Episode 34

How you can become the Dad/Parent you would like to be

June 13, 2022

[Kyle]: Today is a special Father's Day type episode and we're going to talk about how to really become the dad you wanted to be and so, this is for moms and dads to listen to, but I’m really hoping to invite dads into doing some thinking as you're moving into the celebration of you as a father. So, I hope it's helpful.

[Music]

[Kyle]: Hello and welcome to episode 34 of The Art of Raising Humans. I’m Kyle.

[Sara]: And I’m Sara.

[Kyle]: And today we're going to try to do a little something different. So, I know this podcast should be coming out the week before or maybe two weeks before. I think the week before father's day and I thought I want to specifically make a podcast that would be helpful to both mothers and fathers, but specifically speak to dads. Because a big heart of, you know, The Art of Raising Humans, but also Sara's in my private practice called “Parenting Legacy”, has been to help moms and dads, but for my heart specifically dads, to become the dads I believe they really want to be, you know? And maybe just don't know how.

[Kyle]: So, one of my biggest joys in the practice is when I get to help a dad like, shift, you know? So, one of my goals is to make this podcast shorter, because I know dads are busy people and lots of them don't listen to these things and so, I’m thinking “hey, if I make it shorter, maybe to listen to it or at least listen to it on one and a half speed” and my voice, my voice in the last podcast cracked a few times, it made today too, so I want to apologize in advance because a few times I felt squeaky in the last podcast and the last podcast was about choices and I made the choice to not mention it and so, in hopes you wouldn't notice it, but today we want to-- I want to talk about kind of a key change or shift in the dad I wanted-- Something that really shifted in me to become the dad I am today. A dad that I’m really proud of, not to say I do it all perfect, I don't, I don't think that's the goal. I would never ask any dad to be perfect, I think that's gross. So, I would never do it, but there is a key step I took that I thought was very helpful to keeping me on track and keeping me focused to really going back to the idea of choosing the dad I want to be, instead of just becoming a dad, right?

[Kyle]: And I think you got to be intentional about it. So, I want to-- We're going to try something different where, you know, Sara is going to do more of a kind of question, kind of, you know, kind of teasing it out, but it will be more kind of me talking about my heart about being a father in in this podcast.

[Sara]: Yeah. So, I’m gonna-- We're gonna give this a shot, we're like “well, all right, let's just go for it and see what happens”, but since we're trying this, it just made me think, please do let us know if you guys have questions or specific things you want to know, because we're wanting to just make this and have it be helpful and we meet a lot of parents who are changing their journey up as parents, just similar to how we did. So, I thought “let's just try this, this will be an interesting thing, let me ask you and find out what that journey looked like, what that shift looks like”. So, I’m gonna jump into that.

[Sara]: So, I know-- Just to get me started because I think you're probably fine, you always have lots of words, but to get me started.

[Kyle]: I do have a lot of words, yeah.

[Sara]: Tell me what just being a dad, what did you as you had-- I mean, as we had our first one and as you thought about being a dad, what went through your head? What did that look like?

[Kyle]: I would say at first, I went in with some kind of confidence, but that came from a sense of ignorance. I had no idea, you know, I feel confident about a lot of things I do. So, I just assumed being a dad would come natural to me and you know, I felt like I could draw from a lot of different types of dads, not only how my dad fathered me, but also other fathers. I was surrounded by a lot of dads, who I thought did things really great and so, I know you and I intentionally, you know, made friends with a lot of families when you were pregnant that had a lot of kids and kids that we thought were being raised well and we had lunch with them or talk with them. So, I try to do a lot of homework to just make sure “okay, I’m doing my due diligence”. I was a little concerned about the baby taking so much time away from me getting to spend time with you, so there was some selfish kind of jealousy there that I was like “oh! I won't get to spend as much time with Sara and she's so cool!”. So, there was some anxious anxiety there, but I’d say specifically especially having Abby, I had this kind of idea. I don't think this is always accurate, but I thought “hey, if Abby someday were to marry somebody similar to me, you know? I think I’m a pretty good husband”. So, in that sense I went with a lot of comments.

