that they can be exposed to some of the darkest and deepest evil, and yet they're not wavered.

    Their eyes don't leave Him and say before Satan, say, "Look at my child. I allowed you," as you say,

    God never causes that, but I allowed this. I allowed you access. I allowed you to do this to my child,

    and look what they chose to do. They continually looked at me. They continually found their strength.

    And even when I refuse to answer the why, they still said, "I'm holding on to you." And that's

    really been the difference in my life. As I look at some of the men that I have counseled who've been

    kind of hurt or hurt through the same man, it's kind of that same thing. I see their life. I see

    such brokenness and so different. And what I see are men that refuse to trust God in this. And I think

    oftentimes, I'm like, "Why am I so different?" I came from the same type of family. I was abused the

    same way. Why am I different? What's the different component in my life, in my story, than theirs? And I

    think, and it has nothing to do with me. It's a gift, or at least I think God has allowed me. My

    eyes have just been able to look at Him and say, "God, it doesn't make sense. That was hard. That was

    scary, but my eyes are still looking to you. Looking to you to help me make sense of this. Looking for

    you to keep your promise that you're going to make something good out of this one day. I really think

    that's the difference for me." The next question is going to seem really strange. But I know that there

    are a lot of people, a lot of dads who have suffered abuse. And this question is lurks somewhere

    in the back of their mind. But as an adult, did you ever feel in your mind that you were making a big

    deal out of your childhood abuse than it really was? Did you ever feel maybe a sort of guilt or feel

    like in some way it was your fault or that maybe you might have been making some part of it up or you

    have a detail fuzzy here or there? Did that ever cross your mind? I'm glad you asked this question,

    because as I was confronted with these memories and what do I do with them? I always felt like I had

    to prove to other people. And I felt like maybe I am making a big deal about this. Maybe I didn't

    see it the way it really happened. Maybe I've manufactured some of these feelings. So I think it's a

    super important question for those guys because as God, if there are other men that have been abused,

    they have to wrestle with this question. So it's I think it's a paramount question in the process

    of healing. But for me, it's a strong yes and a no. I never thought I was making a big deal of the

    abuse. I never really had to deal with that. I always instead I avoided it. I felt that somehow I

    must have misunderstood my abusers intentions. I must have invited this somehow and here's where it

    gets really until you understand the psychology of being groomed and abused. I must have invited

    this because I loved this man and I kept going back when I could have said no. And that's a really

    hard thing to explain to people. He wasn't my dad. He wasn't my caretaker. I could have just said,

    I don't want to go to church anymore. I wasn't a part of a family where church was part of our life.

    That was just me. That was my thing. And I feel like I gave him access to me. I allowed him to spend

    time with me. I have so many times said, I actually loved this man who hurt me. And that's a hard

    thing to wrestle with. How do you love somebody that's abused you? What he did for me in so many

    areas of my life, he enriched my life. He expanded my understanding of how the world works.

    He took me places as a poor kid that my parents never could have taken me. He I was important to him.

    I went on trips. We hunted, we fished, we hiked, we traveled to places that my parents never could

    have taken us. And what I realized is those daytime hours spent with him shaped many good parts of my

    life. But the nighttime hours is where the abuse happened. And I suppressed and refused to believe

    that he hurt me. And that was a hard thing to really wrestle with. How do you love your abuser? And

    there's some psychological reasons for that. And there's an explanation for that. But that's really what

    I worked through. And I say yes, too, because I hate seeing the damage that this is causing even his

    family and his children. And on so many people that he ministered to, I see lives being just crushed

    because of his sin. And so I wear that weight of, what is it necessary for me to say something?

    Was it necessary for me to let this come into the light? Why didn't I just continue to just let it be?

    And what changed everything for me was two things. And they were very important for me. The first

    one was hearing that this man had groomed several other boys at the same age that he groomed me.

    And these men's lives have been destroyed. And when that was shared with me,

    that's when all the memories were triggered. That's when the sleepless nights came. That's when

    the nightmares came. That's when that's when I was sort of having to go back into what happened to

    me as a child, all those feelings that I have ignored and suppressed. And the second thing that was

    so helpful is my wife, she said to me one day, she said, Dennis, this didn't happen to you, the strong,

    loving, and more than capable man who can protect himself in those he loves. This happened to an

    eight-year-old boy. And you have to stand up and you have to protect and have give a voice to that eight-year-old

    boy for the sake of the other eight-year-old boy, so that this is happening to those things help me

    to put in perspective what happened. Who did it and whose fault this was? It wasn't that little eight-year-old

    boy's fault. It was the abuser who knew exactly what he was doing. So that's definitely something I've

    had to wrestle with and other people coming out of that that trauma. They're going to have to because

    I think the enemy and the world may not understand it and they're going to sort of push that question

    to you and you're going to feel that that question whether they ask it or not, you're going to feel

    like it's right there on the surface. They want to know, how did you allow this to happen? And that's

    a tough thing to answer, but it's important. You started King Me Ministries. Tell us about it.

    Talk a little bit about God's purpose for dads. Yeah, so I remember sitting in bed one night and

    having just finished ministry and thinking maybe God's finished with me and I woke up in the middle

    of the night and it literally just felt like God said, King Me Ministries and trying to process,

    well, what do you mean by that? What is where is that? And quickly realize that if you've ever

    played checkers, the whole point of playing checkers is you take your little pieces and you march

    them down to the end of the board, your opponent side of the board and you hope to get to that one spot

    where you look at them and you say, King Me and they have to put that second piece on top and that

    second piece symbolizes your ability to move in any direction. You can do what you couldn't do before

    you arrived at that point and King Me Ministries is just that. It's dads who look at their sons

    and they say, "Ah, I have intentionally raised you to be a man and you have arrived and let me

    let me king you. Let me now enable you to move in any direction that you need to. Let me make you

    a force on this field that you're playing in this life." And so King Me aims to celebrate men and

    dads who get it right. They know how to intentionally raise their kids in a fear and then the love of God

    and we know that there are some men who want to do it right. They just don't have the tools. They

    don't have the know how. And so we want to come alongside them and equip them with what it takes

    to be a good dad. And of course the third component of that is there are some boys that will never have a

    dad and we want to step in the gap there and provide what those fathers have not. The absence of those

    fathers have not. And what we're working to do even as we speak today is we're trying to build a

    three phase program working with dads and their sons. And the idea of phase one is to take boys at

    a ten year old and you take them and their dad and you give them a weekend away, four days away

    and it's just filled with adventure. In that first phase it's an invitation from a dad to a son

    to enter into this journey from this day until you're eighteen where hopefully at the culmination

    of this program we are going to just celebrate your arrival into manhood. And phase two is just kind

    of a checkup four day adventure where 15 year olds and their dad the same dads hopefully

    and boys they come back a few years later and it's just a check in another weekend of adventure where

    they're kind of spoken into and equipped to strengthen their own relationship and ultimately

    phase three is where the father is going to stand before their son in this third time away. And

    they're just going to just sort of commemorate their arrival for a for a father to look over into

    his son's eyes and say son you have intentionally entered into this journey of becoming a man.

    You and I have worked through these these things that we think are important and and and

    identify you as a man and I want you to know that you've done everything needed to arrive at this

    point and I just want to celebrate your arrival into manhood. How can dads connect with you for

    help or questions or find out more about what you're doing? Yeah the best way is to go on our website

    kingmeanministries.com they can email me my email is going to be on that website you can reach out to me

    we could I'd love to share our story see how we can partner see how we can come alongside these

    men and really equip them to be one God meant when he decided to make man. And just to make it easier if

    you go to the fatherhoodchallenge.com that's the fatherhoodchallenge.com if you go to this episode look

    right below the episode description and I will have all of the links posted there for your convenience.

    And Dennis as we close talk to that dad who's gone through a similar experience how do they heal?

    First let me say this if this has happened to you or if this has happened to one of your children

    it's not your fault I think God wants you to hear that I think that's the starting block of healing.

    You didn't deserve this you didn't cause this what happened to you was pure evil and though you

    may not see it God is a just God and he will one day put an end to all this evil and there will be

    justice trust him he's not a reflection of your views. He is God and he will have the last word

    and I share a quick story and I shared this with you prior to being on air when I was 10 years old

    I was playing hide and seek and sat behind this this this lie like bush and this property marker

    just the metal rod went right into my leg about two inches go to the doctor the doctor so's it up

    a couple weeks later it's infected and my mom takes me back to the doctor the doctor says this is a

    pretty big deal and he decides that he was going to lance it and he would require that my mom would

    stick these long you know q tips into my leg the wound in my leg and it would allow it to heal

    from the inside out and what happened as it healed and healed and healed the last bit my mom found

    some fabric that was part of the pants that I was wearing and that was trapped inside me

    and my leg couldn't function the way it was supposed to be because of this thing that was this

    foreign object that was there and I look at that story of what happened and it's the exact same

    thing that I feel God has done with me God brought me back into this wound not to leave me there

    not to make fun of me not to make me feel less than he took me back into this so that he by his grace

    and because he loves me because he's for me he wanted to heal this wound from the inside out

    and and God wants to do the exact same thing with you he's looking for men that are going to trust him

    to take us back into those those deep dark wounds and allow God even though it's a tough process

    in a hard process he wants to heal us to the point where I've often said do you have a scam or do

    you have a scar if you have a scab in your life things will poke at it and things it'll catch on

    things and it'll rip back open or you have a scar that's just a reminder at one time you got hurt

    and God wants to take that scab that wound that keeps opening and you keep bumping into it he wants

    to heal it in such a way that all you're going to see for the rest of your life is the scar

    the reminder that it happened but it's healed and it's a story and God has been good through that

    and so that's really what I want other men to know this has happened to you there's help out there

    and more importantly than that God is the one that's going to hold us straight healing and he wants

    to do that because he loves you Dennis thanks again for being on the father of your challenge

    that's been a pleasure thank you man God continue to bless all you're doing in his name

    thank you for listening to this episode of the fatherhood challenge if you would like to contact us

    listen to other episodes find any resource mentioned in this program or find out more information

    about the fatherhood challenge please visit the fatherhoodchallenge.com that's the fatherhoodchallenge.com

    [ Rest ]

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    28m - Mar 1, 2024
  • A Dads Guide to Raising Strong Kids

    Have you ever wondered what the secret is to raising confident resilient kids who are achievers? How would you create a parenting plan to accomplish this? I have an expert here in this episode who has written a book on this topic and he will share some tips with us.

    My guest is the author of 4 books including the one we are here to talk about: Four Lessons from My Three Sons, How You Can Raise Resilient Kids. Jeff Nelligan explains how his parenting techniques helped propel his sons to the U.S. Naval Academy, Williams College and West Point and beyond.

    To get Jeff Nelligan's books, learn more or connect visit:

    Web: https://www.nelliganbooks.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeffNelliganBooks

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ResilientSons

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nelligan_books/

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-nelligan-8277654/

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcript - A Dad's Guide to Raising Strong Kids


    Have you ever wondered what the secret is to raising confident resilient kids who are


    How would you create a parenting plan to accomplish this?

    I have an expert here with me who has written a book on this topic and he will share some

    tips with us in just a moment so don't go anywhere.

    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere

    to take great pride in their role and a challenge society to understand how important fathers

    are to the stability and culture of their family's environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone.

    Thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is an author of four books, including the one that we're here to talk about, four

    lessons from my three sons, how you can raise resilient kids.

    This book explains how the author's parenting techniques helped to propel his sons into

    the US Naval Academy, Williams College and West Point and beyond.

    Jeff, thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    Hey Jonathan, it's a privilege to be with you, my friend.

    I have to know what is your favorite dad joke?

    My five year old kid is checking in at a lacrosse camp.

    He's in a line with kids and he gets to the front.

    They're getting the vital information for each kid.

    The guy says, what's your address and then he says, when is your birthday?

    And my kid looks at him and he says, every year.

    That is awesome.

    Thank you my man.

    Well let's jump right into it.

    There is a lot of information in your book.

    I also know that you've had an amazing career with adventures that many could only dream


    How did this journey happen?

    Well Jonathan, you know, every, every dad and they're all listening to this, you know,

    they see the progression of their kids from the time three hours after they're born and

    they're holding them all the way to two to four to six to sixteen.

    And I was on that progression.

    And when the last kid left for college, the last kid went to West Point and I dropped them

    off at West Point and I had driven home and I was sitting outside in my backyard and my

    first thought was, now what am I going to do?

    Because here to four, I'd had all these days and weekends full of things to do with my

    sons, athletic events, school events, just horse and around and suddenly there was nobody.

    And so I'm sitting out there, I thought, well, you know, these guys have kind of performed,

    you know, pretty well.

    The eldest went to Williams College and then went to the Navy, Officer Canada School, middle

    kid, had just finished at the Naval Academy and then this kid was up there at West Point

    for a summer of getting beat down.

    And I thought, now what can I, what are the lessons to be learned from this?

    Literally the lessons and I thought, I have four lessons here on how these kids were raised

    and I'm going to put them in book form and it's going to be short and hard and fast and


    And that's how the book evolved and eventually, you know, was published and came out and it's

    40 minutes, a 40 minute read, it's not some coffee table anchor, you know, 350 pages of gibberish.

    But the genesis was, I've got these kids, they're all gone now.

    What did I learn?

    What did we learn?

    As a dad, what are some of your biggest wins or successes with your kids?

    And what are you the most proud of?

    Oh, great question again, you know, all dads have that question at some point.

    The biggest success is that today they're all satisfied and yesterday they were all satisfied

    and when they were 14, they were satisfied.

    These were kids who there wasn't a lot of anxiety or worry.

    They undertook things pretty diligently and mostly succeeded and that's the long game

    in parenting, you know, a kid that along the stage of his life is satisfied, is joyful,

    you know, spiritually happy, accomplished.

    So it's the success is having that kid who over that long game, that long period of time

    is a pretty good, natured, confident, easygoing child.

    And then of course, adolescent and then young man or young woman.

    The kid has a sense of his place or her place in the world that there's just a rock solid

    presence that they maintain, whether they're around their peers, their parents, strangers,

    adults, whomever, and it goes to the confidence angle as well too.

    That life seems to flow along for that kid in that, you know, very easygoing fashion and

    that ups and downs and everyone hits a wall in life, all kids hit it, some kids hit it more

    frequently than others.

    But that whatever adversity or obstacle comes that they can get over it or get around

    it and absorb it, I used to have, I had this drill sergeant when I was in the army, big,

    just a tough guy, from whom I learned a ton about life.

    And he would always say to us, wherever we were on our infantry training, he would say,

    assess, adapt, advance.

    And so we learned that.

    It became part of a reflex action for all of us soldiers.

    That's the mindset I tried to build in.

    I worked on building into the kids so that they had that presence of mind that they could

    meet any challenge.

    And even if they got 90% down the field, 90 yard down the field, felt calm and confident

    in addressing it.

    There are two components to every man that makes a man stable.

    One is knowing his identity and the other one is knowing his purpose and the identity is

    broken up into two components.

    One is a generational component, knowing who you are from a standpoint of where you come

    from, like your dad, your grandfather, your great grandfather, what were their struggles?

    Is there alcoholism in the family?


    And is that what you're up against?

    Knowing things like that, having information like that that is part of your identity.

    Because if you know this information and you know it's potentially, it could be potentially

    in front of you, maybe immediately in front of you or maybe at some point, you are prepared.

    You can prepare yourself and do something about it before it becomes a problem.

    The other side of you is your spiritual identity.

    And that is a huge part of your makeup of what makes you who you are.

    So that's why I found your point in the very beginning about knowing themselves spiritually

    why that was so important.


    And I add to that Jonathan, one of your earlier podcasts, you made this great point and you

    just made it again.

    You were talking about a train and the generational identity and you're in the engine and the

    rest of your generations behind you and those trains that are, that you're dragging along

    with you.

    That generational identity is so key because you do learn things intuitively and materially

    from your fathers, your moms, your grandmothers, your grandfathers.

    You know, I'm always perplexed today about hearing about kids who are, you know, stressed

    out or who are uncertain and anxious, you know, my dad at 15 years of age was working in a

    vanadium mine, a mile beneath the surface of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    At 18, he participated in the invasion of Okinawa, one of the biggest battles of World War


    At 19, he was patrolling the streets of Tokyo as part of the occupation force.

    He came home in 1946, having not seen his family in a year and had to take care of his parents

    for four years and ultimately made it to Los Angeles and was the oldest member of his graduating

    class at UCLA.

    His father never made it past seventh grade.

    So we're talking about strong, strong men here and my mom's experience was pretty much the


    There's a whole generation of people like that and my dad's story is hardly remarkable for

    that fact.

    But that's that train, that's in that car that's right behind me, what my dad did and my

    mom did.

    So knowing that, you know, you're able to kind of coalesce around the things that made them

    strong and then you try to instill it in your kids.

    This gets into something we're going to talk about a little bit later on in this conversation,

    which is leaving a lasting legacy.

    I think that's powerful, but you just dropped a really big hint to that.

    So the next question can be a very uncomfortable one, but I would encourage dads listening to

    answer this question for yourself and not to be scared of it because if you dive head

    first into this next question, it will make you a stronger, powerful dad.

    Now, question is, what are some of your biggest regrets or mistakes that you've made as a dad?

    And what did you learn from them and how did they help you grow?


    And you know, you got to acknowledge, you know, you got to good and bad.

    I said it earlier, no one gets a free ride.

    You know, I was never a perfect dad.

    There's no such thing as a perfect dad, just like there's no such thing as a perfect


    My biggest mistake, and maybe it's universal in fatherhood is that I thought that I knew

    my kids pretty well, but there were times that I did not.

    And in fact, in the book, four lessons from my three sons, there are at least five or six

    examples self-deprecating of when I made a mistake with my kids.

    And I was ashamed or humiliated.

    And it was the kid that was set me right.

    I mean, one of the stories is I was riding this kid, the eldest kid, to run for the student

    body position at his school.

    And I kept riding him and riding him.

    And he's, you know, finally one night when I was still nagging him, he turns to me and he says,

    "Dad, I know what I'm doing here."

    And it was a shock.

    And I said, "How?"

    You know, you do.

    Because you just came back at me pretty hard.

    And that's the way it's got to be sometimes.

    The dad's got to take that correction and the humiliation, I guess, that goes along with


    And say, "Wow, the kid is right.

    I don't know at all."

    And, you know, anyone who's vain enough to write a book about, you know, his parenting techniques

    is also got to be strong enough to take the heat when he's wrong.

    Were you a little bit proud of his answer, even a little bit?

    No, not really at the time.

    I just shut up.

    I thought, "Well, you know, you're making a big mistake here because the kid was, you know,

    good on his feet.

    He's a popular kid at school.

    He was an athlete.

    He was, you know, a pretty sharp kid."

    Now, I thought, "Man, you're blowing this opportunity."

    But, you know, if you're, you know, any adults got to know when to say, "Hey, you know, I'm

    in the wrong here."

    And it probably an hour later, I was thinking, "Okay, you know, I got a back off on this because

    the kid knows what he's doing."

    And there's, like in the last sections of the book, I'm taking, you know, we're, where

    we live in Washington, D.C. and in Bethesda, there are massive office buildings all over the

    place in D.C.

    You know, and then right across the river in Virginia throughout Montgomery County, where

    we lived, you know, office park, sometimes just five or six stories, D.C., 13 stories all

    over the place.

    We've been in New York, et cetera.

    And, you know, these big monster buildings and their full of steel and glass and they're

    just absolutely soulless.

    And I wanted to make a point to them and I said, "Hey, man, hey guys, you know, we're driving

    around past all these office buildings.

    Let me tell you about them."

    I said, "And every one of them, there's a guy sitting in an office and on the wall, he's

    got a picture of his family and on his desk, he's got a mug like you made me in second grade."

    And he's staring at a computer screen because this guy sitting there was going to be, he was

    going to be somebody, he was going to be a jet pilot or he was going to be in real estate,

    he was going to own his own business, he was going to sail around the world.

    He was, you know, going to fix cars and be a, you know, a star at that.

    Instead, he's sitting there staring at a computer saying, "What the hell am I doing here?"

    And I said, "Guys, you don't want to be like that guy because that guy's your dad."

    And you have got to get farther than your old man did.

    They were kind of shocked and I said, "Hey, it's the truth, man."

    You know, you've got to get farther than that.

    Staring at a screen, you know, sending emails, getting on Zoom calls, you know, all of that

    jive, you have got to have the, the, the, the farthest landscape in a rise and you can possibly

    dream of.

    But I want to come back to that question that I was hinting at earlier.

    Every dad I know wants to leave a positive legacy behind that will last for generations.

    What is the secret to making that happen?

    I think you've got to build kids, you know, just like the, the themes in the book.

    I think, you know, the most important trait a kid can have is that confidence in being

    in the real world.

    And that let that confidence leads to accomplishments because a kid that can walk through the world and

    and take the pain and achieve the successes, that becomes a habit.

    It becomes a reflex for every aspect of their life.

    And as they grow older, you know, the accomplishments, the achievements just grow in size and in


    A kid can have a good lacrosse game in age six.

    And then he's in college and he has the same kind of game.

    And he says, I know where this started.

    It started when I was six years old.

    So that's, that's a legacy, even for a kid over the course of 15 years.

    When I think what you're talking about is a dad who is holding that kid, you know, at three

    hours and says, what is this kid going to be?

    You know, a dad.


    He holds that kid and then and that's part of the, that's the central theme of the book

    really is holding that kid at three hours old and saying, I've got a strategy to make this

    kid realize the potential that he has because I'm old fashioned.

    Every kid has potential in one thing, maybe several.



    That's absolutely true.

    Whenever I am my parenting journey, I'm always aware that the things that I'm teaching

    them, regardless of what age they happen to be, those lessons are going to last and are

    supposed to last long after I'm gone.

    Oh, yeah.

    You are programming genetics in the way you raise them.

    So that is, there's multiple components to leaving a legacy.

    But it just when you have that on your, on the front of your mind, it makes you very mindful

    about the decisions that you make with your kids, what you're teaching them, the values,

    the values you live yourself by your examples sometimes are the most powerful teacher to

    your kids.


    Again, why is Jonathan, they are values are essential because they affect every aspect

    of your life.

    Now, let's really get to the pinpoint of your book and that is resiliency.

    How do you teach your kids to be resilient in the face of failure?

    That's where the strategy comes in.

    They kind of bounces back to your earlier question, Jonathan, when you're talking about legacy

    because in kids, you know, long, you, and you use the words long after you're gone.

    Most kids and most parents don't know this, but by 12 and a half to 13 years of age, that

    parent has spent the bulk of the time.

    They're going to spend with their child in their life.

    Because after that, the kid moves on and has many more actions with peers and, and strangers

    and the institutions in which they find themselves.

    So my, my shot at teaching resilience began really early and the best way to build resilience

    is to put them in situations in that real world where after 13 years old, they're going

    to spend the bulk of their life without you.

    And if the, putting them in that real world, and I mean the, the world that's outside the

    front door, you know, the, the school, the malls, the athletic fields, the hardware store,

    you know, different kinds of places in the community in the neighborhood.

    I gave them tests.

    Probably the first one was we were in an indoor mall.

    Eldest kid was seven, the youngest kid was about four and a half and I pulled out of my wallet,

    three, five dollar bills and I said, hey guys, I gave five to each kid and I said, go get

    the old man change.

    This is not a race.

    You can go wherever you want.

    I'll keep an eye on you, but you got to get changed.

    And I'll see you back here.

    And so off they went, they were kind of, they were kind of fired up because it was a task.

    It was kind of something exciting.

    And you know, two, two of the kids struck out at the first place they went and then they

    all came, one kid came back with 20 quarters and, but the idea was they had to go on their

    own and mix it up with whoever stranger was at a cash register to get the change.

    And we did this a lot in all different kinds of places.

    And then of course the tasks began to accelerate and graduate into tougher instances.

    Hey kid, you know, here's a $20 bill, go into that sketchy 7/11 over there and get me

    gatorade and Doritos and donuts and bring them back to the car.

    And then it is, we're at a restaurant and I point at one kid who's, you know, six years

    old and I say, you memorize the old man.

    The order we're going to, of what we want and you tell the waiter or the waitress everything

    for all of us that are sitting here.

    And then it's, here's my ATM card, go get the old man, $300, here's my passcode.

    And then we're at an airport and I say, here's the material, go get us boarding passes.

    So every challenge, you know, increased in kind of volume and intensity.

    So that by the time these guys are eight or nine years old, they're fine in the real world.

    They'll go off on their own and get what needs to be done.

    But it also helps just in their regular interactions at school and after school, they have the confidence

    to undertake anything.

    And I think that's the beginning of building that resilience because they become accustomed

    to doing things that no other kid at age seven is ever going to do.

    Now let's talk about negative influences.

    How did you teach your kids to avoid negative influences from their peers?

    Oh, that's easy.

    I completely, almost cut my kids off from social media.

    I think the most negative influence in this country today and it's been, it's been documented

    by much smarter people than me.

    Dr. Jonathan Haye, the NYU and Dr. Jean Twenge at San Diego State University.

    I mean, we reached a point where school systems are saying you can't bring phones to school

    or the TikTok or that even Facebook admits, Zuckerberg, the social media avalanche has had

    a negative effect on kids.

    I sought early on because it was easy to see a kid looking at a screen becomes a zombie.

    And the actual, you know, statistical evidence is so there.

    An average kid today spends eight hours and 49 minutes a day on a screen, a cell phone or

    an iPad.

    And that's outside of school work.

    And an average boy between ages of 10 and 18, if you took them all and took all the time they

    spent on video games, Minecraft, Call of Duty, cod is around two hours and 14 minutes.

    There's no reasonable person that can tell me that nine hours or two and a half hours looking

    at a screen is healthy, particularly with, you know, the sewage is on the interweb.

    So we, you know, the negative influences come all from the screen.

    My kids didn't get phones until they were at the end of 11th grade.

    And then I had a bet with them.

    I said, look, whoever brings home a phone with the least power used gets a couple bucks every


    Oh, that's awesome.

    There was no use of screens except for homework.

    And they were limited to one hour a day, one hour a week with video games and we, they

    could only be on weekends.

    And of course, they weren't even around on weekends.

    They were constantly out about doing stuff, mostly athletic stuff.

    So the negative influences, I think, pretty much come from just that addiction, that zombification

    of, you know, social media in general.

    And my kids today, you know, they don't even have Facebook pages.

    You know, I mean, they're just not on.

    They don't, they don't have any of the apps or anything like that.

    How can dads listening connect with you?

    How can they get your book or find out more about what you're doing?


    My website is www.nelliganbooks.com.

    That has the books on it.

    The one you, we've been speaking of four lessons from my three sons as well.

    It has a book that I wrote a year and a half ago called Your Kids Rebound from Pandemic Lockdowns,

    a parent guide to restoring their family.

    I wrote this book after the, you know, during or after COVID and it is massively cited, 250

    sides to medical, psychological, national survey data on what lockdowns, isolation, confinement

    and no school did to kids and it provides a way forward for how parents can reverse that

    damage and get the kid back that they, that they want.

    And I will say the first chapter of it is the screens, you know, the glowing rectangle

    that focuses on all what happened with kids on screens, the acceleration of use of them.

    And then the fourth chapter gives parents an idea of how that can be rectified.

    And my Twitter handle is @ResilientSons.

    My Instagram is "Nelligan_Books" and my Facebook is Jeff Nelligan Books.

    I'm going to make it easier to find all of the links that Jeff just mentioned.

    So if you go to thefatherhoodchallenge.com, that's thefatherhoodchallenge.com, go to this

    episode and look right below the episode description.

    I'm going to have all of the links posted there for your convenience.

    Jeff, we close.

    What is your challenge to dad's listening now?

    Get that phone out of that kid's hand and say, "Hey, we're going to sit down and we're

    going to regulate what you see."

    And if it means, you know, taking the phone away from you for days on end, so be it.

    If it means cutting off the routers in the house, so be it.

    If it means blocking massive numbers of sites from the home computers and your phone, that's

    what it's going to be.

    So that's a piece of practical advice.

    The second thing is, and this is what I did with all three of my sons, beginning when

    they're about five years old.

    I'm still doing it today.

    Every Saturday, I take a kid down to the most peaceful place on the planet and it is the

    high school bleachers on a Saturday morning.

    And we sit in those bleachers and I'd say, "Okay, what's going on, bro?

    Tell me what's hot, what's not, what happened this week, what's your challenges, what have

    been your successes."

    And this became a routine, again, the reflex.

    We would sit there and we'd have half an hour hour talk about just what's going on.

    And then we'd go home and begin the weekend chores, the weekend games, everything else.

    I started this all three kids.

    They knew on a Saturday, if it was their Saturday, "Hey, you've got to talk to the old man

    here for an hour about what's going on."

    And it still goes on.

    My kids were home, all three of them were together for the first time in five years on Christmas.

    And the reason being, because of military deployments all over the world, always interrupted

    everyone being home at once.

    And where does the middle kid and I go on a Saturday morning?

    We go right down to the high school bleachers, it's 35 degrees outside, it's freezing.

    And we just talked for about 45 minutes about what's been going on since we saw each other


    And that's my second piece of advice, again, practical advice to meet, as you say, that

    Fatherhood Challenge.

    Dads get the book.

    We really did not come close to covering, probably even a quarter of what's in the book.

    So get the book and read it cover to cover.

    And Jeff, thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge and sharing all of this

    wisdom with us.

    Hey, my pleasure and privilege, Jonathan.

    Thanks, man.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of The Fatherhood Challenge.

    If you would like to contact us, listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned in

    this program or find out more information about the Fatherhood Challenge, please visit


    That's TheFatherhoodChallenge.com


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Feb 23, 2024
  • Dads Demons and Bad Spirits

     As fathers, it is our responsibility to navigate the complexities of the modern world and safeguard our children from harmful spiritual influences. The rise of new age philosophies and practices can be enticing, but they often lead our children down a perilous path, veering them away from the truth and into dangerous spiritual territory. In this episode we empower fathers to protect their children from the demonic influences of new age ideas.

    My guest is Dr. Roger Krickler. Dr Krickler is a retired engineer with 43 years of military and defense contractor experience. His expertise was in ground-to-air Soviet missile defense systems, electronic warfare, radar and training fighter pilots how to defend against soviet air defense systems. Upon coming home from his deployment to Egypt and meeting Jesus, he started going to church. There he had his first experience helping with casting out demons. His experience and expertise on both conventional and spiritual warfare are why I’ve brought Dr Krickler on the program.

    You can find Dr. Krickler here:

    Website: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2276667

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61556040728522

    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3DRj7jSapwYHXNJAcAzPNN

    Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@RogerKrickler

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcript - Dads Demons and Bad Spirits


    As fathers, it is our responsibility to navigate the complexities of the modern world and safeguard

    our children from harmful spiritual influences. New age philosophies and practices can be enticing.

    They often lead our children down a perilous path, veering them away from the truth and into

    dangerous spiritual territory. In this episode, we empower fathers to protect their children

    from demonic influences of new age ideas. I will be introducing an expert on spiritual warfare

    in just a moment so don't go anywhere. Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken

    and inspire fathers everywhere to take great pride in their role and a challenge society to understand

    how important fathers are to the stability and culture of their families environment. Now here's

    your host, Jonathan Guerrero. Greetings everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. My guest is Dr.

    Roger Crickler. Dr. Crickler is a retired engineer with 43 years of military and defense contractor

    experience. His expertise was in ground to air Soviet missile defense systems, electrical warfare,

    radar and training fighter pilots, how to defend against Soviet air defense systems. Upon coming

    home from his deployment to Egypt and meeting Jesus, he started going to church. There he had his

    first experience with helping cast out demons. His experience and expertise on both conventional

    and spiritual warfare are why I have brought Dr. Crickler on the program. Dr. Crickler, welcome to the

    Fatherhood Challenge. Thank you, Jonathan. I think it's an opportunity for me to be with you today

    and I sure do thank you for it. Please start by sharing your story of how you got involved in spiritual

    warfare. Okay, I'd be glad to. It actually started in 1984. I took an assignment after a divorce in

    1983 to Cairo, Egypt and I met a man John Wade. He was a Christian and we began a friendship and over

    several months we talked about Jesus and he explained the good news story to me. And after a few months,

    I turned my life over to the Lord. And as I read the New Testament and I tell you what an experience

    for someone that just learning about Jesus and never really grew up in the church, it really brought

    the Bible to life. As an engineer, I was always fascinated by how long a Sabbath day was for not growing

    up in the church. That was something brand new to me and helping with casting out demons. That was an

    experience. And I can tell you like it was a second ago that during the casting out of the demon,

    it was a young girl. We bound her to a card table chair so she couldn't move around the room.

    Not any constraints, but just spiritually binding her to the chair. And I tell you,

    being brand new, I had two things going on in me at the same time. One, I was fully engaged and

    you know, casting out the demons, but then a part of me was almost like an out-of-body experience

    floating above me, looking down, going, is this really happening? You know, and then

    instantly I went right back and engaged in the battle against the spirit of suicide and the spirit

    of depression is what she had. But it was quite the experience for a technical guy that now is

    you know, involved with the spiritual aspect of life. It was truly eye-opening and then after that,

    I continued on with my study of spiritual warfare because God had called me into that,

    even in Egypt, some of the prayer meetings or prayer sessions we had in the hotel rooms.

    I just felt the calling way back then to get involved with this and it just happened to be my

    training over my 43 years that God helped me with. That also complimented the spiritual warfare aspects

    in trying to do what I do in my podcast, which is to try to take natural world experiences that

    you can visualize, so you can try to get an idea of what's going on in the invisible war that we

    can't see. And that's a little harder to fathom for some, so trying to make an association between

    natural world and spiritual world is the goal of what I try to do in my teachings. The reason

    that it's so important is because as we all know, we're made in God's image and God is a spirit and so

    our actual beings have a spiritual component. Whether we wanted to or not, we have that spiritual

    component. So we live in two worlds. We live in the natural world like you were saying, physical,

    we can see it, taste it, all of our five senses, but we also live in the spiritual world. And that's

    the harder part for people too, I think, understand and comprehend, but it's a part of something that we

    had no control over. We were born, had no control over that, born in center, no control over that.

    We were born into a war that started back in the Garden of Eden, right, with Adam and Eve and

    Satan. That war has been going on and we were born into it and we had no control over it.

    And so now we either have to learn how to fight or just continually get beat up. And so that's why

    again, I'm so passionate about trying to teach people that there is a war that we do have weapons,

    we can fight back. It's just a matter of learning how, just like when I went in the military,

    I had to learn my weapons and when to use them, what kind of battle conditions to use what weapon

    and the same in the spiritual warfare. We have a lot of weapons like binding and loosening and prayer

    fasting, different weapons for different battle situations. And so my purpose is to try to teach

    when to use what, basically, like I was taught when I was in the military.

    So dads might definitely be able to relate to this one. So there's a term that's called,

    the term is called strongholds. And strongholds, if I have to just shoot from the hip of association,

    I would associate that with a home defense system. Does this also apply to spiritual warfare?

    What would a spiritual stronghold be? And why would you why should dads be aware of them?

    Well, I'm glad you said that because I happen to be on the safety team at church. So I'm involved

    with weapons and have been all my life in my military career. So, but strongholds in a,

    in the in spiritual warfare context is a belief that you hold on to so strong that no matter who comes

    at you with a different belief, a belief system that you are not going to relinquish your belief in

    that system, no matter how sound or logical it might be and it makes all kinds of sense in its rational

    because you feel so strongly about a particular belief that you're just not going to give it up. And so

    that's why it's so important when we start building our belief system as children,

    there's a thing that I learned a long time ago about values, assumptions, beliefs, and expectations

    that builds a child's reality map. So it starts at very young age. It's everything that they hear,

    they teach, you know, they see, touch, smell, it all goes into the mind and it starts building a reality

    map which also has a belief system. And so from there, a dad really needs to get involved very early

    with what's being shown to taught and so forth to a child so that these, I come,

    babes values, assumption, beliefs and expectations that they have some control over what is being taught

    and shown to their kids because as these things grow over the years, if they're the wrong babes,

    it is harder and harder to try to change that child's mind.

    So what is the connection between, I think these might also be strong holes as well, but what is the

    connection between meditation, yoga, video game characters like Enderman and Minecraft and also

    the Ouija board? Why should dads be aware of these? Because these are games or exercises that people

    think they're doing for the greater good on releasing relieving stress or video game, maybe it's

    keeping your child entertained while you're doing something else, it all is going into the mind

    where I said the battlefield is, like in a child's video games, they're drawn into a virtual world,

    a virtual reality, right? These things that you can put on your face and get into a 3D virtual world,

    they are a direct input into the mind. And if it's like a violent game, then violence is the thing

    that's being entered into the mind. And so what a young mind can do is start to get the idea

    that violence is okay, right? They can maybe identify with one of the characters in the video,

    and we'll get into that maybe in a little bit, it's called, um, transference of spirits where

    you try to emulate somebody that you admire. But the mind is where the battlefield is, and

    with yoga, weegee boards, these are asking you as part of the game and part of the exercise to

    open your mind, release your thoughts, you know, become empty. And when you do that, it's like opening

    the gate for anything to come in. And if you're not as aware that evil thoughts and so forth can

    enter through that, you're just opening it yourself up to attack. So it really sounds like there is

    no such thing as a mind that just remains empty. And I know meditation a lot of times becomes all about

    just emptying the mind, keeping the mind empty. But there really is no such thing. What is happening is

    you're being asked to remove everything out of your mind so that something else can move in.

    It never stays empty, which means, um, and you mentioned our mind is is the battlefield.

    We were always meant and designed to live in this physical world and exist in this physical world

    constantly with some sort of a spiritual connection that is conscious within our mind. And we get

    a choice of what that is. Exactly. Um, to your point, I mean, when you, when you make a void, and

    especially in the in the mind and in the spiritual world, when you create a void, then something's

    going to fill it. And what you hope to do is fill it with something good and not something bad.

    What should dads do if they suspect that their kids have opened a door to Satan or any demonic

    influence, like weird things that are going on or, um, strange interactions? What should a dad do if

    they think that's happening? That's a great question because it's kind of a two part, right? Because

    there's believers and then there's non-believers. But so for the believer that are familiar with

    spiritual warfare weapons, the first thing is to bind the strong man like we kind of alluded to before.

    Um, saying something like in the name of Jesus, I bind Satan and influencing demons and those

    that are misguided by evil spirits and thoughts from my son or daughter. So when you say that,

    you're immediately saying in the name of Jesus, which is the power, and then you want to loosen

    um, and post the angels around the child, which is filling that void. When you tell Satan to leave,

    you've got to fill that void immediately. Otherwise, like in the Bible, it talks about the legions

    of demons that came back and we are many. You know, you can cast them out, but if you don't fill up

    the void, they can come back with even more. And now the problem is he can gotten worse, right?

    So the power of binding and loosening is very important and setting down with your child and talking

    to them about, you know, what they're doing and how they can be influenced and maybe trying to

    substitute something that they're doing with something else that's actually more beneficial.

    It might be a way, I think each dad has to, you know, obviously know his child and how to

    pull something out and put something in its place. But I think the idea is that

    you want to avoid meeting resistance so you don't yank something away with their saying,

    no, give it back to me. You know, you try to replace it with something that's more beneficial.

    So another thing that really to watch out for in this is a change of attitude and behavior in

    the child and video games and opening up your mind and so forth. Dad's need to understand this and

    I'll give you a great example of this. And so there was a youngest son was raised up to be part of

    a closely knit family with good communication. He respected the parents rules and attended church

    together. Suddenly he does not want to be with the family or attend church. He becomes sullen with

    drawn rebellious. He defies your instructions and stays out late. You cannot understand the sudden

    change. And then you try to wonder why because you have an older son, you gave them the same love

    and they didn't rebel or do anything but yet this one is. So then you look at and say, well,

    what's different? So what you might find most of the time is that if you examine the problem with

    your son is that you will find that the change came about after someone else came into his life who

    he respected it and admired. And this is what I was alluding to about in a video game. They see

    a character in the video game and they say, oh, I want to be like that video game guy.