[Kyle]: I would say, Sara, really as we started to have two, you know, I mean, there was some angst within me with just having Abby, but we had two, especially knowing have a son, I think that in particular kind of scared me. Because it's one thing to think I’m a good husband, it was another thing to think I was a good man and a good--

[Sara]: Role model?

[Kyle]: Yeah, and I thought “oh shoot! It's different”. If Brennan’s gonna look up to me and think “that's how a man is” or something like that, that did scare me and that did-- I remember being more emotional when he was born than when Abby was born, because when Abby was born, I was kind of like “hey, cool! Fun! Yeah! We have a kid! This is awesome!”. But then when Brennan was born was like “oh my gosh! Now we have two and he's going to look up to me and go ‘daddy, teach me’” and I thought “I don't know if I know what I’m doing!”, you know? And it was about that time that Abby was starting to think for herself and talk and I was more like “uh oh, I have to help Sara. Sara's been doing such a fabulous job 0 to 2, 0 to even 3, now I’m feeling like I need to step in” and that's where I started making a lot of mistakes.

[Kyle]: I started really seeing myself blow up a lot more, get a lot more angry and I was becoming a person I didn't like and I didn't want to become.

[Sara]: So, as you were talking, I’m thinking one thing you and I really love is parenting. I mean, you hear a lot, you read a lot of books about what parenting is for techniques to do with your child, but you and I are very interested in the internal process of being a parent.

[Sara]: And I think that's what really stood out to me is becoming a parent is “wow, this is so much about me”. I thought it was just gonna be about me just taking care of this child and it's about them, but it's not, it really pulls stuff up inside of you.

[Sara]: And so, you were kind of getting into that about what did it-- It pulled up this stuff inside of you where you started to go “wait a second, maybe I don't know what I thought I knew, maybe I don't want a parent the way I thought I was going to parent”.

[Sara]: So, tell me a little bit more about that journey of kind of going “oh, I think I want to parent different, how am I going to do that?”. What was that change? How did that happen? What was that like internally?

[Kyle]: Well, and I think it goes back to, Sara, I was surprised I didn't know anything about the brain wiring. I didn't know that I would naturally default to parenting our kids and being a dad to our kids the way my dad was to me and so, I reflect back on how I was-- My dad was a father to me, you know? And there's-- I want to emphasize this that there's many ways my dad was a fantastic dad. There's many things still today that I want to pass on to my kids that my dad passed on to me and they were really fun moments. I loved going to see Star Wars with my dad or going-- Or reading comic books, we would go pick up comic books or do Legos together. There's so many memories of playing tennis or other types of sports that he would do with me and so, there's a lot of things. My dad was at every game, he coached most of my games. My dad was very involved, but my dad could also get really mad and [Unintelligible] and I were getting really big yelling matches. It wasn't uncommon in that generation, growing up in the 80s and 90s almost all my friends had, you know, they were getting spanked, you get your ear pulled, you know? That wasn't uncommon to see me or some other kid getting their ear pulled or maybe a little smack in the back of the head. So, all those things were common things my dad may do-- May have done when he was upset at me, you know?

[Kyle]: So, I came into it thinking “well, I probably won't smack my kid. I definitely won't pull their ear because I really hated that, but I’m definitely going to need to hit them sometimes” and that's going to look like spanking them--Yes, there's going to be some kind of--

[Sara]: You just gotta do that.

[Kyle]: I’m going to need to be the bigger stronger person. I’m going to need to make sure they know they cannot win when it comes up. So, that is something that I got from my dad and whether I wanted to be that dad or not, it didn't matter, it seemed as if I was becoming that dad, and that to your point, to your question, that was really worrying me and I didn't know how to stop it. I just kept like defaulting to that like, when Abby would get really big and loud, I thought “okay, I know exactly what to do here, I just yell louder, I threaten bigger”, you know? And so, I didn't like how it felt, I felt some shame afterwards, but it seemed like that's just how it is, you know, as a parent. Sometimes you got to do these things because you love your kids and no doubt, I think my dad did him because he loved me too, but I think he did it because of the way he was parented, you know? And at some point, in the future, I do want to have a podcast when-- It may be a helpful one for me and my dad to sit down and do a podcast together, where we talk about even his journey from even that old school thing about how he was parented and I think my dad felt like he was doing much less fear, much less violence, you know?