    So but you can begin to respect and admire somebody else in your school or wherever it may be and they

    begin to associate closely with that person. And then the new friend starts influencing the young

    child by telling them what they do and how they think what their parents let them get away with

    and so forth. And now the child wants to be more like the new friend and becomes rebellious to

    the parent and that is a classic classic classic Satan tactic to attack children and it's called

    the transference of spirits. So what I mean about transfer means to convey from one person to the other.

    The word spirit is not used like a demon like you think evil spirits and you know that type of

    thing. It's actually where spirits used here is a character or an attitude or a motive behind

    an action. So that's what these new friends do. They try to sway the child to their way of thinking

    which is usually down the wrong road and it's a way that Satan can attack because again the battlefields

    in the mind and that's a classic way that Satan attacks young kids and really adults too. We've

    been talking about Satan. We've been talking about demons and evil spirits. So let's let's talk about

    the other side. Tell me about the Holy Spirit. What is his role in helping dads maintain spiritually

    safe homes and how what can dads do to connect with the Holy Spirit? First of all the Holy Spirit is

    part of the Trinity. There's the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. And that the Holy Spirit, when I look

    at the three functions of God, there's the Father, I look at Him as the planner. He plans things.

    Jesus is the implementer. He puts things into effect and the Holy Spirit is the administrator. He's

    making sure everything's getting done. He's making sure tasks get done and so forth. So

    the Holy Spirit is the God that lives within you after you become a believer. You have to

    have faith in Jesus. Believe they died paid for your sins and that he rose on the third day

    and that you become a believer because at that point is when the Holy Spirit can come and live

    within you because Jesus actually had to die on the cross and leave as part of God's plan to redeem

    us. The Holy Spirit, He sent to be with us, to guide us, to teach us and to make

    the words in the Bible mean something to us. He enlightens us with the words and the parables and

    the different stories in the Bible because when you read them on the face of you, sometimes

    times are confused, but the Holy Spirit over time, it's not like learning from a fire hose

    but over time, He teaches you more and more about what God's words are. And for dads,

    that's the first thing you have to do is get the Holy Spirit in you by converting and

    becoming a believer because that's how you get the Holy Spirit and He is your power. Remember,

    Jesus is the authority and the Holy Spirit is the power behind the weapons that you're going to

    use not only in your own life but to intercede for your child, for your other family members,

    for members of your church or whoever. We have the prayer of intercession which Jesus did a lot

    in the Bible. So the Holy Spirit is a real entity. It's part of God. He lives in us and we need to turn

    to God and have the Holy Spirit live within us. You mentioned enlightenment. Enlightenment is a

    very popular reason behind why a lot of people get caught up in new age ideas and why they seek them

    out. They're trying to find some sort of enlightenment. This also becomes a goal behind yoga and so many

    other practices like that. But what's fascinating is you need all of these different things in the new

    age idea and the new age philosophy to try to find enlightenment. There's all of these different paths.

    There's all of these deities to enlightenment versus the Holy Spirit. And if you want enlightenment,

    he is the source and there is no end with him. If you're a believer and know how to fight Satan,

    then you have the Holy Spirit living in you and then you engage and keep battling Satan. Satan is

    going to attack you 24/7. And if you don't know how to fight, then learn how to fight and battle back

    because that's what God wants for us. He wants us to have a better life and he's giving us these tools.

    We just have to learn how to use them, pick them up and use them. Otherwise, we can be drawn easily

    because we do have the sinful nature in us to be drawn to some of these things like

    yoga and video games and Ouija boards that seem on the surface. Come on, it's just a game. I can

    it's no harm there. But you peel back that onion and you find out that no, it is or harmful and

    you just have to be aware of that. And that's the whole idea of behind spiritual warfare and

    learning about it. Yoga, for example, really masks and disguises itself as being a health benefit

    and a lot of people, I mean, you can it's not hard to find people who report benefits from actually

    doing yoga. But behind a lot of the poses, the poses are very, very intentional and they mimic,

    they mimic and they're patterned after deities. And if you really delve into those deities,

    the deities that you see and there's paintings of them, there's drawings of them everywhere and

    there's actually even statues that have been created and carved the images of these deities and

    these poses, which is where the poses come from. These deities actually have a source. The deities

    are actually patterned after demons. After the image of actual demons, this is what's behind yoga.

    And so you were just innocently in it for exercise and yeah, it can seem, it can seem very, very innocent.

    But you can get the exact same benefit from that you get from yoga, you can actually get the

    exact same benefit by doing exercise other ways, other ways that people have been doing for centuries.

    I want to talk about spirit guides. Spirit guides are also fundamental to new age belief systems

    and spiritual, spiritualism. Spirit guides, what they really are are demons.

    You're communicating with spirit guides, you need to stop immediately what you're doing because

    you are definitely absolutely communicating with demons. That's what you're doing. I'm just being

    very blunt about it. So if that's what you're doing, you need to stop. You only need one spirit guide.

    There's one true spirit guide and he's the Holy Spirit. He is all you need.

    And so coming back to you, Dad, some talking to you, Dads, if you struggle with your role,

    if you struggle with energy, if you're struggling with focus as a dad, if you're struggling

    with work, life, balance, if you're struggling with how to parent your kids, if you have a teenager,

    that you're struggling to connect with, if you're struggling with finances, any of these things,

    it doesn't matter what it is, anxiety, talk, pray, talk to the Holy Spirit, talk to God, the Holy

    Spirit is all you need. He is the ultimate spirit guide. He is the only, only spirit guide that you

    will ever need. And he wants to be involved in every single aspect of your life. So let him in,

    whatever you're struggling with, talk to him. And here's the cool thing. We just got through talking

    about this actually before, before we did this episode. One of the cool things is if you don't know

    what to say, if you're trying to pray, you're trying to talk to God or you're trying to say something

    to the Holy Spirit and you don't really know what to do or what to say, there is a promise

    that he is actually able to interpret what you were trying to say, what you want to say in your

    mind, but you can't find the words for. He is so powerful that he can take those thoughts

    and he can bring those thoughts all the way up to the Father and communicate them accurately

    when you can't find the words. Dr. Kregler, how can dads get a hold of you with questions?

    Listen to your podcast or find out what you're doing. Well, I just started my podcast about a month

    and a half ago. So I'm on YouTube so you can search my name, Roger Crickler, K-R-I-C-K-L-E-R. I'm on

    Spotify. Now these are videos because I do a video podcast on Spotify. It's Roger Crickler. And then

    on my website on Buzzsprouts at Spirits, Weapons and Warfare, which is the name of my website.

    And then I just recently started a Facebook page, Spirits, Weapons and Warfare. And on the Facebook page,

    you can actually comment and write things and then we can direct message off of that if you want.

    So those are some ways that you can reach out to me.

    And just to make it easier if you go to thefatherheadchallenge.com, that's thefatherheadchallenge.com.

    If you go to this episode, look right below the episode description. I'll have all of the links that Dr.

    Crickler just mentioned. I'll have the links posted right below the description there for your convenience.

    Dr. Crickler, before we go, we would like to say a prayer for both believers and non-believers who

    are just looking for spiritual help and looking for guidance. They may be trapped. They may be looking for

    answers, both for themselves, for their family, for their kids. And so I was wondering if you would

    do the honors of closing us out with a prayer. Oh, thank you, Jonathan. I'd love to. So for the

    believer, I pray that your warning efforts are successful, that you fight like your life depended

    on it because it does know that the Holy Spirit lives in you and with him all things are possible.

    You are a victor, not a victim in Jesus name. I pray, amen. And for my non-believers who are still made

    in God's image for my lost brothers and sisters still trying to fill that void in your life with the

    things of this world, which you'll never be satisfied. I pray you will turn towards the Lord.

    What I can say is that this life is temporary so the things you strive for and desire now

    are going to go away. You cannot want them bad enough to have them last forever. By the decisions

    you make while you're on this side of death, you cannot, you can control where you will live forever.

    It is my prayer that you will find the Lord and give your life and allegiance to Him.

    You will never regret it. If you're ready now, you can repeat after me. You can whisper it or

    shout it out, but it is as easy as ABC. First, admit you are a sinner. I am sorry for my sins and

    turn away from sinning. Be believe that Jesus is God, Son, God, Son, and that He was sent here

    to pay for your penalty for sin. See? Confess that by faith that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord.

    So my primary purpose for you is not that you will be saved, although God's will is that no one should

    perish. That's in 2nd Peter 3 9. Nor that your sins are forgiven because Jesus paid the price

    on the cross. Rather, I pray for you, my lost brothers and sisters, that you should be free

    from the demonic influences in your life so you can be saved. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

    Dr. Krueger, thank you so much for that prayer and it's been an absolute honor to have you on

    the Fatherhood Challenge. Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of the Fatherhood Challenge. If you would like to contact us,

    listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned in this program or find out more information

    about the Fatherhood Challenge. Please visit thefatherhoodchallenge.com. That's thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    Bye bye.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    30m - Feb 16, 2024
  • Warrior Fathers Confronting Spiritual Warfare

    There is a dark hidden global war that is being waged on families everywhere and it’s claiming lives every day. And dads are the gatekeepers and guards responsible for keeping their family safe. My guest talks about what this war is and how you can be aware and prepared.

    Jared Haley is a pastor, and public speaker who believes God created the design for strong faith and healthy families. Serving in professional ministry for over 20 years with his Master’s Degree in Transformational Leadership and Spiritual Formation, Jared is passionate about investing in people, and helping them understand how God wired and designed them to live strong.

    To connect with Jared Haley visit:

    Web/Podcast: https://www.strongbydesignpodcast.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/strongbydesignpodcast/

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@strongbydesignpodcast4492

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/strongbydesignpodcast

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcript: Warrior Fathers Confronting Spiritual Warfare


    There's a dark hidden global war that is being waged on families everywhere and it's

    claiming lives every day.

    And dads are the gatekeepers and the guards responsible for keeping their family safe.

    My guest is going to talk about what this war is and how you can be aware and prepared

    in just a moment so don't go anywhere.

    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere to

    take great pride in their role and a challenge society to understand how important fathers

    are to the stability and culture of their families environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone.

    Thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is Jared Haley.

    Jared is a pastor and a public speaker serving in professional ministry for over 20 years

    with his master's degree in transformational leadership and spiritual formation.

    Jared is passionate about investing in people and helping them understand how God wired and

    designed them to live strong.

    Jared, thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    Well, man, thank you so much for having me.

    I'm very excited to be here and to just get to talk about this really, really important

    topic with you.

    Jared, I got to ask, what is your favorite dad joke?

    Oh, man, that's a good one.

    My son's already starting to yell at me when I pull these out because they come so naturally

    you know?

    But a really good one.

    This just went off the top of my head is can I let me just tell you quickly a pizza joke.

    Have you heard the pizza joke?

    No, I haven't.

    Never mind.

    It's too cheesy.

    That one definitely deserves a rem shot.

    Jared, what is your story behind why you got into ministry and working with families?

    Well, my original call to ministry was when I was in middle school.

    There was I was at a camp up in Woodland Park, Colorado called Quaker Ridge and I remember

    I can't tell you who the speaker was.

    But we're having a night of, you know, what you do at camp, we're having a worship service

    and there's something going along with with the worship music and just the spirit was

    moving that that night.

    And there was a minister, a minister, a missionary who was speaking and I like I said I don't

    know who he was or where he was from, but I remember specifically God speaking to me saying

    asking me to take my shoes off.

    You know, take your shoes off for the place you're standing as holy ground which all the time

    in scripture.

    But and I remember thinking that's weird.

    Like why would God ask me to do that?

    I'm looking around no one else is doing it, but I said, okay, God, I will do it because

    you're asking me to.

    And it was through like that little act of obedience that then God spoke and said, I have a call

    on your life and you are going to be doing ministry as well.

    I didn't know what that meant or what that looked like at that moment, but I learned very

    quickly where I wanted to go to school and that God wanted me to do ministry my whole life.

    As far as getting into families, man, this is something that is really as our own family

    has developed.

    My wife and I just celebrated 15 years of marriage and we have four graduations.

    Yeah, thank you so much.

    It's it's a it's a big feat apparently in these days.

    We always feel like, you know, we have our ups and her downs and our struggles and you know,

    we had our load times for sure, but God has it has been faithful to us through it all.

    And we're just getting to a place now that as we are cultivating a relationship with

    Jesus within our own family and we look around and we see the world that we're living in.

    We see this, this gap.

    We see this something missing in families and I don't have all of the answers and I don't

    pretend to have all of the answers, but that's that's what's so important to us is we want

    to help people live what we like to call a spirit filled life, which means that we actually

    have a relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit has been sent

    to the earth to teach us to comfort us, to guide us, all of the things that we want in

    our connection with God.

    That's what the Holy Spirit does.

    And we don't want that just as parents, but we want to include our children in that because

    the whole idea is that we're raising our kids up, not just to do what we say, but to have

    a relationship with Jesus themselves.

    Now let's talk about this global war that we talked about in the intro.

    What is spiritual warfare and how are families becoming ground zero?

    Also what personal evidence do you have you seen of this?

    There's an attack on the conservative family, right?

    Or maybe not even conservative.

    I'd say the traditional family, right?

    Where we see this everywhere, even in its funny like in Disney, if you go and watch Disney

    shows, you'll see that a lot of times it's a single parent where either mom or dad is


    It's very unique anymore to see a mom and a dad and kids on a show.

    And so it's something that that's the podcast that I represent and I'm part of is called

    Strong by Design.

    And Strong by Design is we've been created in God's image to have a strong mind, body, and


    The reality is is that because of sin and consequence, we become weak in all of those areas

    of our lives.

    And when we turn away from God's original design, which is, you know, we would define that

    as sin.

    When we turn away from God's design, we have to reap the consequences of that.

    And so the only way to get back to living the right way is to get rid of that life, to

    surrender our life to Jesus and to come back to that original design.

    And when we look at how the structure of the family that was set up in scripture, we

    see that God actually designed it to work a certain way.

    And so obviously that's what the enemy wants to tear down and rip apart is this idea of

    God's design.

    Like that's what he's all about regardless.

    The enemy has two goals.

    The first goal is to keep you from knowing Jesus.

    And if you know Jesus, his next goal is to keep you from being faithful to being part of

    kingdom building, of building God's kingdom here on earth.

    And so if you can rip a family apart, man, how much trauma does that cause for the rest

    of your life?

    That's pretty scary.

    It's very scary.

    And you see the statistics all over the place of, you know, if dad's not involved or if

    mom's not involved or and there are obviously circumstances that you can avoid, right?

    If someone passes unfortunately or if one of the parents are abusive, you need to get

    out of those things.

    However, it all boils down to this idea of destroying what we know as the traditional


    And I believe that God is calling us as believers to come back to those truths, to come

    back to that design of what it means to be a family that follows after God.

    How are fathers being caught or in some cases they are prime targets for the spiritual war?

    Against popular belief in this day, men and women are different.

    I don't know if you're aware of that or not, Jonathan, but God actually designed men

    and women differently.

    And the problem is is in our culture, it's been set up for us to think that that means

    that one is better than the other.

    And that's not at all.

    Like one is not better than the other.

    We're just different because God wired it that way.

    God designed it that way.

    And so the reason that dads in particular are being targeted is because God designed the

    man to be the head of the household.

    Now that doesn't mean that the man is designed to be authoritative and domineering and all

    of those things that are unhealthy, but it does mean that God has designed for the husband

    to be the head of the house just as Christ is the head of the church.

    That's what Paul would say or did say in Scripture.

    And so if the enemy through spiritual warfare, if he can rip apart a man, if he can degrade

    him or if he can tempt him into sexual sin or if he can convince him that he's no good and

    he should lose anything that he can do to deter the man from being to stepping in and

    fulfilling that role in the home, he's going to do it.

    And you alluded to spiritual warfare and spiritual warfare is basically everything that's going

    on in the spiritual realm that we can't see, right?

    We're almost in like a sub-reality of the true reality and we don't even know it.

    And it's because there's so much that is going on outside of the physical world that we

    don't, we can't see it unless God gives us a vision to see it.

    And so recognizing that it's there and recognizing that the enemy is at work diligently trying

    to destroy you and destroy your family calls us to action as men and really as women

    as well, married couples and families to combat that in a way that is going to be effective.

    One of the things I've observed and maybe it's just my own and maybe you see it differently,

    but it seems like when I do a comparison between the two, between the attacks on women and

    attacks on men in the home, women seem to be attacked very differently than men do.

    So a majority of the women when Satan really decides he's going to attack, I would say a

    majority of women are influenced and pulled away by new age influences and new age belief


    And men are pulled away and attacked by a pornography.

    But the result is the same and Satan is very efficient.

    He doesn't have to necessarily go to individuals.

    All he has to do is knock off the dad.

    He can hit the dad hard enough. He has done with one job.

    He has potentially damaged many generations.

    Just hit the father.

    Damage him so bad that becomes an absent parent, uninvolved, emotionally disconnected, whatever.

    And he is messed up women and he's messed up men.


    It's funny because the two play on each other, right?

    So men want respect and they want to be desired.

    And women want to be beautiful and they want to be loved.

    And so if the men aren't receiving that, that respect or that desire, then they start

    to look for it somewhere else.

    If the woman doesn't feel beautiful and adored, she starts to look for it somewhere else.

    And it's like these two things that Satan sees that if he can mess with either one of them,

    it really messes both of them up.

    And it's just crazy how they play off of each other.

    I see it all the time as well.

    What are some of the sneaky and seemingly innocent ways that children are opening the doors

    to the dark, spiritual or demonic forces and realms in their homes?

    What are some examples that you've seen of this?

    Man, they're all over the place.

    I think technology is huge and allowing, I can't believe it always surprises me when I see

    like a five or six year old walking around with a phone.

    Like do you know how much corruption they can fall into just by having a device that's connected

    to the internet?

    Like it baffles my mind.

    But that's a whole other, I mean, we could have a whole conversation on technology and

    digital media and how to handle that as as a family unit.

    But what we've been doing, it's really crazy that you bring this up because God's actually

    been doing a huge thing just in our own family.

    It's almost like a purging of our home.

    I've been really big in harping on, we want our home to be a sanctuary, we want our home

    to be a place that's holy and set apart, which means that it's a place that's safe from

    the culture.

    It means it's a place that is safe from the influences of anything outside of God's truth

    and holiness.

    And what that means is we have to be diligent in asking God what can stay and what can go.

    We haven't told our kids what toys they can keep or what they need to get rid of.

    But as we've engaged them in that conversation, our 12 year old son just through praying and

    listening to God on his own came to his own conclusion that Pokemon wasn't something

    that God wanted him to keep.

    And so I'm not saying you should or you shouldn't get rid of Pokemon in your home, but I am

    saying that the enemy will use anything he can to attach himself to your children.

    And so if there are things that are going to be influencing them outside of following

    Jesus, especially as their brains are developing and their thoughts are developing and their

    behaviors are developing and their belief systems are morality are developing.

    We want to be as parents and as fathers, diligent and paying attention to those things in the

    way that they're influencing our kids.

    So it's just in the recent, this last Halloween was the first Halloween that we didn't celebrate

    as a family.

    We've always dressed up.

    We've always gone out and done the trick or treating thing.

    And we've always spun it as we want to be a light in the darkness, which we do.

    We want to be a light in the darkness.

    We don't want to just abandon the world and go inside our homes and for the sake of protecting


    That's not what we're trying to do.

    What we're trying to do is say, God, how do I be a light in the darkness without allowing

    the darkness to influence my home?

    How can my home be set apart?

    And so we didn't do Halloween this year, but instead we made cookies and we delivered them

    to our neighbors.

    And so we showed up to their house and they expected to give our kids candy.