[Kyle]: But I didn't-- I was trying to be even more different and I didn't seem to be able to do it, I kept failing at it every time.

[Sara]: So, then-- Okay. So, I have another question before I get to there, that kind of brought up-- You were saying what things were like, what do you feel like the message-- Society's message is to dad? What's the expectations on a dad? What does that look like now? And then I’ll go into my next one.

[Kyle]: Okay, what I-- I mean, like the message I had? Or the message I--?

[Sara]: Yeah, or even what you see out there even now.

[Kyle]: Okay, yeah, yeah. So, I think typically the message still is somewhat the dad is supposed to be the stronger one, you know? The dad is-- I know this is pretty generalized, but for the most part is the dad needs to be the bigger one, he needs to be the heavy, you know? It's not-- I don't see it as like anymore where it's like “wait till your dad gets home”. I think moms feel more empowered now, if they feel like they've got to be stern or firm they feel like they can do that, but it is still the dad inevitably is the one that's supposed to be the one you're afraid of, you know? And mom is still the nurturing one. So, I still see lots of those cultural stereotypes at play and I think naturally, I do connect with that in the sense of I believe my personality is big, I believe I am really a motive in lots of ways, but I don't think my-- The switch, Sara, for me was “my strength isn't ever to be used against my kid”, you know?

[Kyle]: It's not there to control my kid. My strength is meant for my kid and anytime I slip into “I’m against you”, now I get into a win-lose scenario and in a win-lose scenario, I win, but my kid loses and I raise a kid who thinks he's a loser, you know? And or I feel like “oh, I can't-- I’ve got to really be passive, I can't be that angry dad”. So, now I have to lose and they have to win, you know?

[Kyle]: And so, I thought both-- I typically would never lean that direction, but I could sometimes if I felt ashamed of how mad I got. I might go “okay, I’ll just let this go” and you see that a lot of times with dads. Dads would go “fine, if you're telling me I can't be strong and yell, then I just have to be passive and never say anything, you know? I’ve got to almost be a permissive parent”, you know? That's kind of the message I see dads--

[Sara]: [Unintelligible] that kind of dichotomous. I’ve either got to be this big strong heavy or I just need to be the dad who's like laid back and “go ask your mom”.

[Kyle]: That or even absent.

[Kyle]: I almost need to leave the situation, right? I see a lot of dads who are saying “fine, you don't think I should be yelling and being real mean and threatening my kid. Well, then I just can't even be there, I just need to leave”. So, they just leave the situation and they no longer address the conflict, you know?

[Sara]: Yeah. So, what happened inside of you, what was that-- How did that shift happen?

[Kyle]: Yeah. So, I mean, there was a big shift, you know? So, I’ll first say the shift and then talk about the technique I use, that I’d like to invite a lot of dads into trying, but the shift was, you know, finding out what fear does to the brain and what love does to the brain and so, first I had to understand that idea that me being scarier doesn't actually help anybody. So, the scarier I get, the less likely they are to be self-controlled, the less likely they are to actually be able to think through the issue. So, I’m asking them to take control of themselves, while I’m getting more scary and I know when I’m scared, I lose control of myself, I don't get-- And then looking at all that going “that's so true, even watching it in animals”. I mean, that was one-- Went to a horse ranch where a guy was really good with horses and like, he didn't get the horses to do what he wanted by scaring them, he did it by coming alongside them, connecting with them and showing they could trust him.