    And instead we were giving them something and saying, hey, we just want you to know that

    we care about you and we wanted to bless you and return.

    Thank you for loving our neighborhood.

    You know, so it's finding these other ways that God can use you in these dark times and

    order to bring light into that darkness.

    And these things are difficult because there's nowhere in scripture that says, should your

    child read Harry Potter?

    You know, there's nothing in scripture that says, should your kids watch cartoons with

    unicorns in them?

    You know, and so we really have to be intentional to go to God and say and have a good enough

    relationship with Jesus that we can actually ask him these questions and learn how to hear

    his voice, learn how to hear the spirit speak to us so that we can take these things that

    aren't so black and white and he can shed light on those things for us.

    Yeah, I can think of one example.

    There's one of the most popular video games that's been out there is Minecraft.

    It seems like all the kids are into Minecraft.

    And Minecraft seems very, very, very innocent.

    I mean, it's a world and you can plant trees and you have these animals everywhere that

    you can care for.

    You have chickens and everything.

    It's very much like in a lot of ways like our real world, you can build a cabin and just

    kind of walk around and live and exist on this world.

    Not for the fact that there's all these other characters that are in the game and these

    are characters that God did not create such as zombies.


    And there's another character that's in there and the characters call Enderman.


    And what does Enderman sound like?

    It sounds a lot like Slenderman.

    And Slenderman, if you're not familiar with that, hopefully not too familiar with that,

    Slenderman is a demonic character.

    It is a being from demonic influence.

    So Slenderman is a very evil demonic thing.

    And so if you do the research and this is for you dads, like do the research on what your

    kids are doing.

    Don't just sit around and just be passive about it.

    Get proactive.

    What are they doing?

    What are they involved with?

    Do the research?

    Because if you do the research on Enderman on that character, you will find that you

    will find it is influenced by Slenderman.

    And are these really the values that you want your kids doing?

    So that conversation, I had that conversation with my own kids.


    And they figured it is.

    I mean, I feel and and that again, that's why I mean, we have these conversations and we

    want to bring our, I mean, for us as our family, we want to bring our kids into that conversation

    so that they understand that we're not just randomly taking things away from them, but

    we're helping them understand why.

    You know, we're helping them understand what's influencing us is important, right?

    A glass can only spill what it contains.

    So what am I putting inside my glass that's going to then be poured out of me?

    I can, I don't want to be putting in evil stuff.

    You know, I'm going to be putting in more, more good stuff.

    And so you almost have to go through a morning process sometimes with some of these things

    because until it's revealed to you that it's not okay, you almost fall in love with

    these things, you know, but then when, when God asks you to give them up, there's just, there's

    a period of morning and there's a period of loss saying, okay, that thing is gone, but the

    turnaround is, look at what is so much better in my life with Jesus and what he has to offer.

    My experience is that when God takes something away from you or takes it out of your life,

    he always replaces it with something better.

    He never just leaves a hole.

    The other reality of why we're careful about, you know, the games that we play, the things

    that we get involved with and such is that these things are potential gateways.

    These are opening doors into the demonic spiritual realm and it is allowing opening doors, allowing

    them access.

    It's like signing a consent form that gives them permission to waltz into your world and

    waltz into your into your life into all kinds of things.

    It is not hard to find stories of people who have been caught in that and, you know, they've

    had everything from they've seen apparitions.

    They, you know, the whole scene of ghosts, things being messed with in their home, all this really

    freaky stuff that's the things of your nightmares.

    It all started innocently whether it was games or whether it was somebody else that they

    were praying to that wasn't God or movies that they were watching music that they were

    listening to it all started innocently and that's how Satan gets you.

    These are the things that God is trying to protect you from.


    And it's across the board, right?

    I mean, it's things that you play with as far as your toys and things.

    It's things that you're reading.

    It's music that you're listening to.

    I mean, there's so many different avenues that we need to be paying attention to and really

    praying through is this glorifying God or is it not?

    And that's kind of that's kind of the basis, you know, is this bringing glory to God?

    Is this helping build his kingdom or is it not?

    And that's that's kind of a tool that we use to measure a lot of times.

    Is this worth it or is it not?

    The other thing is, you know, when it comes to to what you occupy your mind with the Holy

    Spirit is unimaginably huge.

    And so why wouldn't you want to wake up every morning and invite him in every single day

    to fill up your mind?

    He will occupy every crevice.

    He will give you the discernment when you're doing something that isn't good for you.

    And if you learn to listen to him, he will walk you through those changes.


    And it's something too that I like to tell people, my relationship with Jesus and the Holy

    Spirit, it's not just him teaching me things that he doesn't want me to do anymore.

    Like the real relationship with the Holy Spirit is him speaking into your life and bringing

    you on an adventure of things he's actually asking you to do.

    And that's when it gets a little bit more fun and a little bit more exciting because all

    of a sudden he's telling you to speak to somebody or say something to somebody or pray for

    somebody or whatever it might be.

    And you're thinking, is that me?

    Are you really asking me to do this?

    That sounds crazy.

    And you hear stories all the time of people being faithful to this weird thing.

    I just saw a video yesterday about a pastor who someone showed up at his house in the Holy

    Spirit told him to give him a blank check and then how God used that to like transform

    his ministry.

    I mean, it's just weird stuff like that.

    My good story for me personally was before we had kids, my wife and I were working and

    doing a young adult service.

    And it was when I can't remember the year, but there's a big tsunami that hit somewhere

    in Asia.

    And my wife felt led to stand up and say, hey, we should collect money and send it over

    to them for relief.

    And so I'm like, yeah, it's a great idea.

    And so we could do all this collection.

    Well, we only had like $60 left in our bank account.

    And we had about another week before we were going to get paid.

    And Kristiana felt the spirit, speak to her and say, you need to give all of your money

    to this fund.

    And I remember afterwards she told me and I was, I was, I was like, what, you got to be kidding


    Like, we have no money.

    You literally gave away all of our money.

    We have no money to live on for the rest of the rest of the, like, what are we supposed

    to do for the rest of this week?

    We ended up, the other part of the story is that we were closing on our house the

    next day as well.

    And so then you have all of the added stresses of man, how much money do we actually have

    to bring to closing and all of these different things?

    Well we ended up going to the closing of our home and the people come in and they sit

    down and we're getting ready to start signing papers and they say, hey, before we start,

    we just need to disclose something to you and we're like, oh, great.

    Now what?

    And they said, in the middle of your loan process, we actually changed the type of loan

    that we were giving you.

    And we are required to disclose it within three days or get penalized and we're like, okay,

    so how much more money do we owe you?

    And they're like, no, no, no, no.

    We're penalized and because we're penalized, we now owe you an extra $8,000 the government

    is like, oh my goodness.

    We literally, God just said, hey, thank you for being faithful.

    Here's money, which ended up money that we got, we went, we didn't know the things that

    you need when you buy a new home.

    And so, we had to buy curtains and all of these different things that that money didn't

    last as long as we thought it would.

    But it's like God asked us to do crazy things that you would never do on your own and then

    you faithfully do it and it's like, this is what it's about.

    This is what, this is why having a relationship with God is so full of fun and joy and adventure.

    God is very, very, very busy and if you are connected with Him and following Him and

    listening to Him and obeying Him, you will be too.

    And it will be an adventure and believe me, you will have fun.

    It is, it is a lot of fun.

    It is a lot of fun.

    So I want to get into the next topic, which is how spiritual warfare is impacting marriages

    and what can dads do to protect their marriages from attack?


    I did want to touch too, just with technology and kids and you talked about pornography

    being an issue.

    That's another reason to be aware of what your kids are doing online.

    The average kid gets exposed to pornography now.

    I think it's like age seven, which is just stupid young.

    And so the same is true with dads, right?

    Dads can be easily tempted.

    So be smart with what you're doing with technology.

    Make sure to be smart with the boundaries that you're putting in place with co-workers and

    other people and other friends.

    Make sure you're being smart with where you're spending your time.

    I always encourage it, courage dads to be diligent and praying for your family, be diligent

    and praying for your, for your wife.

    My wife and I love to go into our kids rooms after they fall asleep and just take time praying

    over them.

    And I praying again, that's something else that we don't always know what to pray, but

    guess what?

    You can ask the Holy Spirit, Lord, give me words to pray.

    What does my son need prayer for?

    How can I, like, I don't know the ins and outs of what's going on inside his mind and heart

    and spirit?

    And so God, tell me the things that I need to pray for him.

    And the spirit is so good at just feeding me information and feeding my wife information.

    And so I think that I am where I am today, specifically because my grandparents were so

    diligent in praying for me.

    And so there's a lot of power that comes from praying consistently for your family.

    So I think it's an easy thing for us to do as dads and vital to the success, spiritual success

    and all success of our families.

    Jared, how can dads get a hold of you to get help or to ask questions or learn more about

    what you're doing?

    Also you have a podcast, how can dads find it?


    So the podcast that I'm a part of is called Strong By Design.

    You can go to Strong By Design podcast.com is the website.

    We have a YouTube channel where we put everything up or anywhere podcasts are found.

    You can find it just search Strong By Design podcast that will pop right up on Google for


    We, it's an interesting podcast because we have different hosts.

    I cover all of the faith and family topics, but then we believe that you know, you're

    made mind body spirit.

    So we have stuff on leadership that we have another host that is covering that stuff.

    We have a host that's helping with nutrition and holistic health.

    And we have another coach that's helping with physical fitness.

    So it's kind of a wide variety of things on that podcast, but being strong and all of

    those areas are important.

    So go check that out.

    My social media stuff, you can just look up Jared's Aria.

    It's J-R-E-D-S-A-R-I-A.

    I'm on Instagram.

    I think I'm tick tock.

    I'm Jared's Aria 84.

    And Facebook as well.

    You can you can search me up on Facebook.

    But any of those areas, if you just, you know, send me a DM, I'm happy to connect with anybody

    that wants to connect.

    Just to make it easy to if you go to the fatherhoodchallenge.com, that's the fatherhoodchallenge.com.

    If you go to this episode, look right below the episode description.

    I'll have all those links posted there so you can connect with Jared and find him easily

    that way.

    Jared, as we close, what is your challenge to dad's listening now?

    Please don't coast.

    Be intentional with your time.

    Be intentional with what God is asking you to do and lead your home.

    Leading your home doesn't mean that you have to do everything.

    That just means that you are shepherding and guiding and leading your family in the direction

    that it needs to go in order to follow what God has for you.

    So please be intentional.

    Jared, it's been an honor having this conversation with you and you've taught us a lot.

    Thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge.


    Thank you.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of the Fatherhood Challenge.

    If you would like to contact us, listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned

    in this program or find out more information about the Fatherhood Challenge.

    Please visit thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    That's thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

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    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Feb 5, 2024
  • How Single Dads Build a Thriving Business

    Are you a single dad with dreams and aspirations of owning your own business and being your own boss? Do the demands on your time as a single dad require control of your schedule and workload? My guest is here with me to talk about how single dads like you can gain control over your time and your dreams and succeed.

    Deevo Tindall is the founder and CEO of Fusion Creative, a branding and marketing agency. His expertise and experience have not only made him the authority on how to grow a successful business but also how to do so as a single dad.

    You Can connect with Deevo here:

    Website: https://fusioncreativebranding.com

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fusionphotog/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fusioncreativebranding/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefusioncreative/

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@unlearneverythingdeevo

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcription - How Single Dads Build a Thriving Business


    Are you a single dad with dreams and aspirations of owning your own business or being your own boss?

    Do the demands and the stress on your time as a single dad require control of your schedule and your workload?

    My guest is here with me to talk about how single dads like you can get control of your time and your dreams and succeed.

    So don't go anywhere.

    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere,

    to take great pride in their role and a challenge society to understand how important fathers are to the stability and culture of their family's environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. My guest is Devo Tendol.

    Devo is the founder and CEO of Fusion Creative, a branding and marketing agency.

    Devo is expertise and experience have not only made him the authority on how to grow a successful business but also how to do it as a single dad.

    And this is why I have brought him on the Fatherhood Challenge. Devo, welcome to the program.

    Hey my man, thanks for having me. Good to be here.

    Okay, I got to ask, what is your favorite dad joke?

    What do you call a cat with eight legs?

    Cat with eight legs.

    Definitely haven't heard this one.


    That was great.

    I've never been asked that question before so thank you.

    Well Devo, what is your own story of what led you to become an entrepreneur and start Fusion Creative?

    I think really it's some similarities with a lot of entrepreneurs.

    I was driven by a blend of necessity and passion.

    I worked a very successful job. I learned a boatload of information and met some amazing people and got the opportunity to rub shoulders with some pretty amazing and intelligent and motivated people that were also equally successful.

    But I wasn't really utilizing any of my passions that I felt drawn to do and I certainly wasn't utilizing my creativity.

    And because I'm a creative at heart, I interestingly have sort of a nice blend of pragmatism and left and right brain sort of synergies.

    And I really wanted to build something, I've always been passionate about building things.

    And I got exposed to that in the corporate world for many years working in the areas that I was blessed to work in.

    I got to build projects but I didn't have any ownership of them.

    And I really was looking for something where I could express my creativity but also provide practical solutions and sort of be the owner of all that.

    And so Fusion was born from that desire to merge innovative design with really with strategic marketing.

    I know that there are so many dads out there listening who are experiencing some form of burnout where it almost hurts to get out of the bed just to get into work.

    And it feels like it drains their soul.

    And I'd be willing to bet that besides probably the schedule thing and all of that.

    The lack of ownership in their creative energy is probably a big factor in why they might feel that drain and burnout because this is how we were made.

    We were made to create things.

    We were definitely not designed to sit in cubicles for eight hours a day doing redundancy tasks and working for other people in a capacity where we're just sort of taking orders and knee jerk responding.

    And that and entrepreneurship is not for everybody.

    There are people who sort of thrive in those sorts of conditions and I'm not making any judgments on any of that.

    But for certain people, I'm one of those people.

    And it wasn't designed to sort of sit. And there's an argument to be made like you just said, Jonathan, that humans themselves were not designed to be sitting in a cubicle or in an office, you know, just judging over these sorts of minutia and redundancy.

    And for me, that was sort of an observation that I made early on that, you know, I could do this for 50 years for rest of my life, make a lot of money, have a lot of things, have a nice big house, all those things.

    But I just realized, do my own sort of introspective way that I just this is not this wasn't my calling. And so I set out to find a way to step out of that space.

    What do you think are some of the reasons that single dads with aspirations of entrepreneurship won't go after their dreams?

    I don't think first and foremost that we are taught to go after our dreams.

    I think critical thinking and self-awareness and doing something for ourselves is is frowned upon.

    It's viewed as vain, it's viewed as selfish, it's viewed as narcissistic.

    And the collective, the collective educations that we receive from from a very early age, you know, three, four, five years old, we're stuck in the classroom.

    And then we're stuck in another classroom and then we're stuck in another classroom, a cult, a cubicle or an office. And we're not trained to step outside of that space.

    We're educated to become automatons in a lot of capacity. And so we just don't really have the self-awareness to think outside of that space.

    And then when we do think outside of that space, there's a lot of fear associated with it. There's a lot of trauma associated with that, especially if you just came out of a divorce, you just went through a divorce, you're going through a divorce or you're a single father.

    Man, I can tell you my entire life changed and anyone who listens to this is a single parent, not just fathers, but you, your paradigm changes really fast.

    And you really are forced to either figure it out or pass it off like a lot of people do.

    And so I think concerns about financial security and time management and resources and really understanding that balance between being a present parent and a business owner.

    It can be really daunting for a lot of people and I don't think it's insurmountable. Obviously I'm doing it and thousands of others are as well.

    But I think early on when you sort of think about, what do I want to do with my life? There's so much bigger.

    And when you start to actually materialize those ideas, you get stopped up against this stop gap because you're like, "Shoo, man, I don't know how that's going to be possible.

    I suddenly have kids. I have to be the mother and the father for. I got to cook for them. I got to drive them around."

    Like all these different things and it's like, "I just want to stay in something really comfortable right now."

    You touched on it in the very, very beginning. I thought that was really cool. You brought that up. And that is the education system.

    Our education system is decades old as far as the model that we're using today.

    And the model that we're using today is based on a thought process of producing obedient factory workers.

    And so we still have that mindset within our own education system. I mean, we're trying to break it, but we're really having a hard time.

    And sometimes I wonder if there's an epigenetic component into the way we approach education that is making it so difficult for us to break free, not only from the education model that we've been using,

    but also within ourselves to become entrepreneurs when we were brought up completely the opposite way. And that's what makes it such a challenge to break.

    Wow, brilliant point, epigenetics. How many of your listeners know what epigenetics is? So that's fantastic reference.

    It partially is a collective consciousness of epigenetics and sort of DNA remoluculizing in a capacity.

    But I think more than that, there is a fixed and concentrated effort from the powers that be, that maintain and control the education system and are teaching the teachers that are teaching our kids to maintain that sense of control and manipulation so that the type of output that we're getting are people who don't know how to critically think are people who don't know how to function on their own who are not independent and autonomous in the sense of the system.

    There are slaves to the system, if you will, and that system is rewarded or I'm sorry, that system rewards the people who not only educate those people, but then the people who are part of the systems themselves are rewarded sort of that.

    It's sort of like bread and circuses. There's a, you know, you know, you like the Roman civilization, I'm going way outside of where I think we should be going, but the Roman civilization is no dissimilar to what we did.

    You know, they knew that in times of crisis, the best thing to do was to feed the masses and give them alcohol and give them entertainment and set up all these different massive arenas all over the world.

    And if you look at our society today, that's exactly what's happening in sports or in everything else, you know, you have these massive events that are scheduled to entertain the masses and we keep them drunk and we keep them high and we keep them stone.

    We don't ever encourage them to step outside that space of self awareness and introspection and mindfulness and then sort of become independent thinkers from the system itself.

    So yeah, 100% man, you were spot on epigenetics as part of that because it just becomes part of our DNA and then we pass it on to the next generation and the next generation and the next generation.

    But you always have to go behind the wizard of the curtain who's behind the curtain controlling that epigenetic manipulation and there are people and powers that in my opinion are have designed this system purposefully in order to do exactly what you just said.

    Yeah, there's a culture component of it, which there was a time where you were considered a man.

    If you were able to hold down a job for your life at the same company long enough to be able to retire from that same company and collect a pension that was considered the definition of or part of the definition of being a man and providing for your family.

    But what nobody talks about from that generation is at some point those same men were serving another man somewhere who was at the very top who did something very different and became an entrepreneur and that's who they're working for and collecting the pension from no one talks about that and then the day no one talks about the entrepreneurs back then they just sort of did it.

    And so entrepreneurship, I think still becomes this mysterious thing that people now are are maybe they want to do that there's an interest there, but it just feels far out of reach.

    So for that single dad that's ready to take those first steps into a business ownership.

    What exactly should their first steps look like?

    Man you can't lead with that sort of breakdown that you just did that was spot on and I'll expect me to extrapolate on the pitch but I would love to dive into that and unpack that of it because there's a lot of pieces that were really powerful and what you said so the pedigree was groomed for exactly what you said.

    But it was an interesting paradigm in my opinion because if you take a look at some of the morals and the ethics and the values of those very people you just described you know 1920s and post war.

    They were all based upon sort of the old school of thinking if you will which was morals and conscious and clear and consciousness around working hard and raising a family and being a good man.

    And those sort of things were brought into this new paradigm because they realize that what what was happening there is is that mode of thinking was contradictory to what they wanted to train people right and so it took a little bit of time but now fast forward to where we are today and and all of that sort of independent thinking and morals and good conscious and strong values and all the things that made America and society strong have been slowly white washed out and replaced with the world.

    And this new culture is easier to control because of that they're easier to train because of that because they don't they don't have independent thinking they don't have critical thought they don't have a strong backbone they don't have values they don't see the idea of what what that there is a necessity for a true testosterone based man who thinks acts and works in in a in a community but also simultaneously independent free thinker and so all that has been sort of purged out of society.

    So that being said if you want to change that paradigm you have to reverse the remote of thinking in the way you operate and understand that you do have the power to develop and build your own life you don't have to be dependent upon someone else paying you what's more important is finding a community of people that can support you that think in that same capacity and so if you in that answer your question.

    The first steps towards towards business ownership is really clearly taking the time to have that sort of mindfulness about yourself and understand what it is that you ultimately want to do with your life what's your legacy you want to leave what's the value you wish to bring to the universe what problems can you solve and do some research around yourself and do some research on the economies that you want to play in or the sandboxes that you want to play in understand your strengths understand your passions and how do they align with market needs where can you step in with whatever it is you love doing.

    And our passion about doing and most importantly you can add value and solve a problem for somebody based upon what the market needs and then create some sort of a I don't like the word business plan because it's not really a business plan is really more of a life plan create a plan around that and start finding people to help you support that plan join mastermind groups find people in your community find people in your church like you have access to eight and a half billion people on the planet build a personal brand around use your soul.

    And then you can use your social media for that instead of browsing porn or browsing internet or doing whatever nonsense that you can do on the internet use it for a purposeful and mindful strategy so that you can connect with people that are very like minded and can support you in that space and then start building and just do start by starting don't just expect it to happen overnight it takes time it's a process it takes tweaking and modifying and adjusting and and continuing and rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat and then at some point if you're if you just follow your own sort of heart and

    follow your strategy and you have good support around it then you can build something it's it's possible I mean I'm doing it now what makes entrepreneurship so exciting is the fact that there is no one in your way so the service doesn't go away you still get to serve someone and it's the customer and there's no one between you in that customer you can do it your way but every other skill has to be there the showing up when you're supposed to show up being prepared having

    everything ready to go doing quality work all those skills don't go away the only thing that you can put in is your own creativity of how that's going to get done and you can increase the quality to whatever whatever level that you think that quality needs to be at and that's up to you there's no one deciding that and in the end whether you get to keep that job which we call a customer the customer decides that

    so I love those components of entrepreneurship there's no one deciding that middle part yeah you you're absolutely right I'd like to add a little bit to that while you don't have anyone that ultimately is responsible for this you are the creator and the implementer and the amplifier and you are the vessel that's going to build your business

    but it's often really important to find people that can support that that mission support those values because one of the things that happens is you sort of get in your own way and I found that out really on because it's your own business

    you think you know everything you think you have all the systems in place you think you have the you know the objective and the missions and all and how to build this but often is the case is that the scalability of that is limited by your own capacity in your own resources

    so it's really important to find people that can support that whether they're working for you or contractors and and stay in your lane and focus on the things that you're really good at and find other people to support the minutiae the things that you don't really have value in and then you have sort of a scalable model

    there's a great fantastic quote from the bible bad company corrupts good character and that's sort of been a motto of mine my entire life is is really try to find because you become an output of the five or six people you surround yourself with most right

    that's your partner that's your wife that's your that's your friends that's that's everything so the people you work with and so yeah it's really really important that you can surround yourself with people that give you value and give you community and inspire you

    and are honest with you and are transparent with you and can and help lift you up so that you can step into the true power that you're meant to be and if if you're surrounded by people who are less than that who are negatives or who are

    who are who are or for example you know like I try to surround I belong to a mastermind group and most everyone in that group is considerably more successful than me

    considerably more intelligent than me considering more versed in everything and so but what I found is by surrounding myself with these types of people

    you sort of have no choice but to play at their level and if you're not playing at their level you're sort of kind of an outcast and sit in the shadows

    and so yeah it's really really important that to understand that you're not trying to fake it's not the whole concept of fake it till you make it it's it's finding people that you can that you are inspired by

    that are doing things that you haven't yet done or want to do and they're living proof and they're willing to support your journey as well and bring you up to their level

    and that's what I'm trying to say is like it's so critical to surround yourself with quality people because they become a byproduct of who you are

    okay I want to change gears a little bit does every new business need a branding strategist like yourself working with them to succeed and if so why I don't think ultimately you need to go hire somebody

    especially if you're strapped for cash I do think more importantly it's critical that you take the time to figure out and can we clarify the word brand because that's a very

    fabulous term for a lot of people branding or brand most people think that that's just you know the color of your the color of your the colors that you've chosen or your logo or you have a website so now you're branded and it's it couldn't be

    farther from the truth those are certain elements of a brand but they're just small constituents that ultimately make up a brand a brand is everything that you stand for a brand is everything that you believe a brand is your values a brand is the message a brand is your 30 second

    elevator pitch a brand is how you answer the phone or your voice message or what your website says it's all of those things combined into one which ultimately says this is who I am this is what I believe this is what I stand for and this is what I bring to the table

    and these are the problems that I'm going to solve for you this is me do you have access to so much information on the internet today that you could basically build your own brand without me but the problem is is most people don't have the

    discipline to your point most people don't have the the moxie or the or the wherewithal to sort of dive into that space or they're so busy trying to do all the other things to get their business going that they've forgotten to take the time to have that clarity first so it helps to have somebody

    like me in your corner I'm sort of like your branding marketing wing man okay so what you just got through saying is the big reason why I brought you on this program I feel like I'm getting an

    education a really good education right now and I believe the audience is to yeah take breaking down what branding is is so important and I guess what I'm reading out of that is that when it comes to building your brand it is so critical for you to be authentic about who you really are because if you're not people can smell

    that a mile away yeah you you really someone thank you for summarizing that better for me I'm a little long winded if you can tell yeah you know I actually have this service that I offer this is not a shameless plug but to just to continue with the dating scene one one of the things that I discovered early on in my dating journey is that a it's time consuming be it's a bit confusing see it's very tiring and D you know what because I was married for 10 years for example in dating the same person for 17 years

    I sort of lost touch with reality and I find that a lot of people because because of you know a bunch of other things that go into that you sort of kind of lose touch with who you are and it's not that you're

    delusional but you just might lose touch with who you are you just sort of out of practice and all those things and so we developed this program where we actually help people it's a personal branding workshop where I act as your wingman might team access your wingman and teaches you how to show up in your and I don't like

    authentic is over use sort of become this cliche buzzword but genuinely speaking it's a fantastic word if you really break it down it means no facades it means who you are it's what your value what do you bring to the table where the types of people you want to connect with who do you want

    to date or who do you want as your clients it's all of those things in teaching you how to how to profess that how to amplify that how to share that message so that you can show up as your true self and there

    isn't like this this wall of of the façades that you're throwing out there to sort of pretend that you're somebody that you're not so that you'll attract that person because like you said man what you just said is so brilliant we're really really savvy and smart and we can smell right through it like we know if you're being a fraud like you might get away with it for a couple of dates you might get away with it after a amount of time but really quickly if you're projecting something that is falsified that truth that dead body if you will will rise to the surface and so it's really important that you get some clarity

    around all the things that you are so that when you do show up in the marketplace whether as an entrepreneur someone you try as as a dating a new single dad out in the marketplace you're showing up in the most positive light possible the most transparent light possible the most authentic version of you that is possible my goal at the end of this conversation is for that dad that's listening now that that single dad that is on the fence that has just had the

    dream going on in his head for maybe a short time it may be most of his life and he's been scared to take that to pull the trigger and become an entrepreneur to launch that dream my goal is that by the end of this conversation that single dad is left without any excuses and is ready to take action and knows those key first steps to be able to get something in motion and often sometimes very first things you do become the hardest

    because they're new to you but to have the courage to get off the bench and start taking action and doing something what are the key takeaways that you want single dads to understand about getting control of their time their energy and their financial well being discover your mindfulness and understand what that does for you and being willing to be honest with yourself and understand who you are first and foremost and I know that sounds a bit

    so terror but really important to approach that from a serve first capacity not what can I get out of this I think a lot of people get caught up in the tit for tat conditional relationship situation which is you know all do this if you do this for me and then like I noticed that in my own in my own marriage I was like you know that because I wasn't

    passionately connected with this person because I had become lazy or undisciplined or whatever it was the mistakes that I made in my marriage and the fact that we grew apart it sort of became this conditional logic of like all do this if you do that for me right and so get away from that first of all if you're going

    to be an entrepreneur you have to understand that you're here to serve first and and if you do it properly if you do it with authenticity to borrow your term if you do it with clarity you'll find that all the things that you seek they will come to you over time but you have to step away from

    me me me it has to be a serve first capacity so take some time to to be mindful and develop that I think also prioritize and delegate if you can be very very clear on what it is you want to accomplish and build a plan around that it's sort of like setting goals it's no different than setting goals you know

    there are going to be a lot of goals that you want to accomplish there's a lot of things that you can do as an entrepreneur and they sometimes seem very monumental but if you can plan it out and prioritize and strategize with those things you'll find that if you set smaller pieces in between for this stratization

    that big and surmountable goal slowly over time become smaller and more attainable and understand that time management is everything know your resources and what you're able to do and I don't over commit I think we're really over zealous early on that we'll just do everything I'll take it on yeah yeah I'll do it

    and then you know you know two weeks later you're sinking and sinking and barely able to swim because you said yes is so many things I'm not saying that that's that it's you should be ambivalent about that I'm saying that understand your resources and that everything that you bring to the table is sort of like your bank account and if people are withdrawing from you all the time that bank account gets really small so embrace tools and strategies to understand your value and and what your resource constraints are streamlined your workflow try to systematize things where you can for example

    if you're sending out emails every day on lead generation tactics you should probably copy and learn to copy and write sort of a standard email so that you don't have to write the entire thing every single time right so understand your workflow and really try to systematize and most importantly don't compromise on your well being it's really really really important that you take care of yourself first because now you're a single dad right so your resources are thinner than they were before you don't have that partner to support you and now you're you might be solely responsible for your work and you're not going to be able to do that

    you might be solely responsible for supporting your little offspring so it's really important that you take care of yourself get to the gym make it a priority you can wake up at five o'clock in the morning it might take you a couple weeks to get used to it but wake up in the morning you'll find that's your most valuable time your diet is critical man you you are what you eat take note of that and that's different for everybody but develop a healthy work life existence so that you're not consumed by work and I struggle from that all the time because I actually love working right but

    if you want to have sustained success it's really important that you take care of yourself and and and and again if you're diminished if you're less you're going to be less equipped to handle your clients your children etc etc.

    Devo how can dads connect with you to get help or learn more about what you're doing.

    Instagram is a great way I'm on LinkedIn Instagram I'm I'm at fusion photo if you S I O N photo pH O T O G short for photography on my website is fusion creative branding dot com you can send me a message there or DM me on Instagram I respond and connect with everybody I don't ever leave a message on responded just to make it easier as well if you go to the fatherhood challenge dot com that's the fatherhood challenge dot com go to this episode

    look right below the episode description I'll have all of the links that Devo just said all the links will be posted right there below the description as we close what is your one challenge to dads listening now if there's something you want to do start by starting today and

    figure out a way to build it do not look back 20 30 40 years from now and say I wish I had done that and your situation as a single dad is unique and so are the insights and the resilience and the value that you bring to the world

    how can you figure out a turn your strengths into something that someone else can utilize someone else can buy someone else can stand to gain by the value that you bring to the world and everybody I do ultimately truly believe that everybody has some value that they could grow upon and expand and share if you if you approach it from that surfers capacity you find that you start surrounding yourself with the right type of people

    Devo it has been awesome to have you on the fatherhood challenge you brought so much so much value so much wisdom to the audience I learned so much from you as well so I know listeners did as well so thank you so much for coming on

    thank you I appreciate the opportunity to speak to your audience and the conversation with you is absolutely fantastic it's not often that I encounter people who sort of share some of the insights of wisdom if you talk about the epigenetics man well done I'm giving you a high five for that one

    not many people talk about epigenetics well done thank you for listening to this episode of the fatherhood challenge if you would like to contact us listen to other episodes find any resource mentioned in this program or find out more information about the fatherhood challenge please visit the fatherhood challenge dot com that's the fatherhood challenge dot com


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Feb 2, 2024
  • A Dads Journey to Mental Wellness

    If you are struggling with your mental health as a father at any age, this episode is for you. My guest has studied and learned much about the mental health crisis surrounding dads and has written a book about it. He will share his own story and what he has learned and offer much needed hope.

    Mark Williams is a Keynote Speaker, Author of How Are You Dad and International campaigner for the mental health of fathers.

    To connect with Mark or learn more about what he is doing visit:


    To purchase How Are you Dad visit: https://amzn.eu/d/iqy5yTF

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcription - A Dads Journey to Mental Wellness


    If you're struggling with your mental health as a father at any age, this episode is for


    My guest has studied and learned much about the mental health crisis surrounding dads

    and has written a book about it.

    He will share his own story in what he has learned and offer much needed hope in just

    a moment so don't go anywhere.

    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge, a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere to

    take great pride in their role.

    And to challenge society to understand how important fathers are to the stability and

    culture of their families environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone.

    Thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is Mark Williams.

    Mark is a keynote speaker, author and international campaigner for mental health awareness for


    Mark thank you so much for joining me on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    No, thank you Jonathan.

    Honestly, I'm looking forward to it.

    Actually, share it.

    And thank you for letting me share the message as well.


    So I've got to ask, what is your favorite joke, Mark?

    Oh, okay.

    Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. I feel like a pair of curtains.

    You better put yourself together.

    Bad is bad.




    But I tried.

    Mark, what is your own personal story behind why you became so involved with mental health

    for fathers?

    Yeah, it started in 2004.

    So we planned to become parents.

    We just come out at a house.

    Me and Michelle were in totally different jobs where we are now.

    But yeah, we thought we were ready and I was 30 years of age.

    But the pregnancy was fine, nothing all the pregnancy.

    But after 20 hours of labor, Michelle was in bad shape, she was starting to get worse and


    And the doctors came rushing in and they said, Mr. Williams, your wife needs emergency

    C section.

    We need to get it down the ER quick.

    And Jonathan's the first time and only time.

    I've actually had a panic attack and I felt so guilty and all the attention was on me when

    it should be on my wife Michelle.

    And it wasn't when I went to theater then, obviously, a while away from this, obviously,

    of course.

    I honestly thought my wife and baby is going to die in that situation and it felt helpless

    in us.

    I did not do it.

    I was under the impression in the labor, cut the baby's cord off of your gall, happy families

    and it wasn't a case for Michelle.

    And obviously, as we know, now PTSD is an anxiety disorder, the witness in experience and

    life-frightening event.

    So yeah, it's nothing worse than thinking the wife and baby is going to die in that situation

    for me and a lot of parents and partners and grandparents as well.

    So what you basically experienced was a birth trauma?

    Absolutely, absolutely.

    Like you said, 19 years ago, it wasn't really much awareness and perinatal mental health

    obviously has grown over the last 10 to 12 years, especially in the UK as a state.

    But back then, we were in even talking about mental health, depression, anxiety or PTSD.

    Of course, it was associated with people with any armed forces, but people were aware that

    of course, fathers can experience PTSD as well and certainly my wife did.

    But it wasn't until a couple of days after my wife was really well in the ward, things changed


    And I was expecting to leave that birth experience, the fray of us, but obviously it was

    all in myself and I couldn't process what just went on.

    And the first thing I did was drink, knocked my next door neighbors at the time to use alcohol

    to cope with it because it was just too much going on.

    But things really escalated after Michelle got discharged and she was quickly after a couple

    of weeks in crisis team where my wife is very open about this and she's trying to take

    her life by suicide.

    And this is what my love, obviously, is in still love today, but she never experienced

    any anxiety or depression as she should say, severe as she was getting after the birth.

    So for the first couple of weeks before the crisis team came in, I was trying to hate

    it from people and trying to, I was worried about social services, I was worried the baby

    was going to take off, be taken off first, I was worried all thoughts of things of the

    father and I was expecting to be back in work in two weeks and I was self-employed.

    So luckily I had a good manager, I said, look, take as much time as you want, obviously

    you won't get paid.

    I was eventually off for six months because after Michelle went into crisis, it was a case

    that there was a world and never experience before.

    And there certainly wasn't any specialist services in the UK for mams back then.

    My wife was on a hospital ward with people with all different disorders.

    So I was totally uneducated, I'm a mental health, totally uneducated myself.

    So yeah, I didn't know about, you know, severe post-apression, but it was late to diagnose afterwards

    as she had to PTSD as well.

    There really wasn't much awareness for how to treat your wife's mental awareness or mental

    illness as well, is that what you're saying?

    Yeah, it's, well, I was CPNU, a community mental health nurse who was caring for Michelle.

    Gail James, she actually went into the field of specializing in parenting mental health.

    And she came across a lot of mams like Michelle and she went on to set up a group afterwards.

    But certainly back then, you know, post-apression fathers, which I talk a lot about as well, you know,

    it was really a case of like for mams back then, you know, what have you got to be depressed


    You just had a baby, you know, those sort of conversations were going on as well in 2004.

    So we have come a long way as well.

    And certainly back then, you know, and certainly when it comes to fathers, it was lichen, nothing,

    I wasn't even asked about my mental health back then either, like a lot of fathers today

    and I'll ask either.

    The part I can really relate to is the part where you felt guilty for what you were feeling

    and you did not want to call any attention to yourself and take the attention off of your

    wife who was needing care at that moment as well, very much so.

    I can relate to that feeling very much.

    I also experienced birth trauma.

    It wasn't until many, many years later that I realized that that's what I was going through.

    But looking back now, I felt exactly what you were feeling.

    I felt that guilt for what I was feeling and I tried to just suck it up and deal with it

    in the moment and not call any attention to myself.

    Yeah, and I know many other dads can have experienced that as well and can relate to that.

    Yeah, thanks, Jonathan.

    Thanks for sharing stories as well because it is a big issue that, you know, especially in

    the UK and why I've come across a lot of fathers don't get through the cause and end up in

    services and who may not, you know, never maybe comes along and there's more anti-natal

    anxiety then because obviously the fathers think it is going to happen again, you know,

    those sorts of things.

    And communication is a big factor, you know, where sometimes my miss over thinking is

    anything I've done, but the way dad's presenting, like I did, you know, avoiding situations,

    I was drinking more, feeling feelings of anger, all these sorts of feelings.

    You know, I couldn't have my wife, I was feeling because I didn't want to impact on her,

    mental health even more.

    So I suppressed those feelings for many years as well, you know, so it's very common, more

    common than we think it is, you know.

    What are the statistics behind fathers who struggle with mental health or fathers who commit


    There's a couple of new studies come out in Canada, a recent study and it's anything like

    22% onwards, you know, it's a, when you look at the overall studies, it's one in ten, we

    know for years and that was over like four, over many studies, but overall it was one in


    So, you know, even though one in ten is a lot, but we've got to remember it was one in ten

    for years for mums and then one of us more evidence and research and we're screening and assessment

    knowledge behind it, we know now is far higher than when in ten in mums.

    So eventually this will be known as it is far higher than when in ten, definitely.

    But the one thing is with suicide, actually suicide, so in any UK is, we call it died by suicide

    because it didn't actually crime to die by suicide.

    And so it's at the 47 times more risk of father is to obviously of suicide as a new father

    at the 47 and that research came out in 2010.

    So you know, this, one of the pretty big studies while on the father.

    So you know, so we got, you know, in the UK especially where we know, you know, the biggest

    killer men under 45 being suicide and we know the high risk of suicide in women, which

    is high risk in maternal mental health and we still know screen assessment dance, you know.

    So you know, we know that lollies men will die by suicide after the post-natal period as


    And also we know that some of the risk factors could have been from what happened as becoming

    a new father as well.

    So it does get more complex.

    I was actually diagnosed with ADHD at 40 and ten years ago.

    So there could be other issues for instance, you know, like for instance, you know, neurodiversity

    you got bipolar schizophrenia dad, you know, who struggled with problems with his mental

    health before becoming a dad.

    And then he put the lack of sleep on top of that as well, you know, then he got, you know,

    different structures and different things we know with the transition of parenting as


    So you know, working more hours because it comes, you know, there's loads of reasons why

    sometimes it could get worse because when becoming a new dad as well.