[Kyle]: And then he's like “I could scare them, I could make these horses do what I want, but as soon as my eyes are gone, they're gonna take off”, you know? And I thought “that's so true”. How kids feel too is “as soon as you're not watching me, I’m gonna do whatever I want”, you know? But he's like “when the horses trust me, when we have a connection--”. I thought “why can't that translate to--”. So, those kinds of things all happened within like a span of a year or two, where I was getting all these messages like “fear doesn't help”, you know? Like when a tornado's coming and we live in Oklahoma, I don't get scarier, I don't go “hey, it's going to be really helpful to talk about how scary the tornado is”. I actually try to like “hey, let's calm down, let's--”, you know, and I believe us managing the fear and calming it down, is actually going to help us in the situation make more, you know, healthy decisions, smart decisions, good decisions, whatever and so, I thought “if I want my kids to grow up and make those kind of choices and decisions, fear and strength isn't the way to do it and I want them to always know my strength and power is to come alongside, it's for you. So, when you see how big and strong and scary dad can get, it's actually never meant against you, I’m not-- I don't want to be against you, I want to be for you. So, I want to make sure you know my power isn't there to scare you, it's there to support you and guide you”.

[Sara]: So, that was sort of the “uh huh, that happened”. Realizing you wanted to leave fear behind, you wanted to move into a different approach. You wanted to, yeah, just do a not fear-based parenting.

[Sara]: So, how hard has that been? What is that-- What did that internal-- Again, I want to keep going into what was that like for you as a dad, because you-- So, there's some society pressure, there's some how you were raised, there's thinking that technique was the one to use to be successful, to raise children successfully. That's a lot to leave behind and that sounds hard to me. So, what has that been like?

[Kyle]: Well, and I think the reason why it's hard too is, think if I don't do it, then what does that look like? You know, not only what does it look like for me, but what does the outcomes look like for my kids, you know? Because when you're raised in this culture, it's a very dichotomous culture, it's an either/or culture. You're either, you know, being domineering or you're, you know, completely absent or passive, right? And so, my thought was “oh my gosh, how can I raise healthy kids this way? I’ve never seen it done. I don't know any dads doing this”, you know? And I’m sure there were, I’m sure there were dads and I might even know some, right? But I didn't clearly know what that looked like and I didn't know what the outcome was. So, it caused a lot of uncertainty in my heart, because I thought “what am I doing? What does that look like? When they're 18, what kind of kids are they going to become?”, right? And there even is a lot of fear discussion of if the dad isn't coming down hard on the kids or isn't being the heavy or isn't whatever, then you're going to have kids who get arrested. Someday the police are going to get them, which you know, I kind of at that time kind of bought into that, until I worked with people who had been arrested and lots of them, almost all of them to a T had homes that were very, you know, loud and conflictual and you know, they didn't come from these great homes where they resolved conflict really well, you know?

[Sara]: And I think along that same line, I hear people and I know I’ve-- You know, I’ve had this thought or you think “I mean, sure, I’m not perfect, but I turned out fine”. So, I at least have that to depend on, but I don't know what this other is gonna hold.

[Kyle]: Yes, exactly. Yeah, I know what fine looks like and maybe you're saying “this could be better, but it also could be worse”, right? So, I think we tend to stick with what we know, right?

[Sara]: Scary to go into this unknown.

[Kyle]: It is, very scary. So, I think the technique that shifted it for me is, I needed to-- I was trying to think of, Sara, like how do businesses do this? Like when you go in and create a new business, how do they decide the culture they want to have in that business, right? If they aren't intentional about it, they're going to lead that business the way all of their bosses led businesses when they were employees, right? So, now as an entrepreneur or whatever, now they're the head of their business, they're just going to repeat the same culture they had, both good ways and bad ways, you know, positive and negative, unless they're intentional about the culture they want to create. So, I was like “oh, I think that has something to do with it” and so, I was thinking something that business owners do or people who are starting organizations, maybe not just businesses, organizations, they have a mission statement. Almost to a T, all of them create a culture that comes out of the mission statement, you know? About first of all, who is it that they want to be as the leader, you know? If they were to describe that, if they wanted-- You know, how would they want their employees to talk about them outside of the business, you know? How would they want them to describe their leadership, but then also, what is the culture you're inviting these employees into, right?