    So in other words, we could really almost spend an entire new episode just on the topic of

    the complexities of mental illness that can contribute into the birth experience or even

    the other way around.

    I never thought of sleep being a factor, but yes, that's an obvious one.

    Both the mother and the dad are not getting very much sleep in the very beginning during

    the birth experience and definitely after the birth experience and that plays a very,

    very big part.

    And then you added several more factors into it that many of us don't think of.

    If we have other things going on, if we have ADHD and there may be a host of other things

    that may be may have been there before the birth and all of that factors in and that really

    leads me into the next question that makes me wonder.

    I mean, is mental health of fathers ignored or treated with less seriousness or awareness

    than that of mothers and if that is the case?

    Why do we think that is?

    Yeah, so I'm not a bit about obviously in the States, you know, about I work with, um,

    a gentleman called Dr. Daniel Sengley, he does love fathers and, um, but also what I know

    now, especially when I'm in the UK is we are understanding that, but it's only when

    mums are unwell and the fathers in England can get screened for their mental health.

    So which is a good start, but a lot of mothers tell me that Mark, I'm fine, you know, my,

    my partner husband is actually struggling and it's actually impacting on my mental health.

    And so some of the researchers say in about the 50% of fathers can actually get depression

    looking after the mothers, we post part of them depression as well.

    So, you know, if, if dad's got a depression, obviously he's up to 50% of the mums can get affected.

    So the old idea is really getting more realistic approach, you know, support both parents

    and at the same time with a struggling and then he outcomes a far better for themselves

    and relationships and obviously the child development as well because, you know, like I said,

    fathers who are near depressed, they less likely to sing, read, dance and play, they less likely

    to follow good health guidelines, keeping the baby safe as well. So there's other shows that

    comes into it. Why should we look at a father's mental health because obviously the impact

    they may have on the family members as well.

    That's interesting. I think that is, that may be the first time I've ever heard that approach

    of treating the mental health of both the mother and the father at the same time.

    So it's probably safe to assume if one or the other is experiencing depression during

    her after the birth experience, it's probably safe to assume the other one is and we're further

    ahead just to go ahead and screen and treat them both. I think that is probably one of the

    wisest approaches I've ever heard.

    Oh, thanks Jonathan. Like you said, you know, I've been campaigned with government level

    and the most important of course is the parents, but the economic cost, you know, we went,

    you know, that we found, you know, it can say billions, you know, because a lot of these,

    men are going into other services and relationships break down and then there's other issues within

    the relationship when they can't see a children or sort of things in delinx with a lot of the

    things as well. So, yeah, it's that early prevention, you know, and it's such an important time.

    You know, I always say mental health early prevention starts on pregnancy, you know, so we

    should be looking after mum and dad or whoever that parent is, you know, support them because

    then they could look after the baby better than as well.

    I want to throw this question in there because I know this has been on the minds of many

    dads. It was definitely on my mind at the time I was going through this. If you are experiencing

    like even right now, if you're the dad listening now and you are experiencing depression, it doesn't

    matter if it's been recently after the birth or it's been sometime after the birth or

    maybe even during the birth process, but right now you are experiencing some kind of depression,

    you're just feeling down, you're feeling the blues and there's all kinds of ways that happens.

    You feel maybe like sleeping more or maybe you're having trouble sleeping. You have all kinds

    of intrusive thoughts that go through your mind, all kinds of things. If that is you right now,

    and Mark, I'm asking you, if that dad that's going through this now, should he tell his

    partner, should he tell his wife or is it better to keep it to himself?

    Well, we did some work with parents doing COVID and so I worked with midwife and the mums

    for me that would rather know what's going on than them second guessing. So that came up

    a lot when we did the exercise. No, I rather know because I'm thinking about everything

    and I'm thinking he's having a affair because he's not there. I'm thinking there's 11

    or sometimes when it comes to sex, sometimes the father's one out of sex, so he partner

    is because he wanted the partner to be pregnant again and then go from a trauma again.

    So these topics do come up. But what I know from my own personal experience only is that

    when I did, I've no choice to tell Michelle when I was in crisis afterwards, that's something

    we do constantly all the time now, we check in each other and I'm more open with my wife,

    Michelle now than ever over the last 15 years because nothing is nothing to be ashamed of

    really. We talk about physical health more than ever. So if you are struggling, it could

    be the smallest thing sometimes, it could be the biggest thing to you and that would help

    you partner could actually solve that situation together. So yeah, I'm always very person-centered

    when I say this but what's worked for me is having a better conversation and openness

    with my partner, Michelle, my wife, Michelle. Okay, so that's completely flipping the narrative

    or flipping the thought process of most dads and I think what you said is so powerful and important.

    So what you're saying is probably maybe one of the first steps of your treatment, if this

    is what you're going through, maybe one of the very first steps that you should do is

    open up to your partner to your wife to go tell them, be honest with them about how

    you're feeling. I can tell you firsthand, I mean, the times I've opened up with my wife,

    I mean, what it actually does is it does build the connection, it does build closeness, it

    does increase that bond and maybe you're both in the dumps together. But being in that dark

    place together is so much better than being in that place alone. It's so powerful to hear

    you say that Mark, from your perspective and from your side of it, your wife preferred

    and most wives would prefer that their husbands would open up about what's going on in their

    minds and in their own mental health. Absolutely, Jonathan. Yeah, definitely. It's the best

    thing I did actually. And even now, if I want time out, she knows, she's more aware.

    So yeah, absolutely. It's something like, from the fathers, obviously, I've spoken to

    over the years as one of the biggest things they just don't want to tell your partners.

    You know, like you mentioned, true set thoughts, you know, dads have, I've spoken to other

    and true set thoughts are going to harm the baby and all sorts of things. Well, we know

    it's obviously that happens to moms, you know, so, you know, maternal or paternal or CD, you

    know, it is, it is, it is never common area. But the good thing about this show is, well,

    it's very much, it's raised awareness to educate the mothers so they can look out for

    the signs and symptoms if they partner is actually, yes, yes, normal as well. You know, so it's

    really important that mums are aware because, you know, they see them every day as well.

    The one common thread I see out of this is when it comes to the parinatal mental health

    experience, it is becoming less of a gender issue. Well, maybe we have made it a gender

    issue, but in fact, it's becoming less of a really of an issue between genders and it's

    becoming a simple basic human need. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. No, you're right. It's, it is, it's,

    it's, you know, when you think of it, in my experience, obviously, it's, you know, if I,

    understand of it, you know, that, and the other things that have a father, just speak to,

    when he know that there's ever fathers, I'll actually speak, if you better, no, and gosh,

    I'm not the only one now. And this is why it's great that, you know, you're doing the

    work you're doing, you know, because like I said, I'm all about equality and all about every

    single person should have the same support. And that as far but outcomes as a parent, and

    it doesn't matter. Like I said, if nobody was shouting for mums years ago, and I was only

    shouting, and everyone shouted for dads, I probably won't be no more for maternal mental

    health because it's pretty clear. It's pretty obvious that if you support all parents,

    the outcomes are far better, far far better as well. Now you've written a book. Tell me a little

    bit about your book and the journey behind what led you to write that book. Yeah. So I'd,

    I'd be fortunate, you know, I've done a couple of books over the years. It was one, well,

    turned into a film on Amazon Prime, Daddy Blues, but it was, and we self-funded it, you know,

    people think you make a lot of money in books, trust me, you know, unless you're JK Rowling

    or something like that. But the idea of the book is really just to raise awareness and understanding.

    And so the doctor I work with, we did a book a couple of years ago. It was very academic,

    and it was great, great book for, but I wanted to write the book with evidence and research. And

    so that anyone, you know, anyone interested in in mental health, you know, social workers,

    doctors, could be, you know, in parents may have an interest in mental health. You know, so it's

    really for people like really just show the evidence in it, you know, and give the voices of parents

    in it as well as well as the academics as well. It's very important. And we, I put that in there as

    well. So, yeah, it's just, just come out now soon. It's how are you, Dad? And if anyone's interested

    as well as, I did a TEDx talk called The Importance of Mental Health, which is obviously the,

    the strap line of the book, really. So, you know, they can have a look at that to, to share with

    the colleagues or whatever, because they might have a father or a friend who's struggling and it's just

    normalizing a conversation that all the thoughts and feelings I was getting as a new father. There was

    so many out there having it, but I didn't know any other fathers going through the same sort of

    juniors me at the time. If you know, happen to know a dad who is struggling with his mental health,

    whether it's a new dad or a dad that's struggling with paternal postpartum depression or an older dad

    doesn't matter, what are the most important things that you can do to help? Certainly, as mentioned

    obviously, you know, going to see your health professional, you know, obviously. But one thing's,

    you know, just having a conversation, you know, looking over different signs and signs for

    behaviors that could be, you know, like I mentioned, you know, is your body, you're doing more,

    you know, is he, is this personally changed during the pregnancy and afterwards, you know,

    these could be signs as well, you know, as mentioned, but then, but also, like I said, it's,

    it's really, I found when I started educating myself on it as well, I found, gosh, you know,

    that helped me a lot as well, understanding why I was behaving in different ways as well.

    But yeah, I think if there's any, any colleagues out there, just ask the question, you know,

    how are you dad, you know, how are you getting on, you know, because like you mentioned,

    you know, sleep, you know, sleep, you know, severe sleep deprivation, you know, you know, that can cause

    psychosis on its own, you know, so, so these sort of things, you know, maybe some fathers would just want,

    just want a conversation, just see how things going on and I don't see them again, then, you know,

    just want to have a chat and to the most severe end where unfortunately I've supported fathers where,

    you know, they have made plans to die by suicide and obviously we've put interventions in place,

    then, but sometimes the majority of fathers, they speak, they just want something to talk to, just

    saying this is how he's feeling because certainly when I would be coming, I didn't have enough,

    I didn't have, I didn't get as well when I've been left my son initially, you know, because I was

    just so concerned, you know, it was so much going on, but that bond and attachment grew when I was

    home for that six months, doing skin skin, baby mass, all that stuff, which has helped talk myself.

    So these sort of things can help dads as well, you know, you know, skin to skin, you know,

    really starts to touch and go for the dial and baby, you know, being involved in to breastfeeding where,

    you know, fathers may feel excluded sometimes during this period and I feel isolation loneliness.

    So it's in trying to empower the dads and explain to the moms that it's very important that we include

    dads in this in this process as well. The title of your book makes it so simple. How are you, Dad?

    The simple question, very, very simple question can have such a powerful impact just checking in

    with that dad. That's what I love that the advice that you gave it. It's so simple and it is

    probably the one thing that a lot of new dads and even older dads are hungry for the most,

    that community, that that fellowship. In addition to reading your book, what are some other resources

    that you would recommend to dads who just need a little bit of extra hope? I'm certainly,

    look at more the, you know, like, for instance, the early years that, you know, I feel like becoming a new

    dad, you know, prepare yourself, you know, the language and the labor, what can cause trauma as well,

    you know, you know, for me, you know, emergency C section, you know, so the language, you know,

    empower, you know, learning, asking midwife, you know, if you've got any questions, you know,

    empower yourself to go on to it. It doesn't matter how silly the question is, make sure, you know,

    you get your point across, so you can understand the better as well. So yeah, it's engaged in

    the health profession, but remember, you know, dads out there, you've got your own experience and

    remember that it's okay, that was feelings. And to empower yourself, you know, it might be more

    considerable, your partner's mental health, you know, empower yourself to say, okay, I want to know

    more, you know, for instance, so that's something I can think of atop my head. How can dads find your

    book, connect with you or learn more about what you're doing? I got a website, it's called www.howyoudad.co.uk

    and there's some articles, obviously, I've done, you know, online, so if you look at Mark Williams,

    father's mental health and we also got an international day, which is always a day after father's

    day in the UK, and it's international father's mental health day. So if anyone wants to be involved

    with that, anyone really can, can, can, can certainly come on board and we on that day, we do certainly

    give out a lot of information and resources and obviously normalize those conversations. We

    should be talking about every day, but it's one day of the year that we really, really push ourselves

    up there to get as much information out of the people. And just to make things easier, if you go to

    the fatherhoodchallenge.com, that's the fatherhoodchallenge.com. If you go to this episode, look right below the

    episode description and I'm going to have all of the links posted there for your convenience, so you can

    just click on them and it'll take you right to those resources. And Mark, as we close, what is your

    challenge to that dad listening now who's struggling and he's just bottling everything inside?

    Yeah, well, I'll take myself to that moment, you know, the quicker the help, the quicker recovery,

    and there's no shame. And if, if, luckily for me, well, I had a total breakdown because I was,

    I was so on well, I was going to have a little thoughts, obviously, suicide, never made a plan,

    never made a plan, but I was very, and well. And so the quicker the help, the quicker recovery,

    I always say, you know, at the end of the day, it's, you know, early prevention, you know, because I know

    for my own experience, and speaking to other parents, you know, it just gets worse and worse and worse,

    and that's not good for you, your family, and obviously your children as well, so yeah, don't

    be no shame, just make sure you speak out today to somebody.

    It has been an honor and a pleasure having you on the fatherhoodchallenge. You've given us so much to

    think about, you've challenged our thinking, and I know you've helped a lot of dads out there

    that just need that extra little bit of encouragement and help you provided resources to be able to

    help these dads heal. Thank you so much for being on the fatherhoodchallenge.

    No, thank you Jonathan, thanks for asking me, thank you.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of the Fatherhood Challenge. If you would like to contact us,

    listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned in this program or find out more

    information about the fatherhood challenge, please visit thefatherhoodchallenge.com. That's thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    [ Silence ]

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    28m - Jan 26, 2024
  • Empowering Single Dads to Thrive

    Most single dads never planned on becoming single. Divorce, death or separation may have left you holding the pieces and responsibility of both parenting and running a house alone. On top of that you may also feel alone with your thoughts and emotions wondering how you can or will survive your circumstances. If this is you, there is help. There’s such a thing as a single father coach who specifically works with single dads of all walks of life and you will meet him in this episode. His name is Rob Rohde.

    To connect with Rob Rohde or learn more about what he's doing visit: https://robrohde.com/ or Email: rob@robrohde.com

    Host of The Business of Being Dad podcast (with new episodes released every Tuesday)

    Book your FREE Fatherhood Strategy Call here: https://robrohde.com/book-in-a-call/

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Transcription - Empowering Single Dads to Thrive


    Most single dads never planned on becoming single.

    Death, divorce, separation may have left you holding the pieces

    and responsibility of both parenting and running a house alone.

    On top of that, you may also feel alone

    with your thoughts and emotions,

    wondering how you can or will survive your circumstances.

    If this is you, there is help.

    There's such a thing as a single father coach

    who specifically works with single dads of all walks of life.

    And he will join us here on the Fatherhood Challenge,

    offering hope and help in just a moment.

    Don't go anywhere.

    Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge,

    a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere,

    to take great pride in their role,

    and a challenge society to understand

    how important fathers are to the stability

    and culture of their family's environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    Greetings everyone.

    Thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is single father coach Rob Rodi.

    Rob, thank you so much for joining me on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    Hi Jonathan.

    Thank you.

    I appreciate you having me.

    Rob, what is your own personal story behind

    why you became a single father coach?

    I mean, I think like so many of us that are in this space,

    the story of how we got there is very personal

    and it is based on a lot of things that have happened to us

    over the course of our lives.

    And for me, when I became a single father,

    so basically when I went through my separation

    and then my divorce, it was difficult

    and there were a lot of struggles for me.

    I was very involved with my kids upbringing,

    I was very involved with the day to day,

    kind of household responsibilities

    and taking them to school and things like that

    prior to the separation and divorce,

    but still when that moment came where I became a single father,

    it just was totally different.

    And I was overwhelmed and I struggled with anxiety

    and I struggled with being able to sleep at night.

    And I struggled with things like just not really knowing

    what my kids needed from me.

    And there were things that my wife, the girl's mom,

    had done just naturally in our kind of roles

    that we had established over the course of our marriage

    that I didn't really get involved with.

    And one of those was something like, for instance,

    setting up play dates for the kids

    and interacting with the other parents

    and the other, and often cases, moms before and after school.

    That was all foreign to me and that was difficult

    and I struggled with it and I really felt like I was failing.

    I loved my kids, I was involved with my kids

    and I was trying, but I was really not doing well.

    And I remember this moment with my oldest daughters

    and just for a point of reference at the time

    that I became a single father, I had five daughters,

    I still have five daughters, my oldest two were teenagers

    and they really did not want to hang out with me

    during that time.

    And so we had joint parenting time.

    And I remember like it was yesterday, this moment

    where I drove up to their mom's house

    to pick them up for their parenting time with me

    and my oldest two daughters refused to get in the car.

    They did not want anything to do with me.

    They were upset at me, I had made mistakes, they were,

    they just had a lot of anger and resentment towards me

    but that affected me deeply.

    And you fast forward maybe a couple of weeks

    and another kind of this pivotal moment.

    Well, let me start by saying initially,

    I was sitting in this place of blame,

    this place of being a victim

    and really feeling like all of these things

    were being done to me and that I really had no control

    over it that, you know, I love my kids,

    why are they not wanting to spend time with me

    as opposed to what my role might have been in that?

    And so a couple of weeks after that incident took place,

    I remember sitting in my bedroom all alone in the house,

    sitting on my bed looking at myself in the mirror

    and I was, I had just listened to a podcast earlier that day

    and within that podcast, the host had mentioned,

    he was, he was given a story regarding a leadership meeting

    that he had been in and really a goal

    that he felt short on and his boss had told him

    or it asked him, how did your leadership contribute

    to this result?

    And I'm letting that sink in for a minute

    because I use those words and looked myself in the mirror

    and asked myself, Rob, how has your parenting contributed

    to this result, contributed to your relationship

    with your oldest daughters?

    And that just changed everything for me.

    It allowed me to go from a place of being a victim

    and helpless to a place of taking responsibility

    and being empowered.

    And I'm not gonna say that everything just changed

    in a moment because it didn't.

    I was still sitting in that blame place for a while,

    blaming my ex-wife for maybe not painting me in the best light

    with the kids, blaming my daughters for not wanting to be with me.

    But that was the starting place for me taking responsibility

    and eventually I was able to move into that state

    where I was able to look at myself and say, okay, Rob,

    what are you going to do from this point forward?

    What changes are you going to make?

    And what are you going to do specifically to work

    in un-mending this specific relationship,

    this relationship with your twin daughters?

    And so that was a big turning point in my life,

    but unfortunately, there's more,

    about four or five years after that,

    there was a moment where there was a series of events

    that took place that eventually led to the suicide

    of the girl's mom.

    And so that just was another kind of punch

    that they got to change my life,

    it changed the girl's life.

    And even though a lot of growth had taken place in me

    from a time that I had first gotten divorced

    up until that point in time, it had been a few years.

    I had really began taking ownership of my life

    and ownership of my role as a parent.

    I had been mending relationships, I had been working on growth,

    I had been really striving to make an impact

    on the lives of my family.

    The rules changed at that moment,

    and I went from having a co-parenting partner

    to being a solo parent and parenting daughters

    who had experienced a significant loss.

    And during that period of time,

    after the dust kinda settled, so to speak,

    I was able to kind of reflect on all of these things

    that had happened, and I just made a decision.

    I made a decision that I wanted to take these awful things

    that had happened, and all of these experiences

    that I had encountered in my family had gone through

    and I wanted to figure out a way to use this

    to help other people.

    I wanted to figure out a way to use this for something good.

    And so that was kind of the beginning of me moving

    in the direction of starting my own business.

    And so really what I strived to do was to create a business

    that helped other fathers, specifically single fathers,

    by providing them with what I wish that I had had

    at that point in my life,

    by providing them with accountability and support

    and resources and tools and motivation,

    and all of those things and all of those pieces.

    And so I kinda looked back at all of the things

    that I had done and that my family had done

    that allowed us to move through all of these obstacles

    into a place of being healthy and happy and fulfilled.

    And I put that into, built that into a program.

    My business exists to help single fathers

    establish healthy boundaries, build life-changing relationships

    with their kids and create a legacy,

    a legacy that extends beyond their career and their bank account.

    I know, I have friends who are single dads

    and could have used this at specific times in their life.

    What are the biggest struggles of the dads that you've coached

    and how did you help them get past their struggles?

    The biggest challenges that I have noticed

    that single fathers face are some of the same ones

    that I faced, of course.

    You know, it's this feeling of loss

    and that is a piece that nobody talks about.

    But when you go through it most of the time,

    you become a single father either from going through a divorce

    or a separation or perhaps from the death or the loss

    of a spouse, but either way, there is a significant,

    there is a significant feeling of loss

    and nobody is going to come out there and say,

    you know what, I'm feeling this sense of loss

    but how that is going to present is

    there's going to be this sense of feeling a sense of overwhelm

    and continual stress and drowning in responsibilities,

    feeling like it's really difficult to juggle work

    in your household chores and all your kids needs.

    You're also going to have this feeling of isolation

    and loneliness or at least that is very, very common.

    And also there are another common struggle that I have seen

    is really kind of questioning their abilities

    and questioning whether or not they are even capable

    of taking care of their kids.

    You know, a common phrase that I have heard a lot of single dads,

    a lot of dads to be honest, but especially single dads use is,

    I am just worried I'm going to screw up my kids.

    I just want you to tell me,

    what can I do right now so I can stop screwing up my kids?

    And, you know, in their own words they're basically expressing

    that thought and that idea.

    And as far as what I am able to provide for them

    and what I am able to help them with is,

    it's basically kind of twofold.

    There it is the accountability and connection piece

    by me providing accountability and support

    and a sense of community.

    So they feel like these dads, these men's feel maybe a little bit less alone

    and have a little bit more guidance and a little bit more support

    feeling like I now have someone that's walking alongside me.

    And really that's why I created this business is because I want to walk

    alongside these men during their most difficult moments

    and I want to be that support for them

    because I really wish that I had had that myself.

    So that is one key ingredient.

    And then another way that I strive to help these individuals

    is really by providing them with a,

    what I call a customizable step-by-step process.

    So it is a defined process that is fully customizable

    depending on the needs and the ones of that specific dad

    and their circumstances.

    And so really helping them lay out,

    these are some exact steps that I am able to take

    in order to move forward and improve my role as a father.

    What are the common stereotypes or misconceptions about single dads?

    Are they true or are they not true and why?

    This is a great question because stereotypes exist for a reason

    and that is not to say that they're all true

    but a lot of times at one point in time

    based on social norms at that time they were true

    or there were parts of it they were true.

    But one, a couple of stereotypes that I will say are true

    is that many single fathers struggle with work-life balance

    and many single fathers struggle with experiencing

    feelings of loneliness and isolation.

    I think those stereotypes are true

    but you could also substitute the word fathers

    with the word parents and I think it would also be true

    because when you are a single parent you are struggling

    a single parent who is working and trying

    to provide for your family.

    The struggle of work-life balance is real.

    I mean that is your life and that is something

    that you are going to battle and same thing with feeling like

    you have enough time to connect with people

    and losing your spouse and a lot of cases

    that sense of loneliness is going to be real.

    So I would say those are true

    but they're not things that can't be fixed.

    They're not things that can't be worked through.

    Some stereotypes or misconceptions that I feel are absolutely false

    is that single fathers are not capable of being

    as nurturing as single moms.

    I simply do not believe that to be true.

    And I think that that stereotype came from years and years

    of moms and or I should say fathers and mothers

    playing certain roles within the lives of their families.

    And while it might be true that certain characteristics

    and certain emotions come more naturally

    for one individual versus the other,

    I would not say across the board that it is always

    mom versus the dad in terms of those characteristics.

    One other stereotype that I would like to put an end to for sure

    is that moms play a more important role in the lives

    of their kids and fathers.

    Yes, this breathes a lot of hope.


    And the other piece of that is that it can be a learned characteristic

    it can be a learned quality.

    And I think that that is a limiting belief

    that a lot of people have is that

    however you are today as a parent is how you will be forever.

    And that's simply not true.

    I mean, that is what personal growth is all about.

    And we have the ability to develop these qualities

    and to really focus on these areas

    that we feel that we want to improve

    and we have the ability to make improvements in them.

    And as you said, the way that that nurturing

    might come across for me versus for you

    or for a mom might be different

    but it doesn't make it less meaningful or less impactful

    in the lives of their kids.

    The last episode I did was on paternal postpartum depression

    and it was fascinating to really delve deeper into that topic

    at some of the causes of that, some of the symptoms as well.

    And one of the things that made its way into the discussion

    was this misconception by dads that mothers

    somehow just magically have it all together

    that they go into the pregnancy

    and they go into motherhood with this instinct

    that is just somehow there of what to do and how to do things.

    And I have had several mothers come on this program

    and confirm and tell me that that is a lie.

    What mothers have done differently

    than what you may be seen is that they recognize,

    okay, I don't know anything.

    And so they take initiative, they read books, they study,

    they go to meetings, they ask questions of other people

    and they get into these social circles

    and share an exchange knowledge.

    They do something about it, they're proactive.

    And so this breeds hope into dad relationships

    because dads can do the same thing.

    This is a learned behavior, a learned thing,

    not something that's instinctive.

    - That's a great point.

    I mean, that's speaking to the intentionality of it

    and really kind of making a decision that this is what

    I know that this is important for me and my role as a parent

    and I will just expand on this just slightly further,

    if you don't mind and that's that,

    there are two aspects to parenting.

    And if you break down the parenting piece

    and the role of a single father and a single mom

    and I think that there is the analytical approach

    and there is the emotional approach.

    And the analytical approach is the approach

    where you are establishing systems and processes

    and structure in order to create this sense of stability

    and security for your kids.

    And that is extremely, extremely important.

    And it leads to things like having habits, establishing kind

    of habits or chore duties or bed times or curfews

    and all of those things are important for kids to have.

    But that's only one piece and the other piece

    is the emotional piece and that's the piece that allows you

    to connect with your kids on a deeper way

    for your kids to feel heard and seen and valued

    as they are and to fill a sense of connection to you

    as the parent.

    And I think that I'm bringing this up

    because for single parents,

    they have to fulfill both of these roles

    and they have to sometimes learn the aspect

    that has not come as naturally to them.

    And it doesn't mean that it will always be

    the emotional side that they have to learn.

    It could be the analytical side.

    Maybe they've been that emotional support

    and now they need to learn about how to create

    more structure for their family.

    But both sides are important and I think that speaks

    to how difficult it can be for a single parent

    to try to create that whole experience

    that allows their kids, puts their kids in an environment

    that gives them the greatest chance of thriving.

    - I've seen single dads who look like they're always

    on top of things and they have their act together

    is what I'm seeing just a front or kind of single dad

    really haven't figured out

    and get to that place where his role is a well oil machine.

    - Well, I would say in my experience that it is not a facade

    that you can actually or absolutely

    as a single father or single mom get to the point

    where your life, your family structure runs

    like a well oil machine.

    But I just want to caution in that we are,

    we often what we see on the outside

    is not really a good indication of what's going on

    on the inside.

    And so if you really kind of like lift the curtain

    and kind of look behind the curtain,

    there is often other things there

    that maybe we don't see.

    - Besides your coaching service,

    are there any resources you would recommend

    for dads to help with things like time management,

    motivation or even mental health?

    - Yes, you know what?

    I think for the purpose of this conversation,

    I'm going to keep this very simple, simple and easy

    because I feel like simple and easy is repeatable.

    It's easier to be consistent and consistency

    is where the magic happens, right?

    It's whenever we do something on a consistent basis.

    So these might seem really simple to you in your audience,

    but I'm going to throw them out there anyway.

    So we all have a smartphone these days

    and your smartphone can be a great resource

    to you as a father, as a single father.

    You can, my suggestion is to take your smartphone

    and take your iPhone or whatever you have

    and use it today to block off time for your kids,

    to block off time for your family

    because there's a saying, right,

    that what gets scheduled gets done

    and I'm not sure why it is that we are so willing to schedule

    all of these other external kind of meetings and appointments

    and job responsibilities,

    but we don't put the same emphasis on our family life.

    And so I block off, I mean, I put it in my calendar

    and I time block time for my kids and time for my family

    and sometimes I'll do this weeks in advance.

    So I encourage you to do that.

    I think that can be a great resource

    and taking that same phone that you have,

    you can also, I would also encourage you to do something

    very, very simple, set a daily alarm that goes off

    at some point where it will go off maybe during your lunch break

    or maybe in the morning, as you're getting ready for work,

    whatever that might be, that is a reminder to you

    to just send a simple text to your kids.

    Just send something simple to let them know, hey,

    I'm thinking about you, I love you, hope you have a great day.

    That is as simple as it comes

    and it can make a tremendous impact.

    - This next question might be a little uncomfortable

    for some dads in the audience,

    but I still think it's vitally important to discuss this.

    Is there a time and a best way for a single dad

    to handle dating with respect to the emotions

    and feelings of his children?

    - Yeah, this is a hot topic and I will say that

    in my experience, there definitely is not a one size fits all

    answer to this and the research would actually support that

    that it really depends on so many factors.

    For instance, what was the nature that caused you

    to become a single father in the first place?

    It's gonna be very different if that situation was

    the death of a spouse versus going through a divorce.

    It also might be very different if it involves

    if you are raising young children or infants

    versus raising teenagers.

    And so I'm not trying to skirt this question,

    but I'm trying to give context to the answer.

    And in short though, I would say that it is pretty well,

    it is pretty well received that taking your time

    before entering into a dating relationship,

    following separation or divorce is recommended.

    And in particular, looking at your family

    and ensuring that your family has reached a point

    of relative stability and that your kids have reached

    a point of having this new routine

    and all the new changes that have taken place in their lives,

    kind of dialed in and a little bit more systematized

    versus everything still be a new and chaotic end up in the air.

    But the two main things to look at is,

    one, are you ready as an individual to start a new relationship?

    And two, are your kids ready?

    And that first question, only you can answer.

    That second one, I would recommend having,

    depending on the age of your kids,

    having age-appropriate conversations

    that are honest and open.

    And then also kind of really having in mind

    what it is that you would need from a partner,

    whether that partner is someone that you're dating

    or someone that you're getting serious about.

    And in particular, some big red flags are individuals

    who do not show flexibility based on your parenting

    schedule or individuals who struggle

    with the commitment level that you are showing towards your kids

    and how that is affecting them and that relationship.

    Those are a couple of kind of red flags,

    as well as of course the interactions that take place

    between the person you're dating and your kids,

    which I would strongly recommend waiting

    until you know, you've reached the point

    where it is a pretty serious relationship

    that has a potential of turning into something more long term.

    Rob, how can dads listening get a hold of you

    with any questions that they have

    or get set up with a coaching session with you?

    - Yeah, thank you for asking.

    I actually have a podcast as well

    and the name of my podcast is The Business of Being Dad.

    And I release episodes this year

    I'm releasing episodes every Tuesday.

    And so that is a great way to get a hold of me

    or to really find out more about my work and my style

    and to just kind of get to know my personality

    a little bit and what I have to offer.

    But within each of my episodes, within the show notes,

    there are links on there to my website, my email,

    and to book a free coaching call.

    And so I would encourage people to check out the web,

    I'm sorry to check out my podcast to subscribe to it.

    So it kind of drops into your files every Tuesday

    and then reach out to me.

    I would love to hear from you.

    I have a commitment at this point in my business

    that anyone who wants to talk with me, I'll talk with.

    So feel free to reach out through email

    or to book that free coaching call.

    And just so that you know, the free coaching call

    is a no pressure, no sales call.

    And what I do is I basically run people through

    kind of the first part of what would be my first coaching call

    if they moved into a full program with me.

    But this, the purpose of that free coaching call

    is to just get an idea.

    What is the biggest obstacle in your life right now?

    What is your top need as a parent,

    as a single parent, or as a father?

    And to just take a look at that

    and for you to be able to leave that half hour call

    with at least one actionable item,

    one actionable step you can take to make progress

    in the towards that goal.

    And just to make it easier, if you go to the fatherhoodchallenge.com,

    that's the fatherhoodchallenge.com.

    Go to this episode, look right below the episode description.

    I'm gonna have the link to Rob's podcast there.

    So you can go click on it.

    It'll take you straight to his podcast.

    And from there you'll be able to access his website,

    his email and any other means to be able to reach out,

    connect with him or book a coaching call.

    As we close, what is your challenge to dad's listening now?

    - My challenge to all of you listening now

    is the same challenge I gave myself.

    On that night, that transformed my life,

    that changed my life.

    I challenge each of you to look at yourself

    and to ask yourself this question,

    what kind of man do I wanna be?

    What kind of father do I wanna be?

    And what am I going to do to start heading

    in that direction today?

    - Rob, it has been an honor and a pleasure

    to have you on the fatherhoodchallenge.

    You've given so many gold nuggets of wisdom

    and experience to a lot of dads in the audience

    so I know need it badly.

    So thank you so much for that, Rob.

    - I really appreciate the opportunity.

    Thank you.

    - Thank you for listening to this episode

    of the Fatherhood Challenge.

    If you would like to contact us,

    listen to other episodes, find any resource mentioned

    in this program or find out more information

    about the Fatherhood Challenge, please visit


    That's thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    [ Silence ]

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Jan 23, 2024
  • Dads Get Postpartum Depression Too

    Did you know that dads can get postpartum depression just like new mothers can? For new dads it’s called paternal postpartum depression or PPPD. It’s possible to have experienced it and not even realize that’s what you were going through because it isn’t talked about with dads to the extent that it is with moms. But my guest is bringing awareness of this diagnosis and what a dad who might be suffering from PPPD can do about it.

    My guest is Rachael Schmitz. Rachael is a doctoral student at William Carey University. She has done extensive research on paternal postpartum depression as well as conducting her own qualitative research study and she is here now to bring more awareness to families and the world about PPPD.

    You can reach out to Rachael with any questions or participate in her study by emailing her at: rachaelschmitz3@gmail.com

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    -Program Transcript-

    Did you know that dads can get post-partum depression

    just like new mothers can?

    For new dads, it's called paternal post-partum depression

    or PPPD.

    It's possible to have experienced it

    and not even realize that that's what you were going through

    because it isn't talked about with dads

    to the extent that it's talked about with moms.

    But my guest is here to bring awareness

    and to bring us conscious to this diagnosis

    and what a dad who might be suffering from PPPD

    can do about it.

    It's all gonna be coming here in just a moment

    so don't go anywhere.

    - Welcome to the Fatherhood Challenge,

    a movement to awaken and inspire fathers everywhere

    to take great pride in their role

    and a challenge society to understand

    how important fathers are to the stability

    and culture of their family's environment.

    Now here's your host, Jonathan Guerrero.

    - Greetings everyone, thank you so much for joining me.

    My guest is Rachel Schmitz.

    Rachel is a doctoral student at William Care University.

    She has done extensive research on paternal postpartum depression

    as well as conducting her own qualitative research study

    and she is here now to bring more awareness to families

    and the world about PPPD.

    Rachel, thank you so much for being on the Fatherhood Challenge.

    - Hi, how are you?

    - Rachel, why don't we start out by you telling me

    how you got involved with studying paternal postpartum depression?

    What's your own personal story?

    - So my own personal experiences,

    I experience postpartum depression with two of my children

    and I work as a RN in obstetrics

    and so I have a lot of professional experience with it as well.

    When I started my doctoral studies,

    I knew that postpartum depression was going to be

    part of my dissertation at some point.

    - So you started with your own personal struggle with your kids?

    - Yes.

    - How did it go from there to paternal postpartum depression?

    What led you to be interested in that?

    - That's a great question.

    So there is so much research and studies

    that have been done on maternal postpartum depression

    and that really is something that most people generally

    are aware of as a condition that can happen after childbirth.

    There's a lot of names that are given to it,

    baby blues, different things like that.

    They just kind of highlight the hormonal changes

    that occur after delivery.

    But as I started to do the research

    and started to learn more about father's experiencing

    or you could say mirroring the symptoms of the mother,

    there was very little research out there.

    And as I started to think about it and realized

    that this is something that not only is not talked about,

    but many mothers and fathers really know nothing about this.

    And I started to realize this is something that really

    needs to be highlighted.

    The fathers play a pivotal role in the family

    and ignoring this or not making new fathers aware

    of something like this that could happen

    is not only an unfortunate thing to do,

    but it really sets the family up to have some struggles

    because of the lack of awareness

    and because of the lack of education

    from as a healthcare professional,

    I think it's really important that we educate patients

    on things that potentially could happen

    and not acknowledging something as significant

    as depression and the new father seemed to be an area

    that really needed to be researched more.

    - I'll be honest, I hadn't heard of PPPD until last year.

    So why aren't more people talking about it?

    - Some of the reasons I think people don't talk about it

    is the stigmas that go along with mental health.

    Mental health is a pretty complicated thing.

    It impacts people in different ways.

    A lot of fathers may not really feel comfortable

    talking about mental health issues.

    I have found in my research so far

    that a lot of the symptoms that men experience

    with postpartum depression can be some of the stereotypical symptoms

    like we think about with regular depression.

    So sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping, sleeping too much,

    but in men, they can actually manifest some different symptoms.

    So some men will verbalize some reckless behavior,

    some increased aggression.

    So there is a slightly different manifestation

    of the depression in men.

    The other thing is that I think experiencing postpartum depression

    for a new father, for a man is very different

    from a lot of the societal views

    and a lot of the societal pressure.

    So men have a, there's kind of an underpinning stereotypical.

    Men are the providers, they're to be strong

    and take care of everything.

    And a lot of those symptoms in depression

    can kind of contradict some of those traditional stereotypes.

    So that's the other bigger reason I think in addition

    to the stigma that go with mental health,

    that men truly struggle with those symptoms

    because it is contradictory to how a lot of men,

    at least society, pressures them to look at themselves.

    I wanna dig a little bit deeper and really,

    or maybe simpler, I wanna talk about

    what exactly is paternal postpartum depression?

    How is it different from just being depressed?

    And what I mean by that is for someone who doesn't really

    know what this is, who's hearing about this for the first time,

    even postpartum depression in a mother,

    for someone who doesn't know,

    it makes them scratch their head and think,

    that doesn't make any sense.

    You've just had the most joyful experience of your life.

    There are a lot of people who can't have children,

    who would give anything to be able to have that experience.

    What in the world are you depressed about?

    So this is what I'm trying to speak

    what a lot of people may not say but might be thinking.

    And so what would you say to those people?

    - So I think that's a really common misconception.

    And I will share that that belief system

    or those thoughts are shared with new mothers as well,

    meaning that you have this brand new baby.

    This is what you wanted to get pregnant,

    to have this baby.

    Now the baby is here and you're not very happy.

    So a lot of that, actually a lot of that belief

    and that viewpoint is what causes new mothers

    to feel really guilty about the symptoms that they have

    because they're trying to reconcile that in their mind,

    that they are joyful, that the baby is here

    and they are happy and they do love the baby,

    but they can't ignore those symptoms.

    So for men, I think a lot of it goes back

    to some of the things that they're struggling

    with as a new father.

    Some of the things that I've already kind of identified

    in talking with new fathers are just some of the things

    that they struggle with as new dads.

    I think most people when they talk about parenthood,

    they really just kind of focus on the mother

    and what she goes through.

    But there can be a lot of trauma for the new fathers.

    They're kind of brought into the birth experience

    without a lot of education or without a lot of experience

    and that new role can be kind of overwhelming.

    Obviously it goes without saying

    but having a newborn that can be really demanding,

    you're sleep deprived, it's exhausting.

    It can feel like a cycle, you're just wake up,

    feed the baby, go to work, come home,

    take care of the baby, go to bed,

    it kind of feels like the same thing again and again.

    And a lot of that can kind of cause problems

    with that role adjustment.

    Some of the other issues that I've identified

    so far in the research is the struggles

    within the relationship.

    So that baby causing a bit of a marital strain,

    making it a little bit more difficult to communicate

    with your spouse, making the communication

    or different ways that you handle things

    have to be kind of different.