[Kyle]: And I had read some business books around that time or read studies about that and even in our like career counseling and stuff like that, that people want to be part of a business that has a culture that clearly has a mission and purpose, you know? And so, I think “what is our mission and purpose?”. You know, like you and I had never like really clearly defined that, we hadn't talked about that. We couldn't say our family is about this, you know? And so, then how our kids know what it's about? Right? And so, I know there's some-- You do see some of that like in cute ways that Hobby Lobby or other kind of [Unintelligible] like “our family is this, this is our fam--”. Lots of them are like--

[Sara]: Read, live, laugh, love and dance.

[Kyle]: Exactly. So, and some of those are helpful, you know? Some of those kinds of get you thinking that way, but a lot of times they're just like, slogans or things that are-- A lot of times the kids may not even read it or know what it means, right? And so, I remember going to a park and thinking “what is my vision statement?”. So, if I’m gonna sit down, instead of just becoming a dad through the circumstances of dealing with my kids, right? And that's what I was defining myself was, every interaction with my kids both negative and positive were like “okay, that's the dad I am” or like “no, shoot! I’m still that kind of dad” and like and it seemed so circumstantial, I didn't have a clear vision. It was kind of like if the kids were having a great day that day, I feel like a great dad. If me and the kids had a lot of arguments that day and I screwed up that day, I felt like a horrible dad, you know?

[Kyle]: So, I was constantly tossing back and forth how I viewed myself as a dad, I didn't have a clear path to where I wanted to go. So, I remember sitting down at a park and I thought “I’m going to write a vision statement” and what I was thinking about was “what would I want Abby, Brennan and Ellie to say about me someday when they're 18, if someone said ‘hey, what kind of dad was your dad’”, you know? And I thought “what would I want them to say about me? What kind of dad would I hope they saw me as?” Not what-- Sorry. Sorry, as I’m thinking of my own vision statement, I’m getting kind of cheered up, but yeah, I’m just thinking like “I want to control that destiny in the sense of I get to decide that, that is my choice. I get to choose what kind of dad I want to become and then I hope that it does become reality”. So, I wrote about it, I tried to think about, Sara, all the dads I admired. Things about my own dad that I admired, right?

[Kyle]: So, I tried to take pieces from a lot of them, but some of it was just me kind of opening myself up to dream, you know? Just to-- You know, like I think that's what really, really big entrepreneurs do, is they shoot for something big that almost sounds crazy, you know? It's almost like impossible. “There's no way you can achieve that” and so, I wanted to be this dad, not that dad that was perfect, you know? That wasn't my goal, I didn't go “vision statement: be a perfect dad”, you know?

[Sara]: Right

[Kyle]: I wanted to have a vision statement that clearly defined the dad I wanted my kids to see me as and I stopped-- I wanted to stop being tossed back and forth by the waves of daily circumstances, by the interactions with the kids. So, for me that was a big step to getting my settings, you know, like honed in and then walking a path.

[Sara]: Yeah, it reminds me of how you hear this a lot, how do you want to show up, but that's-- What you're describing to me, that seems to fit. How regardless of all this other stuff around, “how do I want to be present in my children's life? Who am I going to be in my children's life?” and that's very different than “how am I going to punish them?” or “how am I going to--” You know, these outside things, it was like “who are you going to be as a person in your children's life?” and I love the vision statement, the mission statement. There's tons of studies, I think everyone has heard how important it is to have something like that, because every day you can wake up or in those moments where you feel like you're being tossed again, it brings you back, it grounds you to go “this is who I am, this is where I’m going” and every day I can wake up and make a step in that direction and not towards perfection like you said, but it gives me direction.

[Sara]: So, if I don't want to skip anything, so jump in, but I think “okay. So, you made that move, that sounds like the day-to-day two years down the road, four years down the road”. How has that been? How do you feel?

[Kyle]: Yeah. Well, I would say before that and I want to answer that question. I want to say there's a few-- Just a couple questions I did ask myself, is basically like “why did I have kids? What was the point?”, right? I don't think I’d asked myself that question much before that, it was just like “well, we're married and we're going to want to have kids”.