    So men and women are very different.

    They communicate very differently.

    I may say something to my husband

    and he may hear what I said and interpret it a different way.

    So the other issue really is just the symptoms of depression.

    Some of those symptoms, again,

    feeling distance, distracted, pressure

    to be a good partner

    and really feeling like you're being a failure.

    You don't really know how to help kids.

    A lot of dads I talk to,

    they have no experience with childcare prior to being a dad

    so they don't really know how to help the baby.

    And that's very frustrating

    and actually can make them feel as a failure in that new role.

    So there's a lot of things that kind of go into that role formation

    and having very little information prior to

    and then not really feeling very comfortable in that role afterwards

    can really make dad struggle

    and feel really ignored, maybe confused

    as they transition to the new role.

    You go from being an independent person

    to now you're responsible for a whole nother human being.

    So it's very stressful.

    So if you're experiencing any of this

    that we're talking about,

    these are the warning signs

    that you might have paternal postpartum depression, correct?


    So some of the typical depression symptoms

    that I would say most people are pretty aware of.

    There are some different things that you'll see in fathers.

    So maybe some risk taking,

    maybe just feeling kind of distracted.

    In other words, just going through the motions

    of what you need to do

    but not really being present in the moment,

    not really enjoying that interaction

    so you're caring for the baby

    but you're not really enjoying or present in that moment.

    You're just kind of going through the motions.

    A lot of that is the depression

    and it's unfortunately a barrier for fathers to that role,

    to embracing their children.

    Yeah, and I want to, there's something else too

    I want to really get into

    and I've gotten into this with other episodes and other guests

    and I think it's really time to bring this up again

    for dads that are listening.

    And that is there's this stereotype

    that mothers have it all together,

    that they know everything, that they are prepared

    and everything is just there.

    It is intuitive, it is somehow just ingrained in their DNA

    all the way through the birth experience

    and after the birth experience

    to know what to do,

    to know how to care for the baby and everything.

    And what I'm here to tell you to be very blunt about

    is that is a flat out lie.

    So no, mothers do not have it all figured out.

    So there's a big similarity there in the anxiety

    and the worry and the concern the dads have,

    the feeling of that you're just not prepared enough

    that you don't know enough, that you're not ready.

    Those are the same emotions that mothers go through.

    - Yeah, I would agree 100%.

    And I will say there maybe is a little bit of preparation

    for those moms that maybe did baby set as teenagers

    or maybe had younger siblings that they cared for.

    There is a little bit of an advantage

    in that they do know a little bit as far as taking care

    of the basic needs of the infant.

    But I will say it kind of goes back to those traditional roles

    that men are supposed to be tough

    and that is really contradictory to somebody

    that's really vulnerable or loving.

    And it really is a difficult thing for fathers

    to navigate that when they really don't know what to expect.

    They're really used to kind of protecting that mother

    and having that role.

    And then when you get into a situation

    like a complicated emergency delivery

    or something like that, that is traumatic.

    That is traumatic for the mother.

    It's traumatic for the father.

    And the fathers are kind of left feeling just empty

    inside as far as the experience that they went through.

    And because of some of those societal roles

    that I think men play, it's difficult for them to reach out

    and say, "Hey, my mental health is struggling.

    "I'm really having a hard time with this.

    "I'm really upset.

    "I'm having trauma from what I witnessed."

    Women as being the patient in that scenario,

    and I know this is a clinical professional.

    Women's needs are being addressed somewhat in that way,

    in that the OB staff is addressing the mom

    and they're addressing, they can see that she's scared

    and that she's nervous and some of that

    is being addressed through the staff.

    But for dads, they are really put on the outside

    of that equation, so to speak, where they are present,

    however, they're not part of that management

    from the healthcare perspective.

    So their scene is just an ancillary part of that.

    And then when that young family goes home,

    that mom has had a little bit of interaction

    with healthcare staff to assess how she's doing

    and how she's coping.

    And the dad is not part of that equation at all.

    So some of that goes back to the dads feeling somewhat ignored

    in the whole dynamic or the whole equation.

    And some of that, some of those feelings actually

    are a barrier to some of the bonding that takes place.

    Some of the education that's provided to the dads,

    at least from my study so far,

    to say that it's been deficient would really be an understatement.

    You know, there's been maybe one person that's mentioned

    about postpartum depression for men

    and a lot of dads express that they had no education about it.

    Some of that translates to dads not feeling

    that their role is valuable, which is really sad,

    because like I said before, they play a crucial role

    in that situation.

    - If the dad was raised himself in a very harsh home,

    a harsh environment where there was physical abuse

    present, where there was a lot of verbal abuse,

    maybe even sexual abuse that was present, abuse in any form.

    And that was the environment that he grew up in.

    There's going to be a lot of anxiety,

    a lot of negative emotions that could rise up around the birth,

    a lot of insecurity, a feeling of, you know,

    why would I be prepared for this, given how I was raised

    and how the upbringing that I had.

    And that can really, that alone can cause a dad to shut down

    if he's unaware that that's what's happening

    and he hasn't done anything to seek out help for that.

    - Yes, and I would even add to that,

    that some of the trauma that the young fathers

    have experienced or witnessed through their emergency

    or traumatic birth, some of that trauma translates

    to like a PTSD where, you know,

    their baby spent a little bit of time in the NICU

    and that beeping monitor sound that is,

    is heard every moment while that baby is in the NICU

    can be a little bit of a trauma trigger for them

    where they hear that and it immediately brings them back

    to that really difficult situation.

    And there is a little bit of a compensation

    or overcompensation for men that may become

    from a fatherless situation

    or maybe their fathers were present,

    but they were very stern, difficult, you know,

    how you mentioned it.

    Maybe those fathers don't really know how they want

    to be as fathers, but they know they don't want

    to be like their father.

    So they will try to compensate in another extreme

    where they're trying to kind of,

    they don't want to be the father that they were raised by.

    Some of that contributes to some of that confusion

    and some of the guilt, some of the shame

    that goes with depression because again,

    that really contradicts that belief system

    of how these men are supposed to be very stoic

    and they're supposed to be able to just manage everything

    and control everything and protect their wife

    and protect their baby.

    And at the same time, they're struggling with something

    that they can't ignore either

    that's happening within themselves.

    - Do we know anything about the number of dads

    who have been undiagnosed?

    - So the studies currently show that one in 10 fathers

    have paternal postpartum depression.

    I actually believe that it's a lot higher than that

    and the reason that I believe that is--

    - I think so too.

    - A lot of the fathers that I've talked to

    have shared symptoms of postpartum depression,

    but then when I will discuss my study

    and reaching out to them to have a conversation,

    a lot of those fathers will, I would say ghost me,

    they don't wanna talk to me.

    And I think a lot of that comes with the guilt

    and maybe the stigma of mental health.

    So again, it's still a very well documented issue

    within mental health that people have a lot of guilt,

    a lot of shame when it comes to mental health.

    Some of the fathers have verbalized,

    you know, they have some guilt expressing some issues

    after the delivery because the focus is typically

    on the mother and they feel like they're taking

    the spotlight away from her in some sense.

    So they don't wanna do that.

    They recognize the role that she played in the delivery.

    So they kinda wanna give her that moment

    to make sure that her needs are met.

    But there really is the stigma of mental health

    and I do believe that it's more than one in 10.

    I think that it's probably a lot higher than that.

    But again, men just ignoring those symptoms,

    maybe not wanting to get the help.

    Those men are just not, they're not counted

    because they're not seeking help.

    - How prepared are birth centers,

    delivery departments and hospitals

    and birth-themed care providers at educating mothers

    and fathers about paternal postpartum depression?

    - Unfortunately, I would say most, it's abysmal.

    It's not something that is generally talked about

    beforehand and when it is mentioned,

    sometimes during that postpartum stay,

    it might be mentioned in passing,

    just some education about it,

    but it's mentioned in a way that is not really conducive

    to men learning.

    Meaning if you go into the hospital, your wife has a baby.

    You might be up for 24 to 48 hours yourself,

    not getting sleep, not really eating well.

    You're in the hospital with your wife who's having a baby.

    And then that postpartum stay that one to two day period after,

    that's not an ideal time to educate somebody

    who is sleep deprived, who is not mentally,

    you could say, really checked in.

    The time to really do that, I feel,

    is during that pregnancy period.

    So you have eight or nine months

    where you have that captive audience

    and they're coming in for the prenatal checks

    and the mother is coming in to check on her

    and check on the baby.

    That really to me is a more ideal time

    to kind of bring that father into the education

    and start it then.

    Rachel, if I could have gone back

    and done both of the birth experiences all over again,

    do you know what I would have done differently

    or what I would have changed if I could?

    What's that?

    I would have had a therapist before the birth

    and I would have had a therapist, the same therapist,

    I would have been seeing that same therapist after the birth.

    That's what I would have done differently.

    I think that's a great idea.

    I think that if new fathers had that support,

    if they had that resource that they could put in place,

    I think you would see a lot less problems afterward.

    So there are some studies that have shown

    that fathers that are experiencing depression

    have some long term issues with the child,

    meaning they've done some studies

    where they have evaluated fathers

    that screened positive for depression

    and followed up with those children at 18 years old

    and there are higher rates of mental health issues

    like anxiety, depression.

    There are some things that they've identified as far

    as knowledge as far as testing, standardized testing,

    meaning those kids did not score as high

    in the group that had those fathers that were depressed.

    And some of that makes a little bit of sense

    when you think about somebody that's depressed,

    that is present in their child's life

    but is just going through the motions,

    that that would block some of that interaction,

    some of that learning that's necessary for that child

    especially as you have a brand new child

    whose brain is growing and changing every day.

    So there are some long term studies

    that look at some of the potential issues.

    And then on a short term basis,

    I don't know that I'm sure there's been some studies

    that have been done but I would just presume

    that if you are having some fighting,

    arguing, marital issues,

    probably much higher divorce rate,

    the other thing that most serious I would say

    is that some fathers, as they struggle to adjust to that new role,

    they question their presence in that family.

    And in other words, start to think,

    well maybe it would be easier if I was not here.

    So some fathers actually do convey suicidal thoughts

    just because of the fact that they don't really see

    where they fit in

    and they're struggling with attaining that new role.

    So to them, it's kind of a reasonable job

    that you would say, well, yeah, if I don't fit in here

    and I feel like I'm failing at this job

    and there's so much pressure to do well in this job

    but even though I feel like I'm doing a terrible job,

    a lot of dads will become suicidal

    and think to themselves, it might be easier if I'm not here.

    What should a dad do if he believes

    that he's experiencing symptoms or the warning signs

    of paternal pros part of depression?

    A couple things.

    The first thing I would say is talk to your partner about it.

    I have not talked to anybody so far that has said

    when they brought this up with their partner

    that their partner was not supportive.

    So the first thing would be to reach out to your partner,

    be honest about how you're feeling

    and let them know that you are really, really struggling.

    The next thing I would say is reach out to your healthcare

    professional, let them know what you're struggling with,

    let them know your symptoms.

    If you reach out to a healthcare professional

    and you feel like you are blown off

    or they're not taking your symptoms seriously

    or you just feel like they're not really hearing

    what you're saying, go to another healthcare professional

    just like therapists.

    You might find a very good therapist

    and the two of you might click

    and you may feel like they really understand you

    and they're really helpful

    or you may find that you're not really clicking

    with that therapist.

    Go find another therapist.

    So go find another healthcare professional.

    There's a lot of issues with mental healthcare in this country.

    I think most people would agree with that.

    It's difficult to make an appointment.

    It's difficult to make any kind of connection

    to any therapist.

    A lot of people fear that they're gonna get blown off.

    A lot of people really do,

    we'll say that they were kind of blown off by their therapist

    or maybe they had a bad experience

    with the provider or the psychiatrist.

    Mental health is important to your physical health.

    If your mental health is struggling,

    that is gonna impact your physical health

    and until there's coverage that backs that up,

    people are gonna struggle.

    So you could reach out to your EAP

    and at least try to get those handful of visits in.

    Those might be enough to get you past that acute phase

    and then maybe consider or try to get somebody

    that will at least participate with your insurance

    and then you pay co-pays.

    But mental health is just critical to physical health.

    Rachel, how can listeners follow you

    to learn more about your work or ask questions

    related to paternal post-partum depression?

    I have a website that I can share with you.

    My school website, if anybody would like to participate

    in the study, feel free to reach out to me.

    And I am just happy to be working in mental health

    as far as this area.

    It's something that both personally and professionally

    I have experience with.

    And I'm really, I have two sons and a daughter

    and I'm just passionate about making sure

    that they don't face some of these issues

    when they have kids.

    I'm gonna also put all of the contact information

    on the Fatherhood Challenge website.

    So if you go to thefatherhoodchallenge.com,

    that's thefatherhoodchallenge.com,

    go to this episode, look right below the episode description

    and all of the contact information and links

    will be posted right there for your convenience.

    And as we close, what is your challenge to dads listening now?

    My challenge for dads listening now would be to,

    if you're struggling with symptoms of depression,

    to reach out, talk to your partner, talk to your friends,

    talk to your family.

    The more that we talk about it,

    the more that we make this part of our everyday conversation,

    that will help remove a lot of that stigma.

    And if you are reaching out to somebody

    and you perceive that they're not addressing

    your concerns adequately,

    find another provider that will.

    If you're talking to a therapist

    and you feel like it's not helping,

    they don't understand what you're going through.

    Find another therapist.

    You may have to find several therapists

    before you find the one that works for you.

    But mental health is important.

    It's not something that you should ignore.

    It does impact your relationship.

    It does impact your child.

    And it impacts you.

    It impacts your physical health.

    So it's not something to be ignored.

    If you don't feel like you're getting the help that you need,

    continue to advocate for yourself.

    And don't be afraid to reach out.

    If you're struggling, it's okay to say that you're struggling

    and get the help that you need.

    Rachel, it has been an honor having you

    on the Fatherhood Challenge to talk about something so important.

    Thank you so much for all of the hard work

    that you've done towards talking about this issue.

    The effects of this will be felt for many generations

    because of what you're doing.

    So thank you so much.

    Thank you for what you do.

    I appreciate what you do as well.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of The Fatherhood


    If you would like to contact us,

    listen to other episodes.

    Find any resource mentioned in this program

    or find out more information about The Fatherhood Challenge.

    Please visit thefatherhoodchallenge.com.

    That's TheFatherhoodChallenge.com.

    I'd like to pause and thank our proud sponsor

    of The Fatherhood Challenge, Zincaster.

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    using Zincaster for all your needs.

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    It's time to share your story.

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    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Jan 11, 2024
  • What Dads Facing Divorce Must Know

    According to the American Psychological Association, the divorce rate in the United States is estimated to be around 40-50% for first marriages. The divorce rate for second marriages is higher than for first marriages, with estimates ranging from 60-67%, and even higher for third marriages according to the American Psychological Association. While most marriages don’t begin with divorce in mind, when divorce does happen, there are few resources that help dads navigate that reality. My guest will shed some light on what a dad facing divorce can expect. He will also share important tips every dad facing divorce needs to know

    My guest is Andy Heller. Andy never thought he would end up an expert on divorce. But after his own divorce, he saw a crucial hole in the self-help space for men and women navigating through divorce so he wrote a book called Take the High Road: Divorce with Compassion for Yourself and Your Family.

    If you would like to know more about what Andy is doing, connect with him or get his book you can visit: https://takethehighroaddivorce.com

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Jan 3, 2024
  • The Life of an Entrepreneur Dad

    If you’re considering starting your own business and are not sure where to start or what’s involved, my guest is a husband and father and will be sharing his story of how he started his own marketing company and what steps he took to get there. He will also share simple things you can do right away to take those first steps towards being an entrepreneur.

    My guest is Robert Bradbury. Robert started his own marketing company called Mighty B Marketing, a full service marketing company that does everything from website design to video/audio production. Robert is here to share his story with us and inspire other dads who are considering becoming entrepreneurs.

    You can reach Robert Bradbury and learn more about Mighty B Marketing at: https://mightybmarketing.com/

    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    28m - Dec 13, 2023
  • Pregnancy Centers and Men

    Pregnancy centers are typically geared towards women for obvious reasons. But what would it look like to walk into one where men are equally welcomed and helped? My guest has dedicated his life’s work to creating such places.

    Tony Trammell is the founder of Dadhood, an organization whose mission is to help pregnancy resource centers establish and equip men’s ministries. Tony is also a seasoned trainer writing curriculum and presenting at conferences to educate and equip other organizations. Tony is also an author having written 2 books and counting.

    You can reach Tony at tony@dadhood.org

    Learn more about Dadhood at:



    Special thanks to Zencastr for sponsoring The Fatherhood Challenge. Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Dec 4, 2023
  • From Abandoned Child to Finding Purpose

    If you grew up without a father in your life, the wound is not only painful but a constant presence all of your life. Knowing what to do with that pain can be the difference between becoming a great father or husband and losing it all. My guest will lay out the steps to finding healing and purpose in your life so you can be whole and complete.

    My guest is John Smithbaker. John is an author, speaker and founder of Fathers in the Field. He’s also an alpha male activator. John’s passion and focus is to help men recapture their divinely assigned roles of Pastor, Provider, and Protector in the home.

    You can learn more and connect with John Smithbaker at:



    Use my special link https://zen.ai/CWHIjopqUnnp9xKhbWqscGp-61ATMClwZ1R8J5rm824WHQIJesasjKDm-vGxYtYJ to save 30% off your first month of any Zencastr paid plan.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    29m - Nov 9, 2023
  • Healing the Abandoned Child

    If you were abandoned by your father as a child, you are not alone. Sadly the world is filled with abandoned men who had to figure out how to become a man and a father and stop the cycle. I am one of those fathers who had to figure it out and so is my guest. He will share his powerful story with us.

    My guest is Steve Anderson. Steve is the founder of The Best Dad Project and was the executive director of the Boys to Men Mentoring Network of Minnesota from 2011 to 2022 and he has led men and boys through transformative weekends in multiple states across the U.S. and internationally. He is a Certified Professional Coach and completed the Certificate Program in Applied Neuroscience from The Neuroscience School.

    To Learn more about Steve and The Best Dad Program visit:



    To connect personally with Steve, email him at:


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    28m - Nov 7, 2023
  • What Kids Need From Dads To Learn

    In this episode we’re going to hear some stories and reflect on what is possible. My guest has been involved with bringing incarcerated fathers and their children together through education, specifically reading and she will share those inspiring stories with us.

    This episode's guest is Deborah McNelis. Deborah is the author of The First 60 Days & The Neuro-Nurturing® Interaction Packets Series. She is also the founder of Brain Insights, an International Speaker • Initiator of The First 60 Days Movement uniting all those that are making a difference. She has been on The Fatherhood Challenge before to talk about brain development and nurturing in babies and how fathers play a critical role in this process. Now she is back with us again to share some inspiring stories with us and give us actionable steps any dad can do starting now to help their kids learn and develop at their highest potential.

    To learn more about Deborah McNelis and her work visit: https://www.braininsightsonline.com/

    To view the PDF on The Brain Basics Quick Start Guide called Brain Basics, that Deborah mentioned at the end of the episode, click on the link below.


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    27m - Nov 3, 2023
  • Entrepreneur Dads

     If you’re that dad who has been repeatedly forced to choose between your employer and your family’s needs, this episode is for you. If you’ve faced discrimination in the workplace for being a dad or for any other reason such as being a returning citizen, this episode is for you. In this episode you will hear real insight for how to get ahead of these challenges.

    My guest is Joe Ruiz Jr. Joe is a Social Media Business Specialist and owns his own business called Social Eye Marketing. He helps businesses attract qualified leads using social media. And he’s here to help dads who are struggling with work family conflicts to find real solutions.

    You can learn more about Social Eye Marketing at https://www.socialeyemarketing.com/

    You can find Joe Ruiz Jr. on Social Media at:




    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/thefatherhoodchallengepodcast/donations
    28m - Oct 20, 2023
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The Fatherhood Challenge Podcast & Radio Program