[Sara]: People just have kids.

[Kyle]: Yeah, that's what you do, right? So, “it's about time, we're getting older, so we waited till our 30s”. So, it's like “well, okay, why did I have kids? What was the point of that? What kind of human beings do I hope they become? What kind of human being do I need to be in order to model that to them?”, you know? And so, I think a lot of this was the vision I had for them too, you know? And if I can be real vulnerable with you, Sara, I tell clients sometimes I think my dad wanted to be a different kind of dad and I don't think he had anybody helping him do that and I don't think he knew how to ask for help about that. I don’t think he even had a vision of what that could look like, you know? So, to some extent, every dad I feel like I get to help is in some extent, I’m that kid looking up at my own dad and saying “Oh, I wish somebody could help my dad be that dad he wants to be” and so, now that I am in a position to do that, maybe I can be that for some other kid, you know? I can help be that resource for that dad and help that little kid who's hoping their dad can become the dad they want to be, you know?

[Kyle]: And so, I think now having done that vision statement, I did that probably 10 years ago, it's been a decade and I feel really excited, you know? It's not like I go back and read it every day, I don't, but I probably at least every year, a couple times a year I look at it and kind of just get my settings correct, but no different than I do-- You and I wrote a vision statement about parenting legacy, you know? And about where we want to take the practice. Same way, I don't read that every day, but it does help me make my choices, right? So, when we have opportunities to do certain things, I go “does that fit in with the vision statement we have for the business?”. So, in the same way “does it fit in with the vision I have to be a dad?”, right? Do you mind if I read the vision statement real quick?

[Sara]: No, I don’t.

[Kyle]: Okay. So, I want to share this with you and I want to give a preface, a premise. I want to give whatever disclosure, but there is some religious language in it, okay? So, faith is important to Sara and I and so, in this in this vision statement I did use some religious language, but when you're doing a vision statement, I don't think you have to do that, okay? So, if dads are saying “hey, I’d like to do this”, you know and so, I’m sharing this with you, because I want to show you kind of what I’m meaning and it doesn't-- Your vision statement doesn't have to be as long as this, it could be short, it could be longer, you know? But I’m wanting to show you just an example of what I’m saying and how it's shaped where I’m going and so, then when-- If you decide to do it, I think it'd be a fantastic gift to give your family on father's day. So, if you as a dad decide to write a vision statement to read it to your family and say “this is the kind of dad I hope I am someday”, you know? It's not the dad I am now, but it's the dad I aspire to be, you know?

[Kyle]: So, here's what I wrote and once again, remember I’m just dreaming. So, I’m going to say things like “you are this kind of dad”. That wasn't the dad I was, it's just the dad I want to be, right?

[Kyle]: So, I said “you are a relentless impassionate father that will not settle for anything less than the hearts of your children. You are a father that will do everything he can to protect your children from fear and shame. You are a father that dreams of children with the freedom to give love openly and accept love courageously, because they know their value and their worth comes from the one that first loved them, without condition or cause. You are a father that will do everything he can to set up an environment where his children never believe their worth and value is based on their performance. You are a father that will model unconditional love as much as he can and when he fails at it, he will model humility and ask for forgiveness. No matter how many times he fails, he'll continue to seek forgiveness. You are a father that will pursue the heart of god, so his children will know that is where it all started and where it will all end. You are a father that will continue to work on treating his wife with the love, respect and dignity she deserves, because he knows that his relationship impacts-- This relationship impacts his children more than any other relationship in their lives. You are a father that will give grace to his children, because he knows that change can only happen when he truly loves and accepts his children as they are and not as they should be”.

[Kyle]: So, you can see in there a lot of language in there, even tied into how I treat you, Sara and how I talk to you, right? And I believe all those components, I try to tie into all those things and to be honest with you, Sara, I actually don't even remember the moment I wrote this. It was almost like, I was in this kind of mindless just-- I just started writing and I’m sure I did some tweaking, I’m sure there was things I wanted to change or ways in which I wanted to reword things, but it came out pretty quickly. It was just a matter of intentionally taking the time to say “what do I really want to pass on to my kids? Is it how to play soccer great? Is it to be fantastic at ping pong?”. I don't think it is, I think there's more things that are deeper that I really hope the kids get from me and so, that's my vision statement and thank you for letting me share it, you know?

[Sara]: So, what has been too-- I know we're probably getting low on time. What's been the hardest about the last 10 years in trying to make this change? And then, what's been the most rewarding?

[Kyle]: Okay, I think the hardest thing is the constant failure at it. So, a lot of times not meeting it. So, had to do a lot of internal work about that to really move away from shame is, once again never in there does it say be a perfect dad. So, every time I go back to old habits of raising my voice, of being condescending or arrogant at times with the kids or upset with them, going back and forgiving myself and doing exactly what I said there and actually going “wait, this fits into this, right?”. Is these moments of mess-ups actually are part of the vision, it was never for them to see a perfect dad, it was to see a dad who knows what to do when he messes up, right? To also model to them. So, working through that. So, I’d say the biggest successes are just the connection with the kids and really seeing-- It has never been “I don't want to be like my dad”. I mean, I think maybe early on it was like, there was parts like “I don't want to do that like my dad did it”, right? I think every kid, you know, every parent does that, right? But instead I think the most rewarding part is, I don't really think that way anymore, I instead think about the dad I want to be.

[Kyle]: So, I encourage a lot of dads of like, stop trying to not be a certain type of dad, just embrace the dad you want to be. So, I think 10 years into this, that's what I do every day is, I just embrace the dad I want to be and there's very little thought about the dad I don't want to be, you know? And so, that's been the most successful thing, because I think that really opens the door to me not giving in the shame and fear as much and really being able to move into becoming the very dad, I always dreamed I would become.

[Sara]: Uh huh, yeah. So, do you feel like the fear you had early on about “oh no, is this really going to work out?”.

[Sara]: Now, you've been 10 years on this path, where's that fear?

[Kyle]: No fear at all about that, yeah, it's fantastic and I want to encourage any of you dads who are thinking about making that shift, it's been so much better than I ever thought it would be, you know, in regards to how it strengthened our marriage and also, how it's strengthened the relationship with the kids. That the way I’ve seen the kids grow in self-control and self-discipline and to the freedom to really express themselves, but to do it in a way that brings more light into the world, more love to the world, but also for them to be able to stand up for themselves and really strongest-- All those things are fantastic outcomes that I-- We trusted certain people in this arena, Sara, when we first started this and especially me as a dad, because most of this voices were women, they weren't men, you know?

[Kyle]: And so-- But along that way, I’ve seen nothing but fantastic fruit and been no regrets on that journey.

[Sara]: And the connection.

[Kyle]: Yeah, that's vital.

[Sara]: From my perspective, I love to see the connection with, you know, you-- I would say that I see more in the world connections with moms and children, we all struggle, but it's neat to see the dad-child connection. That's pretty neat.

[Kyle]: Well, I want to start with asking your forgiveness because this was long. It was not sure, my intent was for it to be short, dads and I’m so sorry, it ended up being 30 minutes. So, I hope this was really helpful, you know, if there's some moms who listened to this and wives and thought “man, I really hope my husband was--”. I hope this is a doorway for them to be open to listening to this. So, every dad I want to encourage you that you can become the dad you want to be. I think if you intentionally sit down and just really dream and dream about that dad, instead of letting the waves the circumstances dictate the dad you're becoming, I think you'll be really excited. It's much more empowering to move towards something, than push away from something, you know?

[Kyle]: So, we'd love to hear your feedback. If some of you dads write some vision statements, I would love to hear your vision statements. Love for you to email them to me, you can email them at info@parentlegacy.com, you can send it there. You can also go on the-- Put comments on the, you know, on any place you're getting the podcast, you know? You can comment there. Love for you to give us ratings, share this, be a great thing for father's day for you to share a vision statement with your kids and your spouse and so, anyways, hope this was helpful and appreciate you just allowing me to be vulnerable with you today.

[Sara]: Thanks for listening.